Legislative Update

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Image via Wikipedia

2015 Budget

House passed a budget of $35.7 Billions using accounting gimmicks of borrowing from other funds, delaying payment for some bills and relying on revenue increases that don’t exist (i.e. tax increase that they can’t get passed now. Remember, a vote for a budget that spends than they have is the same as voting for a tax increase that will apparently come in the lame duck session after the election).

Minimum Wage Referendum

The question to raise the minimum wage to $10 per hour awaits Gov. Quinn’s signature to be placed on the Nov. ballot.

Millionaire Tax Referendum

Sen Mike Noland of Elgin is pushing the Madigan Millionaire tax in the Senate. It has already pass the House.

School Funding Formula

SB16 passed the Senate and is in the House. This would have changed the education funding formula to be more school based. Several legislators commented on this bill:

State Rep. Barb Wheeler (R)

This is an urgent message and a call to action.  I discussed a topic a few weeks ago about a huge education funding shift away from suburban school districts.  It was originally thought this legislation could not pass the Senate.  Well, it did.  If Senate Bill 16 is allowed to pass the House Crystal Lake School District is set to lose nearly $6 million dollars.  Fox Lake Grade School District is set to lose 86% of their funding.  Property taxes in the suburbs are already outrageous; we can’t afford this massive funding shift.

Sen. Melinda Bush (D)

We have made huge strides over the last year,” said Bush, who is a member of the Education Funding Advisory Committee. “We got the conversation started and have identified undeniable problems with the current funding formula but I don’t yet believe this proposal is ready for passage.

Unfortunately, an 80 percent reduction in funding is not acceptable or equitable for the schools in my district, which is why I couldn’t support the plan today. Winthrop Harbor and Wauconda are middle-class communities. Losing 80 percent of state funding is not an option for them and could force even higher property taxes on Lake County residents.

Sen. Kirk Dillard (R)  [From Email]

As a suburbanite, a legislator and a parent with two kids in public school, I have serious misgivings about the impact Senate Bill 16 will have. Not only in the 24th Senate District—which would lose $20 million in state assistance under this bill—but across the state,” Dillard said. “This plan does not improve school funding—it disguises it. We are shuffling the education deck but adding no new cards. The new formula advanced in this legislation doesn’t change the record of short-changing public schools, it just masks how poorly the state is funding Illinois schools.

The Foundation Level ensures that every child is guaranteed a necessary support level from the state. Coupled with House Speaker Madigan’s continued attempts to shift pension costs to local schools, how can a suburban school board plan ahead for the future? This measure will cause chaos with regard to school planning.

This bill decimates state funding for suburban schools and will lead in many cases to skyrocketing property taxes and much larger class sizes. Property taxpayers cannot handle any more increases. Abraham Lincoln said, ‘You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.’ The changes made through this legislation are not prudent, and will only create additional problems in other areas of education funding.

Sen. Bill Cunningham (D)  [From Email]

Our school system is in desperate need of education funding reform, but this is not the right proposal. I commend the sponsor for taking up this monumental task, but I simply cannot support a proposal that would cut state funding to school districts in the southwest suburbs by nearly 90 percent.

While I can’t support this proposal, it is a positive first step in education funding reform. I look forward to continuing to work with legislators across the state to support more equitable education reform, along with a property tax relief package to take the burden of school funding off of local property owners.

Sen. Jim Oberweis (R)  [From Email]

The massive reallocation of state education dollars under Senate Bill 16 targets some areas of the state, significantly reducing the scarce dollars suburban schools receive, while significantly increasing funding for other regions. Many suburban school districts will lose more than 70% of their state funding. These are districts that already receive very little in state support.

Figures provided by the Illinois State Board of Education show the impact the legislation would have on individual school districts.

    • Batavia Unit School District 101 would receive $3,976,604 less
    • Community High School District 94 would receive $1,976,969 less
    • West Chicago School District 33 would receive $2,154,580 more
    • Yorkville Community Unit School District 115 would receive $1,408,833 less

ERA Amendment  [SJRCA 75]

Passed the Senate with 2 Republicans voting for it, Christine Radogno and Kirk Dillard.  Awaiting vote in the House.

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About Lennie Jarratt

Small Business Owner, Education Watchdog, FOIA expert, Founder of For Our Children's Future

Comments

  1. This is another example of criminals at work. These people cannot manage or budget any operation except their schemes for self-enrichment plundering the taxpayers. When an operation is as corrupt as this and has 50% over staffing and compensation levels plus a millionaire defined Pension System that is an absolute fraud on taxpayers the restructuring and reform is simple. Start with a 20% cut across the board of the 2013 Budget baseline and repeat this cut for the next two years in order to right the ship here. Reform this entire corrupt and bloated Public Sector operation and all its programs. The actions here are painful for the corrupt Public Sector but simple and will restore the economy and stop the rape and plunder of the taxpayers. It is the only solution that can save the state and the municipalities and needs to be implemented at the national if the nation is to survive. Communism has never worked and it does not work here.

  2. uncle_fweddy says:

    I couldn’t help noticing Kirk “Which Way Did He Vote?” Dillard,
    says how this bill will decimate state funding, says he has serious misgivings,
    says that this bill doesn’t improve funding, but merely masks the problem, etc.
    He SAYS a lot of things, and yet, he votes for the bill, a bill that will
    take–steal might be a better word–from productive taxpayers in order to give
    to folks who have demonstrated an unwillingness to be productive. There is a
    very good reason that some schools out-perform other schools; it has to do
    with–pardon my language–hard work; it has to do with parents inculcating
    their children with a work/study ethic, with wanting to improve their lot in
    life, and their children’s lot in life.

    Teachers figure in, too: some are effective teachers, motivators, role
    models, while others lack those skills, preferring to advance their political
    agenda, pass on to the kids their own sense of entitlement, and simply mark
    time until they can collect their bloated public-sector pension.

    Add to this, a generous layer of political corruption,
    crony/patronage/agenda-driven hiring practices, with nothing built into the
    system to protect–or even to represent–the embattled taxpayer from their
    ever-escalating demands: teachers–even the bad ones–knocking down $100,000 a
    year, administrators knocking down $500,000 a year, which doesn’t even count
    their “Millionaire” public sector pensions. And add to that, the
    state’s practice of not properly keeping up their end, by making certain that
    budgets are kept in line with resources, preferring to spend precious resources
    to buy votes, and kicking the problems down the road.

    That’s what gets us where we are, now. That’s why we’re looking at more than
    doubling Real Estate taxes, just to survive into next year. That’s why these
    politicians don’t even want to discuss the tax implications of their
    malfeasance. So, how is it that Dillard and Radongo voted for this bill? Who
    are they representing? And Dillard wants to be Illinois Governor? Fat Chance. I
    wonder what Radongo wants…

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