SB 1, the bill that contains a new evidence-based funding formula for the distribution
of the bulk of State funding for schools, is headed to the Governor for consideration. T
he bill was approved by the Illinois General Assembly in May, but the Senate did not release the bill to be sent to the executive office until Monday afternoon. Since its passage, Governor Bruce Rauner has pledged to veto the bill because of late amendments added by the House of Representatives that places pension payments for Chicago teachers into the formula.
The General Assembly convened in Special Session again today. And, again, lawmakers only met for a matter of minutes as there was no legislation to consider. A bipartisan, bicameral team of legislators worked through the weekend and again today in an effort to find common ground on the school funding issue. Without an evidence-based funding formula in place, general aid funds cannot flow to school districts for Fiscal Year 2018 even though appropriations have been made through a budget/revenue package approved last month.
The Governor is expected to act quickly to issue his amendatory veto (AV) once the bill arrives on his desk. He has not revealed the nature or scope of the changes he plans to make. With the negotiation team working for the last few days, many were hopeful that an agreement would be reached and the AV would reflect the compromise. However, there has been no word of an agreement, or of significant progress, toward that today.
The legislature can accept the Governor's changes to SB 1 and the bill will become law as revised; or it can override the Governor's veto and the bill will become law as originally passed. Either one of these motions would require a 3/5 majority vote for approval. If a motion would fail, or if no action was taken, SB 1 in its entirety would be dead.
It is unclear that this time when the Governor will act, or when the legislature will reconvene. It could be hours; it could be days; it could be weeks.