House Speaker Michael Madigan is taking a lower profile this legislative session, but his position on Gov. Bruce Rauner's call for reform has not changed.
Madigan has assigned four Democratic lawmakers to work with the governor on what Madigan calls "off-budget agenda items."
In a new letter to the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club Madigan writes, "unfortunately the Governor has chosen not to meet with these members."
"I appreciate your recent report and its detailed recommendations on the state budget," Madigan wrote. "I agree that our state is a vibrant place with much to offer as a center for innovation and growth, but the budget crisis is holding us back. I have stated repeatedly that the budget is the most important issue facing our state, and I wanted to make sure you and your colleagues are aware of what steps House Democrats have already taken to put Illinois on more sound financial footing."
The General Assembly has agreed to criminal justice reforms and consolidating governments, but a bipartisan agreement on tax hikes is still at an impasse.
The State Senate has approved new tax hikes from income to sales, but the one piece of the Grand Bargain that is still not agreed to is a property tax freeze.