Illinois governor increases pressure on Democrats for budget deal

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Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner.

OAK LAWN, Ill. (AP) – Gov. Bruce Rauner is trying to ramp up pressure on Democrats who control the Illinois Legislature to end the state budget stalemate.

The Republican is scheduled to discuss the impasse — now in its fourth month — during a Wednesday speech before a business group in the Chicago suburb of Oak Lawn.

Rauner wants Democrats to agree to some of his legislative priorities, such as curbing public-worker union rights, before he’ll sign off on a budget deal that includes a tax increase. Democrats have refused, saying his agenda will hurt working families and Illinois’ most vulnerable residents.

Rauner told The Associated Press last week that if lawmakers don’t want to work with him they should pass a balanced budget — and a tax hike — without his support.