Gov. Rauner’s request for 5 business reforms hold up budget

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s call for business-climate changes includes some small print. Democrats have read it and say it’s extreme. The governor has said he won’t work on balancing the budget with legislative Democrats until he gets five specific changes meant to lower business costs and crimp political corruption. The fiscal year begins Wednesday and without a spending plan, services could be disrupted. Among other changes, Rauner has called for a freeze on local property taxes. But the measure includes giving local governments power to control costs by limiting what can be negotiated in employee contracts. He also suggests restrictions on where liability lawsuits may be filed and how damage awards are paid, along with tighter rules on workers’ compensation. Democrats say the plans would drive middle-class families into poverty.