A day late and a dollar short is no way to run state government. But again and again, including the school funding overhaul, that’s how Illinois politicians choose to operate.
When all is said and done regarding Aug. 29’s passage by the state Legislature of Illinois’ school funding overhaul, what will there be left to say?
Perhaps we should cheer lawmakers and Gov. Bruce Rauner for finally accomplishing what they should have completed by May 31. They’re only 3 months late doing their jobs.
As vital state money is poised to again flow to local schools, the politics of it all leaves us frustrated. And we’re not the only ones.
It all boils down to this: Four powerful men (House and Senate majority and minority leaders) getting together behind closed doors to hammer out an agreement in secret that everyone else had to take or leave.
With the school year already well underway, and no state money being sent to schools, enormous pressure was put on lawmakers to go along with the deal, and enough of them did so to make it happen.
But remember that the state budget, approved July 6, included the stipulation that state money could not be distributed to schools until a new formula was approved.
So this manufactured, man-made crisis didn’t have to happen, and shouldn’t have happened.
We hope local schools receive some added benefit from the compromise legislation, above and beyond receiving their payments on time.
We say the Legislature and the governor had better get their acts together and do a better job serving the needs of the people – people who have been blithely ignored by politician after politician.
In the real world, you don’t last long by not doing your work on time, or by leaving a lot of it undone.
By the way, the next confluence of the real and political worlds isn’t that far away. It will happen next year.
It’s called an election.