Gov. Rauner reveals Illinois state budget

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SPRINGFIELD, IL (KPLR) - Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner delivered his budget speech Wednesday, hoping to break a nearly two-year deadlock without an annual state spending plan in place.

Before Wednesday, Rauner had remained quiet about a package of bills knows as the "grand bargain" that senators have been working on for months. Rauner voiced his support for the negotiations Wednesday, as long as the compromise meets a few conditions.

The bills would increase the state's income tax rate to 5 percent permanently, temporarily freeze income taxes for two years and expand the state sales tax to some goods and services not currently taxed.

Rauner said he will only sign the income tax increase if the property tax freeze is permanent. Rauner also said he does not want the sales tax to be expanded to groceries or medicine.

The governor also wants some non-budgetary items in the bargain, including pension changes and some pro-business reforms like changes to the worker's compensation system.

"This isn’t about pointing fingers or assigning blame, we are where we are," Rauner said. "It’s not about the past; it’s about how we move forward together. It’s not going to help us move forward if right after this speech, Democrats run to the media claiming we’ve never proposed a plan to balance the budget. And it’s not going to help us move forward if Republicans run to the media to point out that the Democratic legislature’s never passed a balanced budget."

While Rauner applauded what the legislature has been working on, some Democrats said they once again do not have a viable balanced spending plan to work off of from his office.

"I did not hear the governor say one time call my budget, let's sit down and talk about the budget that I am supposed to be presenting to you today," said Sen. James Clayborne Jr., D-Belleville. "I heard just the opposite. You all keep working and I tell you what I am willing to approve."

A stopgap measure to fund Illinois government expired January 1.

The state is on pace to have a more than $5 billion deficit by this summer, and has a backlog of $11 billion worth of unpaid bills.

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