The Illinois House of Representatives is meeting to discuss the state’s school funding crisis today, which ironically, marks the beginning of the school year for many districts around the state.
As previously reported, the Illinois Senate voted to override Governor Rauner’s amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1, a school funding reform bill which incorporates an evidence based funding model and hundreds of millions of dollars for Chicago teacher pensions.
Now the House get their turn at the Capitol. And although it appears the House won’t actually be voting on whether or not to override Rauner’s veto to SB1, there will still be a vote of some kind.
Local State Representative C.D. Davidsmeyer explains what exactly lawmakers will be voting on the purpose behind the vote.
“It goes to show you how quickly something can happen when they want to do something. Basically what they’re going is taking the Governor’s amendatory veto, they’re putting it as an amendment on a bill that we will vote on apparently today. I don’t believe it will pass, but I think they’re trying to say the only two options are Senate Bill 1 and the Governor’s amendatory veto. And even the Governor has said he’s willing to compromise, there’s nothing in his amendatory veto that has to be there, but we have to talk about how we can make the bill better,” explains Davidsmeyer. .
Davidsmeyer says that, once they actually vote on Senate Bill 1, he doesn’t believe there will be enough to override Rauner’s amendatory veto.
“If you look back at the original vote for Senate Bill 1, it passed with a bare minimum of 60 Democrat votes, which was the bare minimum that needed to pass before. They need to add seven other members who, apparently didn’t think it was a good bill back then, but the Senate held it for two months and put us in this crisis position. We have to do the right thing because this funding bill is going to be in place probably for the next twenty years. We have to look a little bit further than today and see how it affects the state in the future,” says Davidsmeyer.
As for where things go from here, Davidsmeyer believes today’s tactics will only make the process drag on even further…which he says is no help to anyone.
“I think what will happen is we’ll vote on the amendatory veto language, which won’t be the actual amendatory veto but the language from the bill that they’re adding to this other bill. I think we’ll vote on that, I think it’ll fail, they’ll grandstand for another week. I’m hearing we’ll probably come back into session next week and actually vote on the override, but waiting a week doesn’t do anybody any good. We need to actually get this thing figured out,” Davidsmeyer explains.
Many schools throughout the state of Illinois held their first classes today or this week. Yet as August 10th went by, schools still had yet to receive their first general state aid payment. And with the second GSA payment due in just a matter of days, the clock continues to tick on Illinois’ schools as well as its General Assembly.