SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Parents and teachers demanded Gov. Bruce Rauner return to the table and negotiate an honest budget that funds schools at a budget hearing Thursday.
“If my children’s school isn’t able to open this fall, I put the blame squarely on Governor Rauner and his refusal to negotiate,” said Camille O’Quinn of Harvey. “By blocking the budget for over 700 days, Governor Rauner is not only putting our schools at risk, he’s jeopardizing entire communities that look to schools as major employers. He’s denying our children the safety of a classroom and literally putting young people out onto the streets. He’s selling our children’s future short. My kids deserve better than a governor who thinks they’re a bargaining chips in his political game.”
Members of the House Appropriations-Elementary & Secondary Education Committee listened to parents, teachers and advocates from the south suburbs, Metro East, central and southern Illinois explain how the Rauner budget crisis has put schools throughout Illinois at risk of being unable to reopen in the fall. Schools throughout the state have indicated they would be unable to open for a new school year without state funding.
While Democrats have pushed the governor into signing a budget for elementary and high schools throughout the governor’s impasse, Rauner has indicated will not sign another such measure. Instead, the governor is backing another unbalanced budget, and refusing real bipartisan negotiation.
“Over the course of five budget hearings held by House Democrats since it became clear that the governor’s manufactured crisis would extend beyond the spring session, legislators have heard real people from every corner of the state explain how Bruce Rauner’s budget crisis is putting lives at risk, threatening their businesses and their economic security, and denying opportunities. Now, the governor is even holding some of our most fundamental institutions hostage: our schools,” said House Speaker Michael J. Madigan. “Through it all, the governor has dismissed these people, called them ‘props’ and continued to substitute his fake budgets for real compromise and negotiation. It needs to end. Governor Rauner, it’s time to listen to the parents, teachers, business owners, seniors, survivors, and their advocates who are calling on you to return to the table and do what it takes to pass a real, honest, bipartisan budget.”
Visit Speaker Madigan’s website
300 State House
Springfield, IL 62706
6500 South Pulaski Road
Chicago, IL 60629
(773) 581-9414 (fax)