Daily Herald - June 21, 2017 | original article

By Dan McCaleb, Greg Bishop and Cole Lauterbach

Almost two full years into a budget impasse that has Illinois' debt soaring and its bond rating plummeting, Gov. Bruce Rauner is calling on state lawmakers to approve his preferred budget plan during a 10-day special session that begins at noon today.

In a public address less than 24 hours before the extra session was to begin, Rauner said he would sign into law the plan introduced by House and Senate Republicans just last week that would require more than $5 billion in tax increases to pay for spending capped at $36 billion...

...A family with annual income of $60,000 would pay the state an additional $720 a year under the GOP income tax hike proposal, with their state tax bills spiking to $2,970 from $2,250.

Suburban Democrats in statements criticized Rauner's call for unity, saying lawmakers almost had a deal three months ago and Rauner had Republicans back out of it.

"Now, with just 11 days left in the fiscal year, the governor is calling for unity while running attack ads on Democratic legislators? It's absurd," said Sen. Melinda Bush of Grayslake.

Read the full article...

Category: In The News

02152017CM0952 copySPRINGFIELD – Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) issued the following statement in response to Governor Rauner’s “unity” address:

“Three months ago, the Senate was just hours away from passing the bipartisan budget and reforms of the Grand Bargain when the governor came in and demanded that the Republicans back out of the deal. His actions effectively destroyed the months-long attempts at senate unity and prevented the two-year-long budget crisis from being resolved.

“Now, with just 11 days left in the fiscal year, the governor is calling for unity while running attack ads on Democratic legislators? It's absurd. The Senate Democrats already did the hard work of passing a balanced budget with the non-budgetary reforms the governor demanded and he still refuses to end the impasse.

“Governor Rauner has made it clear that he has no interest in unifying legislators and passing a balanced budget. If he did, he would be talking to leaders and legislators from both parties instead of giving phony speeches and spending millions of dollars on political ads attacking the very people he claims to want to unify.”


###

Category: Press Releases

***The Senator In Your Corner event that was scheduled for Wednesday, June 21st from 5-7pm is postponed due to the special legislative session in Springfield.***

Senator Bush's 2017 summer events schedule

 

Category: District Events

Senator Melinda BushDaily Herald - June 12, 2017 | original article

By Melinda Bush, guest columnist

In the few cases where I’ve disagreed with the Daily Herald’s editorial opinions, I’ve done so understanding the arguments made and the clear reasoning behind them.

In the case of the recent editorial on school funding reform (this year’s Senate Bill 1), I have to admit I am mystified as to how the Herald reached the conclusion that this version of school funding reform is nothing more than a bailout of the Chicago Public School System.

The Herald attacked supporters of funding reform for going along with a plan that would supposedly benefit Chicago at the expense of our districts. This could not be further from the truth.

(1) The formula is evidence-based and distributes funds in a fair and equitable manner.

(2) The legislation is written so that no school district will receive less money than it has received under the current funding formula.

(3) The reform will support our neediest districts. The largest share of new funds will be delivered to districts furthest from the adequacy target, according to the model published by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).

(4) The $70.8 million going to Chicago, according to the ISBE model, is going to a school district with almost 500 schools and more than 390,000 students, based on numbers from the Illinois Report Card.

Zion Elementary School District 6, which has a comparable number of low-income students (based on DHS calculations) and similar progress towards the adequacy target will receive $1.6 million for its 2,773 students, according to numbers from ISBE.

Similarly, Round Lake Unit District 116 will receive an additional $5.5 million in funding for its roughly 7,297 students.

(5) Funding Illinois’ Future reports that the school funding reform passed reflects the core principles of the Governor’s School Funding Reform Commission. If Gov. Rauner vetoes this legislation, he will be acting against the recommendations of the bipartisan commission he formed.

(6) Chicago does not gain the most per pupil from this funding reform. In fact, 268 school districts gain more per pupil than Chicago Public Schools, according to the ISBE model.

At its most basic, the legislative intent of this bill is to remove the politics from education funding. The prior formula was simply not equitable, nor based on evidence. This bill bases education funding on a formula that evidence shows is equitable.

This formula, and indeed this legislation, is supported by hundreds of superintendents, school districts, community organizations and churches from all corners of the State of Illinois.

As a lifelong resident of Lake County and a parent of a child who went through the Lake County school system, I can finally see progress with the way the State of Illinois is funding education in my district. This is real reform that moves the needle towards ensuring every student in Illinois gets a quality education regardless of their zip code.

Category: In The News

opioid crisis button

Contact Me

Springfield Office:
124 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
Phone: (217) 782-7353

District Office:
10 N. Lake St., Suite 112
Grayslake, IL 60030
Phone: (847) 548-5631