School Funding Special Session Keeps Legislators & Gov. At Odds

Posted July 30, 2017

Democrats for almost two months have held off on sending an evidence-based school funding bill to Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner because he's pledged-through an amendatory veto-to strip money for Chicago Public Schools that he has declared a "bailout". "(But) they're really scared to talk with us because they have no idea what the Governor wants", Davis says.

The meeting was closed-door, but Leader Durkin said afterwards, he believes the House will not have enough votes to override the governor's veto.

"I have asked key Republican lawmakers to reach out to their Democrat colleagues to negotiate in good faith so an alternative can be presented by July 31".

But Democrats, like State Representative Kelly Cassidy, dismissed Rauner's demand saying "We don't work for the governor".

Senate Bill One is not yet on Rauner's desk, but, with schools opening in the next few weeks, many districts are anxiously awaiting the state's financial aid.

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"First and foremost, it is the honest belief of House Democrats that Governor Rauner should sign the education funding reform bill now on his desk".

The statement comes after two days of no progress on education funding reform despite the two sides attacking each other for inaction. Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) has said he will hold off sending Rauner the bill until then.

Railing against Chicago, its financially troubled schools and its politicians has been a tried and true political strategy for Rauner, who used it to win his first public office in 2014 and has maintained the theme as his poll numbers have sunk, making him one of the nation's most vulnerable GOP governors.

Another day of special session for lawmakers ended quickly.