Family Matter Prevents Madigan from Attending Budget Meeting, Rauner Reschedules

mike madigan serious
NBC Chicago

House Speaker Michael Madigan says an out-of-state family funeral will prevent him from attending the highly publicized budget summit with Gov. Bruce Rauner on Wednesday.

The Chicago Democrat said in a statement Saturday that Revenue and Finance Committee Chairman John Bradley of Marion will represent House Democrats at the meeting in the Republican governor's Springfield office.

In response, Rauner's spokesperson told NBC Chicago that the governor has rescheduled the meeting.

"Out of respect for the Speaker's family obligations and to help facilitate the attendance of all four legislative leaders, we are rescheduling the meeting as outlined yesterday for December 1 in Springfield. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Speaker and his family at this time," said Catherine Kelly, the governor's spokesperson.

Rauner announced Friday night that he believes the meeting should be open to the public for opening statements by him and other leaders but then private for budget negotiations. It was originally pitched as a public meeting.

The first-year executive and Democrats who control the Legislature have bickered over a state budget, which should have taken effect July 1.

Madigan's statement said he continues to "support an open and public discussion" on the issue.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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