Lawmakers optimistic about budget as deadline nears

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois lawmakers are entering the next-to-last day of their spring session and are optimistic about meeting their deadline for a state budget.

Budget negotiators won’t say whether they’ll be ready to take action on the spending plan when they convene Wednesday. But they say the operations side of an estimated $39 billion spending plan is in the hands of legislative leaders.

Democratic negotiators say questions remain over a capital construction plan. They are focusing on which projects are priorities and the source of funding.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s call for a $248 million reconstruction of the Quincy veterans home is still in the mix.

Lawmakers also have a list of other unresolved issues. They include gun restrictions and a reinstatement of the death penalty added to legislation by Rauner.