*** UPDATED x1 *** Republicans claim Madigan trying to “run out the clock” on budget talks
Tuesday, Nov 15, 2016
* House Speaker Michael Madigan emerged from today’s leaders meeting to say the four tops would meet with the governor again tomorrow.
Madigan said he would appoint Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) to head a new budget negotiating team. Harris chairs an approp committee. “I’m sure there’ll be a more open discussion” at tomorrow’s meeting with Rep. Harris leading negotiations, Madigan said.
* But the Republican leaders emerged afterward to say they’d watched the live video of Madigan’s chat with reporters and they were “confused” by Madigan’s plan to appoint a budget negotiator.
“There was no agreement that there would be another round of negotiating teams,” said Senate GOP Leader Christine Radogno. She said Madigan raised the subject, but nothing was agreed during the meeting. “Another round of working groups at the mid-level was not part of the agreement.”
“We are not interested in reconstituting the working groups,” House Republican Leader Jim Durkin said, adding that it’s now up to the leaders and the governor to cut a deal. The budget working group, he said, appears to be an attempt by Madigan to once again “run out the clock.”
“The rank and file Democrats are desperate for a comprehensive budget,” Durkin claimed, saying Gov. Rauner may end up putting off some of his Turnaround Agenda in order to get a deal.
Radogno said the plan is to return tomorrow and negotiate off the framework devised by the budgetary working group earlier this year. But there would have to be adjustments, particularly in pension funding.
* Madigan, by the way, said the governor talked about pension reform and new revenue.
Senate President John Cullerton didn’t talk to reporters.
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…Adding… Raw audio of Speaker Madigan’s comments…
* And here’s raw audio of the Republican leaders’ comments…
*** UPDATE *** The Tribune’s take…