Mixed Reviews For Latest Talks On Illinois Budget Standoff

May 17, 2016
 
Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, speaks to lawmakers while on the House floor during session at the Illinois State Capitol Tuesday, May 17, 2016, in Springfield.

Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, speaks to lawmakers while on the House floor during session at the Illinois State Capitol Tuesday, May 17, 2016, in Springfield.

Seth Perlman/Associated Press

Legislative leaders gave mixed reviews to the latest discussions with Gov. Bruce Rauner to negotiate an end to Illinois' epic budget standoff with any optimism tempered by skepticism about a possible compromise.

Democratic Senate President John Cullerton left the meeting saying he got what he wanted out of it. 

"The main thing I wanted to accomplish was to make sure that in the revenue side - that the governor was committed to being in favor of some revenue increases, and he said he was," he said.

In other words -- Cullerton got an in-person commitment from Rauner to an eventual tax increase.

House Republican Leader Jim Durkin left pleased, too, with what he took as Speaker Michael Madigan's fresh openness to the GOP's pro-business agenda.

"I'm pleased to say that after many, many months of objection by the Speaker to address any type of reform, the Speaker had indicated he will open negotiations on collective bargaining, local governments, pension reform and also workmens' compensation reform," he said.  "Those are the key to breaking the impasse."

"I will tell you from my perspective, I'm pretty skeptical," said Sen. Republican Leader Christine Radogno, who may have been wise to be cautious.

In a statement, Madigan says a budget *could* pass  - if the governor drops his agenda.

Story source: AP