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Progress? Madigan Cancels House Session So Budget Talks Can Continue

Illinois Public Radio

Even though Illinois is still without a budget, the Illinois House has canceled a planned one-day session.

But a memo issued Tuesday by Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan gives the impression that it's a sign of progress.

The Spring session of the General Assembly ended without a budget plan -- for either the current fiscal year or the one which begins July 1. Madigan had said the House would remain in “continuous session” by convening every Wednesday until the constitutional requirement for a balanced budget was met.

The speaker says he called off the session because he doesn't want to interrupt the small groups of legislators who have been trying to develop a budget.

But Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner attacked the change in plans.

"We're at a critical point in the state of Illinois,” he said. “We have no budget. We have a General Assembly that ended the spring session and went home and has not come back."

Rauner had his own budget reversal recently. After saying no to a temporary spending plan, he now favors one. 

The governor says he'll get legislators back to Springfield somehow.

He could do it by calling them into special session. But he's never used that authority, and he gave no indication that he would do so today.

  • Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
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