CHICAGO (CBS) — Two state representatives chose to boycott the special legislative session called Wednesday by Governor Rauner, and instead were doing some volunteer work in a Chicago public school.

State Representatives Ann Williams and Kelly Cassidy spent their day at Gale Elementary School in Rogers Park, putting a fresh coat of paint on a couple of classrooms.

“I am not down there because there is not a bill before the House that’s going to get the schools open on time, but making this classroom ready for the kids will get us closer to that goal,” Cassidy said.

reps boycott 3 Two State Representatives Boycott Governors Special Session

State Rep Kelly Cassidy (left) and State Rep Ann Williams take a break from painting a classroom (WBBM/Bernie Tafoya)

Representative Williams said there’s really nothing to compromise about with the Governor, and said that the school funding measure that’s already passed helps needy schools all over the state.

“That bill was hard to pass,” she said. “Really, it took decades to pass a school funding formula reform bill. We don’t want to lose it because, if we lose it, we really jeopardize schools opening in the fall.”

Cassidy also disputes the Governor’s criticism of the bill as a “bailout” for Chicago schools.

“It’s just a straight up lie that this is, somehow, all about Chicago. It’s not. It’s all about the kids in need all over Illinois and it’s time to stop with this nasty messaging and pitting kids against each other. It’s outrageous,” she said.

Cassidy said no school district in the state would do worse under the school funding measure.

reps boycott 1 Two State Representatives Boycott Governors Special Session

State Rep Ann Williams painting wall (on left) along with volunteers (WBBM/Bernie Tafoya)

The representatives said they’re also not downstate because the bill being consider is a Senate bill and they are members of the House of Representatives, so any action would be taken by the Senate, first.

On Thursday, the lawmakers will be digging and planting at Burley School on the North Side and on Monday, they plan to volunteer at Sullivan High School.

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