The Illinois House was in session Wednesday, but no action was taken to resolve the state’s education funding reform impasse.
Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, called the session to take up ed funding reform. While some thought there was going to be a vote on whether to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1, Democrats instead called a bill mirroring the governor’s changes.
State Rep. Peter Breen, R-Lombard, said the maneuver was a political sham.
“This vote is hijinks meet hijack,” Breen said. “It’s the first day of school. The state is a week late in sending money to its school districts. Instead of working on a bipartisan compromise, the Democrat majority is again playing games.”
Breen said there’s not sufficient support in the House to override the governor’s changes.
State Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, echoed Breen’s sentiment.
“I find it really rude,” Ives said, “to pull people down here, pretend like you’re going to vote on the override and then not do it.”
Ives said Democrats didn’t have the guts to call the override because they know there’s not enough support. Even if all the Democrats were there Wednesday, which they weren’t, they’d all need to support an override along with at least four Republicans.
The amendment mirroring the governor’s changes failed without any “yes” votes. Republicans voted present, or didn’t vote, as a protest of the process.
Following session, Madigan said there are three paths lawmakers could take to resolve the ongoing education funding impasse at the statehouse: an override, an agreement on a new bill or a rehash of SB1 in the form of a new bill.
An override attempt is scheduled for next Wednesday, Madigan said.
“If we have not been able to override the governor,” Madigan said, “if the governor doesn’t come to an agreement – and I now seriously question that he will come to an agreement – then we will advance House Bill 3163, which is the same language as Senate Bill 1.”
The Senate passed House Bill 3163 after gutting it and replacing it with the same language as SB1 this past Sunday. That followed majority Democrats and one Republican voting to override the governor’s changes.
The four legislative leaders are scheduled to meet Friday to continue negotiations on bringing about bipartisan agreement for an evidence-based funding model, as is required by the budget lawmakers passed last month.
Story by the Illinois News Network. Visit ILNews.org