Pensions

Rauner calls special session on education finance bill


The special session will deal with Senate Bill 1, an education finance bill that contains an annual $215 million pension bailout for Chicago Public Schools.

Gov. Bruce Rauner has called for a special session to begin July 26. The purpose of the special session will be to address Senate Bill 1, an education funding measure containing a $215 million annual bailout for Chicago Public Schools pensions, which the Illinois General Assembly passed in May. The General Assembly has yet to send SB 1 to the governor’s desk.

The official announcement came just after the passage of a noon deadline on July 24 set by Rauner to receive SB 1 from the General Assembly. Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, has delayed sending SB 1 to Rauner, denouncing the governor’s plan to issue an amendatory veto with respect to the CPS pension bailout. Cullerton has called for Rauner to meet with legislative leaders rather than use his veto pen.

In addition to the CPS pension bailout, the bill seeks to reform state spending on education, implementing “evidence-based” education funding statewide. Rauner has promised an amendatory veto of SB 1, thereby stopping the CPS pension bailout and securing additional funding for downstate and suburban schools. Rauner has set a July 31 deadline for the adoption of a new funding formula in order to make sure schools across the state open on time.

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