Today’s the day. Party liaisons from both sides of the aisle, having spent the weekend negotiating the fate of education-funding reform bill SB1 are slated to conclude their work so Senate President John Cullerton can deliver the bill to Governor Bruce Rauner’s desk as promised. A pre-veto meeting between the two, indicated on Friday, is anticipated once the bill hits Rauner’s desk and before it returns to the Senate. Meanwhile, Senate Democrats have confirmed that with so many members out-of-pocket for seasonal travel and district obligations, wrangling a vote may not be possible until later in the week.
- On the Democrats’ side of the table, chamber leaders appointed the following negotiators Friday to hammer out an agreement: Senate Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford (D-Westchester) whose district includes one of the state’s most vulnerable school districts, SB1 sponsor Sen. Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago), and Rep. Will Davis (D-East Hazel Crest).
- On the Republican side: Senate Assistant Republican Leader Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) who said Friday Rauner would be willing to meet with Cullerton after receiving the bill, Sen. Dan McConchie (R-Lake Zurich), Rep. Avery Bourne (R-Litchfield), and Rep. Bob Pritchard (R-Sycamore).
- The central points of disagreement between the parties has been whether to eliminate Chicago Public Schools’ block grant funding while incorporating CPS’ $506 million legacy teacher pension debts (and $221 million in pension “normal costs”) into a school funding formula, or whether to wrest CPS pension reform into a separate bill. Members of both parties have previously confirmed that they would be able to compromise on issues surrounding CPS pensions if a suitable trailer bill could be crafted in time to accommodate reforms.
Keep an eye on the @TheDailyLineIL today where we’ll be reporting out the weekend compromises made by the SB1 negotiating team, tracking the bill’s movement between branches, and reporting the highlights of leadership press conferences.