Now that the primaries are over, Gov. Bruce Rauner says lawmakers need to get back to work. However, he said, political posturing still rules the day.
During a news conference in Chicago Monday, Gov. Rauner said the characterization that he’s frustrated at the nearly nine-month-old budget impasse is putting it mildly.
“It seems to me that the crisis is being extended for political gain and messaging,” Rauner said, “and that’s wrong.”
Responding to the governor’s comments, Senate President John Cullerton’s spokesman John Patterson said “the governor created this impasse back in June.”
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That’s when the governor vetoed most of the spending bills Democrats sent to his desk, saying they were unbalanced.
Patterson said Cullerton continues to hope that both sides can work toward productive solutions that “give the governor the ability to honor his administration's commitments and turn our state around with a common-sense budget agreement."
Meanwhile, Rauner said he reached out for a one-on-one meeting with House Speaker Michael Madigan to talk about a path out of the impasse and to “talk about a budget and some compromises.”
“No commitments came back, no position on when those discussion might take place,” Rauner said.
Madigan Spokesman Steve Brown said he was working to confirm whether the governor called and will provide an update soon.
Rauner added that he’s apprehensive to call meetings with all four legislative leaders at once because attempts last summer and fall produced zero results.
Bipartisan measures on procurement reform and pension reform could help to reveal savings to pay for things like higher education and social services, the governor said, but legislators must move the bills out of committee and vote on them.