SPRINGFIELD - Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton offered the following comments after today’s legislative leaders meeting with Gov. Bruce Rauner.  

“It was a good meeting because the governor indicated he was supportive of revenue to balance the budget, and we are going to have working groups on his reforms,” Cullerton said.

Senate President Cullerton says another leaders’ meeting could happen as early as next week, and the working groups are anticipated to start right away to address the revenue and reforms discussed.

Listen to the full Q & A:

SPRINGFIELD - Statement from Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton regarding approval of funding for human service programs.

“This gets needed funding to programs that care for our elderly, disabled and others victimized by Governor Rauner’s budget vetoes. Senate Democrats have time and again tried to give the governor the ability to fund these vital services. Hopefully, he will sign this bipartisan plan.

Make no mistake, more needs to be done. This is, at best, a step in the right direction. It is by no means a victory lap for anyone.

I hope the governor will do the right thing and sign this legislation as soon as it hits his desk.”

SPRINGFIELD - Statement from Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton regarding approval of SB 231, which reforms the state’s classroom funding formula.

“Today marks a significant step forward in creating a new classroom funding formula that recognizes the real needs of students across Illinois.

For too many children in too many communities, their paths to excellence are blocked by the existing school finance system that shortchanges their schools and fails to provide needed resources. It’s an injustice we’ve tolerated too long. Our students, parents, teachers and taxpayers are tired of the bickering, tired of the impasse. They’re looking for leaders with the courage to step beyond the status quo and do what’s right.

Today, the Illinois Senate did just that. The classroom funding plan the Senate approved begins to recognize the local needs of schools and students. It addresses the economic and social hurdles they face by investing resources in those schools and those children.

I would recommend the House get behind this proposal, and Governor Rauner should show leadership and make this legislation a priority if he is truly interested in turning Illinois around.”

SPRINGFIELD - Statement from the Office of Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton regarding the governor’s remarks on education funding:

"Governor Rauner said in his budget speech that no schools should lose funding, and yet more than one-third of the school districts in Illinois lose money under his plan.
He would force schools across Illinois to slash services and staff. Some might not be able to open or stay open next year.

Chicago schools alone lose $74 million. Governor Rauner’s plan cuts funding for schools in East St. Louis and Naperville as well.

That’s not acceptable. Our students deserve better.

I am encouraged that the governor and Republicans recognize the current system’s failings. They said they want a system that recognizes the needs of rural and low-income communities. Lucky for them, that plan is pending in the Illinois Senate and they will soon get the chance to vote for it."