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Speaker Madigan: Gov. Rauner Must Make Budget First Priority

Speaker Michael Madigan budget impasse
Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan. (IllinoisLawmakers on YouTube)

Springfield, IL-(ENEWSPF)- As the budget impasse continues in Illinois, Speaker Michael J. Madigan issued the following statement Monday, imploring Gov. Bruce Rauner to “join us in putting the budget first.” He says “House Democrats stand ready to work with him in good faith.

Speaker Madigan’s statement follows:

“For nearly two years, families in our communities have lost critical services as a result of the budget impasse. Educators, social service agencies and countless others have warned that Illinois will be dealing with the consequences of this impasse for many years to come. In the years preceding this impasse, we were paying down the backlog of unpaid old bills and had the bill backlog down to $4.5 billion. The bill backlog today stands at over $13 billion due to the lack of a state budget. The state’s backlog has tripled, and bond rating agencies have made it clear that the lack of a state budget weighs foremost in their minds when evaluating Illinois’ financial standing. For these reasons and due to the impact this impasse is having on every Illinoisan, House Democrats have been resolute in our belief that all legislators and the governor must recognize the budget as the most important issue facing our state.

“While we stand firm that the budget – and the budget alone – must be our top priority, it is also our desire to work cooperatively with the governor. To this end, I am appointing Representatives Barbara Flynn Currie, Lou Lang, Arthur Turner and Jay Hoffman to work with the governor to identify areas of his agenda where compromise can be reached. The House has taken action on several of the governor’s requests, and this group will be able to discuss his further proposals and consider how they would affect the state.

“It is our strong desire that Governor Rauner join us in putting the budget first. By showing the governor that House Democrats stand ready to work with him in good faith, it is my hope that he will return to the negotiating table and work with us to end the budget crisis.”

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