Closer Look: Why political timing means an Illinois budget deal is unlikely before 2016

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CHICAGO — Much attention is being paid to an upcoming sit-down between Gov. Bruce Rauner and legislative leaders as Illinois approaches five months without a budget.

But there are other dates approaching that may be far more important to hopes for a budget deal.

That's because reaching an agreement has as much to do with political timing as getting everyone in the same room or agreeing on what to fund.

Among politicians' considerations is the March primary election and legislative vote thresholds that change in January, making it easier to pass any agreement.

The meeting set for Dec. 1 will be the first budget summit for all five lawmakers since the fiscal year began.

But both the Republican governor and Democratic Senate President John Cullerton say a deal isn't likely before 2016.

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