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Rauner Seeking Daily Budget Meetings With Top Lawmakers

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Gov. Bruce Rauner has called for daily meetings with legislative leaders in an effort to end the state's budget stalemate.

A stopgap budget approved by the Illinois General Assembly and the governor is set to expire at the end of 2016, and the governor said he wants to meet with the Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate every day until an agreement on a full-year's budget is reached.

"I've asked the four legislative leaders to meet with me every day to hammer out a balanced budget," he said in an interview on the CBS 2 Morning News on Monday.

The governor also continued to press lawmakers to enact parts of his so-called "Turnaround Agenda" as part of any budget deal.

"We need to grow more jobs in Illinois. We need to bring down our property tax burden; it's the highest in America. We need to properly fund our schools; we're the worst school funding in America. And we need term limits on elected officials so we can restore democracy here. Those are the four types of reforms. I've said no one has to be on the table, but let's reform the system as part of a balanced budget so we can grow more jobs," Rauner said.

Democratic lawmakers have said a state budget plan should not be held hostage to Rauner's demands for his Turnaround Agenda.

Rauner said the state needs pro-business reforms to help stimulate job creation, and bring in more tax revenue.

"If we don't grow our economy faster and create more good-paying jobs, we'll never fund our pensions, we'll never have balanced budgets, we'll never properly fund our schools. The number one priority, become pro-growth, pro-investment, and we've got to do that no matter what; but how we get there, I'm open, I'm flexible, everything can be on the table," he said.

The governor said three of the four legislative leaders have agreed to daily budget meetings, and he said he hopes Democrats are not stalling on a budget deal.

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