Illinois lawmakers finished the spring legislative session this week without a balanced budget, but Gov. Bruce Rauner isn’t committing to calling a special session. Lawmakers did not take up a stopgap budget being pushed by Republicans to fund government operations through the end of the calendar year. Lawmakers also failed to pass a standalone K-12 funding bill.
House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, said he will bring lawmakers back once a week.
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“We’ve scheduled ourselves to be here every Wednesday through June starting next week,” Madigan said.
Rauner said that’s not enough.
“So I’m going to negotiate with the speaker and ask that we can meet far more regularly than that and then we’ll see what we can work out,” Rauner said.
The Senate does not have any scheduled days listed, but Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, said Tuesday a deal on spending could be had within a week.
Rauner said questions over funding for schools and operations should not be prolonged.
“Our teachers shouldn’t be put in a position whether they are wondering if their schools are going to be opened – our parents and our children deserve to know that their schools are going to get more money and they’re going to open on time,” Rauner said. “We owe it to the people of Illinois. We should not wait weeks and weeks on this. We should do it now.”
Rauner did not commit to calling a special session. He previously said he’d investigate paying for a special session out of his own pocket, something estimated to cost $40,000 a day.