From Illinois News Network
Both sides say that Governor Bruce Rauner’s signature on the education bill is a sign of the state’s priorities, but is it a sign of a possible end to the budget stalemate?
A statement from a spokesperson for Senate President John Cullerton said the signing of the bill shows Rauner can “lean into governing and prioritize the issues that matter to families across the state.”
David Yepsen, Director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute says the bill signing signals to him that some of the logjams at the state house are beginning to break up.
“This is a good sign for schools and I think a good sign that the politicians are starting to come together.”
Signed bill changes funding education funding formula, slightly
Meanwhile Senator Matt Murphy says the education funding bill does begin to address what are largely downstate school districts that have their money disproportionately siphoned off by the Chicago Public School System.
“This is an attempt to reimburse them to a certain extend with other state funds for what they’re losing.”
Murphy said the bill creates a pool of money for those impacted districts, but it’s a small piece of the overall budget that’s in the billions.
Democratic Senator Andy Manar, who has long advocated for reforming the funding formula for Illinois’ public schools, says the bill signing is a step in the right direction.
“Does it do it to the extent that I am satisfied and pleased? No. It doesn’t. It’s a long way from it. But it does begin to address the neediest districts first which is what we ought to be doing.”
The signed bill also funds bilingual education and the Teachers’ Retirement System.
Other budget bills sent to Governor
Earlier this week House Speaker Mike Madigan said that all the budget bills have been sent to the Governor to which the Governor has plenty of options.
“Approve, outright veto, reduction vetoes, line item vetoes. That’s all provided in the constitution. And my recommendation to him would be to take advantage of the powers given to him in the constitution.”
But Madigan said the Governor should act on the bills and avoid a government shutdown. Governor Rauner says he will not approve an unbalanced budget and will not support increased revenue without economic and political reforms.
The next budget year is set to begin July 1.