Illinois Senate President John Cullerton says the way to settle the controversy over state-employee pay is to approve a state budget.
The Chicago Democrat spoke to the City Club of Chicago Monday. He urged support for a compromise budget plan that includes appropriations for worker pay.
He says the Senate will take up the package this week after failing to OK it in January.
Feuding between Legislative Democrats and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner has prevented a budget agreement since July 2015.
Employees have continued to receive pay under a court order. But Democratic Attorney General Lisa Madigan says that's improper and asked the court to halt payment Feb. 27 if there's no budget.
Republicans say the move is politically motivated and designed to cause a crisis with a government shutdown.