Talks continue on a jobs package to give relief to Illinois residents and businesses. The state's four legislative leaders met Thursday with the governor ahead of the fall veto session that resumes next week in Springfield. They want to come up with a package that goes beyond just offering tax breaks to Chicago’s major financial exchanges. The exchanges have threatened to leave Illinois unless there are changes in how they are taxed.
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Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago, pictured) says the goal is to vote on a package next week after lawmakers from both parties talk to their members about what they will support. Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) says the progress in talks is a sign that Democrats realize they need to respond to the state’s “poisonous” business climate. Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) has proposed freezing pay for all state workers covered by collective bargaining contracts until the state has achieved two years of surpluses in the operating budget. Cross says at a time when the state is looking to shutter state facilities that serve those with mental health needs, workers should not be getting pay raises.