House Leader Durkin: Democrats Refuse Cooperation, Continuing to Put Politics Over Governing

State Capitol:  House Republican Leader, Jim Durkin on Tuesday charged that House Speaker Madigan and his caucus are not interested in finding a solution to the political standoff that’s prevented a budget from being passed in the last two years.

Joined by several of his Republican colleagues, Leader Durkin told reporters, “Just two weeks ago a number of our members gathered here calling for us to begin to address property taxes, which for many of our members, is the number one issue. Since then we’ve seen and heard nothing from the Democrats”

“The next day a number of our members gathered to talk about redistricting reform….since then we’ve seen and heard nothing from the Democrats.

And last week, 25 of my members and I filed comprehensive pension reform legislation, that would give significant savings for taxpayers, and give $215 million to Chicago Public Schools for a one-time pension parity payment.  AGAIN, we have heard nothing from the majority Democrats in Springfield.” said Durkin

Durkin noted that two Democrat senators on Monday said there would be no state budget until 2019, after the next election for Governor.   He charged that the Democrats are unwilling to work with the Governor, so as to avoid giving him any legislative victory.

Leader Durkin said we is asking Democrats to work with Republicans and that the Republicans are not unwilling to take tough votes — he pointed to the pension reform proposal as an example.

“I know that divided government is a new concept here, which the Democrats deeply despise.  But my fear is that if we don’t begin to work together, as we get nearer to May 31, the Democrat majority will do what they always do, and that is to shove through another wildly out-of-balance budget that they know will not be signed by the governor.  But they will go home claiming victory.”

He added, “I’m telling them to stop the insanity.”

Reporters also noted that Gov Rauner was being unusually partisan as he was beginning to run political commercials around the state in a year when it is NOT an election year.  And some questioned how the Governor and Republicans felt that would help get the Democrats to work with Republicans, when the Governor is taking this opportunity to run political commercials.