Special session produces no new progress on school reform

Posted July 30, 2017

IL lawmakers accomplished nothing on the second day of the Special Session. "Let's hear what it is that Democrats are willing to help resolve the impasse and resolve school funding", said Barickman, a Bloomington Republican and key negotiator on the school funding bill, during Thursday's press conference.

Cullerton said this week he's concerned about Rauner's "mental state" after a massive defeat on the budget, followed by the firing or resignation of many top staffers, and didn't want the governor to act out of anger. The governor even says he agrees with 90 percent of the bill, yet he is still threatening to veto it and jeopardize the opening of schools in our area and across the state. Rauner continues to demand Democrats send him the funding plan so he can change it and remove additional money for Chicago teacher pensions. Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) has said he will hold off sending Rauner the bill until then.

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The news came as a surprise to Democrats, who have been asking for meetings with the Governor on this issue for weeks.

Democrats are likely lobbying Republicans to desert Rauner and vote to over-ride his expected veto.

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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.

Legislators are now in special session to work on the measure. "We're announcing a step in the right direction to protect IL taxpayers".

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Special session is scheduled through the rest of this week and Monday.