Budget Mess Claims Illinois Senate GOP Leader | WBEZ
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Budget Mess Claims Illinois Senate GOP Leader

The two-year Illinois state budget mess has prompted the Senate minority leader to call it quits.

Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno said she decided to step down earlier this year, but kept going to get an elusive budget deal first. She told reporters at a Thursday press conference that the July 1 start of the fiscal year is the next natural break for her. That'll be her last day.

Radogno's resignation announcement comes as lawmakers are in special session to try and end an unprecedented budget impasse. If there's no deal before Saturday, Illinois enters a third straight year without a spending plan.

The 64-year-old Radogno, from Lemont, is the first woman to lead a caucus of the Illinois General Assembly.

"I have done everything I can do to resolve the state's budget crisis," she said.

Radogno had worked with Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, to fashion a wide-ranging budget compromise to break the long-running stalemate with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner. But she could not convince her 21 other Republican senators to vote for key parts of it.

Radogno is a social worker who was elected to the Senate in 1996. She and Cullerton took leadership of their respective caucuses the same day in 2009.

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