In response to the letter, the governor’s office last Friday reportedly issued invitations to the four legislative leaders to meet with Gov. Rauner on Nov. 18th from 9:30 a.m. to noon either in Springfield or Chicago. According to media reports, the governor’s office will host the meeting, circulate an agenda in advance and coordinate specifics, including the level of media access, with the offices of the legislative leaders.
The Better Government Association is among a number of good government groups calling for a meeting between Governor Bruce Rauner and the four Illinois legislative leaders to discuss solutions for the state’s budget impasse.
On Tuesday, the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, or ICPR, mailed and emailed copies of the letter to Rauner, House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago), Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago), Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) and House Minority Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs).
ICPR also sent a copy of the letter to the Chicago Tribune, which published a version of the letter on Wednesday.
In addition to the BGA, Business and Professional People for the Public Interest, CHANGE Illinois, the Citizen Advocacy Center, Illinois Public Interest Research Group, and the League of Women Voters of Illinois joined ICPR in calling for a meeting between Rauner and the state’s legislative leaders prior to November 15.
Nearly four months into fiscal year 2016, Illinois still does not have a budget.
Illinois is operating under a series of court orders, consent decrees and continuing appropriations. But the state is paying bills at last year’s rates despite projections showing a $5 billion decline in revenue, according to Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger.
The letter asserts that consequences resulting from the stalemate are mounting, and there is growing consensus that Illinois is in desperate need of a resolution.
Investment ratings agencies and financial experts have consistently warned Illinois about the dangers of operating without a budget, and many Illinois families are reporting that their jobs, health care, childcare and other necessities have been lost or threatened. Nonprofit and business leaders, as well as officials from both major parties have called for an end to the impasse.
On Friday, Cap Fax newsletter reported that Speaker Madigan is interested in a budget meeting with the governor and party leadership. He suggested it be held in public on Nov. 18th from 9:30 AM to noon at the Union League Club of Chicago.
ICPR will be contacting the governor and other leadership to see if they are willing to join such a meeting.