GOP: Dems’ absence in budget talks inexcusable


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Republican leaders who met with Gov. Bruce Rauner to discuss Illinois’ budget stalemate say Democrats’ absence is inexcusable and won’t help negotiations.

GOP leaders state Rep. Jim Durkin and state Sen. Christine Radogno said Monday after their meeting with the Republican governor that their discussion was productive. But Durkin and Radogno say Democrats need to be engaged to move forward.

House Speaker Michael Madigan said a scheduling conflict prevented him from attending. That prompted Senate President John Cullerton to cancel, saying the meeting wouldn’t be productive without everyone there.

The state has gone without a spending plan for 16 months because of an ideological dispute between ruling Democrats and the governor, who wants them to enact union-weakening, business-friendly legislation as part of a budget deal.

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