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Bruce Rauner: Mike Madigan is ‘not doing his job’

Gov. Bruce Rauner speaks to reporters in his office at the Illinois State Capitol Tuesday in Springfield. | AP photo ORG XMIT: ILSP103

Gov. Bruce Rauner on Tuesday blasted House Democrats for leaving town during the budget impasse and said House Speaker Mike Madigan needs to do his job.

“Speaker Madigan right now is not doing his job,” Rauner said at a news conference. “He’s not here in town.”

“This is the time for the regular session. This is not the time for vacations.”

House Democrats resume their session April 4. The Illinois Senate was meeting Tuesday.

“A month? A month? That’s wrong,” Rauner said of the House schedule.

Rauner has come under increasing criticism for the budget impasse which has gutted many social service programs and put the pinch on public universities across the state, as well as many of their students dependent upon MAP grants.

Rauner and Democrats have clashed for months over Rauner’s insistence that lawmakers pass his pro-business, anti-union reforms as part of any state budget.

A Madigan spokesman pointed the finger back at the governor, who has accused Madigan of voting on “sham” bills and “continuing a crisis for political gain.”

“My response was it was embarrassing that the governor couldn’t answer any questions about all the maneuvering he’s done with the millions and millions of dollars that he’s apparently pouring into campaigns either through normal means or secret funds or whatever,” Madigan spokesman Steve Brown said.

As for Rauner’s claim the House should be in session, Brown said the schedule was published four months ago and follows the tradition of a second-year session, especially when there’s a primary.