Brady says school funding reform measure should never have been vetoed
Sen. Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) said once a bipartisan effort is positively established, as it was on a school funding reform measure, it should remain that way until time reveals otherwise.
Brady's comments came after Sen. Andy Manar (R-Decatur) made a motion to override Gov. Bruce Rauner's amendatory veto of SB444. But before the vote, Brady had a few things to say about the $350 million bill that will fund 852 school districts but was held up due to the governor's veto, which was discussed at length at a Jan. 29 House Appropriations-Elementary & Secondary Education Committee hearing.
“I believe we negotiated on the language and we passed the language and collectively we passed bipartisan monumental legislation, and I think we should stick with that for the time being,” Brady said. “I understand that there are some parochial interests here on this matter but I don’t think it is appropriate to be changing that language and therefore I stand opposed to 444.”
At the Monday hearing, Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) Chief Financial Officer Robert Wolfe told Rep. Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) “until something takes place and we get action and clarity on these calculations with the statutory language, we would be unable to distribute based upon changes that have not been enacted.”
Brady made it clear he did not feel the same way Wednesday.
“I am not talking about the State Board of Education, but I am talking about a legislative body that agreed on language in negotiations that the governor signed, and I am in favor of sticking with that until we see how it plays out,” Brady said.
“Let me tell you my reason for opposing it, as I did when it was first brought to our attention, is that I believe when we negotiate and pass something as monumental as the education reform proposal that we did in a bipartisan way that we need to stick with that agreement and let time serve out and see what really happens,” Brady said.
“I would encourage members to vote for their districts as best they should but I feel I think it is important to note that we agreed on the language of the bill in whole as a legislative body,” Brady added.
Before encouraging members to vote yes, Manar said the governor “did not recommend changes to the underlying language to the bill that he asked us to pass.”
“This is important that we put this in place per the direction of the Rauner administration so that school funding reform can move forward,” Manar said. “I would ask for a vote to override the governor’s veto.”
The Senate voted 38-17 to overrride the veto.