(CBS) — Governor Bruce Rauner is sounding optimistic about striking a budget deal with Democrats in Springfield.
He used the term “bipartisan momentum” today to describe progress in the state capital, but there’s a big wrinkle, reports CBS 2’s Mike Parker.
The governor was touring Lyons Township High School in La Grange, reassuring students that despite troubles with school finance, he’s on their side and he talked with reporters.
“We’ve got to be rational and thoughtful, stop being emotional, stop trying to point fingers and lay blame,” Rauner said.
The governor is supporting a GOP-sponsored bill that would fully fund Illinois schools for the upcoming school year.
But he can’t support a Democratic bill that would change the formula for funding public schools. The governor says it appears to provide too much for Chicago schools and shortchanges some schools in other communities.
“I don’t want to comment definitively until I really study everything about it,” he said.
A spokesman for Speaker Mike Madigan says, “The governor’s been saying this since February. He thinks we just do one part of education and consider that some grand victory?”
The bill’s author wonders how much more time does Rauner need?
“You should know I gave the governor the bill on February 11,” said Democratic State Senator Andy Minar. “I’ve been waiting patiently for his suggested changes. There hasn’t been a word from his administration.”
Chicago Public Schools said in a statement, “If Governor Rauner truly wanted no losers in this budget, he would end the insanity of funding wealthy districts more than poor students.”