Madigan dismisses bipartisan effort

House Republicans call on Democrat colleagues to continue budget collaboration

On Wednesday, House Republican legislators who have been participating in bipartisan budget working groups expressed their disappointment with Democrat Speaker Michael Madigan’s dismissal of their collaborative efforts. They called for a continuation of the efforts of rank-and-file members from both sides of the aisle to devise a framework for a compromise and balanced budget.

“Piece-meal bridges are no longer adequate for the problems facing our institutions of higher education, correctional institutions and social service agencies,” said Rep. Norine Hammond (R-Macomb). “Now is the time to bring the solutions we’ve been discussing in the working groups to light and formulate a compromise budget.”

Rep. Tom Demmer (R- Dixon) said the working groups were one of the most encouraging things the General Assembly has done all year and found them to be very productive. Rep. Dan Brady (R-Normal) pointed to the success of passing emergency stopgap measures for higher education and human services as proof that the working groups are effective. 

Time-and-time again Republicans have proven their willingness to compromise and urged bipartisan give-and-take so that a constitutionally-required balanced budget can be sent to the Governor for his signature. 

Nothing else has moved the budget ball forward except the working groups. “In each instance, they (working groups) have been productive and in each instance they have been persuasive,” Rep. Ron Sandack (R-Downers Grove) said, calling Madigan’s negative comments and promotion of his budget a “very coordinated effort to derail the bipartisan rank-and-file process.”

The lawmakers renewed their call for rank-and-file Democrats to remain committed to the working group process and collaborative budget solutions. 

“Now is the time to come together and put the people of Illinois first,” said Rep. Patti Bellock (R- Hinsdale). “Speaker Madigan needs to honor the hard work of his members in this process.”