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Blagojevich Optimistic About Special Session Despite Tension

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Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich says he’s optimistic about what will be accomplished in Springfield this week. Blagojevich has called legislators back to the capitol to discuss education funding and a multi-billion dollar construction plan.

Today, Blagojevich said the same thing he’s been saying for months. He blamed Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan for gridlock in state government-and painted himself as a victim.

BLAGOJEVICH: The House Democratic leadership. If I say it’s day outside, they say it’s night outside. If I say it’s Monday, they say it’s Friday, okay? Those are just the realities.

Madigan, has taken an obstructionist approach in recent months-refusing to attend meetings and blocking Blagojevich’s agenda. But Madigan has largely escaped political or public fallout. Blagojevich has antagonized Madigan and lawmakers as they’ve scuttled his plans- further hurting his chances to pass them. Amid the deadlock, the state’s deteriorating roads and bridges continue to go unaddressed-as do calls for more money for schools. This week’s specials sessions on both are scheduled to start tomorrow.

I’m Ben Calhoun, Chicago Public Radio.

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