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Spring Break Ends For State Lawmakers

Brian Mackey / Illinois Public Radio

Spring break is over for Illinois legislators, who return to the Capitol this week.

It's been a month since the Illinois House convened.

Gov. Bruce Rauner has continually said lawmakers were wrong to take a recess, saying he "expressed my frustration to the leadership in the supermajority - both the President and the Speaker - that they had their caucus leave Springfield for a month when we're in the middle of this crisis."

But while there was a lot of talk about the lack of a state budget during that time, there wasn't action or movement on deals; Rauner and the legislative leaders didn't use that time to meet and develop a plan for going forward.

Rep. Mike Fortner, a Republican from West Chicago, says he doesn't expect that will change now that lawmakers are back in Springfield.

That's not to say they won't be busy. They're on deadline this week. If a legislator wants a specific piece of legislation to advance ... that has to be done by Friday.

"We're going to have lots of committee meetings this coming week, cause it's deadline week and there are just lots and lots of bills that hadn't been moving," Fortner said. "And now all of a sudden there's a lot of committees, all week long."

But when it comes to the big stuff, like passing a budget now that Illinois has begun its tenth month without one, figuring out how to fund schools, dealing with taxes, there's no indication there will be movement any time soon.

Amanda Vinicky moved to Chicago Tonight on WTTW-TV PBS in 2017.
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