Rauner Calls Leaders' Meeting, Pushes Balanced Budget

Gov. Bruce Rauner says he has called a meeting for Thursday with legislative leaders to discuss the final weeks of the spring session.

The Republican told reporters in Chicago Tuesday that his top priority is a balanced budget for the year that begins July 1.

The plan he laid out in February would balance it by radically changing state-employee pension programs, limiting health insurance benefits and requiring school districts to pay portions of teachers' pensions.

Democrats who control the Legislature generally oppose the insurance and teachers' pension provisions.

Rauner says he will also push for property tax reductions, seek to revamp an incentive program for economic growth, await a task force recommendation on reducing gun violence, pursue stronger sexual-harassment penalties and continue his yearslong push for officeholder term limits.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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