Illinois’ Top Political Leaders Meet, Accomplish Little

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The four top leaders met with Governor Bruce Rauner for the first time in 2016, and after Speaker Michael Madigan addressed the House Chamber.

Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) took a shot at Governor Bruce Rauner just hours after finishing a meeting with him and the other leaders of the General Assembly.

“The fact is, the current budget crisis was completely avoidable,” Madigan said.

In a rare moment, the Speaker addressed the House over the ten-month long budget standoff. Madigan said the Governor could have made cuts using the line item veto in the budget Democrats sent to him in May.

“The Governor’s objections to House Democratic budget priorities are based on his insistence that the General Assembly first pass his personal agenda,” he said.

The Speaker said his record speaks to his ability to compromise with Democratic and Republican Governors.
“Over thirty years, I have worked with six governors from both political parties,” he said. “Twice as many Republicans as Democrats.”

The Speaker urged members to vote for a bill funding $3.8 billion in social services and higher education, but Republicans called it a fake out.  Representative Keith Wheeler (R-North Aurora) said the bill is a fraud without balancing revenue.

“This is another unconstitutional appropriation for which we should all be voting no,” Wheeler said. “It is a massive hoax as the leader suggests, but the hoax is on the Illinois taxpayer.”

The bill is headed to the Governor’s Office for a likely veto. The Governor’s Budget Director Tim Nuding said any bill passed without revenue are nothing more than than more I.O.U.s for the state of Illinois.

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