FOX 32 NEWS - The war of words continues to escalate over Illinois’ budget stalemate.
Democratic Comptroller Susanna Mendoza used an appearance at a senior housing center to level her harshest criticism yet against Republican Governor Bruce Rauner.
But the governor's top deputy quickly fired back.
Frankie Redditt owns a home healthcare company that used to employ 60 caregivers. Now, her business is one of thousands across Illinois owed a total of more than 12-billion dollars by the state.
"It's getting to the point where, we do have a GoFundMe page, but that's not even moving. Trying to make payroll but we can't even make payroll,” Redditt said.
On Tuesday, Redditt and others feeling the budget bite joined Democratic Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza for what resembled a roast of Rauner.
"He loves to say I'm here to shake up Springfield. It's been more of a shakedown, frankly,” Mendoza said. "I'm not critiquing the Governor because he's a Republican. I'm critiquing the Governor because he's the worst Governor who's ever served the state."
"The last time I heard someone be able to lie that easily was when I worked with Governor Blagojevich. And it didn't work out too well for him,” Mendoza added.
"She's really the one who has not been honest at all,” said Deputy Governor Leslie Munger.
Munger says Democrats are trying to deflect blame for the state's budget mess, which began long before Rauner became governor.
"She never mentions the fact that she had a constitutional responsibility as a legislator to pass balanced budgets, which she failed to do for ten years,” Munger said.
And to bolster the Republican's P-R battle, Rauner stars in a series of TV ads debuting across the state Tuesday.
"Illinois is broke and broken. And the politicians that got us into this mess, their solution is this: higher taxes, more spending, no real reforms,” Rauner said.
"He's got some duct tape going on, like some Bob the Builder ad. Again my four year old watches Bob the Builder and that's okay because Bob the Builder actually gets stuff done. Very different from this Governor,” Mendoza said.
One thing both sides agree on is that there's little hope for a budget breakthrough in the near term. In fact, Mendoza says she wouldn't be surprised if the legislature doesn't pass a budget until after the next election - nearly two years away.
Mendoza also announced she was able to find 94-million dollars for past-due bills to home care providers, but admits it’s not a long-term solution.