The recent downgrade of outstanding bonds by Fitch's rating house – from A- to BBB+ – carries a lesson for Gov. Bruce Rauner, in the opinion of House Speaker Mike Madigan.

“When rating agencies talk about Illinois, they talk about the problem with the budget deficit,” Madigan told reporters Tuesday. “They do not talk about worker's compensation. They do not talk about changes to collective bargaining,” points of Rauner's “Turnaround Agenda.”

Madigan wouldn't make any specific suggestions.

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“I have an open mind on that,” Madigan said. “I am prepared to negotiate with the governor on what the new revenue might be. Some have said, well, why don't the Democrats just go ahead and pass the bills to do the new revenue. My response has been: that is just not realistic.”

Madigan said last week's resignation of Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum director Eileen Mackevich – caught in what has been described as a turf dispute with the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency director – had no impact on his desire to make ALPLM its own agency, rather than part of IHPA.

The continued barrier keeping the 10-year-old tourist attraction in downtown Springfield from reaching its potential, Madigan said, is “the current governance structure, where the people at the library are not in a position to make their own decisions that relate to the operations (or) improvements at the library. Everything has to be decided by another state agency – which is a mid-range agency. It's not even a high-level agency.”
(Copyright WBGZ / )