Rauner’s veto creates uncertainty for local schools
1/17/2018, 11:24 a.m.
In light of the most recent spate of chaos created by Gov. Bruce Rauner, State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (Shorewood) is calling for a pause on the award of tax credits to scholarship donors.
“If our schools are not receiving state funding, scholarship donors should not receive tax rebates on the taxpayer’s dime,” said Bertino-Tarrant, chairwoman of the Senate’s education committee. “It is concerning that the tax program is up and running while our schools have not received funding or even been informed how many state dollars they can count on for the next school year.”
Funding clarity has been denied to public schools because Rauner vetoed Senate Bill 444, a technical piece of legislation previously requested by the governor’s administration to help clarify and quickly implement school funding reform. His veto of the measure will do just the opposite of that.
“The chaos and uncertainty created by the governor’s administration is mind-boggling,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “If there was an issue with this legislation, Governor Rauner should have made it known months ago instead of sitting on his hands until the last possible minute.”
In November, the House and Senate worked quickly to address the governor’s concerns regarding the education funding overhaul which passed with bipartisan support, and Rauner has been touting the legislation as his greatest gubernatorial accomplishment ever since.
But because of this veto, Rauner has once again plunged education funding into uncertainty, removing clarity as to how much funding Will County schools will receive and raising the possibility of yet another delay in the disbursement of those funds.
“The governor’s office may work on whims, but it is unacceptable that Will County schools are once again subject to the uncertainty that legislators from both parties worked so hard and so long to relieve,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “School administrators need time to calculate and implement sound financial decisions for the next school year, yet this veto strips them of their ability to make these decisions with any certainty.”
Bertino-Tarrant is working with staff and Senator Andy Manar, the senate sponsor of the legislation, to make sense of the governor’s veto and take the necessary steps to expedite the release of school funding levels for the 2018-2019 school year.
“The lack of guidance from our governor is staggering,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Now more than ever we need stability and certainty for Will County schools. Sadly, this veto threatens to take all of that away in favor of more in-fighting and political posturing.”