Illinois Republican Governor Bruce Rauner says he's hopeful he and Democratic lawmakers can reach a 2-year budget deal by the end of next month. The state's already gone 10 months without a budget and that's left higher education and human services crippled.
Rauner's conciliatory tone comes just days after lawmakers passed a bi-partisan measure to give colleges and universities emergency operations funding. Rauner says he sees some momentum for further compromise.
"I want to stay persistent and encourage the excellent bipartisan work and negotiations that are going on right now."
But the relief for higher education didn't require new revenue from a tax increase, something the governor and lawmakers from both parties acknowledge will likely be part of a grand budget bargain.
Meanwhile, lawmakers are considering emergency funding for social service agencies, also from existing state dollars.