Ashland mayor part of group of mayors supporting governor on budget

By Gary Scott on June 28, 2016 at 9:04am

Bruce Rauner speaks on Monday with a gaggle of mayors behind him.

A Cass County mayor was one of a handful of municipal leaders to join Governor Bruce Rauner to urge the passage of a stopgap budget yesterday.

Terry Blakeman, representing Ashland, did not speak during a press conference in Springfield, but he was one of the over 40 mayors who put their signature on an op-ed piece in the Springfield Journal-Register calling for the budget.

Illinois Senate Democrats are expected to introduce a proposed stopgap budget and education funding bill today.  Senate President John Cullerton’s office says the school funding measure would include a 760-million-dollar increase in state aid.

Chicago Public Schools would receive a 30-percent bump in 2017, but yesterday, Rauner warned lawmakers not to approve a plan that includes a financial bailout for CPS.

“This is not the state, voters, taxpayers fault that CPS is in such big trouble. It’s the failure of the city itself,” says Rauner.

The governor said yesterday that legislators are close to an agreement on a spending plan and an education funding bill.  However, he said Democratic leaders would derail any deal if they insist on devoting a large amount of money to CPS.

Government services could shut down later this week if the General Assembly doesn’t approve a spending plan.