By Adam Studzinski
NORMAL – A group of Central Illinois legislators gathered inside Normal’s Uptown Station Friday to call on House Speaker Michael Madigan to bring the Illinois House back into session.
The chamber isn’t schedule to return to Springfield until April 4.
State Rep. Dan Brady (R-Bloomington) said he’s proposed legislation to fund higher education and MAP grants, but that’s fallen on deaf ears so far.
“We cannot get those bills called if we cannot be in Springfield to do the work of the people,” Brady said.
State Rep. Tom Bennett (R-Gibson City) said it’s “amazing” they’re not in Springfield right now.
“We should be in Springfield until this is done. Things do not have to be this way,” said Bennett. “We may not get a budget, perhaps, until January of next year.”
State Sen. Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) and State Sen. Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) also joined the call for lawmakers to be called back. Barickman said the public expects legislators to be at work.
“Rome is burning and Speaker Madigan has decided that people don’t need to go to work,” said Barickman. “That’s disgraceful. It’s shameful to the people that we represent. It’s embarrassing.”
Bill Brady added the budget stalemate can’t end if both chambers aren’t there to pass legislation.
“They need to come back to Springfield and if they can’t then they need to elect a new leader,” Bill Brady said.
Bill Brady said the House needs a leader who is willing to “sit down at the negotiating table” and keep the members working.
Adam Studzinski can be reached at email@example.com.