Madigan, Rauner budget meeting postponed by funeral
A long-anticipated budget meeting will be delayed from Wednesday to next month after House Speaker Michael Madigan announced he couldn't attend because of a family funeral.
"I regret not being able to participate at this time, but my obligations to my family come first," Madigan said in a statement.
Rauner had proposed the Springfield summit meeting begin Wednesday with public speeches before talks go behind closed doors. Now, it will be held Dec. 1.
"Out of respect for the Speaker's family obligations and to help facilitate the attendance of all four legislative leaders, we are rescheduling the meeting as outlined yesterday for December 1 in Springfield," Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly said.
The fundamental disagreements between Rauner and Madigan have helped fuel a historically long impasse in Illinois as the state has gone without a full budget in place since July 1.
Next week's meeting was called for by good government groups, and Rauner and top lawmakers of both parties agreed to the talks. The potential meeting has become an anticipated event at least partly because the group hasn't been meeting much to try to craft a budget agreement during the spending battle.