Brady tells Democrats to send education funding bill 'today'
Illinois Senate Minority Leader Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) called on Democrats on Wednesday to stop sitting on the state's education funding bill and send it immediately to Gov. Bruce Rauner.
“There is no excuse for using a parliamentary procedure to bastardize the process of solving this crisis, this problem for the schoolchildren of Illinois,” Brady said. “Parents, teachers and schoolchildren deserve better. [Senate President John Cullerton’s] made a decision to send the bill; send it today so that we can solve the crisis. Senate Republicans are here ready to do the work of the people. There is no reason to delay this until Monday.”
Cullerton (D-Chicago) has publicly acknowledged that he is refusing to send SB1 until July 31, citing concerns about Rauner’s mental state. Rauner pushed back, calling the decision harmful to schools throughout the state.
“The governor is absolutely right," Brady said. "We have to stop the Democrats from manufacturing a crisis that hurts the children of the state. My Senate Republican caucus is here to ready to do the work of the people, to solve this manufactured crisis by the Democrats.”
Lawmakers returned on Wednesday for a second special session to finalize SB1, which passed at the end of May. Although originally a bipartisan bill implementing an evidence-based education funding model, the GOP contends it was hijacked by Democrats at the last minute to add additional benefits to Chicago Public Schools (CPS).
Rauner has threatened an amendatory veto to strip the extra money for CPS. SB1 has yet to be sent to Rauner.
“For President Cullerton to say he’ll send a school funding bill on Monday is outrageous,” Rauner said. “That just proves they want to delay the check processing, to delay money getting to the schools so our teachers can have certainty, our principles can plan and so our children can get the education they all deserve. This is fundamentally wrong. This is vicious manipulation of the democratic process for political gain and for the political machine. This is damaging our children’s lives.”
Brady echoed Rauner’s sentiments, reiterating that the impasse is a fabrication created for political gains.