Senator Stadelman's Weekly Bulletin - June 14, 2016
Blame game won't break budget stalemate
As pressure builds across the state in the absence of a budget deal, State Senator Steve Stadelman and school superintendents independently called on Gov. Bruce Rauner to rise above political games and personal attacks and work with lawmakers on an emergency, short-term budget and funding for schools.
"Let's stop the name-calling and finger-pointing," Stadelman said."Attacking those on the other side of the bargaining table generally doesn't make it easier to reach a deal. Instead of focusing on the November election, we need to agree on a budget now."
Without a budget, school superintendents across Illinois are left wondering if they'll have the resources to open and stay open when the school year begins at the end of summer. They also want the governor to work with Democrats on a school funding formula overhaul that takes into consideration factors like student poverty rates and local property tax wealth.
"The No. 1 issue at hand is equity, and we need an equitable distribution of the dollars that are allotted in this next budget year, and we need a budget in place by July 1," David Lett, superintendent of the Pana School District, said at a Statehouse news conference last week.
In addition, a coalition of statewide transportation professionals, warned last week that an entire road construction season will be lost – and with it 25,000 middle-class jobs – if Rauner and lawmakers do not come to an agreement on a stopgap budget by July 1.