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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Area Lawmakers Split On How To Reach An Illinois Budget Deal

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan promised to call lawmakers into session weekly, but he canceled a planned session scheduled for today. He's already canceled several of these meetings.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner openly berated Madigan for his decision. But Madigan says bipartisan "working groups" are making progress on the budget.

Lawmakers have different approaches to finding a compromise between Republicans and Democrats. 

Rockford-area Rep. Litesa Wallace, a  Democrat, says there’s no reason to call lawmakers back into session.

“If there's not a full package or some appropriations bills for us to weigh in on," she said, "I think it is best for them to continue to do the work that they are doing."

Democratic Sen. Steve Stadelman says he doesn't know the specifics of the groups, but he is optimistic that discussions eventually will create a compromise. 

"I think conversations continue trying to find ways of reaching out to lawmakers on the other side of the aisle," Stadelman said.

The bipartisan structure was working early on, says Republican Sen Dave Syverson, but they aren’t breaking any new ground now.

“The only purpose is – is to buy time and to stall off making the decisions that have to be made," Syverson said.

Republican Rep. Bob Pritchard says he thinks it’s going to take a "massive effort," rather than working groups, to break the gridlock that’s been building up:

“You can come up with a solution in a smaller group," he said, "but then how do you convince the leaders to allow the legislature to vote on those ideas?” 

House Republican John Cabello says frequent meetings at the Capitol is the best way to get movement on the budget. 

“We should be down there every second of every day trying to get this taken care of," Cabello said.

Illinois approaches its next fiscal year on July 1 without a budget agreement.

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