McConchie calls Democrats deaf to compromise pleas on school funding
The Illinois Senate's override of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1 was an “unnecessary partisan act” that followed a lack of good faith negotiations, Sen. Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods) contended after the Aug. 13 vote.
McConchie was one of several negotiators Rauner appointed to work with Senate Democrats on the state's K-12 funding bill after the governor issued his veto on Aug. 1. During the debate before the vote, McConchie expressed his surprise and disappointment at the lack of interest in talks from the other side of the aisle.
“When I got into the negotiations … I was a little disappointed to have the feeling that there was not an interest that I could see from other members of the commission on the other side of the aisle to actually come to an agreement,” McConchie said.
SB1 has been marked by delay and divisiveness. It sat idle in the Senate chamber for two months after passage in both houses, prompting Rauner to call a special session in July to get it moved along. Senate President John Culletron (D-Chicago) sent the bill to Rauner on July 31, the final day of the session, at which point Rauner issued his amendatory veto to remove additional funding to Chicago Public Schools that was added at the last minute.
Republicans were ready to work with Democrats to change SB1, McConchie claimed, but talks broke down.
“We came to the table; we brought some ideas we thought that were good options for compromise, and there was virtually nothing offered in return in writing,” he said. “We got some verbal comments at the time … and then here we are today. So, I am very disappointed to be here today. I also urge us to come back to the negotiating table. I believe this is something that we can actually do in a good faith effort on a real bipartisan basis, and that we could do so quickly.”
Many of his fellow Republican colleagues called for continued talks, but their pleas fell on deaf ears, as every Democrat voted to override Rauner’s veto. Sen. William Sam McCann (R-Jacksonville) was the only Republican to vote for override, which passed 38-19.
SB1 was moved to the House where the original version of the bill passed in May on a vote of 60-52, but the chamber will need 71 votes to override Rauner's veto by the end of the month.