The Majority Report 02/21/16 - Illinois deserves better budget


Lightford leads opposition to governor's budget plan

Lightford leads opposition to governor's budget planMembers of the Legislative Black Caucus objected to Gov. Bruce Rauner's unbalanced, piecemeal budget proposal for next year, saying it would cause more harm to Illinois youth, poor and disenfranchised residents, the disabled and senior citizens.

Assistant Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford of Maywood, chairwoman of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, said the governor is trying to sell an outdated, broken education funding plan as a reform model and is neglecting higher education.

"We cannot wait any longer to give Illinois children the education they need to compete in this ever-changing world," Lightford said. "Resources are scarce in many schools, disproportionately affecting minority students in Chicago and across the state. Schools are choosing between keeping students warm and paying for up-to-date textbooks. We need fundamental changes now that will address these issues in real ways."

More reaction from members of the Black Caucus
Senate President John Cullerton responds to budget address
Watch the budget address


Lawmakers decry governor's MAP veto

Lawmakers decry governor's MAP vetoSenate Democrats expressed frustration at Gov. Rauner's veto of college tuition assistance for low- and middle-income students two days after pledging that education is one of his priorities.

"Gov. Rauner is wrong to make 125,000 low-income college students the latest victims of his avoidance behavior. He needs to think about others, stop dodging the obvious and concentrate on negotiating a budget," said Senator Pat McGuire of Joliet, a proponent of providing MAP funding during the state budget impasse.

Chicago Senator Donne Trotter, also a vocal supporter of MAP funding, agreed, noting that Rauner chose to impede rather than aid the success of struggling students who are trying to earn degrees and better their lives in Illinois.

"Today’s students face skyrocketing unemployment, diminishing opportunities and unprecedented student loan debt," Trotter said. "Vetoing MAP funding is a slap in the face of the very students who will soon fuel our economic engine."

More reaction from Senate Democrats
Watch students and lawmakers deliver Senate Bill 2043 to the governor's office


Manar talks budget, education funding

Manar talks budget, education fundingSenator Andy Manar of Bunker Hill questioned Gov. Rauner's assertion that his administration can fully fund the state's foundation level for K-12 schools with an additional $55 million.

Manar, a leading proponent of overhauling Illinois' antiquated school funding formula, also suggested the governor's numbers will never add up unless the formula is updated to be fair to all school districts.

"A district that spends $30,000 a student doesn't need a penny more from state taxpayers," Manar said during a Statehouse news conference. "If the reform effort is predicated on the position that we can't have any losers, then the price tag is going to be so high it may not be achievable."

Watch Manar's news conference
Read The (Springfield) State Journal-Register's coverage



In case you missed it

Go Red For Women 2016

Members of the Illinois General Assembly showed support for the American Heart Association's yearly Go Red For Women campaign at the Capitol.

The Go Red campaign encourages women to know their risks and take action to protect their heart health.

Senator John Mulroe of Chicago passed a resolution to broaden awareness among South-Asian women, who are at four times greater a risk for heart disease than the general population.

Read more


Senator Melinda Bush, Grayslake: Lake County leaders say Rauner still holding budget 'hostage' (Chicago Tribune)

Senator Gary Forby, Benton: Illinois governor delivers budget address (KFVS-TV, Carterville)

Senator Bill Haine, Alton: Local reaction to budget speech (Alton Daily News)

Senator Don Harmon, Oak Park: Harmon named a champion of democracy (

Senator Kimberly A. Lightford, Maywood: Lightford to Springfield students: 'We all have a story' (

Senator Kwame Raoul, Chicago: Special prosecutor requested in Laquan McDonald case (Chicago Sun-Times)

Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, Shorewood: Kids' fair in Plainfield opens up community services to families (The Herald-News, Joliet)


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