Governor calls special session for school funding reform
Governor Rauner called the House and Senate back into session this week to get an agreement on a new school funding formula. The state budget which was passed a few weeks ago contained a requirement that all school funding go through an “evidence-based” formula. Without such a formula in place, no state money can be distributed to Illinois’ more than 800 school districts. We need to get to work on passing legislation to put this formula in place so that schools will get their funds in time to start classes.

School funding reform bill hanging in limbo
The legislature has been in summer recess for the past couple of weeks. During that time I have taken the opportunity to visit several of our local school boards, and I plan to visit several more in the coming days and weeks. I recently met with the school boards in Rossville, Bismarck, Watseka and Iroquois West to discuss state government and the ongoing issues we face. Obviously, the biggest matter of concern was the question of school funding reform and whether schools will be able to open on time this fall.

Thank you to our first responders
Far too often we are reminded of the risks that our first responders take to keep us safe. In the past few weeks, those of us who serve in elected office have seen these brave men and women in action. They do their jobs so well that we sometimes take their service for granted until something happens to remind us of all that they do. I want to take a moment to say thank you to those who serve and protect each and every day.

Rep. Tom Bennett (R-Gibson City) discusses the summer 2017 special session of the Illinois legislature in which the House and Senate voted to raise taxes and enact a state budget over the Governor's veto. Rep. Bennett voted No on the tax hike, No on the spending and No on the veto override.
House overrides Governor’s budget, tax vetoes
As you have probably read and heard, the House passed a budget and a tax increase on Sunday night. The spending bill, Senate Bill 6, appropriates more than $36 billion for the state for the fiscal year which began on July 1. The revenue bill, Senate Bill 9, raises the state’s income tax from 3.75% up to 4.95% and the corporate income tax from 5.25% up to 7%. Supporters of the bill say these hikes will bring in around $4.7 billion, enough to pay for all the spending in SB 6.

I voted No on the tax increase, No on the spending bill and No on overriding the Governor’s vetoes.