SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Legislature will get to work next week on a response to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s amendatory veto of an education funding bill.
The Senate will be back in session Sunday, while House members return to work Wednesday.
Rauner vetoed the bill that was written to close the huge gap between the state’s wealthiest and poorest school districts. The governor has rewritten parts of the plan to take away hundreds of millions of dollars earmarked for the Chicago Public Schools. Under the governor’s plan, that money would be redistributed among the other districts.
State Rep. Tom Demmer, R-Dixon, said Friday he doesn’t anticipate a quick vote in the House.
“I’m not sure we have the votes now to either override the governor’s veto or approve the changes,” Demmer said. “I haven’t counted votes or anything, but that’s just my feeling.”
Demmer said he expects a fair amount of discussion in order to reach a compromise.
State Rep. Tony McCombie, R-Savanna, said she also thinks the amendatory veto is headed back to the negotiating table in the House. She thinks the Senate will vote on the governor’s changes Sunday, however, while the House could act on a variation of the amendatory veto put together by Democratic leadership.
“We believe it will look like the governor’s veto, plus some other things, but we aren’t sure exactly what,” McCombie said.
McCombie said there are parts of the governor’s rewrite that she finds unacceptable for her district.
“I’m getting negative feedback from superintendents and the business community on the TIF portion, and I’m also hesitant on the student ratio part of this,” McCombie said.
Some school leaders have said the governor’s changes to how property in tax increment finance districts figure into the formula for distributing state aid will mean less money for many districts.
After Rauner’s veto, a three-fifths vote is needed in both chambers to do either, thus enabling the schools to receive state payments. The first installment was due Aug. 10.
A veto override would be difficult. The bill was approved with 35 Senate votes, one fewer than needed to overturn the governor. It got 60 votes in the House, 11 short of the three-fifths majority necessary to reverse a veto. The House has 67 Democrats, so an override would need help from Republicans.
Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, a sponsor of the bill, predicted Sunday’s session would produce a vote to override Rauner, but he said attempts at compromise with the first-term governor also continue.
– The Associated Press contributed to this report.