Illinois House Democrats to skip budget vote, miss deadline

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Illinois House Democrats say they will not vote on a state budget on the last scheduled day of the spring legislative session.

Democratic Speaker Michael Madigan told reporters Wednesday that his party would continue working with Republicans during June to fashion a balanced budget. The fiscal year begins July 1. Budget approval after Wednesday takes a three-fifths supermajority vote.

In a statement, Madigan denounced Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's ``reckless strategy of holding the budget hostage to create leverage for his corporate agenda.'' Rauner has insisted for two years that he would approve a balanced budget in return for business-friendly ``structural'' changes and a property tax freeze.

Chicago Democratic Rep. Greg Harris is Madigan's budget negotiator. He says there is reluctance to act on a Senate-approved $37 billion proposal because Senate Republicans didn't provide any votes for passage.