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Despite Pivot To Economy, Madigan Still Says Budget Is Top Issue

Michael Madigan being sworn in at UIS
Ted Schurter
State Journal-Register (Pool Photo)
Rep. Michael Madigan was elected speaker of the House for the 18th time.

Michael Madigan was re-elected speaker of the House Wednesday in Springfield. It was the opening day of the 100th General Assembly, and Madigan used the occasion to call for a focus on economic growth.

Madigan's agenda consists largely of ideas he's suggested before: cutting the corporate tax rate, increasing taxes on millionaires, and raising the minimum wage.

"We can lift up the middle class (and) provide good jobs for working families, while also passing policies that help business grow and expand our economy," Madigan said.

In a statement, Gov. Bruce Rauner responded favorably to Madigan's economic focus. Rauner has refused to negotiate on a state budget unless Democrats tie it to his business-friendly agenda.

Madigan, however, is sticking to his position that Illinois can pass a budget and encourage growth without conditioning one on the other. He's repeatedly said Illinois' budget deficit is the No. 1 issue facing state government.

Brian Mackey formerly reported on state government and politics for NPR Illinois and a dozen other public radio stations across the state. Before that, he was A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
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