The Latest: Governor will sign automatic voter registration - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

The Latest: Governor will sign automatic voter registration

(Source: KFVS) (Source: KFVS)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Latest on legislative action in Springfield as the General Assembly's session closes out (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

A spokeswoman says Gov. Bruce Rauner will sign a plan to automatically register qualified Illinois voters.

State lawmakers have already approved the proposal. It calls for registering individuals automatically when they visit one of several state agencies unless they opt out.

Rauner vetoed a different version of the plan over concerns that it didn't do enough to prevent voter fraud.

Rauner spokeswoman Eleni Demertzis thanked bill sponsors and stakeholders in Tuesday statement saying the "sanctity" of the election process must be protected.

Roughly half a dozen other states, including Oregon and West Virginia, already automatically register voters.

3:35 p.m.

Protesters pushing for plans to close so-called corporate tax loopholes and tax the wealthy at higher rates have disrupted proceedings at the state Capitol.

Roughly a dozen chanting protesters were removed from the House gallery as lawmakers were in session. Illinois Secretary of State spokesman Henry Haupt says no arrests were made.

Some protesters were seen being dragged out of the gallery by security staff.

The protesters are part of a coalition called Fair Economy Illinois. Some members marched from Chicago to Springfield for the final days of the legislative session to urge lawmakers to pass a budget that helps working people.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democrat-controlled Legislature have been deadlocked on a spending plan for two years.

Roughly two dozen protesters are also are sitting outside of Rauner's Capitol office.

2:20 p.m.

The Illinois House has approved a proposal that would raise the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour over five years.

House lawmakers voted 61 to 53 Tuesday.

Democratic state Rep. Will Guzzardi of Chicago says the plan would help working people make ends meet.

Illinois' minimum wage is $8.25. Under the plan, workers age 18 and over would see the wage jump in increments until 2022. The plan also includes a tax credit for businesses with 50 employees or fewer.

Opponents, including retail groups, say raising the wage hurts businesses.

Republican state Rep. Keith Wheeler of Oswego says the plan will make Illinois more uncompetitive.

It's unclear whether Gov. Bruce Rauner will sign the bill. The Republican has said he'd support a minimum wage increase in conjunction with other regulatory changes.

The bill is SB81

2:10 p.m.

The Illinois Senate has approved a two-year property tax freeze.

Democratic Senate President John Cullerton of Chicago pushed two property-tax freezes measures through the Senate Tuesday. One would freeze property tax levies for school districts. But they'd be able to seek a waiver from the Illinois State Board of Education. The other would freeze taxes for other government bodies with exemptions to allow them to pay down debt and make contributions to employees' pensions.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner has insisted on a freeze on local property taxes for more than two years. Illinois has among the nation's higher rates.

Rauner has demanded a permanent freeze. Democrats say that would cripple local governments. Cullerton says senators could adopt a new freeze if a two-year freeze works.

The measures move to the House.

Rauner's spokeswoman calls the plan a "phony two-year freeze."

The bills are SB482 and SB484

1:10 p.m.

An Illinois House panel has endorsed a plan to make it easier to consolidate local governments.

The Executive Committee on Tuesday approved a proposal that eases the process of merging or dissolving townships or for cities to absorb townships of the same geographical area. Grayslake Democratic state Rep. Sam Yingling's measure also would allow county boards to create townships that are larger than the current limit of 126 square miles.

Brian Costin is deputy chief of staff to Republican Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti (san-gwihn-NEH'-tee). She led a task force studying how to reduce Illinois' most-in-the-nation number of local governments. Costin says the legislation should include the ability for voters to act to dissolve or merge governments.

GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner wants government bodies consolidated as part of efforts to streamline government.

The bill is SB3 .

4:45 a.m.

Eyes are on the Illinois House as it considers how to handle a $37 billion spending proposal with two days left in the General Assembly's spring session.

The Democratic-controlled House has several options Tuesday. Democrats advanced late Monday a plan to raise income and sales taxes by more than $5 billion to deal with a mountainous deficit.

But party leaders also said they're considering other options. Committee hearings are scheduled to consider legislation that will only have substantive language added to it shortly before public airing.

The state has been without a budget for two years. Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner wants changes to streamline government, boost the business climate and freeze property taxes in exchange for a budget. Democrats say that debate should follow a budget.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Powered by Frankly