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Senate education leaders Lightford and Manar join school funding talks to try to sway governor’s support

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SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton has asked Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford and State Senator Andy Manar, the sponsor of Senate Bill 1, to join renewed talks regarding school funding reform.

“This is the kind of meeting we’ve been trying to arrange for weeks. Hopefully we can now learn what the governor has in mind with his threatened veto and see if there is a path forward, together,” Cullerton said.

Lightford is a Maywood Democrat.

Manar is a Bunker Hill Democrat.

The Senate President has been trying to meet with the governor about his threatened veto prior to sending him a historic school funding overhaul on Monday, July 31. In addition to explaining the legislation, the Senate President wants to make sure the governor understands what his threatened veto would mean.

Rauner has said he would file an amendatory veto to rewrite Senate Bill 1.

An amendatory veto is a veto. It rejects the proposal but offers specific legislative changes that are supposed to be consistent with the initial theme and scope of the proposal. The constitution and court cases limit the governor’s ability to make changes.

Once that veto is filed with the Senate, the Senate has 15 calendar days to act or else the entire proposal is declared dead. The Senate’s options are to vote to accept the changes or try to override and enact the plan as originally written.

Overriding the governor’s veto requires support from 3/5ths of the members in each chamber. That’s 36 votes in the Senate and 71 votes in the House.

But so too does accepting any changes. That’s because those changes amount to new laws with immediate effective dates since it would be passed after May 31. The Illinois Constitution sets a May 31 deadline for action and anything after requires more votes to become law.

Again, if efforts to override the governor or accept his alternations fail, the entire school funding overhaul fails and lawmakers would need to start over with new legislation.