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Rauner will call lawmakers to a Special Session if SB1 isn't on his desk by Monday

He said the special session will last until education funding reform in passed. (Photo by Rachel Droze)

UPDATE (4:21 P.M.)

Gov. Bruce Rauner issued an ultimatum Friday, saying if lawmakers don't have an education funding reform bill to his desk by Monday at noon, he'll call them back for a special session.

"That bill must be on my desk by noon on Monday,” Rauner said. “If it's not on my desk by noon I will call special session for the General Assembly, demand that they come back here to Springfield and do their jobs every day until we get schools funded and open on time."

Senate Bill 1 already passed through the legislature, but it has yet to be sent to the governor.

Rauner said if and when the legislation does land on his desk, he'll issue an amendatory veto.

Rauner said he likes most of the bill, but the Chicago block grant needs to go.

"It is good legislation,” Rauner said. “At the last minute, at the very last minute, Speaker Madigan inserted a pension bailout for Chicago into the bill. And he wants to divert the money that’s supposed to go to local schools up to the city of Chicago. This is wrong. We must stand against it."

Steve Brown, spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) said the governor calling a special session would be quote "an enormous waste of funds."

Brown said it's unclear what could be accomplished since the House already passed an education spending bill.

Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) issued this statement Friday in response to the governor's announcement:

"Rather than expensive special sessions and conflict-driving vetoes, let's have a meeting so we can see what the governor's plan is. It can be as simple as that. I would encourage the governor to convene a leaders meeting rather than a special session."

According to Senate President John Cullerton’s Spokesman John Patterson, the Senate does not need to be in session to withdraw the motion to reconsider on Senate Bill 1 or send it to the governor.

ORIGINAL STORY

Gov. Bruce Rauner Friday announced he'll be calling lawmakers back to Springfield for a Special Session if Senate Bill 1, the education funding reform legislation, isn't sent to his desk by noon on Monday.

He said the special session will last until education funding reform is passed.

Rauner said he still plans to amendatory veto the legislation to remove what he calls a "bailout" for Chicago Public Schools.

Rauner set a deadline of July 31 to pass education funding reform so schools can get funding before they open in the fall.

Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, issued the following statement Friday:

“Education advocates and school leaders across our state support Senate Bill 1. They know what it does. What no one knows is what Gov. Rauner’s plan would do. So, rather than expensive special sessions and conflict-driving vetoes, let’s have a meeting so we can see what the governor’s plan is. It can be as simple as that. I would encourage the governor to convene a leaders meeting rather than a special session.”

Democratic Governors Association Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro issued the following statement Friday:

“Bruce Rauner can use all the funny math he wants, but he cannot account for his years of failed leadership. Bruce Rauner’s no-compromise, brinksmanship style of politics gave us a two-and-a-half-year budget impasse that kept funding from neighborhood schools. Now Rauner’s using the same tactics to force a crisis that could keep schools from opening. By playing one part of the state of the other, and threatening to keep schools from operation, Governor Rauner is clearly putting his re-election campaign ahead of fighting for middle-class families.”

Stand for Children Illinois, an education advocacy organization, issued this statement Friday urging Rauner to sign Senate Bill 1:

Stand for Children Illinois today joined with local educators and education reform advocates, urging Gov. Bruce Rauner to sign the education funding measure rather than using local schools and students as leverage in his political games.
“Governor Rauner’s own administration has said he supports 90% of what’s in this bill. This obstinacy is exactly why we’re not getting anything done in this state. Our elected leaders need to work together and compromise, especially when they support 90% of the bill. Despite the governor’s blame games, the only person holding up funding for our schools is Bruce Rauner,” said Dan Cox, Superintendent of Staunton Community Unit School District No. 6. “The bill brings more money to our schools, gives local parents a better ability to decide how their money is best spent, and it does so without picking winners and losers; no school district will ever lose a penny, and most will receive much more.”
“Unfortunately, Governor Rauner is choosing to play politics with our children and their education rather than leading our state. The Governor is choosing to support the status quo, which is failing many of our students, rather than supporting this landmark reform that will help kids across the state. It’s time he does what’s right and sign the bill,” said Jenny Moats, a Taylorville parent and leader with Citizens for Education. “The governor’s message is just spin, blame and political posturing, but Senate Bill 1 is a solution. It will bring almost half a million dollars to Auburn schools and over $300,000 to the Taylorville district, which our children desperately need.”
“The governor has come to our area to tell us what he thinks, but he should listen to what we have to say instead,” said Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau Superintendent of Taylorville Community Unit School District 3. “Local families know best how our money should be spent, and SB 1 keeps more of our tax dollars here in our community, and invests them in our schools where we can use them to create opportunities for our students. The governor came here to play politics, but the only person stopping our schools from being funded is him.”
While the governor travels the state holding rallies on education funding, superintendents and advocates are calling on him to sign Senate Bill 1, which provides additional funding to almost every school in the state. The bill is a permanent guarantee of more funding for local schools, while changes discussed by the governor and his allies would return to a system of picking winners and losers; after a four-year period, many schools throughout the state would lose funding under the governor’s plan.
Senate Bill 1 is backed by administrators and educators from every part of the state, as well as education reform advocates.
“The governor is again choosing ultimatums and political posturing over cooperation and compromise, and this time he’s using young minds and communities throughout the state as his leverage,” said Mimi Rodman, Executive Director of Stand for Children Illinois “Governor Rauner’s refusal to sign the only education funding plan that would treat all of our school districts equally could cost Illinois school districts millions of dollars and proves that the governor has failed to reform our education system.”
“For three years, Governor Rauner failed our state and played games with the state budget, and now it’s clear he wants to do the same with education funding,” said Roy Williams, Jr., Education Task Force Chair, Faith Coalition for the Common Good. “His games are putting schools at risk of being unable to open in August. His campaign-style rallies won’t fix the most unfair funding formula in the nation, they won’t create new opportunities for children, and they won’t provide property tax relief for homeowners. Senate Bill 1 will. Now it’s up to the governor to stop playing games and sign this reform bill.”

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