Illinois’ state Senate Republican Leader said the GOP won’t go along with tax increases if the state doesn’t pass reforms to foster economic growth.

With about a week left in the spring legislative session, Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno said Democrats have to get on board with reforms to workers’ compensation, allow local governments the ability to opt out of certain collective-bargaining issues, enact a property-tax freeze and adopt reform to the state’s pensions. If not, Radogno said the GOP won’t go along with tax increases.

“I think tax increases again are off the table until there is an agreement on some of these issues that directly impact the people of this state,” Radogno said.

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Sean Stott, director of governmental affairs for the Laborers’ International Union, said compromise is possible, but for something like workers’ compensation it will take time.

“With eight days to go in the legislative session they’re putting things back on the table that were taken off the table months ago,” Stott said.

Gov. Bruce Rauner said adding causation to the state’s workers’ compensation law isn’t a must as long as the needle is moved on lowering costs.

National Federation of Independent Business Illinois State Director Kim Maisch said workers’ compensation reforms are a must have for Illinois. Without those and other reforms, Maisch said it’s unclear how low Illinois will go.

“If we don’t turn this state around now, I don’t know what direction – It’s almost like we’ve hit rock bottom,” Maisch said.

Lawmakers have until May 31 to pass legislation, including a budget, with simple majorities. After that it will require supermajorities to pass bills.


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