WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Leaders' Meeting's Postponed During Ongoing Budget Impasse; Here's Why

Nov 16, 2015
Originally published on November 16, 2015 1:31 am

Illinois' Governor and the four legislative leaders won't meet in Springfield this week after all; the gathering has been postponed until next month.

Even with Illinois' ongoing, unprecedented fiscal situation, Wednesday was to have been the first time since the end of May that Gov. Bruce Rauner and the General Assembly's four top Republicans and Democrats all got together. After a bunch of posturing and political hand-wringing about how it would go, and what would be discussed, Rauner sent an agenda late Friday, calling for a portion of the summit to be public, with the rest to take place behind closed doors.

A day later came a press release from House Speaker Michael Madigan that he could not longer be there, due to an out of state funeral after a death in the family. In a statement Madigan said he continues to support an "open and public discussion" about "he state’s biggest issue, solving the budget deficit,” but that family obligations come first.

Madigan was going to send a proxy: Rep. John Bradley, a Marion Democrat whose seat Republicans are trying to wrestle from him.

Instead, Rauner's office soon put out its own statement, extending sympathies to Madigan and saying out of consideration, and a desire to have all four legislative leaders in attendance, that the meeting will be rescheduled for December 1.

By then, Illinois will have started its sixth month without a budget.

Copyright 2015 WUIS-FM. To see more, visit http://www.wuis.org/.