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McCann explains his vote

Wednesday, Aug 30, 2017

* From Sen. Sam McCann…

“There have been many pieces of legislation that have advanced over the last several years in the Illinois General Assembly that sought to bring equity and balance to the way in which we fund our schools and I have voted for most of them. I didn’t vote for them because I thought they were perfect bills, but because I knew how important the subject matter was. And because I knew it would take years for it all to come together, I wanted to be a part of advancing the conversation and the cause,” said State Senator Sam McCann (R-Plainview).

Senate Bill 1947 not only includes what many refer to as a “Chicago Bailout,” it also now introduces a brand new tax credit for the wealthy who donate to scholarship funds for private schools. It is not a voucher system, but it is rather more of a pay-to-play opportunity for the state’s most well-connected. Sen. McCann is concerned that this compromise was crafted over a matter of a few days with only four members of the General Assembly in the room, and not all 177 members of the House and Senate at the table voicing the concerns of their constituents.

“I voted for a measure a couple of weeks ago that would have accomplished more at less cost to the taxpayer. When I took that vote, I admitted that the bill wasn’t perfect, but it was a bridge to get us where we need to go. But this new bill is simply a bridge too far,” Sen. McCann stated.

The amendment to Senate Bill 1947 (Amendment 5) that passed the House of Representatives yesterday and the Senate today had no public hearings and legislators were given little time to digest the contents of the bill. Worse yet, there was no legitimate amount of time or opportunity for the public to learn about the bill and weigh in with their elected representatives.

“This bill represents one of the worst aspects of the Illinois lawmaking process. Something this important deserved sunlight, instead, it was cobbled together in the back room by a handful of people and pushed down the throats of the rank-and-file legislators,” said Sen. McCann.

“The people didn’t send me here to be a part of the status quo. They have entrusted me to use wisdom and discernment when voting on their behalf, and voting yes on a bill that spends money that we don’t have, institutes a tax credit that could very easily become abused and doing that all without any public hearings is continuing the failures of the past. We have to stop repeating these same failures over and over. I felt I had to vote No,” said Sen. McCann.

Senate Bill 1947 passed the Senate and House and now awaits the Governor’s signature. The Governor is expected to sign the bill into law in Chicago on Wednesday.

Um, he calls it a “Chicago Bailout” even though he voted to override the governor’s veto of SB1, which provided almost the same amount of state cash for CPS.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Aug 30, 17 @ 10:11 am:

    Is he the one the Operating Engineers Local 150 want to run against Rauner?

  2. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Aug 30, 17 @ 10:14 am:

    ===Sen. McCann is concerned===

    Slipping into the 3rd person for no apparent reason.

    George is getting upset.

  3. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Aug 30, 17 @ 10:14 am:

    == includes what many refer to as a “Chicago Bailout,” ==

    I don’t read where he calls it that.

  4. - Curl of the Burl - Wednesday, Aug 30, 17 @ 10:14 am:

    McCann has several good private schools in his district and one (Alton Marquette) that is VERY close to his district. Quite a few of his constituents have kids in private schools.

    His mental gymnastics on this vote are quite impressive. I give him a 9 - or maybe even a 9.5.

  5. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Aug 30, 17 @ 10:16 am:

    Don’t forget McCann voted for the stand-alone $215 million CPS pension pickup last year. The man is a serial two-timer.

  6. - Ahoy! - Wednesday, Aug 30, 17 @ 10:17 am:

    McCann talks out of so many sides of his mouth he is actually hard to understand.

  7. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Aug 30, 17 @ 10:18 am:

    ==Don’t forget McCann voted for the stand-alone $215 million CPS pension pickup last year. The man is a serial two-timer.==

    Uh, thanks anti-McCann-anonymous dumpster

  8. - Real - Wednesday, Aug 30, 17 @ 10:20 am:

    Actually, he said the bill contained what many call a Chicago bailout.

    And I agree with McCann on each point.

  9. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 30, 17 @ 10:26 am:

    ===…voting yes on a bill that spends money that we don’t have, institutes a tax credit that could very easily become abused and doing that all without any public hearings is continuing the failures of the past. We have to stop repeating these same failures over and over.===

    That’s the argument that can pivot off the reality that a compromised bill that will recieve a signature from the governor can get someone “Red” on the Bill.

    That’s also why, and McCann touches on it, finding the 73 and 38… that’s the ball game, not getting 177-0.

    I applaud the passage of the bill, and those “Green”. I also comprehend the politics of those “Red” on it too, and why finding the “71/36″ means just coming to terms that others aren’t for it and move on to find the target numbers.

  10. - iggy - Wednesday, Aug 30, 17 @ 10:31 am:

    Sam your a mess, you would be best served putting your head down and not making any more noise. we all know you need this pay check more than most.

