August 7, 2017

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Illinois, Latest News

Rauner’s Changes to SB1 Linked to Extreme Right-Wing Illinois Policy Institute

New Provisions in Rauner’s Amendatory Veto Could Sink SB1

For weeks, many wondered how they would see the influence of Governor Bruce Rauner’s new Illinois Policy Institute staffers in his administration. There may now be an answer. While Rauner’s criticisms focused on the debunked idea that the state’s new school funding formula (SB1) “bails out” Chicago schools, his amendatory veto includes “a bunch of new ideas that had never been on the table” (Rich Miller, Capitol Fax).

Tucked into Rauner’s AV was a new provision that changed the way the school formula handles communities with special tax districts called TIFs or had property tax caps called PTELLs. This change to SB1 has the potential to lessen funding for hundreds of school districts, like Peoria, which stands to lose $1 million in school funding. Where did the idea come from? It was not in Education Secretary Beth Purvis’ op-ed explaining all of the administration’s problems with SB1. NPR Education Reporter Dusty Rhodes said Rauner’s education commission never “contemplated” this change.

Rich Miller points his finger to Rauner’s new Illinois Policy Institute staffers who had long sought to get rid of TIFs. And over the weekend, the IPI took to Twitter to defend the Governor’s changes to TIF/PTELL calculations. Overall, Miller says these changes threaten SB1’s survival:

“The far-right group is on record opposing the whole idea of the ‘evidence-based’ school funding formula contained in the Democrats’ S.B. 1 and endorsed by the governor’s funding reform commission and by Republicans in both legislative chambers. Could some of those same people who are now running Rauner’s office be out to kill off the progress made over the years?”

It appears Rauner’s new IPI staffers are helping the Governor push the state further into chaos.

“As the facts dribble out, it is becoming clear that Governor Bruce Rauner’s Amendatory Veto is worse than first thought,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “Rauner is committed to the same no-compromise style politics that lead to the state’s two-year budget impasse. Now Governor Rauner and his extreme right-wing staff are stalling passage of the state’s education funding bill and threatening schools’ ability to stay open this year. Illinois families are fed up with Bruce Rauner’s failed leadership.”     

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