HARRISBURG, IL - Illinois lawmakers are expecting to be called back to Springfield for another special session on education funding reform, according to State Sen. Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg).
Primary and secondary education funding is still not finalized as part the budget that took effect on July 1, in part due to legislative language that made it subject to passing a new education funding formula. Additionally, with the uncertainty of not having schools totally funded yet, many Southern Illinois educational districts lack the funds to open their doors for a full school year.
The road block to educational funding for the 2017-2018 school year has been a parliamentary hold that was placed on Senate Bill 1, by the Senate's majority leadership. Even though the legislation passed in late May, the bill has yet to be sent to the Governor's desk for action, which in effect makes Illinois students political hostages because of a proposed bail out for Chicago schools.
The Governor's Office has vowed to issue an amendatory veto of the legislation, to remove a controversial proposal which would serve up hundreds of millions in additional revenues to the failing Chicago Public School system. With the Governor's veto, more monies would be freed up for the remaining 851 school districts across Illinois.
Fowler hosts inaugural agricultural advisory committee
Senator Fowler hosted a July 22 agricultural advisory committee meeting in Harrisburg, with the purpose of hearing from local agricultural producers and leaders. Illinois Director of Agriculture Raymond Poe joined the group to discuss the latest issues facing farmers. Topics varied from environmental regulations to rural road weight limits and farm taxation policy. The meeting's importance cannot be stressed lightly, as one out of every four Illinois jobs are tied to agriculture.