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Question of the day

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017

* Your own thoughts on the education funding reform bill passage?

- Posted by Rich Miller   159 Comments      


*** UPDATED *** React rolls in to passage of education funding reform

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017

* From the DGA…

Legislature Bails Rauner Out of His Manufactured School Funding Crisis

Rauner Cannot Help Himself – Takes Potshot at Final Agreement on Eve of Passage

Today, the Illinois legislature passed a compromise education package bringing an end to another Governor Bruce Rauner manufactured crisis. One month ago, rather than finding compromise, Rauner confidently pushed Illinois into crisis with his amendatory veto of the state’s new education funding formula. Rauner’s veto was a “dud” from the start that had no support from local education leaders. Schools worried they would not be able to stay open come the fall. Even Kristen McQueary, conservative editorial writer for the Chicago Tribune, said Rauner had “botched this one.”

Even in the end, Rauner thrashed the legislature’s agreement late last week. He just can’t help himself.

“Today lawmakers overcame another of Bruce Rauner’s manufactured crises,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “After the legislature overrode his veto of the state’s first budget in two years, Rauner could have refocused his administration towards making progress. Instead he pushed the state right back into crisis by vetoing funding for schools and making demands even Republicans would not support. Illinois families will not forget how Rauner’s failed leadership threatened public schools’ ability to stay open for political gain.”

I’ll post more as they come in. Legislator reacts can be found in our live coverage post.

*** UPDATE ***  Comptroller Mendoza…

I thank legislators in both Houses from both parties for coming together to pass this historic bill to put school funding on a long-overdue path to equity in Illinois. Educators and most importantly parents and children everywhere in Illinois can finally exhale and have confidence that their schools will open and stay open. I have prepared my Office to release an estimated $540 million in General State Aid owed to schools for the month of August as soon as the Governor signs the bill and after the State Board of Education transmits these vouchers to my Office. It is anticipated these payments will be issued within the next few days. My best wishes to all Illinois school children for a safe and productive school year.

* CTBA…

The Center for Tax and Budget Accountability Applauds Legislators for Passing an Equitable, Evidence-Based Model for K-12 School Funding

CHICAGO - Today, a bipartisan majority in the Illinois General Assembly has passed a landmark education bill. For the first time, Illinois will move away from its archaic, inequitable school funding system towards an evidence-based approach that ensures every district in the state receives the support it needs to educate the children it serves. This is a victory for children, their parents, and communities all around the state.

The bill is not perfect. CTBA has serious concerns about recently added provisions that set aside $75 million to provide income tax credits to those who donate to private school scholarship funds. These kinds of provisions use public money to undermine public schools, contrary to the purpose of the broader bill. Moreover, a comprehensive study commissioned by President George W. Bush found that students who attend traditional, K-12 public schools outperform students who attend both charter and private religious schools, irrespective of denomination. However, CTBA understands that governing requires compromise, and it took this compromise to get the needed bipartisan support to pass the evidence-based model into law. That said, this provision will require close scrutiny going forward.

Overall, Illinois has taken a major step forward. Our state education funding system will no longer be an embarrassment as the most inequitable in the country, but a model for other states to emulate. The evidence-based model will help school districts build capacity in their schools, and direct resources to our children who need them the most. After decades of failing our children, and particularly those in low-income communities and communities of color, Illinois is on a long-term path to a more equitable and evidence-based school funding system.

CTBA wants to thank all of the legislators who voted in favor of this bill.

* Sen. Daniel Biss…

“Today, Bruce Rauner used a school funding crisis he created to get even more tax breaks for millionaires and fund private schools with taxpayer dollars. Middle class parents like me are fed up with footing the bill for rich people’s tax cuts.

“I’m running for governor to end schemes like these, and to make the rich finally pay their fair share in taxes. We’ll use that revenue to fully fund schools in every neighborhood, so every child gets the education they need to succeed.”

* Senate President Cullerton…

“The state’s hated school funding formula is finally on its last legs. We are one signature away from overhauling the worst public school funding system in the nation. It will be replaced by one that recognizes fairness and equity and the individual challenges in each school in each part of our great state.

“This ensures that $350 million in new school funding that we included in our budget is prioritized for the public schools and students who need it the most.

“I support this plan because it ensures our schools stay open and that we will move forward with a fair and equitable system of funding public education.

