Legislative update - week of 6/17/16

he legislature has yet to meet after adjourning on May 31st without passing a budget.


The legislature has yet to meet after adjourning on May 31st without passing a budget. Here is an overview of issues from the past week: ..................................................................................................................................... Governor vetoes measure to fund colleges, social services, and critical state programs

Last week, Governor Rauner unsurprisingly rejected SB 2046 (Cullerton, D-Chicago), a measure that would have funded social services and higher education. The Governor called the legislation an "unfunded, empty promise." The spending plan would have designated $3.89 billion for critical state programs that are not covered under consent decrees, including substance abuse treatment, autism programs, and homelessness prevention. Community colleges, universities, and MAP grants would also have been funded under the bill. ..................................................................................................................................... Governor remains roadblock to budget progress

Now nearly 12 months into the current budget impasse, Illinois faces an unprecedented situation. Rank and file members of the General Assembly continue to meet in small groups to discuss short and long term budget proposals, but Governor Rauner refuses to negotiate. Instead, he continues to push his own political priorities and demand that lawmakers pass proposals that would hurt middle-class families. Until the Governor drops his personal agenda, the IFT will continue to educate lawmakers about the urgent need for adequate revenue for schools and services and the devastating impact the Governor’s “turnaround” proposals would have on workers and our communities. ..................................................................................................................................... House hearing on changes to education law

After attending an IFT-sponsored Public Education Issues Roundtable (PEIR) meeting, the chairman of the House Education Curriculum and Policy Committee, Rep. Fred Crespo, expressed a desire to hold subject matter hearings on the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). ESSA provides states the ability to consider changes in many areas, including teacher evaluation, testing, student growth, and more. The IFT, Chicago Teachers Union, and Illinois Education Association were represented at the subject matter hearing on June 17 and testified about the importance of teacher and PSRP involvement in the development of new laws to help Illinois recognize the flexibility of ESSA. ISBE, school management groups, and Advance Illinois also testified. Visit the IFT website to learn more about ESSA and how you can provide feedback on this important issue. ..................................................................................................................................... A look ahead

For the latest news from Springfield during the summer, visit Under the Dome and follow the IFT on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

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