Cullerton: Illinois school-funding bill likely headed to Rauner next week
Updated 1 p.m. July 27 with lack of action on second day — Illinois legislators adjourned Thursday, the second day of a special session on school funding, after just a few minutes.
Gov. Bruce Rauner summoned lawmakers to Springfield with the task of resolving a fight over a new funding calculation. Both chambers have approved a plan, but the Senate has refused to send it to Rauner, who says he'll rewrite it and send it back over objections to money for Chicago Public Schools.
Senate President John Cullerton, a Chicago Democrat, says he'll send the bill to Rauner on Monday, but he'd like to meet with the Republican first first. Rauner reiterated his call at a Thursday news conference for Cullerton to send the legislation immediately.
If lawmakers want to override, they'll need a three-fifths majority vote. If they don't have the votes, the plan dies and questions remain about when schools will get funding.
Original story from July 26:
Illinois Senate President John Cullerton said Wednesday, the first day of Illinois' second special session, that he expects the K-12 state funding bill to go to Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner by Monday.
Rauner has demanded Democrats send him the funding plan so he can change it and remove additional money for Chicago teacher pensions.
But House Democrat Will Davis of Homewood says Republicans colleagues are afraid to talk about the plan because of the governor's staff recently being filled with people from the Illinois Policy Institute, a conservative think tank:
" ... there's a lot of uncertainty there and unfortunately he has put members of the Republican caucus in the House and the Senate in very precarious situation where they really want to work with us ... They're really scared to talk with us because they have no idea what the governor wants," Davis said.
Cullerton, from Chicago, said he's held on to the bill, which passed during the regular session, because he wants to talk with Rauner. He said he's been rebuffed.
"Because of the mental state of the governor — he's had a bad month. I'm just asking for a meeting, guys, I'm not trying to be confrontational," Cullerton said Wednesday.
The cost of bringing legislators and staff back to the statehouse can run up $48,000 a day.