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Illinois' Education Funding Hangs in the Political Balance

Tanya Koonce
Peoria Public Radio

About the same time Republican Governor Bruce Rauner received Senate Bill 1 Mon., a trio of Democrats arrived in Peoria to encourage support for it.

Rep. Will Davis and State Sen. Andy Manar are chief sponsors of the measure in their respective chambers. They joined Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza for a town hall meeting on education funding. More than 125 people turned out for the forum.  

The Comptroller says there’s been too much misinformation that the measure is a bailout for Chicago.

“It provides fairness to every child in the state of Illinois. And especially adults, should not be pitting children against children depending on what their zip code is! That’s wrong!”

The Governor supports most of SB1, but not the additional money it gives to Chicago Public Schools retirement system. He’s promised to veto the measure.

Credit Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio
Peoria Public Radio
The town hall meeting on education funding at ICC was mostly standing room only. More than 125 were estimated in attendance.

But Comptroller Mendoza says if the governor vetoes it, “then the legislature must do the right thing and work hard to override that veto to ensure that our schools have the funding that they need and that I as the comptroller have the legal authority per that budget to begin to make payments of general state aid to schools immediately.”

The $350 Million for education in the budget is dependent on such a measure to determine how the money is spent. The Illinois Comptroller is scheduled to cut the first checks for schools by Aug. 10.

If the governor vetoes the measure it’s not clear there are the votes necessary to override his action.

Clickhere for more information about SB1.