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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Spring Break's Over! With Summer Overtime Ahead?

Illinois Public Radio

Illinois legislators will return to Springfield this week after a two-week break. There's some suggestion it will have been their last hiatus for a while.

Legislators are set to spend a lot of the next seven weeks in session.

There's a lot to do: Gov. Bruce Rauner is pushing a massive agenda. He wants to overhaul the workers' compensation system, and to give municipalities the ability to rein in labor unions. Plus, there's dealing with a $6 billion deficit.

According to the schedule, lawmakers have until the end of May to get their work done. Already, there's suggestion they'll blow past that deadline.

"So by July - we'll really know ... my goal is by July we'll kinda now where we're at," Rauner said Wednesday, on Rockford TV station WIFR.

The governor walked back from that comment some the next day in Peoria, saying "Well, I'll walk on whatever timeframe the leaders of the General Assembly recommend. I've asked that we focus intensively now and try to get everything done by May 31."

Rauner says he won't consider a tax hike or other revenue increase until his agenda gets through. But Democratic Senator Melinda Bush, who's from Grayslake, says she wants to look at a surcharge on millionaires' income, and closing corporate loopholes.

"We really need to have those conversations," Bush said. "And if we're having those, I'm excited about it. If we're really going to talk about how do we become the best state in the union, then I'm happy to have those conversations. But it can't be just about cutting budgets. That's not how it works."

Amanda Vinicky moved to Chicago Tonight on WTTW-TV PBS in 2017.
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