* Combine this accelerated state payment with CPS’ billion dollar loan - $200 million of which is a credit line - and this takes a lot of the pressure off the House to pass the 40-day pension payment extension bill…
Gov. Bruce Rauner is offering to accelerate state grant payments to help cash-strapped Chicago Public Schools make a $634 million pension contribution, according to a summary of the proposal obtained Sunday by The Associated Press.
The document, prepared by the Rauner administration, states the Illinois State Board of Education has identified $450 million in grants that normally would be distributed to CPS over the course of the fiscal year that could be provided as early as this week. The advance wouldn’t require legislative approval. […]
Madigan said there was controversy around the bill but said the House would vote on it again when lawmakers return to Springfield on Tuesday.
Such a vote wouldn’t be necessary if Emanuel and CPS take Rauner up on his offer, but it was unclear late Sunday what the next steps will be.
…Adding… It’s worth pointing out that this plan would use FY 16 money to pay an FY 15 bill, which could just make things worse for CPS. Stay tuned.
*** UPDATE 1 *** As expected…
“We appreciate the governor’s gesture, but the use of this year’s dollars to pay last year’s pension payment follows the same path that got the schools into the current financial mess,” mayoral spokeswoman Kelley Quinn said. “We need a real solution like Gov. Rauner’s proposal last week—pension parity and funding relief so that Chicago schools are finally treated like every other district in the state.”
*** UPDATE 2 *** Mike Schrimpf…
The governor has proposed a long-term solution and stands ready to work with the Mayor and legislative leaders on passing a comprehensive plan to fix Chicago’s finances. The governor’s plan provides the city with short-term relief while we wait for Speaker Madigan to get serious about reform and helping the people of Illinois.