Ives declares schools will open despite Madigan tactics
The politicians in Springfield are not going to keep the kids in Illinois from going to school, Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) asserted recently.
“Look, schools are going to open,” Ives said on "Chicago’s Morning Answer" radio program. “I’ve not heard of one single school say we are not going to open regardless of the funding issue. As we know in the past, when things have gotten really heated in Illinois, what has happened? The courts have stepped in and said, ‘You’re going to fund this; you’re going to fund that.’ Make no doubt about it: Schools will be funded in one form or another.”
Legislative progress has been noticeably absent since Aug. 1, when Gov. Bruce Rauner issued an amendatory veto on the state's K-12 funding bill, SB1, to strip it of what he considered overly favorable treatment of Chicago Public Schools.
But inaction has been somewhat common for highly contested measures this year. The Legislature passed SB1 in May, but Democrats refused to send it to Rauner, who called a second special session this summer on July 24. Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) finally released SB1 to Rauner on July 31.
Rauner immediately removed the additional CPS funding and sent it back on Aug 1. Legislators can approve the amended version, attempt an override it or do nothing, which would kill the bill.
The Senate was not expected to meet until Aug. 10, as many legislators went to Boston to witness Sen. Toi Hutchinson (D-Olympia Fields) being sworn in as an officer for the National Conference of State Legislatures, and will no act until Hutchinson returns – the same day the first public schools payment is also due.
Ives asserted that the delay is a tactic used by House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) to put pressure on Republican lawmakers to vote on SB1 under the pretense that schools will not open on time.
“This is the Madigan pressure cooker to get people to vote for really bad legislation that basically said that Chicago is less wealthy than places like Ford Heights, or Sycamore or Meridian,” Ives said. “It’s outrageous. If people knew how much they are hiding their property wealth in Chicago, they would be outraged.”