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Illinois Senate Overrides Rauner's Veto on School Funding

Illinois Senate Overrides Rauner's Veto on School Funding

But Republican Governor Bruce Rauner used an amendatory veto to substantially rewrite the bill to remove what he called a CPS bailout.

Unlike the Senate, House Democrats do not hold a supermajority and will need Republican votes if they are to successfully reject the governor's changes in favor of the original version of SB 1. Rauner's changes to the bill included stripping it of language that primarily or exclusively benefited Chicago Public Schools at the expense of school districts in need across the state.

The override needed 36 votes. "I voted to override the veto so every child in the state gets a fairly-funded education".

Rauner's changes stripping special privileges for CPS resulted in 831 of Illinois' 852 school districts receiving additional funding, according to the ISBE analysis, showing the degree to which those districts have been subsidizing Chicago for more than a decade.

71 members of the House (a three-fifths majority) must also vote to override - which may prove to be more hard, as just 60 voted for SB 1 the first time - or the legislation dies without a contingency plan in place. Override prospects are less certain there.

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Rauner's amendatory veto removed hundreds of millions of dollars from what he calls a "bailout" for the nation's third-largest school system.

Democrats argued that Chicago educates largely low-income students.

For fear of the veto, the Democratic majority held onto the bill after its passage for two months, finally sending it to Rauner on July 31.

"There's no question that overriding Rauner's veto was the right thing to do".

The governor told reporters at the Capitol Sunday that his plan means "the vast majority of our neediest districts get millions (of dollars) more".

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It would then go back to the drawing board with schools across the state still awaiting their funding. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, would have seen an $8.7 million windfall under Rauner's changes.

"If these legislators can't come to an agreement immediately on the new funding bill, they should simply go back to the funding bill we had past year as flawed as it is", he said.

The CPS budget also assumes a $269 million boost in local funding that the district said it is working with the city to identify.

"Today, the governor still has the opportunity to show real leadership by engaging with lawmakers to reach a bipartisan compromise on this legislation", Manar said.

The $5.7 billion spending plan for the fiscal year that began July 1 includes $300 million the state of IL would send the district under education funding legislation. It will be updated.

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