Gov. Bruce Rauner says it’s outrageous Speaker Michael Madigan and his caucus aren’t in Springfield while Madigan’s office says it’s embarrassing the governor isn’t addressing campaign finance.
Rauner called a media briefing Tuesday to criticize House Democrats for not being in Springfield to address the budget crisis.
“That’s a dereliction of duty. That’s a failure of Speaker Madigan and his caucus to do their jobs,” Rauner said.
Rauner said he won’t call for a special session because of the added cost to taxpayers and the doubts that anything would get accomplished.
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Madigan spokesman Steve Brown said the House schedule was published months ago and he was embarrassed for the governor for not addressing spending from his political action committee before the primary “trying desperately to elect somebody who would go along with some of these non-budget ideas.”
It’ll be nine months of the fiscal year without a budget for higher education, tuition assistance grants and some social services by the time the House returns in April.
Meanwhile Rauner urged the state Senate to take up procurement reform and Sen. President John Cullerton’s pension reform proposal to use savings for a variety of things.
“Use that money to fund our universities, to fund our (tuition assistance) grants,” Rauner said. “Call that bill. Vote on it.”
Cullerton spokesman John Patterson said “passing pension reform legislation is a contentious process” and attorneys on both sides continue exploring new drafts.
Rauner also called on lawmakers to pass his early and secondary education funding bill “clean, with no tricks.”
“They’re threatening to hold up the entire school funding system to help Chicago,” Rauner said. “That is wrong.”
Patterson said they’re working on a district-by-district analysis of the governor’s plan and that preliminary information shows Chicago Public Schools would lose $78 million. He added: “It was the governor who said he couldn’t support a funding system in which any school district lost money.”