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Stopgap Budget "Close" ... Or Is It? ... As Democrats Unveil Plan To Boost Education Spending


Illinois lawmakers are expected to vote on a short-term budget on Wednesday, when they'll be back in Springfield for the first time in a month. There's no budget plan in place for the new fiscal year that starts Friday, which could create even more disarray after a year-long stalemate.

Gov. Bruce Rauner made it sound like a partial deal could be imminent.

"The good news is … it looks like we pretty well have an agreement on the stopgap budget itself," he said Monday.

Still, it's not finalized.

Rauner went on say that the supermajority of Democrats want to spend more than he does.

Then there's the partisan divide over spending for schools.

After criticizing Democrats all year for not putting enough money toward education, the governor complains that they're now trying to spend too much, and especially so for Chicago Public Schools. Rauner says he won't go along with what he calls a CPS "bailout."

Democrats plan to vote Wednesday on a measure that according to documents would give Chicago a 30-percent increase using a formula based on the number of students in poverty, but other schools would see greater percentage increases. Antioch Community High School District 117 would get a 52-percent bump. The Democrats' plan would also give CPS roughly $112 million for pensions; it's the only district that currently doesn't have the state paying the employers' share of teacher retirement contributions.

The Democrats' new proposal, like Republicans', would hold districts "harmless" -- as in, no district would get less money from the state. So a bipartisan consensus may not be so close after all.

Rauner's calling for a meeting between he and the four legislative leaders; one is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, though it's not clear which of the leaders is able, or will, attend.

Amanda Vinicky moved to Chicago Tonight on WTTW-TV PBS in 2017.
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