The feud between Gov. Rod Blagojevich and Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan escalated further Tuesday, when Blagojevich sued the House clerk for failing to record the governor’s budget vetoes in the official House record.

The feud between Gov. Rod Blagojevich and Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan escalated further Tuesday, when Blagojevich sued the House clerk for failing to record the governor’s budget vetoes in the official House record.

In a lawsuit filed in Sangamon County, Blagojevich said clerk Mark Mahoney, who reports to Madigan, should have entered the governor’s budget reductions into the record when the House met Sept. 4. That would have started a 15-day clock ticking, requiring the House to vote on restoring the cuts by Sept. 19.

However, Madigan has scheduled a series of hearings on the cuts that will last through Sept. 27. He has not set a time for the House to vote on restoring the $463 million Blagojevich cut from the new state budget in August.

Unless the courts step in, Blagojevich said, a “constitutional issue” will develop on Sept. 19 on whether the cuts he has made will go into effect. He is asking the courts to order Mahoney to enter the budget cuts into the House record of Sept. 4.

Blagojevich’s office did not respond to phone calls seeking comment.

Madigan spokesman Steve Brown said the 15-day limit does not apply to spending bills.

“They ought to read the constitution,” Brown said. “I don’t know that anyone thinks the 15 days applies to appropriations.”

The General Assembly approved a new $59 billion state budget in August and sent it to Blagojevich for his signature. Blagojevich, though, chose to cut $463 million from the spending plan, including what he called “pork projects,’ but also funding for health care and human services.

Madigan said the reductions were part of the governor’s decision to “seek political vengeance on those who refused to support several of his poorly crafted legislative proposals this year…”

The lawsuit says the constitution provides that those cuts should have been “immediately” entered into the House record when the House met Sept. 4 to consider a mass transit funding bill. It was Mahoney’s job to enter the information, the suit says.

The constitution sets a time limit for dealing with vetos to prevent a bill from indefinitely remaining in limbo.

“The recent actions of the Clerk of the House of Representatives directly contravene the express language of the Illinois Constitution and prevent the governor from faithfully exercising his constitutionally mandated obligations,” the lawsuit said, calling Mahoney’s inaction as “chicanery.”

“The Clerk is attempting to prevent the bill from becoming law and reaching finality on the budget,” the lawsuit said.

When the House met on Sept. 4, Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Collinsville, Blagojevich’s point man in the House, asked why the budget cuts weren’t being entered into the record. Rep. Art Turner, D-Chicago, who was presiding at the time, conferred with Madigan’s legal counsel and said the matter was being reviewed. Hoffman did not get an answer before the House adjourned.

Two days later, Madigan announced the 19 hearings, which will be held across the state to allow testimony from people and organizations affected by the budget cuts. The first hearings will be today, and they will continue through Sept. 27.

This is the second lawsuit filed by Blagojevich over activities in the House. Late last month, Blagojevich sued Madigan over whether the governor or legislatives leaders have the right to set the dates and times of special sessions. Madigan initially had the House meet at the times he, not Blagojevich, chose. Later, he told House members to ignore Blagojevich’s call for special sessions. The lawsuit is still pending.

Both suits were filed by Blagojevich’s general counsel, William Quinlan.

Doug Finke can be reached at (217) 788-1527 or doug.finke@sj-r.com.