State lawmakers went home Thursday with nothing to show for two days of special sessions but promising to keep working toward an agreement on mass transit aid for Chicago and construction projects statewide.Are you a transit rider? If you are perhaps you need to sound off on this issue. What do you think about this current transit crisis?
Gov. Rod Blagojevich let legislators leave but said he would call daily special sessions up until the holidays if negotiations with legislative leaders don't produce a breakthrough soon.
"At the end of the day, in the final analysis, we've got to get a solution for the CTA (Chicago Transit Authority), the Legislature has to pass a solution for the CTA before Christmas," Blagojevich said at a news conference outside his Capitol office.
Lawmakers left town grumbling about being called into special session by Blagojevich only to continue the squabbling that has blocked progress on both issues for months.
Senators met both days only briefly and took no floor action. The House shot down late Wednesday a plan Blagojevich backed to help Chicago's mass transit systems by shifting state gasoline sales tax money.
Downstate lawmakers whose votes are needed for a mass transit bailout refuse to support it unless a deal also is reached on billions of dollars in road, school and government projects throughout Illinois.
Top legislators continue to work out details of such a plan and the massive gambling expansion eyed to pay for it, but those complex negotiations will still take some time.
House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, sent his members home Thursday morning until January, although he cautioned they could be called back to work quickly if a deal emerges.