It's been 1 year, 4 months and 14 days since the state of Illinois had a regular budget. Today Republicans staged a news event intended to make their Democratic colleagues look bad.
If you're wondering why Illinois' top politicians haven't been able to do something as important as passing a budget, here's a clue. They have a hard time even agreeing on when, and whether, to meet. Gov. Bruce Rauner's office made a big deal of wanting a meeting with the legislative leaders.
Except one of them, House Speaker Michael Madigan, said he couldn't make it. He's in Springfield, but cited an unspecified conflict. Without Madigan, the Democratic Senate President pretty much said why bother?
Rauner and the Republican leaders met among themselves. But why go ahead knowing the Democrats wouldn't be there? Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno:
"I can't imagine what conflict is more important than the challenges facing the people of this state."
After all the fuss, all four leaders are set to meet with the governor tomorrow.