In light of Democrats walking away from compromise and negotiations, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner along with Republican Leaders Christine Radogno and Jim Durkin called for passage of a clean PK-12 education funding bill to ensure schools open on time in the fall and a short-term, fiscally responsible bridge to sustain universities, prisons, facilities and critical government operations through the end of the year.
“In what has become commonplace in Illinois, rank-and-file Democrats chose Mike Madigan over taxpayers, walking away from compromise and passing the biggest unbalanced budget in our state’s history,” Governor Rauner said. “My message to them: please do not hold our schools hostage to a massive tax hike. Please do not hold our universities and prisons hostage to a massive tax hike. Pass a fiscally responsible stopgap budget. Pass a clean K-12 education funding bill. Make sure our schools open on time.”
After Senate President John Cullerton told the governor that Democrats have no intention of passing reforms before the November election, Republicans proposed a fully-paid, short-term stopgap budget that would keep critical government operations going through the end of calendar year 2016.
“Our prisons, our universities, our human services facilities, and other critical government operations must stay open and running, and this legislation would do zthat,” Leader Radogno said. “We are simply saying to the majority party, if you won’t negotiate with us on a balanced budget with reforms, at least pass this fiscally responsible stopgap measure.”
“We asked Democrats to compromise and help us pass a balanced budget alongside reforms that grow our economy, create jobs, lower property taxes and put us on a fiscally responsible path, but Democrat leaders chose to walk in the other direction,” Leader Durkin said. “When we return to Springfield next week it will be up to rank-and-file Democrats to stand up to their leaders and demand compromise so that we can give our schools and our governmental operations some certainty.”
“The Democrat majority cannot even find agreement among themselves, let alone with Republican lawmakers representing our districts,” Sen. Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) said. “It’s going to take reasonableness and common sense to get to a bipartisan compromise so that our state can move forward. At a minimum, we need a budget plan in place that ensures our schools will open this fall. We cannot allow our children to be held hostage to political games and one-upmanship. We also cannot succumb to Democrat pressure to bail out Chicago Public Schools at the expense of every other school district in the state.”
Fully Funding Education: HB6583 and SB3434
Budget Stopgap: HB6585 and SB3435