“Keep in mind, none of this would be possible if not for the revenue plan we passed to stabilize our economy and provide resources for public education.”

* Civic Committee…

“We commend the Governor, legislative leaders, and the members of the General Assembly for finding common ground and passing comprehensive legislation providing for more equitable funding for Illinois schoolchildren now and in the future.

In May of this year, the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club released its report, “Bringing Illinois Back: A Framework for our Future.” The document outlined a framework for addressing our State’s fiscal crisis and made other recommendations to improve Illinois as a place to live, work, and conduct business. Among those recommendations, and closely related to the budget, was the adoption of a revised school funding formula to reduce the significant disparities in funding and increase opportunities for a quality education for all students. We supported the key elements of Governor Rauner’s Illinois School Funding Reform Commission as well as pension parity for the Chicago Public Schools. In order for Illinois to prosper, we must ensure all Illinois schoolchildren receive a quality education.”

* Gov. Rauner…

“Today, members of the Illinois Senate voted in favor of legislation that will bring historic education reform to Illinois children and their families. First, I would like to thank Senate President John Cullerton and Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady and other members for working together to close the gap on school funding and making sure every child across the state will have access to the best education.

“For far too long, too many low-income students in our state have been trapped in underfunded, failing schools. The system needed to change. We have changed it. We have put aside our differences and put our kids first. It’s a historic day for Illinois.

“Our leaders worked together to provide school choice protection for parents who want the best education possible for their children. This is accomplished by ensuring that district-authorized charter schools receive equal funding, and by providing families with limited financial resources the same access to private schools. The Tax Credit Scholarship program encourages individuals and businesses to enable families to choose the school that best meets the needs of their children.

“This compromise also provides much-needed mandate relief for school districts and presents avenues for property tax relief. School districts will be given flexibility in how they schedule physical education curriculum and how they administer driver’s education curriculum. In more affluent school districts, this bill provides taxpayers with a chance to lower their property taxes through the referendum process.

“This is just the beginning of transforming education funding. I want Illinois to be the No. 1 state in the nation for education. Nothing is more important than educating our children.”

* Mayor Emanuel…

“The Senate’s approval of SB 1947 is another win for children and communities throughout the Land of Lincoln. For far too long, Illinois has ranked dead last in the country for funding its highest poverty school districts. Now we are poised to reform that inequitable and insufficient funding formula. I want to thank Speaker Madigan, Senate President Cullerton, Leader Durkin, Leader Brady, Leader Currie, Rep. Davis, Sen. Manar and legislators from both political parties who chose students instead of the status quo. On behalf of hundreds of thousands of school children and their parents, we are hopeful that Governor Rauner will act quickly to sign this legislation so schools receive the resources they deserve.”

* Kennedy campaign…

Today’s vote puts us a step closer to funding schools at the state level so that all children have access to the quality public education they deserve, but Governor Rauner and the Illinois legislature have shown a complete failure of leadership by slipping in a veiled voucher program. Our state will never meet its full promise and potential until we rid Springfield of the legislative gamesmanship that continues to undermine our public schools, our children and our economic future.

* Sen. Jason Barickman…

“My goal has always been to put together a school funding reform measure that fairly and equitably funds all schools,” said Senator Barickman. “The Governor’s signature is now the only remaining step to making that happen and replacing our state’s antiquated system for funding schools.”

The new agreement utilizes an evidence-based model to distribute funding to schools, a requirement of the recently passed budget. If signed into law as anticipated, schools will soon begin receiving their state funding.

Senator Barickman was the first legislator to introduce evidence-based school funding legislation back in the spring of 2015. The legislation was an attempt to fix the state’s woefully outdated funding mechanism with a system that sends dollars to where they are needed most, and where the funding has the best chance of ensuring the success of students. Barickman’s legislation provided an alternative to competing bills that preserved the status quo of taking funding away from some schools and redistributing it to others.
Senate Bill 1947 contains an agreed-to evidence-based model for determining how much funding each individual school district needs to adequately educate students, and it then distributes the money based on that data.

“The evidence based model is a strategic approach to school funding that links best practices and data to distribute funds,” said Senator Barickman. “This will provide a transparency to school funding that Illinois has never had, so that lawmakers and parents can see how dollars being spent, and will allow taxpayers to have confidence that they aren’t being asked to contribute more money to a broken system. Plus, this is a scalable and realistic plan that works regardless of budget decisions made by political leaders, and it removes the devastating effect that proration had on so many districts.”

