Illinois budget still elusive as leaders lash out

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CHICAGO  — Illinois legislative leaders and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner are succeeding more at frustrating each other than at striking a deal to end an 18-month budget impasse that's damaging the state's fiscal health every day.

The relationship between ruling Democrats, Republican leaders, and Rauner has only grown more toxic after several meetings in recent weeks where both sides are more likely to lash out at each other than to report meaningful progress in passing a full budget.

Last week, Republicans launched a "Boss Madigan" website to criticize Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan's tenure as the country's longest-serving state House speaker.

Madigan, meanwhile, has asked Rauner for a list of budget topics to talk about "to facilitate a real conversation," referring to recent meetings with the governor as "superficial discussions."