State Senate overrides Rauner's amended veto

State Senate overrides Rauner’s amended veto

SPRINGFIELD (August 17, 2017) – The Illinois Senate convened Sunday and voted 38-19 to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s amended veto of Senate Bill 1 (SB 1), which would fix the state’s school funding formula. The bill passed the legislature back in May.

“The Senate did the right thing for Illinois children, families, educators and taxpayers today. I hope the members of the House will be able to find the courage to buck the governor and do the same,” said State Senator Andy Manar, a sponsor of the bill. “Gov. Rauner’s veto, which represents a total rewrite of the underlying bill, has generated no support and no excitement among the superintendents and educators who have boots on the ground in the least-funded schools of Illinois. Every day, they witness the disparities caused by the state’s broken school funding formula, and they know full well that his plan does nothing to solve the problem.”

According to Manar, SB 1 ensures no schools lose state funding and would enact an evidence-based model of funding public school. Manar expressed his frustration that the governor’s provisions had not been vetted in public hearings and that it would be irresponsible for lawmakers to enact such sweeping changes to local schools and government through an amendatory veto without ample opportunity for public discussion.

“Rauner inserted provisions into the legislation through his amendatory veto that perpetuate a system of winning and losing school districts and create a fiscal cliff that would shift a greater financial burden onto local property taxpayers – especially in central and southern Illinois – in future years,” Manar added.

Republican Senator Sam McCann jumped the isle in the vote, siding with the override. “Our current school funding formula is broken. If it we don’t replace it with an evidence-based model, our schools will lose out on the majority of their state funding. This veto did not move this process forward. While Senate Bill 1 is not perfect, it is the only bill that has passed the Illinois General Assembly. I can’t in good conscience vote against funding our schools, without a real, viable backup plan in place. I would encourage the continuation of negotiations on a better, bipartisan solution, but we have to move forward as best we can so all of our schools will open on time, and stay open through the full school year,” said McCann in a statement released following the vote.

Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza issued this statement. “We encourage Illinois state representatives of both parties to listen to students, parents, teachers and school officials in their districts and vote to override Governor Rauner’s veto of equitable school funding, as state senators of both parties just did. After the House votes to override, our office can begin sending schools the General State Aid they are owed.”

For the first time in the state’s history, the state missed its first general aid payment to public school districts. That payment would have gone out Aug. 10.

SB 1 goes to the Illinois House of Representatives Aug. 16, where it will either die, be overridden or a compromise will be reached. If the House approves a compromise, the bill will go back to the Senate for approval. If a compromise makes it through the legislature, it will back to the governor’s desk.