Illinois General Assembly heads to Springfield for special session

Published: Jul. 26, 2017 at 5:52 AM CDT
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Last week Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner announced he would be calling lawmakers back to Springfield for the second special session of the summer. The session will begin on Wednesday, July 26 and the focus will be education funding.

The state budget that passed in early July had a mandate that requires the state switch to evidence based school funding.

The General Assembly passed an education funding bill known as Senate Bill 1 (SB1). But, the Governor has already said he is rejecting the bill in its current form.

Governor Rauner disagrees with the money allotted toward funding pensions for Chicago Public Schools.

He said he's planning on using his ammendatory veto powers to make changes to SB1, but, as of July 26, the bill had not reached the Governor's desk.

TV-6 spoke with Governor Rauner prior to the scheduled special session.

"They're sitting on the bill, they're sitting on the poison pill for the pension bailout and they wanna wait to create a crisis to pass that through on the backs of taxpayers," said Governor Rauner. "That's not fair, to our children or to our working families."

According to Governor Rauner, his changes to SB1 would provide low income school districts with more money. This includes Moline and Rock Island schools. The Governor said they would get upwards of $900,000 more a school year.

Many superintendents told TV-6 without a funding bill, they only have enough reserve money to keep their doors open until October.

Ahead of the special session, TV-6 was also able to get a comment from East Moline Superintendent Kristin Humphries.

"For the first time in over 20 years we have the opportunity to bring equity and fair school funding to all children in Illinois," said Humphries. "I implore the General Assembly and the Governor to come to the table and solve this important issue without delay. Our children in East Moline and across Illinois need solutions, not politics."

House Speak Micheal Madigan has been urging Governor Rauner to stand with lawmakers and not use his veto powers.

If Governor Rauner uses his power for ammendatory veto, lawmakers would need a three-fifths majority to overrule.

The General Assembly will reconvene at 12 p.m. Stick with KWQC on-air and on our mobile app for updates from Springfield.