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Rauner, legislative leaders, inch toward compromise in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD — In a sign of progress following weeks of in-fighting, Gov. Bruce Rauner and four legislative leaders on Friday agreed to work toward a compromise budget while still considering a set of the governor’s reforms.

But a deal won’t happen by Sunday’s scheduled adjournment.

Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, said Rauner’s Turnaround Agenda was “absolutely on the table,” and expected leaders and staff to hash out a compromise in June. Before that, Democrats will pass a budget, which lawmakers are obligated to do before Sunday. The budget proposed is some $3 billion out of balance. Democrats said they are authorizing spending.

Republican leaders Jim Durkin and Christine Radogno said Rauner made clear he won’t sign an unbalanced budget and stood his ground on not considering taxes unless some of his agenda items advance.

“It’s always been something we’ve been open to negotiating,” Cullerton said of the Turnaround Agenda, which includes pro-business, anti-union proposals.