The already strained relationship between Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his fellow Democrat House Speaker Michael Madigan took another hit Monday. The governor officially filed a lawsuit against the speaker alleging Madigan “blatantly disregarded constitutional proclamations issued by the governor.”
The governor’s complaint, filed in Sangamon County Court August 24, says Madigan devised a “scheme” that constituted “unauthorized and escalating acts aimed at eradicating the governor’s constitutional and statutory powers.” In one instance, Madigan called a special session earlier than the governor proclaimed so representatives could go home that Saturday and come back Sunday night. The compliant also says he didn’t require his members to attend another special session, failing to convene a quorum and preventing the chamber from conducting business as the record overtime session continued.
“These unlawful acts by Madigan were all taken while the state of Illinois was facing the very real prospect of a government shutdown caused by the lack of a budget,” the complaint says.
Steve Brown, Madigan’s spokesman, said the speaker’s office will file a motion to dismiss the lawsuit in the next couple of weeks. “[The governor] made a farce of the special session process, and this is just a continuation of that,” he said, adding the speaker recognizes the governor’s power to proclaim special sessions and complies each time.
We’ll see whether anything changes if and when the governor calls another special session, as indicated by the complaint: “The governor intends to call additional special sessions in the near future to address significant issues facing the state, including issues pertaining to the Illinois transportation systems which impact more than 2 million commuters per day.”