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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Democratic speaker of the Illinois House has appointed envoys to find areas of compromise on a state budget deal with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner. 

The Illinois Senate has moved forward on pieces of a budget compromise. But the tough votes are scheduled for tomorrow.  The Senate approved non-contentious parts of what's called the "grand bargain" today. It's an effort to find a breakthrough on a two-year stalemate between Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Legislature. 

Paul Coussens

The Illinois Senate has approved small pieces of the far-reaching budget compromise plan it's debated for six weeks. But whether the rest of the package gets a vote is questionable.  The Senate voted overwhelmingly to approve plans to streamline government purchasing and to make it easier for voters to approve consolidating or eliminating superfluous local governments. 

Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan may not agree on much when it comes to the Illinois budget. As they negotiate both men apparently find it helpful to accuse the other of pushing for a tax increase. Rauner, Madigan and the legislature’s other top leaders discussed the budget privately Tuesday in Chicago.

Mixed messages came out of a meeting today between Illinois' governor and legislative leaders.   It was their first meeting in months, even as Illinois is in the midst of an unprecedented budget standoff.  Senate President John Cullerton left the meeting saying he got what he wanted out of it.

House Speaker Michael Madigan says the state's income tax should be restored to the 5% level it was at until January.

Illinois House Democrats are introducing a 2016 budget they say cuts spending more modestly than Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's proposal. 

Gov. Bruce Rauner's first shot at a state budget didn't include new taxes. But no one should assume the ultimate solution to Illinois' budget crisis won't involve opening their wallets.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is expected to take action Monday on a bill that cuts the retirement benefits of thousands of City of Chicago employees, and could lead to higher property taxes.