The legislation also contains meaningful mandate relief for school districts, helping them to reduce costs and put more dollars into in-classroom-learning. In addition, it also creates a mechanism to provide property tax relief to struggling families as well as a new program to offer parents more choices in determining where to send their children for the best possible education.

“We finally have an agreement that will offer significant help to all schools, all students, and all families in Illinois,” said Senator Barickman. “As soon as the Governor signs this into law our schools can focus on educating our children instead of worrying about how long they can stay open.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   21 Comments      


Senate approves education funding reform bill 38-13-4

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017

* Roll call…

Sen. Hunter rose after the vote to say she meant to vote “Present” instead of “No.”

Also, notice how Sen. McCann voted. He’s a strong IEA ally as well as a possible GOP candidate for governor.

* Not unexpected…


* This is a valid point. There’s no question that the leaders rushed the bill through and no hearings were held on new stuff, like the income tax credit…


* Every statewide candidate is still in the hunt for a teachers union endorsement…


* This is an historic vote and Sen. Andy Manar really deserves a lot of credit for sticking with this issue for well over four years and finally bringing it home…


* Best chuckle of the day…


- Posted by Rich Miller   25 Comments      


Your moment of Zen

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017

* She’s pretty good at this…


- Posted by Rich Miller   28 Comments      


The best reason to vote “No” on the tax credit

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017

* SJ-R

Rep. David Harris, R-Arlington Heights, one of the handful of Republicans who voted for the budget, said he couldn’t support the compromise because there is no money budgeted for the tax credit [for private school tuition] and the state is still struggling to catch up on bills accumulated during the budget impasse.

“We don’t spend money we don’t have,” he said. “We don’t have excess money. This bill moves us in the wrong direction.”

* Harris said that during the budget talks he participated in members repeatedly fought over tiny amounts of money, so he simply couldn’t vote for a $75 million unfunded tax credit…


* More

“I would prefer that we cut spending to pay for this,” said State Rep. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills. “I don’t know where this money is going to come from.”

* And

“Look, I went to parochial high school. My two sons went to parochial grade school and high school. My wife and I made the choice to do that because the education we wanted for our kids, but we struggled to pay the tuitions and we struggled to pay the property taxes. That was a choice that we voluntarily made. So I understand and value parochial education… but I also have a responsibility to the taxpayers of the state of Illinois,” Harris said. “Like it or not, because of our two years of budget impasse and an accumulation of $15 billions of back bills, this state needs a tight fiscal diet for years to come.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   38 Comments      


*** UPDATED x2 *** Senate to finally make Brady’s leadership official

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017

*** UPDATE 1 ***  The Senate has unanimously confirmed Sen. Brady as GOP Leader.

*** UPDATE 2 *** Press release…

State Sen. Bill Brady was unanimously selected as Senate Minority Leader by his peers in the Illinois Senate on Tuesday. Brady, who had been serving as the designated Republican Leader since July, thanked his Senate colleagues for their support and pledged to do his best in leading the Senate Republican Caucus.

“I am humbled and honored to receive the support and confidence of my Senate Republican colleagues to serve as their leader,” said Brady (R-Bloomington). “I also want to thank the Senate President for his support.”

Brady was chosen after the mid-term retirement of Sen. Christine Radogno (R-Lemont.) “She left big shoes to fill,” Brady said, “but I am continuing her efforts to reach across the aisle to find common ground.”

Brady’s election as Senate Minority Leader came after the Illinois Senate approved a bipartisan school-funding reform measure he helped negotiate with the Governor and other legislative leaders, which for the first time treats all Illinois school districts fairly and equitably.

“Today, we proved what we can accomplish when working in a bipartisan manner by passing a school funding reform measure that treats all 852 school districts the same,” Brady said. “Let us commit to build upon this foundation of compromise as we move forward on the important issues facing our state and our residents.”
During his tenure as a legislator, Leader Brady has worked to increase education accountability and funding, and sponsored reforms of workers’ compensation and medical malpractice laws. He has championed pension reform, reforms in the state’s insurance and financial industries that became a national model, sponsored laws that promote highway safety through more training for young drivers, and led the way in efforts to restore integrity to state government, ensuring the best use of the taxpayers’ dollars.

