State Sen. Jason Barickman issued a clarifying statement Thursday after implying during a press conference that Gov. Bruce Rauner would “hold” the controversial school funding bill after it lands on his desk instead of immediately vetoing it.
Democrats for nearly two months have held off on sending an evidence-based school funding bill to Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner because he's pledged—through an amendatory veto—to strip money for Chicago Public Schools that he has declared a “bailout.”
Senate President John Cullerton, a Chicago Democrat, said he plans to send Rauner the bill on Monday, though Rauner has said he wants it immediately. Barickman, a Bloomington Republican, implied that Rauner might hold onto the bill instead after receiving it, leading to negotiations with Democrats.
There is urgency to resolve the dispute. If the two sides can't reach an agreement, some poorer districts worry they won't be able to keep the school doors open into fall.
“He’s willing to hold the bill then, then let’s have a negotiation. Let’s hear what it is that Democrats are willing to help resolve the impasse and resolve school funding,” said Barickman, a Bloomington Republican and key negotiator on the school funding bill, during Thursday’s press conference.
Barickman also said: “I asked the governor, I said, ‘When the bill is transmitted to you, do you … will you hold the bill so that we can have a negotiation?’ He said ‘yes.’ He says, ‘That’s a very reasonable thing to do, but I need the bill first.’”
Later Thursday, Barickman tweeted out his clarifying statement.
“It appears that comments that I made during a press conference today are being grossly misinterpreted and misrepresented,” he said. “Allow me to clarify: The governor has set July 31 as the drop-dead deadline for lawmakers to send him Senate Bill 1, the education funding bill. He’s promised that he will quickly issue an amendatory veto, so that the House and Senate have time to take action, if they so choose.”
Barickman continued: “I am encouraging the Senate to send the bill to the governor ahead of the July 31 deadline so that the Senate President and governor can meet, and if there are any discussions to be had they can happen in a timely fashion.
“I never implied that the governor’s position had changed.”
Legislators return to Springfield on Friday, but no movement is expected until at least Monday.
Sen. Jason Barickman issued the following statement to clarify comments that were made at a press conference earlier this afternoon: pic.twitter.com/eEFDPH38Oo
— Jason Barickman (@jasonbarickman) July 27, 2017
WGLT depends on financial support from users to bring you stories and interviews like this one. As someone who values experienced, knowledgeable, and award-winning journalists covering meaningful stories in central Illinois, please consider making a contribution.