CHICAGO – Illinois lawmakers began a 10-day special session Wednesday that represents the state’s last chance to avert the possible loss of at least one of its investment grade ratings by ending a two-year-old budget stalemate.

Lawmakers returned to the capital amid deep acrimony and distrust that undercuts the chances of an agreement, though various legislative proposals passed by Senate Democrats and another package pitched by House and Senate Republicans could provide a roadmap if the two sides are willing to budge.

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