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With Budget In Crisis, Quinn Goes Straight To Lawmakers

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Jul 6, 2009 7:00PM

With a state budget still not in place and lawmakers trying to figure out how to plug a budget hole that ranges somewhere between $9 billion and $11.6 billion, Governor Quinn has decided to go straight to legislators instead of the usual dealings with party leaders. Among those who Quinn has met with is Sen. James Meeks, who supports Quinn's proposed income tax hike. Quinn told reporters, "I have a number of other legislators -- Democrat and Republican, House and Senate -- I will be meeting with over the next few days. We believe in consensus-building.''

As for Meeks, he blamed Madigan for the current gridlock and had no qualms about meeting directly with Quinn. According to WBBM, Meeks said, "I do not think the governor is the problem...I ain't scared to call the speaker out -- he ain't my daddy. If the speaker wanted this solved, it would be solved. For whatever reason, he doesn't want to work this out. Pat Quinn is trying to do everything he can to save social services.'' And with Madigan's daughter Lisa deciding between which office she wants to run for in 2010 - Governor or U.S. Senator - some have suggested Madigan is strong-arming Quinn in a bid to weaken him for next year's election.

Lawmakers are due back in Springfield on July 14 to take up the budget issue once more.