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Illinois Lawmakers Point Fingers On Budget Mess

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan standing on House floor arms folded
Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan

Even as Illinois is without a budget, the Illinois House has canceled its one-day session.

  A memo from House Speaker Michael Madigan gave the impression that it's a sign of progress.

Madigan, who had originally called for representatives to come back to Springfield every Wednesday this month, said it's canceled because he doesn't want to interrupt the small groups of legislators trying to develop a budget.

But Gov. Bruce Rauner attacked the change in plans Wednesday.

"We're at a critical point in the state of Illinois," Rauner said. "We have no budget. We have a General Assembly that ended the spring session and went home and has not come back."

Governor Rauner also said it's been a rough 18 months in Illinois politics and the tone should be more civil. But that came after he's spent days traveling the state, attacking the legislature's Democratic leaders. He said he's feisty because they're corrupt and at fault for creating the state's current financial mess.

"And anybody who wants to criticize me for criticizing corruption, go for it," he said.

 Senate President John Cullerton says Rauner's criticisms are "distracting" lawmakers who are attempting to negotiate a short-term budget.

"They’re reading their iPhones and they see the governor’s blasting us while we’re supposed to be cooperating with him in a bipartisan way to do what he asked us to do," he said.

He called for Rauner to put an end to the press conferences and rhetoric until they've reached a deal.

Rauner, who now favors a short-term budget deal said he'll get legislators back to Springfield somehow.

He could call them into special session, but he's never used that authority and he gave no indication he would.

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