Gov. Rauner defends school funding veto ahead of House vote

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A day after the Illinois Senate voted to override his school funding veto, Governor Bruce Rauner once again defended his action and called on lawmakers to negotiate a compromise. It comes as the House prepares to vote on the veto override as soon as Wednesday.

At a West Side early education center, where the governor signed a bill to prevent preschoolers from being expelled for being unruly, he took the Senate to task for how it acted Sunday.

"I think the Senate made a terrible mistake by choosing to override my amendatory veto," Gov. Bruce Rauner.

According to a State Board of Education analysis released over the weekend, 97 percent of Illinois school districts would get more money under the governor's veto, but Chicago would lose $463 million. The governor contends Chicago would get $221 million of that back through new pension legislation, but that money has not been appropriated yet.

The governor said his veto was necessary to address what he called years of pension mismanagement by Chicago. He calls SB-1 in its original form a bailout for the city.

"My veto was designed to make the system fair and make sure that every school district in the state is treated the same way, no special deals no special treatment," Rauner said.

On Wednesday, the House reconvenes for a possible veto override vote.

"My hope is that Senate Bill 1 will not achieve the override, that will not pass and that we'll get to work on exactly what the governor said which is a reasonable compromise," said State Rep. Steven Andersson, R-Geneva.

"If this bill comes to vote this week, I will be voting to override the veto of Governor Rauner, however this crisis, and continuing any kind of lingering crisis all falls on the lap of Governor Rauner," said State Rep. Julianna Stratton, D-Chicago.

But Rauner pointed to House Speaker Mike Madigan, now the longest serving speaker in U.S. history as the problem.

"Illinois has had bi-partisan failure as a state for decades underneath one person and it ain't me," Rauner said.

Democrats in the House will need Republican support to override the governor's veto - and at this point, it does not appear the votes are there. Negotiations on a compromise continue, but it would likely require a new bill that could include school vouchers, which the governor said Cardinal Blasé Cupich is helping to negotiate.
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