The governor called for round-the-clock budget negotiations and said he is open to meeting with all four legislative leaders, but it’s still unclear when or whether that will happen.
In an opinion column published last week by Springfield’s State Journal-Register, Gov. Bruce Rauner wrote negotiations should start immediately on a “bipartisan, balanced budget with a mix of reforms, cost reductions and revenue.”
Leading Republican state Rep. Jim Durkin said late last week the governor has requested meetings with the four legislative leaders but hasn’t heard back.
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John Patterson, Senate President John Cullerton’s spokesman, said they’re open to meeting.
“The governor’s office did reach out to us about leaders meetings and we’ve been back in touch with them and we’re ready to meet with the other leaders whenever,” Patterson said.
Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s spokesman, Steve Brown, said no dates have been scheduled.
Leading Republican state Sen. Christine Radogno said all sides can come together.
“When there’s a will to get something done, things get set aside and it gets done,” Radogno said. “We’ve seen that repeatedly in history.”
Durkin said his party expected heightened rhetoric through the course of the year, but at the end of the day lawmakers can still come together to get something done.
Lawmakers are back in Springfield Tuesday, which will be more than nine months into the budget impasse with no resolution in sight.