Illinois Senate faces tough votes on taxes, school funding

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Capitol building in Springfield, Illinois.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – The Illinois Senate faces its toughest votes in brokering an end to the state’s budget deadlock.

A legislative package negotiated by Democrats and Republicans in the Senate finally started moving Tuesday. But the votes were non-contentious. They approved streamlining state purchasing and giving cities more control over tax revenue.

Key issues will face a roll call Wednesday after the Senate convenes. They include increasing the income tax from 3.75 percent to 4.99 percent and establishing a local property tax freeze. The property tax freeze is one issue Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner has demanded as part of a budget deal during a two-year stalemate over an annual spending plan.

The other looming vote will be over a plan to revamp school funding and make distribution of aid to schools more fair.