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Tension Grows as Grand Bargain Negotiations Continue

Republicans are upset after Senate President John Cullerton called a press conference discussing the budget crisis Wednesday. (WICS)

Grand Bargain negotiations continued Thursday, with three weeks remaining until the legislative session ends.

It is now day 681 of the state budget impasse and lawmakers are concerned the Grand Bargain is coming to an end as tension grows in the Senate.

Republicans are upset after Senate President John Cullerton called a press conference discussing the budget crisis Wednesday.

Around that same time, Senate Republicans said Cullerton had a scheduled meeting with Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Some Republicans said they're looking to continue negotiations on the Grand Bargain, but Democrats said they are running out of time and senators need to start voting.

"The bargain such as it is still not balanced, that's a big problem,” Sen. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet, said. “You still have to make sure this is a truly balanced budget, and that's why I thought yesterday was so ridiculous. I mean, you're going to go out and start passing bills when you still have a product that's not finished."

"We have time and again compromised and I think we've given all we can give,” Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, said. “So this comes down to whether or not Republicans are going to take a step toward us at this point."

One of the bills keeping the Grand Bargain from moving forward relates to a freeze on property taxes. Another debated bill in the package involves increasing income taxes.

There's a total of 11 bills included in the Grand Bargain. Originally, the number was 13.

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