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History Repeats Itself: Rauner Forces Crisis that He Has No Credible Plan to Resolve

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Awkward – Rauner’s Main Reason for Veto is Rated “False” By PolitiFact

This morning, Governor Bruce Rauner announced he would issue an amendatory veto on SB1, the state’s first school funding formula in decades, putting Illinois schools’ ability to stay open at risk. Why? Well, Governor Rauner claims SB1 bails out Chicago schools, but the fact-checkers at PolitiFact rated that argument “False.” And Rauner’s Education Secretary said Rauner agrees with 90% of the bill. Maybe it’s about politics?
Rauner is desperate for a win and turning to the same playbook he used in the budget fight – force a crisis and refuse to compromise. And just like last time, Rauner is walking the state into an impasse with no credible plan of resolution. This morning’s news reports warned that there was no expected way that Rauner’s veto would hold up:

  • Associated Press: “That’s because if legislators can’t muster enough votes to either approve or override the governor — scenarios that appear unlikely — the legislation dies, and there’s no backup plan ready to go.”
  • Chicago Tribune:“There are three options: The House and Senate could agree with the governor’s changes, which is unlikely. They could vote to override the changes, and the bill would become law without them. They could also do nothing, meaning the measure essentially would die and lawmakers would have to return to the drawing board.”
  • WTTW: “Rauner has thus far been able to blame Democrats, but should he veto the only bill that would get schools the money, he could be perceived as being the one responsible for putting them in jeopardy.”

Last time, Rauner was so committed to continuing the crisis that he cheered the state off a fiscal cliff; he called for lawmakers to uphold his veto even though the state would have been reduced to “junk” bond status. How far is Rauner committed to going with schools this time?
“Bruce Rauner gets his wish – another manufactured crisis he hopes to use for political gain but will only hurt middle class families in the end,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “Just one month ago, Rauner vetoed the state’s first budget in two years, and it took lawmakers from both parties to override him. Now Rauner vetoes the state’s first education funding formula in decades and, with no real plan to resolve the crisis, puts Illinois schools in danger of closing. Rauner’s veto of the school funding formula is a failure of leadership and fits a pattern Illinois voters are all too familiar with.”


PolitiFact: Does The Proposed Illinois School Funding Bill Bail Out Chicago’s Teacher Pensions?
By: Matt Dietrich
Rated: False!
(Click here to read the entire story)
Attempting to parse a political buzzword like “bailout” might be impossible if not for the clear direction provided by Rauner’s own Illinois Education Funding Reform Commission. It called for an “evidence-based” school funding formula but also recommended a “hold harmless” provision that would ensure no district received less this year than last.
By that dictate alone, CPS should not be in line this year for a cut in the size of its block grant. What’s more, SB1 does do away with the CPS block grant starting with the 2018-19 school year, poking a major hole in Rauner’s “bailout” claim.
The bill’s Chicago pension component can’t be called a “bailout” or even a perk because it only gives CPS what every other school district already has. And Rauner clearly had sought previously to bargain CPS pension help for other, statewide pension reforms. He got a major one in the budget lawmakers enacted July 6.
Numbers are sure to fly fast and furious as Rauner and lawmakers duke this out in Springfield in the days ahead, but we find Rauner’s generalization that SB 1 is a “bailout” for Chicago schools to be False.