The first meeting between Gov. Bruce Rauner and legislative leaders since mid-December is set to take place later this week.
Since meeting three times in December to discuss ways to end the budget stalemate, no formal discussions have taken place. Rauner said staff members have been in "almost daily communication," and is promising to offer new proposals in this week's negotiations.
"We're going to offer more compromises and creative solutions and hopefully, we'll come up with some bipartisan answers, so we can have true long-term balanced budgets where the interests of taxpayers are protected along with the interests of those inside the government. We're working hard on it and I think we'll get there," Rauner said.
Rauner declined to offer specifics on what new compromises he'll offer.
House Minority Leader Jim Durkin said the first meeting of 2016 may have taken place when legislators reconvened on Jan. 13 and 14, if House Speaker Michael Madigan hadn't cancelled those session days in the House.
"When we are in Springfield together, we have an opportunity to meet, to collaborate, to try to see if we can get through on some important issues," Durkin said.
Madigan did not attend the Dec. 17 meeting.
A spokesperson for Senate President John Cullerton declined to comment on the meeting. A request for comment wasn't answered by the spokesperson by House Speaker Michael Madigan.
While Rauner didn't mention a specific date or place for the discussion, Durkin mentioned it'd be "coming right off the presidential speech" scheduled for Wednesday. Both chambers are supposed to be in session Wednesday and Thursday this week.