Brady has served in the State Senate since 2002. He previously served as State Representative from 1993 until 2001. Brady and his wife, Nancy, have three adult children and three grandchildren and live in Bloomington, Illinois.

[ *** End Of Updates *** ]

* From the Senate Republicans…

We anticipate the Senate will convene in Special Session later this afternoon to elect the Senate Minority Leader.

As you know, Senator Bill Brady has been serving as the Senate Republican Leader “Designee” since July, after his election by the Senate Republican Caucus.

The governor filed a proclamation this week calling a special session for today for this very purpose. Formally electing Brady during a special session avoids convening a regular session day, which would trigger the veto clock on several bills and result in several more session days next month - and nobody, but nobody wants to do that.

* Let’s do a caption contest in honor of his formal ascension, shall we?…


- Posted by Rich Miller   48 Comments      


EIU trustee appalled by tax hike is running for House

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017

* From the Illinois Policy Institute’s news service

A number of Republican Illinois state representatives have announced that they won’t run for re-election in 2018 after bucking governor and party to support a tax increase. The people aiming to replace them say that’s why they’re running. […]

Eastern Illinois University trustee Dan Caulkins, R-Decatur, is one of several considering a run for Rep. Bill Mitchell’s, R-Forsyth, seat after he said he wouldn’t run for re-election. Caulkins was appalled by the GOP votes in favor of a tax increase without anything in return.

“We got nothing out of it,” he said. “The people of Illinois got nothing but higher income taxes.”

EIU almost died due to lack of a budget and he’s complaining about the tax hike.

That’s quite something.

It appears that Caulkins’ initial appointment to the EIU board was confirmed back in February. However, his reappointment was recently assigned to the Senate Executive Appointments Committee.

Perhaps the the committee can ask Mr. Caulkins about this matter?

* Also, from the press release announcing his appointment in 2015…

Currently, Caulkins is the Vice President and COO of Patterson House, Inc. The company operates homes for adults with developmental disabilities.

…Adding… Hmm…

- Posted by Rich Miller   54 Comments      


Speaking of dramatic awards…

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017

* From the CTU

“Tonight’s vote for a voucher scheme for the state of Illinois is disappointing, and the worst assault on public education since mayoral control of schools was granted in 1995. We are now firmly in line with the President Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos privatization agenda.

“We have a new funding formula and more revenue for our schools. These are substantial achievements, despite Gov. Bruce Rauner’s incompetence and Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s impotent ability to provide direction from City Hall. Unfortunately, Illinois legislators have voted to ‘reform’ the worst school funding system in the country with a ticking time bomb of a voucher scheme, and the Illinois Democratic Party has crossed a line which no spin or talk of ‘compromise’ can ever erase.”

* From the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association

Emails sent to principals across the district have been forwarded to the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association (CPAA). These emails indicate CPS officials are coercing principals into lobbying for Springfield’s voucher legislation during work hours. District officials frame their instruction to principals as being motivated by a need for funding in general, but no such lobbying instructions were sent for any of the previous voucher-free versions of school funding legislation. One of the district emails includes a section that states, “there will be a Google Sheet for you to indicate the result of your calls.” Such sheets are often used in CPS as accountability measures to ensure principals turn in required documentation. Emails from two different network chiefs contain the coercive sentence, “These calls need to happen today or tomorrow.” This indicates that lobbying for the passage of the voucher bill is required rather than optional.

The Chicago Principals and Administrators Association condemns CPS’s flagrantly unconstitutional action. CPS’s attempt at coerced employee political mobilization makes principals feel pressured to support the pro-voucher positions of CPS officials and the mayor who appointed them.

* While the e-mails do say that, they also say stuff like this

Every Principal that was in attendance on Friday, August 25th morning heard Chip make the request of them to reach out to their state officials. Principals may also want to reach out to their school families urging them to reach out to their officials

Emphasis added.

