House Speaker Mike Madigan

state of Illinois

Illinois nears the end of August, and there's still no state budget in place. But House members will return to Springfield today.

The Illinois House controls the fate of a measure that's not a budget bill, per say, but which Gov. Bruce Rauner says could have major financial ramifications for the state.

It'd prevent his ability to lock out state workers -- something he's said he won't do -- as well as forbid employees from striking. Instead, an arbitrator would settle an impasse if Rauner and the AFSCME union can't agree to a new contract.

Amanda Vinicky / WUIS

Illinois Democrats say their party is strong and more energized than ever, thanks to Republican Governor Bruce Rauner.

The day after Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner accused them of holding up progress, hundreds of Democrats packed into a ballroom rose to their feet and clapped when Senate President John Cullerton said this:

"We are willing to work with Gov. Rauner, but we don't work for Gov. Rauner, okay?"

Brian Mackey / Illinois Public Radio

Accusations continue to swirl at the statehouse over who is at fault for the budget impasse. Gov. Bruce Rauner says House Speaker Madigan is the problem. 

Rauner, a Republican, accuses Madigan of wanting a government shutdown.

"I think the Speaker wants pressure, wants an impact now, before he'll do the right thing,” Rauner said. “He knows what should happen. Many members of his caucus know we should compromise and work this out. But they want an impact, they want people hit by these lack of a budget before they'll take action."

WUIS

Gov. Bruce Rauner wants the legislature's help in making two big changes to the state's constitution, but the Illinois House Speaker isn't on board. It's one of various causes of gridlock at the state capitol.

As a candidate last year, Rauner talked a lot about term limits. Now that he's governor, he's pushing for lawmakers to sign on. The governor often repeats his goal of removing power from what he calls the "political class" -- in particular from House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Flickr user Jim Bowen / "Illinois State Capitol" (CC BY 2.0)

Legislators' return to Springfield today failed to result in real movement toward a state budget agreement. That’s with six days remaining before the state loses its spending authority.

House Speaker Michael Madigan says Democrats are trying.

Gov. Bruce Rauner gave five conditions that must be met before he'll consider a tax hike that could balance the budget. 

Rauner, a Republican, says Illinois needs big changes, and he won't support asking taxpayers for more money without them.

YouTube

There’s still no budget after the Illinois General Assembly’s summer session meeting Tuesday. But Governor Bruce Rauner is trying to reach Illinois voters through their TVs to earn their support for his Turnaround Agenda.

One of Rauner’s ads makes this accusation:

"Mike Madigan and the politicians he controls refuse to change. They're saying 'no' to spending discipline."

House Speaker Mike Madigan had a measured response rather than a heated one to that accusation.

state of Illinois

The Illinois House and Senate will reconvene in Springfield today. The unusual June session comes as majority Democrats and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner continue to clash.

Rauner and House Speaker Michael Madigan say they’ve had “cordial” conversations. But their public statements have a different tone.

“The middle class is suffering under the politics of Speaker Madigan and President Cullerton," Rauner said.

Madigan says he thinks it’s an “example of functioning in the extreme.”

“It doesn’t help the process," Madigan said.

WUIS / Peoria Public Radio

The standoff between Illinois' new governor and the Democratic leaders of the legislature is invoking a notorious figure from years past.

Illinois's stalemate isn't just over the budget; Gov. Bruce Rauner put a bargain on the table. He's trying to force Illinois' leading Democrats to accept an agenda they don't like, in exchange for his considering a tax increase.

On WGN Radio Sunday, Madigan said some of Rauner's statements and negotiating tactics are reminiscent of a former governor who's now in prison.

senatorbarickman.com / Peoria Public Radio

Governor Rauner spent most of the past four months traveling around Illinois, touting his so-called "Turnaround Agenda."

Some of his requests, like allowing localities to create right-to-work zones, faced an uphill battle from the beginning. But other items, like term limits, have been popular with voters since the governor ran on them last year.

Now Democrats, who control the legislature, refuse to bring a term limit proposal to a vote. They say it's a distraction from passing a state budget before the weekend's deadline.

WUIS

Illinois’s House speaker is staking an early claim in what may be a contentious budget battle. 

Billions of dollars in cuts proposed by Republican Governor Bruce Rauner already spurred rallies at the capitol. Groups foretell of grave consequences. 

House Speaker Michael Madigan says he acknowledges Illinois is in a difficult budget situation.

But there's one area he wants to spend more on: state crime labs.

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