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Illinois lawmakers OK tax incentive program extension

Illinois representatives gather on the House floor

A coalition of social-service agencies has failed to get a court to order the state to pay its bills. | AP file photo

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois lawmakers have approved a four-month extension of a corporate tax incentive program amid an ongoing budget standoff.

The Economic Development for a Growing Economy, or EDGE, program was set to expire at the end of last year. It offers businesses tax breaks in exchange for agreements on creating and maintaining jobs.

The House and Senate approved the measure Tuesday with wide support. A spokeswoman says Gov. Bruce Rauner will sign the extension, but he’s urging support of a Republican-backed plan to overhaul the program.

Rauner made changes to the program in 2015 after suspending it months earlier.

Some lawmakers argue the program needs reform because it benefits larger companies over smaller ones. Others say a short-term extension is the way to go for now.