* And from the former leader of Raise Your Hand who moved to the suburbs when her kid was high school age…

- Posted by Rich Miller   31 Comments      


Rauner again hit from the right on TRUST Act

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017

* This Fox News Channel report on Gov. Rauner signing the TRUST Act yesterday has everything for right-wing Rauner haters. It’s got the governor speaking Spanish, features the family of a man killed by an undocumented immigrant, shows Gov. Rauner uncomfortably dissembling when asked why he didn’t meet with that family and allows John Kass to gab about how the governor has alienated his conservative base. Have a look

* Illinois Review

Within an hour of Illinois’ Governor Bruce Rauner signing into law a bill making Illinois the “latest sanctuary state,” the national watchdog group Judicial Watch filed a FOIA request with the governor’s office, looking for information about who the governor did and did not meet with before signing the bill into law Monday.

Illinois Review asked Judicial Watch’s Michael Bekesha why the national group was interested in Illinois’ new state law.

“For 10 years now, Judicial Watch has been interested in promoting the rule of law when it deals with illegal immigration. Around the country, we have been interested in sanctuary cities and sanctuary states. And Illinois has now become the latest sanctuary state, so we were interested in how that happened,” Bekesha said on the phone Monday afternoon.

* And Dan Proft went after the governor today on this topic

My concern with Bruce Rauner… is not that he is friends with Rahm Emanuel, it’s that he is Rahm Emanuel… What I mean by that is he is transactional. There’s no foundation, it is just transactional. It is political expediency over principle. It is a willingness to renege and negotiate after the fact. And essentially pander and preen in any fashion that is accessible in order to try and salvage himself politically. That’s what Rahm Emanuel does. That’s what he does.

- Posted by Rich Miller   47 Comments      


*** UPDATED x1 *** AG Madigan to file suit seeking court oversight of CPD

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017

* Fran Spielman at the Sun-Times

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan will file a lawsuit seeking federal court oversight over the Chicago Police Department, pushing Mayor Rahm Emanuel to honor a commitment he made in January, only to retreat from it.

With no other choice, Emanuel is expected to join Madigan at a news conference at the State of Illinois Center.

They will reportedly announce together that they are seeking public input into what a court-enforced consent decree should look like.

But despite months of resistance to the idea of court oversight, a top mayoral aide denied that Emanuel was dragged into a consent decree or that Madigan had somehow forced the mayor’s hand. […]

Police Board President Lori Lightfoot called Madigan’s lawsuit a “significant development.”

“I have a great deal of respect for the attorney general and her team and I will watch with great interest how the process unfolds from here but I am hopeful for a transparent and inclusive process that, in the end, supports our Police Department and is transformative of the way we do policing in Chicago. This is what’s been needed for some time,” Lightfoot said.

*** UPDATE ***  The Emanuel administration is pushing back hard on the Sun-Times story, saying the reporter jumped the gun and they’re working with AG Madigan on this.

Anyway, from Karen Sheley - Director, Police Practices Project, ACLU of Illinois…

“Today’s announcement creates an opportunity to address the crisis in the Chicago Police Department. The potential consent decree between the Illinois Attorney General and City of Chicago can be a roadmap for addressing findings by the Obama Administration Department of Justice, including that the Chicago Police Department engaged in a pattern of excessive force, disproportionally targeted at African Americans. The Trump Administration repeatedly made clear its hostility to police reform, and turned the Department of Justice into an obstacle to, rather than proponent of, the fundamental changes the CPD needs.

There is hard work ahead. For reform efforts to succeed, advocates, civil rights organizations, and community groups need a seat at the table, both in crafting the decree and implementing it. The ACLU will monitor the State and City’s deal-making closely to ensure the process does not result in half measures.”

* And from the AG herself…

Attorney General Lisa Madigan today joined Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson to announce a lawsuit to seek an enforceable consent decree to implement the numerous reforms outlined by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in its investigation of the Chicago Police Department (CPD). In light of the new DOJ administration’s preference not to seek a consent decree in Chicago, Madigan will seek reforms that provide the support police officers need to implement safe and constitutional policing practices and rebuild trust between community residents and police.

Madigan filed the lawsuit earlier today in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois based on the findings of the Justice Department’s investigation that revealed a pattern of civil rights violations caused by systemic deficiencies within CPD. The DOJ report cited a number of problems, including the unconstitutional use of deadly and excessive force by officers; inadequate training on appropriate tactics, lack of supervision; a failure to adequately investigate officer misconduct and discipline officers and inadequate wellness and counseling programs to support officers. In its report, DOJ recommended reforms needed to address these problems, specifically calling for a court-enforceable consent decree with an independent monitor to assess the progress of reform and the oversight of a federal judge.

