SPRINGFIELD - House Speaker Mike Madigan, apparently still steaming about the net loss of three seats in his Democrat caucus last Tuesday, failed to show up at a planned budget leadership meeting at the Governor's office Monday.
The days of authorized spending before the end of 2016 are dwindling, House MInority Leader Jim Durkin told reporters after he and Senate Minority Leader Chris Radogno met with Governor Rauner.
"We have six scheduled days of meeting when all members of both chambers will be in the building," Durkin said. "We're going to run out of spending authority in a very short amount of time. Let's get to work."
Durkin appealed to Speaker Madigan and Senator President Cullerton to set aside vetoes and overrides to focus on a "full, balanced and fair" budget.
When asked if Madigan couldn't find time to work the meeting into his schedule as being a "personality issue" between the speaker and the governor because so much money was spent in the election, Radogno answered with frustration.
"He's got a job to do on behalf of the people of the state of Illinois," the senator said. "This state is suffering. Services are suffering. That's insane to think because he lost seats he shouldn't have to participate. It's an absolute derelection of duty ..."
Durkin said that the governor already said he was willing to consider more revenue - in other words, he would be open to raising the state's income tax rate.
"The Democrats need to meet us halfway, meet us part of the way," Durkin said. "They haven't given us an inch. This governor went out on a limb and did something most first time governors wouldn't do. He said he would sign onto revenue, but we need to change the way things are going in Illinois."
Another budget meeting was re-scheduled for Tuesday.