Next up for Madigan: Putting Rauner’s workers comp and lawsuit caps to a vote

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Fresh from a victory of defeating Gov. Bruce Rauner’s efforts to bring right-to-work to the state, Illinois Speaker Mike Madigan wasted no time in scheduling the next vote on Rauner’s “Turnaround Agenda.”

Shortly following the House’s resounding defeat of a bill proposing right-to-work in Illinois, Madigan’s office announced it was scheduling votes on workers comp and caps on lawsuits — two issues Rauner has pushed in his agenda, which he has spent the last several months advocating around the state.

Democrats have complained that in budget negotiations, Rauner has taken a hard line on negotiating for his agenda in secret working groups.

Madigan launched his next grenade at Rauner, scheduling votes on workers compensation and capping awards on lawsuits.

Madigan set the vote for May 21. Madigan dared Rauner that if he were “serious” about his proposed changes, then take part in an open discussion.

“We’ve had two thorough and informative hearings in the full House on both these issues, and legislators had a great opportunity to listen to the stories of real Illinois families, their experiences with Illinois’ workers’ compensation and civil justice systems compared to the systems in other states, and how their lives have been impacted,” Madigan said in a statement. “If the governor is serious about the changes he is proposing, the right thing to do now is for us to bring these issues into the open and have a constructive and open discussion, vote and see what steps need to be taken from there.”

The governor’s office and Rauner himself have called the votes “political theater” and said the administration would remain at the negotiating table for as long as it took to cut a deal.

Lawmakers have until May 31 to pass a balanced budget.

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