SPRINGFIELD – Today State Representative Tony McCombie (IL – 71) released the following statement in support of the Governor’s amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1:
“I support the changes made by the administration to SB1 so that Illinois can have a fair and equitable school funding formula that will treat all students across the state equally. SB1 as written did not reflect the bipartisan negotiations that took place over the last several years under Governor Rauner or more recently this session under Speaker Madigan. The majority party decided alone to amend the legislation and to imbed a Chicago Public Schools (CPS) pension bailout. Governor Rauner issuing an Amendatory Veto on SB1 should not have come as a surprise, as he stated he would do just that since May 31st.
The reforms in SB1 as amended will prioritize education funding for low income school districts, and will give schools the necessary resources to provide the best possible education to our students. It is a historic piece of legislation that provides for a better future for every child in Illinois. Every school district will see new and additional funding, and local school districts may be less reliant on burdensome property taxes.
The Amendatory Veto provides for a separate pension payment taking into account that CPS is the only school district funding its own pensions. In 1995, an agreement was made with CPS to give them a separate block grant in exchange for them self-funding their pensions. CPS chose to skip pension payments for 11 years, and because of this financial mismanagement their pension obligations are expected to substantially rise. It is the intent of the AV to run the CPS block grant through the formula, pick up CPS pensions through a pension bill and distribute funds fairly across all 852 school districts. I support this proposal because it is fair, adequate and equitable. I am disappointed that some are willing to settle for less than what is fair in our districts and it is unacceptable that our children are being used as political pawns in this politically motivated state.
It is time to move forward. The legislature must take immediate action on SB1 to ensure our schools open on time and stay open with the appropriate funding. No child should miss a minute of school as a result of inaction by the General Assembly. Passing SB1 as revised means the legislature can achieve a genuinely, fair and equitable reform to our current education funding formula in a timely manner.”