With four months left in the fiscal year, time is running out for State legislators to pass a 2016 budget.
House Minority Leader, Republican Jim Durkin, is seeking to meet with Democratic leaders, calling on them to listen to President Barack Obama and meet at the negotiating table.
Speaking Monday at the City Club of Chicago, Durkin called on House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton to find a common ground in the budget negotiations.
“I’m going to take this opportunity to call on Speaker Madigan and President Cullerton. I’m going to call on them to look past the political rhetoric, and heed the call of our President to come to the table. Most importantly, do so, with open minds,” said Durkin.
“I think that we’ve been very reasonable saying that we have our own solution that we would like to talk to you about. Negotiate with us, give us a hearing, or at least work with us to find a common ground, but we’re not even getting that,” said Durkin
Steve Brown, press secretary for House speaker Michael Madigan, counters Durkin’s statements, arguing that Republicans are focusing their efforts on non-budget issues first rather than focusing on a balanced budget.
“We're the ones who said we need to work on a budget that is balanced, that has cuts and revenues. But we're not the ones suggesting we do non-budget things, some of which don't even take place until the next decade at the earliest -- (that those) have to be done before we can get to a budget," said Brown.
Illinois faces an estimated budget deficit of $5 billion this fiscal year, which ends on June 30th.