Governor vows to balance budget on backs of retired teachers, schools, public-sector employees

02142018ManarSPRINGFIELD – Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), chairman of the Senate Appropriations II committee and sponsor of Illinois’ landmark school funding reform overhaul, issued the following statement reacting to today’s budget address by Gov. Bruce Rauner:

“Gov. Rauner’s budget proposal is another thinly veiled attack on public education, public-sector workers and downstate families. It’s not the first time he’s proposed gutting health care for retired teachers, prison guards, veterans home workers, child welfare specialists and thousands of other public employees in central and southern Illinois.

“The governor relies heavily on shifting costs from the state to local government to make his math appear to add up. Here’s the problem: when you look at the combined effect of his proposals, it would result in a net decrease in state support for Illinois public schools – to the tune of nearly $1 billion less.

“For a man who seized upon school funding reform as his greatest accomplishment as governor, he certainly does not seem inclined to make sure the new formula is given a chance to work.

“If there’s a silver lining, it’s that this is more of a budget proposal than Gov. Rauner has ever given us. Now we can roll up our sleeves and begin negotiations. Lawmakers laid the groundwork for financial stability last year, and the governor chose to sit on the sidelines. This year we must continue to push for stability, and I hope he will join us, not work against us.”

 

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