Watch the video: Illinois Senate members were back in session on Tuesday as the budget stalemate entered week six. Amanda Vinicky joins us from Springfield with the latest on Chicago Tonight.
While there wasn’t any progress on a broader budget, there was bipartisan movement in the Senate to allocate money to social service agencies. Below, some highlights from our discussion.
On the bipartisan support
There were actually no “no” votes in the Senate. 57-0, a unanimous vote that would allocate $5 billion that would allow social service agencies to basically stay afloat… What’s different about this, however, is that it’s all federal money. So $5 billion that really Illinois is just passing through. That’s why Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democrats have come to an agreement, and Republicans gave what is basically their first “aye” vote to a spending plan for this year.
On the education reform plan that was passed by the Senate and would freeze property taxes for two years
What it does in terms of education is puts off the major decisions for another couple of years. It says that the formula Illinois currently uses to decide how much money each individual school district gets will basically go away in a couple of years’ time, charging legislators with coming up with a new formula.
It’s also linked to this property tax freeze notion. So Senate President John Cullerton says he’s doing it because that is one of the big asks that Gov. Bruce Rauner, the Republican, has made. It would freeze property taxes for two years. Property taxes, of course, are the main way that Illinois funds its schools.
Interview highlights represent a condensed version of our conversation with Amanda Vinicky. Watch the video to see the full discussion.