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Rauner Vetoed Education Funding Twice, Now Tries to Take Credit for Education Funding in Budget

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Governor Bruce Rauner spent the last two days traveling the state trying to rationalize his veto of the state’s education funding formula, which leaves schools in funding limbo. Rauner is in a tough spot – having vetoed school funding he must try and make sure voters do not think he’s against education funding.
Rauner tried to strike that balance this week by claiming that education funding was repeatedly cut before he came into office (debunked), that SB1 was a “Chicago bailout” (debunked), and this whopper – that he had pushed for the extra $720 million contained in the budget.
The only problem? Rauner vetoed that money in the budget. Then he called on lawmakers to sustain his veto. Then he vetoed the funding formula mechanism that distributes that money. And due to Rauner’s self-inflicted budget crisis, Illinois schools are still suffering from being owed $1 billion.
Here’s Governor Rauner from this week:

  • Northwest Herald: “I insisted the state do more for K-12 schools my first year as governor, I asked for $700 million more for schools, and I got that. This year I asked for $720 million more for schools, and they put it in the budget. So that’s good.”
  • WGN Radio: “I demanded $700 million more my first year, got it. Demanded $720 million more this year, got it. Now we have $720 million more in the budget that just passed.”
  • Quad City Times: “I’ve asked for more school funding in my first year — $700 million — and I asked for more this year — $720 million…The Democrats cut school funding four times in the prior 10 years before I became governor.”

Late this week Rauner also said he was “open to compromise” – that is after he vetoed the only school funding formula that passed both chambers of the legislature, and vetoed the budget that funded it. Governor Rauner’s trying to have it both ways.
“Facts are facts – twice this year Governor Rauner vetoed school funding bills,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “And now, because of his vetoes, neighborhood schools are under threat to close in the fall. Governor Rauner is simply unwilling to accept responsibility for the consequences of his actions. Rauner’s failed leadership drove up state debt, drove out jobs and people, and now threatens Illinois’ school system.”