Sen. Andy Manar

Last summer, Governor Bruce Rauner asked 20 lawmakers and a handful of educators to change how Illinois funds public schools. That bipartisan commission produced a “framework,” but no actual legislation.

 

That is despite the group’s continual focus on a plan favored by Rauner.

 

An Illinois lawmaker who represents a large number of state employees is once again challenging Republican Governor Bruce Rauner to personally negotiate with AFSCME, the state’s largest government union.

The union members will vote this month on authorizing a strike. AFSCME and the Rauner Administration have failed to reach agreement on a new contract. 

Democratic state senator Andy Manar of Bunker Hill says the governor needs to take steps to avoid a strike or a lockout.  

Susan Stephens/Roberta F / Creative Commons

Senate Democrats are taking another bite at the school funding apple.

Senator Andy Manar -- a Democrat from Bunker Hill -- has tried for years to get Illinois to send more money to poor districts.

Until now ... that has meant taking money from wealthier ones.

Manar's latest plan would still do that … but gradually. Next year, no district would lose state money.

Manar says his plan eliminates special deals, so all school funding is distributed fairly.

Flickr user Brent Hoard "ECU School of Education Class Room" (CC BY 2.0)

Senator Andy Manar has re-introduced a measure proposing to change the way schools are funded in Illinois. This time, it has new formulas and a request for more money. 

Like the version debated last session, which passed the Senate but stalled in the House, this formula would give more money to districts with low property values and high rates of poverty. 

Representative Sue Scherer, a Democrat from Decatur and a former teacher, talked about the inequity from personal experience.

New Illinois Law Bans Police Ticket Quotas

Jan 6, 2015
Flickr user woodleywonderworks / "police trooper writing a ticket" (CC BY 2.0)

Some police departments in Illinois could be issuing fewer tickets in the new year. 

A new state law went into effect that aims to get rid of ticket quotas.

Few police departments would ever admit to having a target number of tickets officers have to write each month. Even if there's no official policy in place, some police departments still follow a loose system.

Pages