With the state of Illinois poised to go through a third straight year without a budget deal, lawmakers and candidates are pointing fingers as a May 31 deadline looms.
At an event in Orland Park today, Governor Bruce Rauner repeated his belief that Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is throwing a wrench into the negotiation process.
“Speaker Madigan does not want any changes whatsoever. Zero,” he said. “He just wants Republicans to support a massive tax hike that just sticks it to taxpayers.”
Rauner has said that he will not agree to any income tax hike that isn’t accompanied by a property tax freeze, and he hosted an event in Orland Park Friday with a homeowner that is fed up with the constant increases in her rates.
“We deserve to have more of a voice in our property tax system, we keep paying more and more money, but we see little value in return,” Orland Park resident Andi Borucke said.
At the event, a protestor wearing a clock costume carried a sign indicating the number of days, nearly 700 in all, that the state has gone with a budget deal. The protestor was sent to the event by Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker, who criticized Rauner for his handling of the budget stalemate.
“We need a governor who’s going to stand up for working families,” Pritzker told reporters.
While Governor Rauner says that Madigan has been intractable during the budget process, the Speaker said in a letter that the “Governor has chosen not to meet with” the Democrats in the house, a charge that the Governor denies.
“This is all political spin,” he said. “The Speaker has shown no interest in compromise in more than two years. Zero interest. The Senate Democrats did have a sincere interest, (and) I believe they were negotiating and continue to in good faith.”