An analysis by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) found schools across the state, especially in State Sen. Dale Righter’s (R-Mattoon) 55th Senate District, fare better under new education funding reform legislation (Senate Bill 1124 – Amendment 3) compared to education funding reform legislation passed by Senate Democrats May 31 (Senate Bill 1).
Despite statements made by Senate President John Cullerton recently week stating that the Senate has done its work, Senate Republicans remain adamant that the Senate Democrats’ partisan budget and watered-down reforms are a stark departure from the Senate budget and reform package being discussed in bipartisan working groups until Senate Democrats opted to move forward with their own agenda.
With the clock ticking down on the end of the 2017 Fiscal Year, Gov. Rauner is calling lawmakers back to Springfield for a 10-day special session to continue their work toward passage of a balanced budget before Illinois lapses into its third-straight year without a budget.
This is the right thing to do. It’s the job of the legislature to pass a balanced budget. Constitutionally, the legislature is the only entity that that can pass a balanced budget.
As the budget impasse continues and Illinois’ backlog grows to over $14 billion in unpaid bills, many Medicaid service providers have threatened to discontinue services to Illinois Medicaid recipients unless the state starts postmarking reimbursement checks faster.
For the third consecutive year, the General Assembly has adjourned on May 31 without passing a comprehensive and balanced budget for the state of Illinois, despite Republican lawmakers repeated requests that their Democrat counterparts remain at the negotiating table to come to a budget compromise.
As the regularly scheduled spring legislative session came to a close on May 31, a number of pro-business groups labeled it “one of the worst for employers,” citing a number of anti-employer and anti-job growth measures that cleared the Legislature this year, as well as a lack of progress on major reforms like workers’ compensation reform and property tax relief.
Republican lawmakers continue to advocate for meaningful education funding reform, saying a newly amended Democrat school funding plan pushed through the Senate in the final hours of the regularly scheduled spring legislative session is based on flawed, misleading data that disguises a massive bailout for Chicago’s school system at the expense of every other district in the state.
It was déjà vu at the Illinois State Capitol on May 31 as the General Assembly adjourned once again without passing a truly balanced budget or some of the critical structural reforms needed to bring jobs and financial stability back to the state.
Students seeking to become a teacher would have another way to receive their teaching license under legislation sponsored by State Sen. Dale Righter and passed by the Senate Education Committee May 23.
Continuing their annual tradition, Senate Democrats went back to their old tax-and-spend playbook, advancing another unbalanced budget reliant on the state’s second largest tax increase ever.
Seeking to help the brave men and women who served their country with honor, the Senate unanimously passed legislation that would extend veteran hiring preference rules to veterans of the National Guard and reservists.
In some positive action during the week, the Senate passed legislation to re-launch a program to help people with mental and physical disabilities find employment.
Legislation sponsored by Sen. Righter that requires the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to publish cost estimates unfunded mandates will have on local governments is on the way to Gov. Rauner's desk.
State Sen. Dale Righter issued the following statement in response to budget action taken May 23 at the Statehouse.