July 21, 2017

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Illinois, Latest News

Rauner Returning to Playbook with SB1 – Grandstand and Refuse to Compromise

Rauner’s Failed Leadership: Play Politics of Division and Push Unverifiable Math Rather than Working to Keep Schools Open

Desperate for a win, Governor Bruce Rauner conducted a week-long media blitz full of grandstanding, division, and questionable arithmetic.  At issue is SB1, which will rewrite the state’s education funding formula and which Rauner’s administration admits he finds 90% agreement with. Yet that 10% is enough for Rauner to stage a dramatic showdown and threaten the schools’ ability to open in the fall.

Rather than negotiate or compromise, Bruce Rauner has cynically played the politics of division, promising each school district more money if they just took funding away from Chicago.

The problem? Rauner’s math doesn’t check out.

Illinois NPR reporter Dusty Rhodes said Rauner’s numbers do not correspond with “official spreadsheets published by the state board of education.” Today Rauner admitted that his administration did their “own calculations” without input from the State’s Board of Education. And Rauner doesn’t say how these districts are already owed $1 billion by the state as a result of Rauner’s self-imposed budget crisis.

Now Rauner’s going back to his oldest trick – calling a special session. Last time, Rauner sequestered himself in his office sending out snarky tweets, then vetoed a bipartisan budget. By posing in front of cameras and promising another veto, it seems like Rauner did not learn any lessons from the last session and will not give compromise a try.

“Bruce Rauner can use all the funny math he wants, but he cannot account for his years of failed leadership,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “Bruce Rauner’s no-compromise, brinksmanship style of politics gave us a two-and-a-half-year budget impasse that kept funding from neighborhood schools. Now Rauner’s using the same tactics to force a crisis that could keep schools from opening. By playing one part of the state of the other, and threatening to keep schools from operation, Governor Rauner is clearly putting his re-election campaign ahead of fighting for middle-class families.”

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