Rauner: No more budget meetings until early January

By Kim Geiger, Chicago Tribune

Gov. Bruce Rauner said Friday he does not expect to meet again with legislative leaders until early January, a day after House Speaker Michael Madigan skipped out on such a meeting because of an unexplained scheduling conflict.

Rauner said the Thursday discussion with the three other legislative leaders on the budget impasse was productive, though he did not offer specifics.

“With the holidays now and kids on vacation and travel, we may not be able to meet in the next two weeks,” Rauner said. “We’ve all agreed we should meet again as soon as we can.”

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The latest meeting was one of a series that began earlier this month after prodding from good-government groups, who had urged the Republican governor and legislative leaders from both parties to sit down together after six months had passed without such a meeting.

Rauner and the Madigan-led Democrats who control the General Assembly are at odds over the governor’s pro-business, union-weakening legislative agenda, which the governor has made a condition for negotiating a new budget for state government.

Amid the stalemate, the state has been operating since July 1 without full spending authority.

With the budget issue on hold, Rauner spent Friday morning touring the campus of DeVry Advantage Academy High School on the Northwest Side. It’s a partnership program with Chicago Public Schools that allows students to earn high school and college credit simultaneously.

Rauner said in the coming months, he plans to propose a new education plan for Illinois that would promote that type of hybrid learning environment.

“I think it’s the wave of the future, and we need to expand these kinds of partnerships around the state,” Rauner said.

Kim Geiger can be reached at [email protected]

(c)2015 the Chicago Tribune

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