The Illinois House won’t be in session this week, a change which disappoints members of both parties.
House Speaker Michael Madigan’s spokesman, Steve Brown, said the scheduled session days for Wednesday and Thursday were canceled because “the workload wasn’t there.” House Minority Leader Jim Durkin feels the cancellation means House Democrats aren’t taking the impasse seriously.
“When you do have days and weeks that are all of a sudden canceled, to me, the signal is there’s no sense of urgency on behalf of the Speaker and the House Democrats to resolve this budget,” Durkin said.
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Durkin and Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno both said without the House in session, there are no plans for Gov. Bruce Rauner and the legislative leaders to meet this week.
State Rep. LaShawn Ford (D-Chicago) is also disappointed by the cancellation. He believes the budget battle would end if both chambers were forced to stay in session, but he puts the blame on Republicans for the lack of progress on reaching a deal.
“The problem is the Republicans are not willing to be a part of the solution. They’re willing to say no, but they have nothing to say yes to,” Ford said.
Ford feels Republican lawmakers have been unwilling to discuss raising taxes, saying “there’s no doubt we cannot adopt a budget without new revenue.”
The House hasn’t been in session since December 2. With the cancellation, House members aren’t due back until January 27, when Gov. Bruce Rauner will deliver his State of the State address.