We last talked with Tom Cross as his campaigned for Illinois Treasurer, a race he lost by the slimmest of margins. During his years in the state House we developed a nice rapport with him and were glad to welcome him back to the show this week to discuss the budget fight in Springfield and the developing Illinois U.S. Senate race.

Tapping his unique insight from spending years in these negotiations as House Republican leader, we asked Tom if he thought House Speaker Mike Madigan underestimated his opponent in this budget fight. We also asked him how long this showdown might last and what the most likely outcome could be.

Here's a portion of our chat with Tom Cross:

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