Lawmakers Meet In Springfield For Day 1 Of Special Session

CHICAGO (CBS) — Lawmakers are in Springfield on Wednesday for a Special Session of the General Assembly to try once again to iron out the Illinois budget crisis.

CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov has the latest.

So far on Wednesday, a lot of nothing is happening. Governor Bruce Rauner was in his office all afternoon, and three of the four state legislators were in Springfield as well.

Despite talk of compromise, it seems both sides are actually digging in their heels.

“I think we have 10 days to work very hard to solve this problem,” said Greg Harris.

But the source of the problem continues to be disputed by state democrats and republicans – who have been pointing fingers at each other for years.

“The fact is when the Governor decides to walk into a room, with the four legistlative leaders, and say I am ready to do a budget, we will have a budget in two days, it’s not that hard,” said Lou Lang.

Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan was back in Springfield for the Special Session. He says, ready to work.

“We briefed our members on the schedule for the next ten days, we are fully prepared to engage with anyone who wishes to work with us,” Madigan said.

The speaker, and all Illinois lawmakers, were summoned back to the state’s capitol by Governor Bruce Rauner to hammer out a budget deal after two years without one.

On Wednesday, Gov Bruce Rauner released an ad urging compromise while still pushing his so called turnaround items.

And House minority leader Jim Durkin believes house democrats will make or break a deal.

“My message is to the rank and file democrats, ask your leader on whether or not he wants to find a resolution, to help me find votes to bring this to a conclusion,” Durkin said.

House minority leader Jim Durkin is backing a budget proposal crafted last week that includes some of the items democrats say they want, like an increases in the personal and corporate income tax. Madigan is mum about whether he supports any or all of it.

“My message is to the rank and file democrats, ask your leader on whether or not he wants to find a resolution, to help me find votes to bring this to a conclusion,” Durkin said.

House minority leader Jim Durkin is backing a budget proposal crafted last week that includes some of the items democrats say they want, like an increases in the personal and corporate income tax. Madigan is mum about whether he supports any or all of it.

“We’re fully prepared to engage with anyone who wishes to work with us to solve the budget deficit problem,” Madigan said.

CBS: Do you think it lies in the laps of rank and file democrats for lack of a better term?

“That’s the only way it’s gonna happen,” Durkin said.

The lack of a state budget has had, and will continue to have serious repercussions for the state of Illinois. But at this point at least, it looks like it is shaping up to be a very long next nine days.

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