Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) has sent out a statement indicating the House will not pass a budget deal by the end of the fiscal year, which is midnight. He says the House will stay in session into the weekend.
Madigan took a jab at the Governor in his statement, saying “The work of the governor and General Assembly is clearly not done. As a result, the House will remain in session. While we’ve made progress on solving the governor’s budget crisis, we are not done. We will remain in session to continue our progress toward passing a balanced budget. In light of this ongoing progress, I would ask that bond rating agencies temporarily withhold judgment and allow legislators time to negotiate a bipartisan, balanced budget.”
Note the use of the phrase ‘governor’s budget crisis’ without acknowledging his own role in the standoff, in which the House hasn’t even voted on a budget bill since the beginning of the regular session in January.
Madigan also acknowledged that the House will stay in Special Session for now. The Governor ordered the legislature to remain in Special Session until a budget is passed.
Madigan’s statement is also an effort to prevent major credit agencies from downgrading Illinois’ credit rating to ‘junk’ status should a budget deal by the deadline not be met. It would be the first time any state has had its bond rating lowered to ‘junk’ status.
Madigan needs four Republican votes to pass a budget bill, but then it would have to go back to the State Senate for a vote before being forwarded to Governor Rauner’s desk.
In a related note, Senate Republicans have elevated Sen. Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) to the Minority Leader post, succeeding Sen. Christine Radogno, who has decided to resign from the Senate effective Saturday.