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Government State

John Cullerton says budget agreement with Bruce Rauner not close

Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, left, and Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, right, talk before Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner delivers his State of the Budget Address to a joint session of the General Assembly in the House chambers Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015, in Springfield Ill. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, left, and Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, right, talk before Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner delivers his State of the Budget Address to a joint session of the General Assembly in the House chambers Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015, in Springfield Ill. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Bruce Rauner has hit a roadblock in his effort to persuade lawmakers to give him more authority to patch a $1.6 billion hole in this year's budget.

Senate President John Cullerton says he's opposed to giving Rauner additional budget powers without more commitment from Rauner to consider new revenues in talks over next year's budget.

Rauner and House Speaker Michael Madigan said last week they were close to an agreement allowing Rauner to transfer funds to plug budget holes. A Cullerton aide says the leaders no longer are nearing an agreement.

Rauner's proposed 2016 budget would include deep cuts to Medicaid and other programs to bridge a roughly $6 billion gap.

However, lawmakers face a more immediate crisis in funding child care programs, court reporters and prisons.

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