I wrote yesterday that Beth Purvis, Governor Bruce Rauner’s education advisor, told the press that her boss would veto Senate Bill 1 even though he supports 90% of it.
Hearing this, Mayor Rahm scratched his head in wonder.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel has some political advice for Gov. Bruce Rauner: When you like 90 percent of a proposal, take yes for an answer.
Others may have scratched their heads and wondered why the Illinois Democrats who control the Illinois House and Senate passed an education funding bill that reflected 90% of what this governor wanted.
Be clear. The only reason Rauner is going to veto this bill is that it gives more money to Chicago.
Rauner dislikes an extra $215 million tucked into the bill for Chicago Public Schools teacher pension help. Rauner spokeswoman Eleni Demertzis said that “will result in the diversion of millions of dollars away from other deserving districts to the Chicago Public Schools.”
“This will occur despite decades of fiscal mismanagement and skipped pension payments by Chicago. We urge legislators to continue to compromise in order to find a solution that ensures all 852 districts across Illinois are treated equitably,” she said in a statement.
This calls for a spit-take.
Chicago has indeed made a practice of skipping pension payments.
They learned about this practice from the state legislature which has done more skipping than a flat stone on a calm lake.
Illinois is now carrying a pension liability of $130 billion dollars.
In some ways the issue is currently moot. Without a budget there is no funding bill.
But unless this was some cynical move by the Democrats to force Rauner to veto his own bill, what were their names doing as sponsors on this other-wise Rauner-loving bill?