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What Budget?

By Kevin Robinson in News on Jun 22, 2007 1:50PM

In other news, the State Senate voted on absolutely nothing the other day. We’ve been wondering when Mike Madigan’s luck might run out, and it seems that, at least nominally, the governor has managed to rally a few of the cattle that serve as elected representatives to push back against Madigan’s plans to pork up the budget this year.

2007_6_madigan.jpgWhile his tax plan has been a fiasco, and his wet dream of universal healthcare in the state are arguably significant reasons that this year’s budget session has gone into overtime, Mike Madigan has played politics with funding for state agencies as well. After pushing his budget proposal through the House, forcing a vote while giving legislators little time to actually study the document, he’s been slyly playing the press, talking about how he has a budget proposal, and shadow boxing the Senate into a corner that it can’t seem to get out of. Now a letter has surfaced, signed by 22 House Democrats, including some close allies of G-Rod, some of whom are (are you sitting down for this?) on the outs with Madigan.

None of this should be a shocker to anyone that has even paid passing attention to state politics, even for 10 minutes. Of course, Madigan isn’t there yet: if a budget deal isn’t reached by July 9, there is a very real possibility that Illinois government will shut down. And he still hasn't sent his document to the Senate for a vote. Of course, after that big sexy vote on nothing of substance, it doesn't look like the House will pass Madigan's budget anyway. Not that that matters to anyone downstate. If Emil Jones can’t get what he wants, if Rod Blagojevich can’t get what he wants (not likely, by the way), and if Mike Madigan can’t have his way (millions of dollars worth of gaping loopholes, and a definite public body slamming of the governor), a shut down of the government will be just another pawn in this twisted game of public-sector chess.