Illinois lawmakers will meet in Springfield this week for the first time since the election, but things are already off to a rough start.
Gov. Bruce Rauner and his allies made a big public push last week about his wanting to meet with the General Assembly's for top leaders ... including Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan.
Mind you, Rauner and his allies spent months making a much bigger public push -- in hundreds of campaign ads -- to paint Madigan as a greedy, corrupt insider.
Sunday evening, Madigan's spokesman issued a short statement.
The Speaker says a "schedule conflict" will prevent a meeting Monday.
That led the President of the Illinois Senate, Democrat John Cullerton, to back out.
His spokesman says Cullerton hopes to reschedule -- perhaps as soon as Tuesday. But he says a meeting without all four leaders would not be productive.
The governor's office said Sunday night that Rauner is hopeful Madigan will reconsider, and that the meeting scheduled for Monday afternoon is on.
State legislators and the governor have less than two months to pass a budget; Illinois' temporary spending plan runs out at the year's end.