ILLINOIS — With the budget deadline fast approaching, more political blame is going around.
This week, House Speaker Michael Madigan (D) issued a statement inviting four House Democratic leaders to negotiate with the governor.
Some Republican leaders, like House Minority Leader Jim Durkin and Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno are not happy to hear this. They say it’s another political move by Madigan to stall progress on a budget agreement.
It happened about the same time last year when Madigan invited Representative Greg Harris to be the negotiator in budget meetings.
Now, more Democrats are being added like representatives Lou Lang, Barbara Flynn Curry, Art Turner and Jay Hoffman. Madigan says they’ll work with Rauner and address ideas in his agenda to compromise on.
Radogno says Madigan’s comments are interrupting the Senate’s progress on their grand bargaining deal. However, not all Republicans agree.
Most lawmakers remain hopeful they can reach a deal by the end of the month, however the clock is ticking. Durkin says Democrats have a history of creating these “working groups” in an attempt to waste time.
On the other hand, Madigan says he remains confident by inviting more people to the table, they can work with the governor to end the crisis.
Governor Bruce Rauner has said he supports another budget proposed by Republican Senator Bill Brady. It includes $5 billion in spending cuts.
Right now, Senate leaders are still considering raising the income tax rate to 4.95% and freezing local property taxes for five years.
In addition, Brady is pushing for a spending freeze and across-the-board cuts, as well as reforming the worker’s comp system.