(CBS) — They’re just a few words in a downstate paper. But consider them fighting words, even a declaration of war.

CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports on Gov. Bruce Rauner going on the offensive, in an op-ed piece published in a Springfield newspaper. His warning comes 10 days before the deadline to pass a balanced budget.

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While a recent closed door meeting Rauner had with Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan, D-Chicago, was termed “cordial,” there was nothing cordial about today’s op-ed in the State Journal Register.

There was no mistaking whom  the Republican governor considers the “old guard and its powerful special-interest allies” and “protectors of the failed status quo.”

“That was a declaration of war on the part of the governor against the House and Senate Democrats,” says David Ormsby of the Illinois Observer, a Democratic-leaning political website.

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He says it’s indication of stormy seas ahead.

It’s all a far cry from Madigan’s Inauguration Day olive branch, when he suggested Rauner would use his business skills to work out a compromise with legislative leaders.

A Madigan spokesman says there will be a budget passed before the deadline, with or without Republican support. The question is what kind of budget.

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“It would be out of balance and it would be up to the governor to accept that, meaning he has a chance to just veto it and say let’s start over on something that’s serious,” Ormsby said. “Or he could just take that and manage it.”