  11. - Homer J. Simpson - Wednesday, Aug 30, 17 @ 10:34 am:

    A little off topic, but I’ve heard Wednesday and Thursday for the Governor to sign this. Which day is it?

  12. - ste_with_a_v_en - Wednesday, Aug 30, 17 @ 10:44 am:

    So..does this hurt or help a potential primary challenge?

  13. - Chuckee Baby - Wednesday, Aug 30, 17 @ 10:46 am:

    How could it be called a “Chicago Bailout” if it’s a statewide personal income tax credit?
    Won’t non-public schools statewide make donation appeals, using the tax credit?

    I heard 2 Peoria Democratic GA members(Sen. Dave Koehler, Repr. Jehan Gordon-Booth) on radio today on this issue.

  14. - Gooner - Wednesday, Aug 30, 17 @ 10:47 am:

    He couldn’t really be honest and say “I need another way to distinguish me from my opponent, who has supported this plan.”

    I’m having a tough time believing there is more to it.

  15. - Out Here In The Middle - Wednesday, Aug 30, 17 @ 10:52 am:

    ==Something this important deserved sunlight, instead, it was cobbled together in the back room by a handful of people== I’m not sure how many years school funding has been a ‘big’ issue for the legislator or how many months this particular effort took. Regardless, there has been considerable discussion. It seems disingenuous to complain about the final agreement being put together by “a handful of people”. Was some other approach working??

  16. - Langhorne - Wednesday, Aug 30, 17 @ 10:52 am:

    Sam, keep your day job.

    A lot of new members are coming, giving you an opportunity to benefit from seniority and exoerience. And help others.

    Stay where you are at.

  17. - winners and losers - Wednesday, Aug 30, 17 @ 10:52 am:

    How do you defend drafting a very complex voucher (tax credit) plan -
    (1) in secret
    (2) without ANY hearing of any kind
    (3) therefore, without public input.

  18. - Out Here In The Middle - Wednesday, Aug 30, 17 @ 10:58 am:

    winners - How about defining it as “an attempt to put together a majority to pass this thing before it all blows up again and leaves schools without funding”?

  19. - winners and losers - Wednesday, Aug 30, 17 @ 11:04 am:

    Let us pass legislation by any means necessary.

    Let the 4 leaders, plus the GUV, govern.

    It is one thing to have this happen.

    It is quite another to defend it.

  20. - RNUG - Wednesday, Aug 30, 17 @ 11:08 am:

    If you talk to Sam in person, he will explain the 5 C’s he uses to decide how to vote on an issue. I don’t remember all 5, so I’m not going to just list the couple I remember. You and I may not always agree with his vote on a particular bill, but he does have a rational method he uses to evaluate each issue. That’s better than the way some Legislators decide.

  21. - Curl of the Burl - Wednesday, Aug 30, 17 @ 11:25 am:

    RNUG - no offense to your defense of Senator Sam but I view this as more of a repayment to the IEA and IFT after they stepped in bigtime during the 2016 primary.

  22. - Team Warwick - Wednesday, Aug 30, 17 @ 11:35 am:

    Google “Fiscal Impact of Vouchers and Scholarship Tax Credits” to get NCSL’s take on it. Also browse the links to fiscal impacts of school choice to the right of the article.
    Research (”evidenced based” )is out there on this topic if you look for it.
    ANY tax credit reduces revenue to the states budget, thus making tax rate increases more likely eventually.
    While legislators often find “tax credits” are politically ppopular, death by a thousand paper cuts comes to my mind……

  23. - Retired Educator - Wednesday, Aug 30, 17 @ 3:59 pm:

    I understand the need for political agreement within a party. However: there can be no real agreement if 95% of those expected to agree are left out of the discussion. I think the point the Senator is trying to make, is they were all expected to just go along. That is no way to run a government. If the 4 tops, and the Governor, get to simply agree without rank and file input, we no longer have a Representative Democracy. If that is the deal, why are we paying the rest of them? Did we Elect an Oligarchy?

  24. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Aug 30, 17 @ 7:05 pm:

    –“This bill represents one of the worst aspects of the Illinois lawmaking process. Something this important deserved sunlight, instead, it was cobbled together in the back room by a handful of people and pushed down the throats of the rank-and-file legislators,” said Sen. McCann.–

    Dude, if you’re going to go that route, don’t put out a press release, go Full Bost on the floor.

    I thought it was a mistake at the time, but was way wrong. It was a cunning move and a very astute read of the mood of the voters who put him in Congress.

  25. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Aug 30, 17 @ 11:27 pm:

    No, it was a Chicago bailout when Rauner AV’ed it. Now that Chicago gets 150M more and there’s a private school bailout in it, it isn’t a bailout, Sam. Try to keep up.

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