Lawmakers only have two days to pass a budget before a pending deadline. But even as top leaders came out of a meeting Sunday, saying that a deal is possible, it was clear the chances are woefully slim.
Gov. Bruce Rauner has danced around it before. But this time, he didn't flinch.
Rauner says if it gets to his desk, he will reject in its entirety the only spending plan currently alive in the statehouse: a plan House Democrats approved last week.
"That's the bill that has a $7 billion implied deficit in it, I will veto that bill," he said.
Rauner has the option of only vetoing parts of it.
Not using that tool sets up a new, election season blame game of who is at fault for potentially withholding state money from schools. The governor's already accusing Democrats -- primarily House Speaker Michael Madigan -- of holding schools "hostage." That's the same word Madigan uses to defend the very same bill.
"The House budget does not hold hostage those that want an education, does not hold hostage those that want healthcare, does not hold hostage the vulnerable in our society," the longtime leader said.
Madigan says lawmakers will continue to aim to reach compromise. But he also says the House will work through the remainder of summer -- a clear signal it's not going to happen by Tuesday's deadline.