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The Majority Report 06/11/17 - Setting the record straight on school funding reform


School funding reform: Fact vs. Fiction

Fact vs. Fiction - SB 1On May 31, the Legislature approved a landmark overhaul of the school funding formula.

Illinois currently has the worst school funding formula in the nation, and Senate Democrats are fighting for a fair and equitable system.

Meanwhile, Republicans seem complacent with the current system that leaves some students with decades-old textbooks and others with the latest technology and STEM resources.




Steans: time to end the dueling and get a budget

Sen. Heather SteansSenator Heather Steans, Chicago, appeared on Chicago Tonight opposite Republican Senator Chris Nybo earlier this week to discuss the state's ongoing budget impasse. Steans pointed out the various reforms and the spending plan passed by the Senate and the fact it remained within the proposed spending limits Gov. Rauner put forth in his February budget plan.

"Even the Republican-leaning business organizations like the Civic Federation and the Civic Committee have come out strongly saying we need a budget," Steans said. "I think it's time to put away the war here, the dueling, and actually get a budget."

Watch the full exchange HERE >



Trotter's bail reform measure signed into law

Sen. Donne TrotterThanks to a new law introduced by Senator Donne Trotter, a Chicago Democrat, people who aren't a threat to their communities won't languish in jail because they can't afford bail. The Bail Reform Act of 2017 was signed by the governor last week and goes into effect immediately.

"Pretrial release must not focus on the defendants' ability to pay," said Trotter. "This new law allows the courts to look at the threat to the public safety or their risk of failure to appear."

Senate Bill 2034 grants a number of rights to defendants, including the right to a public defender or attorney at their bail hearing, the right to a new bail hearing, and that any bail set should be non-monetary and that the court should address the risk in the least restrictive way possible.




Murphy town halls focus on budget, school funding reform

Sen. Laura Murphy

State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) hosted three town hall meetings this week to discuss the state budget, school funding reform and other issues facing our state.

Murphy held the town halls across her district in Schaumburg, Elk Grove Village and her hometown of Des Plaines.

Discussions centered largely on the ongoing state budget stalemate and school funding reform proposal that passed in both houses of the General Assembly in late May.

Murphy also offered an in-depth look at the state budget impasse with a presentation about the state's spending priorities and the long term cost the state budget will have on Illinois families.

Murphy's key legislative initiatives this spring included increasing women's access to health care, protecting First Amendment rights and increasing the transparency and accountability of Medicaid contracts.


In case you missed it

Senator Scott Bennett, Champaign: Danville town hall sees support for moving coal ash away from river (The News-Gazette)

Senator Melinda Bush, Grayslake: This prescription tracking program could save lives, but many doctors aren't using it (Belleville News-Democrat)

Senator Bill Cunningham, Chicago: 19th Ward Healthy Summer Campaign offers free classes (Beverly Review)

Senator Don Harmon, Oak Park: DuPage County may seek referendum to dissolve election commission (Daily Herald)

Senator Linda Holmes, Aurora: State Senator Fears Time Running Out To Pass Budget, Salvage Economy (CBS Chicago)

Senator David Koehler, Peoria: School funding, state budget a hot topic at breakfast (Pekin Daily Times)

Senator Andy Manar, Bunker Hill: It's no ‘bailout.' Rather, this school funding bill is good for every district in Illinois (Crain's Chicago Business)

Senator Pat McGuire, Joliet: Will County schools would gain under new school funding formula (The Enterprise)

Senator Julie Morrison, Deerfield: Consolidation of roads, bridges could mean shift at township levels (Rochelle News-Leader)

Senator Kwame Raoul, Chicago: Senate approves elected school board measure (Hyde Park Herald)

Senator Steve Stadelman, Rockford: River Edge credit renewal sits on governor's desk (The Rock River Times)


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