Gov. Rauner calls lawmakers back to Springfield Wednesday to take action on education funding bill

Chicago:  Gov Rauner today announced he’s calling a Special Session of the legislature on Wednesday, to address the education funding bill.

Earlier, the Governor held a press conference to again announce the Democratic leaders in the legislature were playing politics with the school funding bill, SB-1.   The bill was passed in late May, as the regular legislative session was winding down, but that bill has yet to be sent to the Governor for his signature, or veto.

In fact, the Governor has promised he will use his amendatory veto to remove the funds that were added to the bill, to all the Chicago public schools to make their pension payment.  On Friday, Gov Rauner said if the education bill was not sent to him by noon on July 24th, he would call a Special Session of the legislature to ensure there is a funding bill in place, so elementary and high schools across the state can open on time.

Senate President Cullerton, has yet to submit the legislation to the Governor, but has called for the Governor to meet with legislative leaders in lieu of calling a Special Session.  The recent Special Session, that resulted in a budget override of the Governor’s veto, cost the state an estimated $50,000 a day.

Yet today in Chicago, the Governor was with two of the four legislative leaders — the Republicans who are their party’s leaders in the House and Senate, Rep Jim Durkin, and Sen Bill Brady, and they took to the podium to support the Governor’s call to have SB-1 sent to him, and to have the governor veto the funds for CPS, which Republicans say would result in sending hundreds of thousands more in funds to every school district in the state, and not, what they say, is a bailout to make up for poor management of CPS over the years.

On Monday morning, Senate President John Cullerton, issued this statement,

“Last week, the governor didn’t know where he’s getting the education numbers he’s been using. He lashes out over what he calls a ‘Chicago bailout,’ but the same provision appears in his ‘plan.’ He calls Senate Bill 1 ‘historic’ and then says he will veto it immediately.

I’d like to have a conversation with Governor Rauner in hopes of getting some clarity as to exactly what is going on. We slowed down the process in the Senate in order to let everyone blow off some steam, politically speaking.

Six weeks later, the governor’s temper continues to flare. I don’t want him making statewide classroom funding decisions out of a position of anger.

I’d like the opportunity to make sure he knows what is in the proposal from the people who wrote it so he can make a rational decision.”