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Illinois Lawmakers Leave Springfield Ahead Of March Primary

Amanda Vinicky

It's less than two weeks before the March primary election. Illinois lawmakers in the House wanted to show voters they are working to resolve the state's financial issues. However, the House recessed Thursday until early next month.

Democrats and Republicans left Springfield with no bipartisan agreement on the budget. The state is in its ninth month without a budget. But before the representatives left, Republicans called for staying to keep working for an additional day. Rep. Tom Demmer, a R-Dixon, made a show of trying to keep the House in session.

"I'm asking the House stand adjourned until tomorrow at 12 noon," he said. "If you vote yes, you're voting to keep working. If you vote no, you're voting to leave for more than a month."

Democrats, who control the House, overruled them. Steve Brown, the spokesman for Speaker Michael Madigan, said it was a ploy to help GOP representatives in the primary on March 15.

"We know they're trying to cover up some of the people who are involved in difficult elections," he said. "But, we're ready to have agreements when we can get agreements."

The lack of progress on a budget could also hurt Democrats running for re-election. One Chicago Democrat, Rep. Jaime Andrade, said that Mickey Mouse could run and beat some incumbents.

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