Illinois Democrats pander to Rauner’s foolish bargain.

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Democratic State Senator Andy Manar.

Perhaps the national Democrats think they can win back Congress doing nothing more than saying, “Trump, Trump, Trump, Trump.”

In Illinois, Democrats are using the same strategy against an unpopular governor. Their version is to repeat “Rauner, Rauner, Rauner.”

But worse than that, Illinois Dems  are passing bad law so they can claim they are taking the high road.

Yesterday, the Illinois Senate took a low road. They passed bad law that hurts Illinois students with special needs and state employees who are depending on and were promised a pension when they retire.

Democratic Senator Andy Manar’s school funding bill, SB1 claims to change the school funding formula so help poorer districts. But it contains no significant new dollars, so all that it does is take a small pie and slice bigger and smaller pieces and pays for it with special education dollars.

On May 17, an amendment was introduced (Amendment 5) was sent directly to a Senate vote without any hearing, and passed by the Illinois State Senate by a vote of 35 to 18.

Almost no one had read this 511 page amendment, let alone understands what it would do.

Sen. Andy Manar told the State Senate “The bill is complicated.”

Although no one mentioned it, amendment 5 eliminated direct and dedicated funding for special education teachers while throwing some much-needed but not nearly adequate dollars to CPS.

With no new dollars, the so-called fair funding deal is paid for with money that should go to special education students.

I posted yesterday about the Senate passing the pension theft SB16 with Democratic votes.

Pension reform they call it. It is no such thing.

This bill comes directly from Democratic Senate leader John Cullerton. It is another attempt to circumvent the Supreme Court’s ruling that the state constitution forbids any diminishment of contractual pensions.

This constitutional pension protection covers current employees, not just retirees.

Once again, it is doubtful that any Democratic Senator even bothered to read what they were voting on.

Geno DiVito, attorney for the Illinois Retired Teachers Association, wrote,

“…[T]he Cullerton proposal would force upon pension system members a choice between two diminishments of their constitutionally protected pension rights. The fact that a ‘choice’ is offered does not matter. Either ‘choice’ would be a pension diminishment and a violation of the Pension Protection Clause of the Illinois Constitution.

The Illinois House must still vote on these two bad bills.

Ask your State Representative to at least read the damn things.

By the way, where were the action notices on these bills from the IEA and the IFT?

One Reply to “Illinois Democrats pander to Rauner’s foolish bargain.”

  1. Only 2 Dems did not vote yea; they opted for NV (Clayborne & Haine).
    To paraphrase your post title from yesterday, Fred, The majority of “Illinois Democrats” in the Senate voted today for” special education funding “theft.”
    Which also means general education theft–we educators all know what happens to general education classrooms when students in need of services do NOT receive services.
    I challenge these Senators to teach in classrooms and in schools after special education services are whittled down to…nothing.
    Oh, but then these schools will be labeled as “failing”–ding!–close them, and open more charter schools (the majority of which cannot {or do not even accept}–in general– serve special ed. students adequately).

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