SPRINGFIELD – The possibility of public schools across Illinois not opening on time increased today after Democratic lawmakers failed to send the education funding reform bill to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s desk.
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On the second day of a special session, the governor decried Democratic leaders’ unwillingness to send him Senate Bill 1 for his review. It has been two months since the bill was passed by the General Assembly, but Senate Democrats have refused to advance it to the governor’s desk.
“We’re all here. The General Assembly is here. President Cullerton, Speaker Madigan, turn in your homework,” Gov. Rauner said. “You passed a bill to fund our schools two months ago, but you’re hiding it. You’re sitting on it. You’re putting our kids and our teachers at risk. Stop putting political games above our children’s education. There’s no excuse for this.”
Gov. Rauner has said it’s “outrageous” and “unreasonable” that Democratic leaders are intentionally withholding SB 1 to force a crisis before the beginning of the school year. The governor has made clear that once he receives SB 1, he will issue an amendatory veto. This will allow school districts across the state to receive more funding, and it will prevent taxpayers from being on the hook for a Chicago Public Schools pension bailout. However, no action can be taken until Senate Democrats send SB 1 to Gov. Rauner.
A new website launched by Gov. Rauner shows how much additional money each school district will receive as a result of the governor’s planned action: https://www.illinois.gov/gov/SitePages/SchoolDistrictFunding.aspx
Lieutenant Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti has launched a petition for Illinoisans to voice their desire for the Senate to send SB 1 to the governor’s desk and for schools to open on time: https://www.illinois.gov/ltg/pages/sb1petition.aspx.
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