Veto Override Uncertain as Fight Over Funding Illinois Schools Moves to the House
But the outcome is less clear in the House, which reconvenes today. Longtime speaker Michael Madigan will need at least a handful of Republican votes to rebuff the governor.
Aid payments to schools were supposed to begin on Aug. 10. On Monday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel wouldn’t say where the cash-strapped city, struggling with its own budget shortfall, will find $269 million in local funding to fill a gap in the Chicago Public Schools budget.
The fate of the state legislation may be affected by an Illinois Board of Education study released Saturday that found Rauner’s amended version would send more funding to all but 20 districts — including Chicago, which would lose $463 million.
“It shows that for years the state has been sending money to Chicago at the expense of the rest of the state,” said Rauner, who has clashed with city officials repeatedly on funding issues.
Rauner on Monday said his veto “was designed to make the system fair and make sure every school district in the state is treated the same way. You’ll hear some elected officials here in Chicago say my veto is because I don’t care about Chicago, or I’m anti-Chicago … Nothing could be further from the truth.”
The possibility remains that the House, with 67 Democrats and 51 Republicans, could reach a bipartisan compromise, but enmity between Rauner and Madigan is a significant hurdle. On Monday, Rauner said the speaker had exerted one-man rule over the state for decades and “even his own party is scared of him.” A Madigan spokesman called the governor “frankly … inept.”
The House has 13 days to override Rauner’s veto.