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Illinois house speaker wants a new group to negotiate a budget

Speaker+Mike+Madigan+and+Senate+President+John+Cullerton+listen+as+Gov.+Bruce+Rauner+speaks+about+making+changes+in+the+state+on+Monday+Jan.+12%2C+2015+at+the+Prairie+Capital+Convention+Center+in+Springfield%2C+Ill.+%28Nancy+Stone%2FChicago+Tribune%2FTNS%29
Speaker Mike Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton listen as Gov. Bruce Rauner speaks about making changes in the state on Monday Jan. 12, 2015 at the Prairie Capital Convention Center in Springfield, Ill. (Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

Speaker Mike Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton listen as Gov. Bruce Rauner speaks about making changes in the state on Monday Jan. 12, 2015 at the Prairie Capital Convention Center in Springfield, Ill. (Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

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Speaker Mike Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton listen as Gov. Bruce Rauner speaks about making changes in the state on Monday Jan. 12, 2015 at the Prairie Capital Convention Center in Springfield, Ill. (Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

By Doug Finke | The State Journal-Register

House Speaker Michael Madigan said Tuesday he wants to negotiate a spending plan for the last six months of the fiscal year that will focus just on the state budget and not incorporate parts of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s turnaround agenda.

Madigan’s statement that he wants to appoint a new group to negotiate the budget drew an immediate rebuke from Republican legislative leaders who said they did not agree to the idea and that it was time for the four legislative leaders themselves to work out an agreement with Rauner.

“We listened to the Speaker’s comments and we’re frankly confused by them,” said Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno. “To have another negotiating team come in was not what was agreed to.”

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Madigan made his comments after a roughly 30-minute meeting between the leaders and Rauner in the Capitol Tuesday morning.

Gov. Bruce Rauner. (Anthony Souffle/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

Gov. Bruce Rauner. (Anthony Souffle/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

Madigan said he would appoint Rep. Greg Harris, D-Chicago, to lead the discussions on behalf of House Democrats.

“There will be others added to the team in the next 24 to 48 hours,” he said.

The idea is to come up with a budget to take the state through the end of the fiscal year that concludes June 30.

The current stopgap budget that the state is operating under expires Dec. 31.

Radogno and House Republican Leader Jim Durkin said working groups of rank-and-file legislators have already been negotiating for months to reach agreement on some of Rauner’s reforms and a permanent spending plan.

Appointing another group now is little more than a stalling tactic by Madigan, they said.

Another meeting is scheduled for Wednesday.

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(c) 2016 The State Journal-Register, Springfield, Ill.

Visit The State Journal-Register, Springfield, Ill. at www.sj-r.com

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