Mayor Emanuel and Superintendent Johnson joined Madigan today and expressed the city’s commitment to work with Madigan’s office to negotiate an enforceable consent decree.

“The only way to achieve real, lasting reform in Chicago and repair the broken trust between the communities and police is through an enforceable consent decree that addresses the problems identified in the Justice Department report,” Madigan said. “The city is facing serious problems that have endangered the lives of city residents as well as the police officers who put their lives on the line every day to protect our communities. Together, we will work to provide the people of Chicago with a city and a police department that respects their rights, protects their safety, and provides support and resources to the brave officers who take on these responsibilities.”

“The reforms we have made in recent years, and those that lie ahead, will help us ensure Chicago has the most professional, proactive police department possible,” said Mayor Emanuel. “I am proud that Illinois’ Attorney General is standing up – for our city and our officers – where the Trump Justice Department fell flat.”

Madigan’s lawsuit is the first step to obtain a consent decree. Madigan will seek input from the community and police officers in negotiating the terms of the consent decree. Madigan’s office will be assisted by lead expert Ron Davis and by Robins Kaplan, a national law firm retained on a pro bono basis that has a long history of community work on behalf of a wide range of clients.

Davis has a distinguished career in law enforcement. He most recently served as the director of DOJ’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) from 2013 to 2017. The COPS Office is responsible for advancing community policing nationwide.

In 2014, Davis was appointed to serve as the Executive Director of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing (Task Force). President Obama charged him and the Task Force with developing recommendations to improve community trust in the police while enhancing public safety. The final report of the Task Force now serves as a foundational document in American policing.

Davis has served on two federal monitoring teams with oversight of police reform agreements or consent decrees between the DOJ and the Washington, D.C. and Detroit police departments and as a policing expert on several DOJ pattern and practice investigations. He served over eight years as Chief of Police of East Palo Alto (CA) and 20 years with the Oakland (CA) Police Department. He was recognized for his innovative community policing efforts and for working collaboratively with the community to dramatically reduce crime and violence in a city once named as the murder capital of the United States.

- Posted by Rich Miller   20 Comments      


The House Republicans over-performed

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017

* Tribune

In the end, House Republicans put up nearly as many votes for the bill as Democrats, even though the GOP has more than a dozen fewer members.

The second vote on the compromise plan drew 37 Democratic votes, up from 19 just hours before. Republicans provided 36 votes, up from 28.

One of the biggest “heroes” in this whole thing is House Republican Leader Jim Durkin. He kept the governor focused, he pushed the Democrats to a compromise and, in the end, he provided way more votes for the bill than was required.

- Posted by Rich Miller   25 Comments      


Politics, bedfellows, etc.

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017

* Sun-Times

Rep. Will Guzzardi, D-Chicago, also voted against the measure — saying it was “unconscionable” to vote in support of the private school program.

“As far as I’m concerned the nose is under the camel’s tent now, and I’m very concerned about the prospect of this money only growing, and more and more over the years of our public dollars being diverted away,” Guzzardi said, adding he’s worried there will be an expansion instead of a sunset in five years.

* Despite that opposition, Guzzardi and Gov. Rauner appeared to have an amiable chat after the vote…

* More…


* Guzzardi’s reply…


That laugh is often a major Rauner “tell,” so Guzzardi may not be wrong.

- Posted by Rich Miller   20 Comments      


*** UPDATED x1 *** Clarifying the clarification

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017

* Last week

At a hastily arranged news conference at City Hall on Thursday, Emanuel was asked by a reporter if Chicago taxpayers, after seeing record property tax increases in the past couple of years, should prepare for more. “Yes,” the mayor said.

Afterward, mayoral spokesman Matt McGrath sought to clarify the mayor’s statement, saying that the “yes” response was an acknowledgment of the increased property tax burden already faced by city residents, not that they would face more.

“We are not announcing a tax increase today,” McGrath said. “He was not responding to that question.”

So, maybe Emanuel was actually responding to a different question and maybe he didn’t want to announce a tax hike that day, but a potential property tax hike was in the bill.

* Tribune

The compromise school funding bill the Illinois House approved Monday contains a provision to let the Chicago Board of Education raise property taxes by what Democrats estimated was an additional $120 million.

Cook County Clerk David Orr’s office, however, put that figure at closer to $163 million.

