"Chicago bailout" is the tag Gov. Bruce Rauner and other Republicans pinned on Senate Bill 1, the new school funding plan approved by the General Assembly. So when Democrats finally sent him the bill, Rauner wasted no time cutting portions that help Chicago Public Schools.
The fact-checking group Politifact Illinois today said Rauner's "bailout" tag is “false," but he scoffed at that assessment.
" 'This isn't a bailout, this is wonderful for everybody, this...' No, that is false!" Rauner said. "The numbers that I've put out and the numbers that I'm traveling the state every day is the truth."
Republicans have long promised to cut the block grant that gives CPS an extra $250 million dollars per year. But with his veto pen, Rauner kept chopping, going after a provision meant to accommodate higher Chicagoland salaries — and another he says CPS uses to hide its property wealth.
Despite those changes, Rauner told reporters his plan is generous to CPS.
"This is an improvement," Rauner said. "My amendatory veto is an improvement for Chicago classrooms, for Chicago low-income families, over the existing funding formula that's been in place for years."
Rauner also wants legislators to create a tax scholarship program to help families afford private schools.
Accepting or rejecting Rauner’s vetoes would require a super-majority vote — meaning Democrats and at least some Republicans will have to agree.
Lawmakers have about two weeks to act, but schools are getting impatient. They can't get state funds without some version of this legislation, and they're expecting their first payment on August 10th.
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