Rauner, Madigan start annual push to avoid blame for lack of budget
With just two weeks left in the spring session, House Democrats led by Speaker Michael Madigan and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner are back in their default positions for this time of year.
The governor declared he's ready to work "around the clock to help all sides come together" on a budget. Top Madigan deputies publicly pledged to "seek common ground with the governor on his proposals."
A sudden outpouring of the spirit of compromise at the gridlocked Capitol on Tuesday? Hardly. Both sides are making an effort to broadcast that they're at least willing to talk, trying to get ahead of the blame game that will ensue should another deadline pass with little to show and either political party failed to even go through the motions of negotiation.
Beyond the surface-level political optics, however, Madigan and Rauner sent strong signals that not much has changed heading into the latest attempt at striking a deal.