Among many other things, the 550-page bill would allow Chicago’s Board of Education to increase its maximum property tax rate for the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund by about 45 percent. That levy, first approved in late 2016, increased taxes by about $272 million this year.

Orr’s office said CPS could have raised property taxes for pensions even higher but did not do so. If the district went for the maximum amount allowed under the state legislation that’s expected to pass, CPS could collect $162.7 million in additional taxes in 2018, Orr’s office concluded. That would bring the total CPS tax levy for pension contributions to $434.5 million — and even that figure that could go higher if assessed property values go up.

…Adding… However

Chicago Ald. Pat O’Connor (40th) said the City Council would enact a tax hike only as a last resort, as city homeowners and businesses are “pretty much at critical mass” after being hit with $838 million in property-tax increases to cover city-related pension costs. “Good business would require you to look at all other options before you go further into debt. It’s a last-case scenario,” O’Connor said.

*** UPDATE ***  Tribune

Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday defended the idea of another big boost in Chicago Public Schools property taxes that’s part of the compromise agreement on state school funding.

Under legislation that’s cleared the General Assembly, the Chicago Board of Education would be given the authority to increase its property tax levy by at least $120 million — and perhaps tens of millions of dollars more — to help cover growing contributions to the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund.

“I’ve never, ever said that we were not going to also come up with the resources to make sure our schools were well funded and we were investing in them. teachers,” Emanuel said of the tax increase provision he hinted at last week. “And we never wanted to be in a situation where it was a choice between continuing to invest in our children’s future or paying our teachers’ pensions. So we’ll be able to do our pensions and . . . continue to invest in our children.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   15 Comments      


The Academy Award for best histrionics about process goes to…

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017

* The Tribune editorial board always gets too caught up trying to be the legislative process police. The bill passed the House. It’s a reasonably good bill. Get over yourselves

The best we can say:

After lawmakers churned through their theatrics, they eventually got to “yes.” Public school and choice advocates alike should be grateful. Disgusted with the process and the jerk-arounds, but grateful.

Senators, over to you. Do what’s right, without all the House’s preening and posturing through several acts. Pass the compromise bill and send it to the governor.

Disgusted with a process that passed a decent bill? C’mon. Some things just have to be done. Sausage-making ain’t pretty, as they say.

- Posted by Rich Miller   21 Comments      


Will another veto be overridden?

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017

* Tribune

Gov. Bruce Rauner has vetoed a bill that would prohibit employers from asking job candidates about their salary history, but advocates for the measure say they’ll try to garner enough support in the state legislature for an override.

Rauner on Friday vetoed Illinois’ No Salary History bill, which seeks to narrow the pay gap between men and women by keeping too-low salaries from following women as they move from job to job. A wave of similar laws have been adopted in states and cities across the country, including Massachusetts, Oregon, Delaware, New York City and San Francisco.

Iliana Mora, CEO of the advocacy group Women Employed, said she was “shocked” and “disappointed” that Rauner blocked the bill, and plans to work with Republicans who supported the legislation on an override during the November veto session.

The bill passed the House 91-24, so there could very well be an override. It received 35 votes in the Senate, but four Democrats were absent.

* From the governor’s veto message…

The gender wage gap must be eliminated, and I strongly support wage equality. Massachusetts already has established a best-in-the-country approach to the issue of employers inquiring about salary history. Illinois should model its legal regime on Massachusetts’ model.

I strongly encourage the sponsors and the General Assembly at large to take up the following legislative language that more closely resembles the Massachusetts approach

* More on Massachusetts

But the Massachusetts law, which goes into effect next July, allows employers to seek pay history after they have offered a candidate the job and salary — which, on the plus side, could allow employers to increase an offer to make it more appealing, but, on the down side, could reduce an employee’s raise or bonus down the road if it is revealed he or she was earning much less before.

Mora said such provisions weaken the law, and that the goal was to have a simple bill.

- Posted by Rich Miller   39 Comments      


First the Looch and now the Mooch

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017

* I checked my Twitter notifications this morning and was a bit surprised to see this…

…Adding… He also followed Tina Sfondeles over at the Sun-Times.

- Posted by Rich Miller   20 Comments      


*** LIVE *** “Emergency session” coverage

Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017

* The Senate convenes at 11. Follow along with ScribbleLive


- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


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Tuesday, Aug 29, 2017

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- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


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