State Session Day Brings Criticism

(AP) – Gov. Bruce Rauner has criticized House Democrats again over canceling a session day while there’s no budget.

But the Republican told reporters Wednesday calling lawmakers into special session would be a waste because House Speaker Michael Madigan says he doesn’t want to act on legislation.

The General Assembly adjourned its spring session last week without a budget for the second consecutive year.

Chicago Democrat Madigan said the House would meet each Wednesday but he canceled the first meeting.

Rauner promoted legislation in the House funding human services for the past year and other state government work through December.

He says an alternative $700 million plan to bail out human services doesn’t go far enough.

That prompted a statement from Madigan that Rauner preferred buying office supplies to “life-saving” services.

Meanwhile, Senate President John Cullerton says first-term Gov. Bruce Rauner should “stop campaigning” and focus on managing Illinois.

The Democrat held a news conference Wednesday in Chicago to respond to Rauner’s comments in Springfield criticizing House Democrats for canceling a legislative session day.

Rauner has been traveling statewide since legislators adjourned last month without a budget deal for the second year in a row.

Cullerton deemed it a “scorched earth tour,” saying it’s distracting to groups of rank-and-file lawmakers who have been meeting to come to an agreement.

He accused Rauner of planning the tour before lawmakers adjourned.

Cullerton says it’s a hopeful sign that Rauner now backs short-term budget legislation for schools and human services and that’s what lawmakers have been discussing in smaller groups, including on Wednesday.

 

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