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Governor’s veto of school funding creates potential chaos for Illinois schools, new funding formula

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BUNKER HILL – The governor’s veto of a simple trailer bill this afternoon creates potential chaos for every Illinois school that stands to benefit from long-overdue funding reform, State Senator Andy Manar said today.

The last-minute veto of Senate Bill 444, technical cleanup legislation requested by Gov. Bruce Rauner’s own administration and passed quickly by the General Assembly two months ago, boggles the mind, said Manar, the chief Senate sponsor of Illinois’ historic, bipartisan school funding reform overhaul.

“Here’s what Gov. Rauner accomplished today: absolute chaos while undoing all of the equity components in the school funding reform legislation that he takes credit for passing,” said Manar (D-Bunker Hill). “Underfunded schools that have been subjected to an unfair formula for decades will have to continue to wait because of Bruce Rauner’s inexplicable actions today.”

The General Assembly responded immediately in November to a request from the Illinois State Board of Education, part of the Rauner administration, with bipartisan legislation to help the state quickly implement the new school funding formula.

But rather than immediately sign SB444, Gov. Rauner sat on the measure and issued a last-minute amendatory veto this afternoon. That veto now stands to derail implementation of the new formula, which ISBE had indicated it was on track to move forward with immediately.

“Today, Gov. Rauner tossed his own request in the trash by once again unconstitutionally rewriting legislation, just like he did last year with his veto of Senate Bill 1, the school funding reform bill,” Manar said. “I am truly perplexed and puzzled by the motivations of this governor, who claims to care deeply about public education in Illinois. Why would he veto a bill that he sought in the first place?”