CHICAGO - Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's latest offer to shore up the finances of Chicago Public Schools fell flat with Democratic legislative leaders who don't like the conditions attached.
The Republican governor tinkered with previously announced plans to link fiscal help for the Chicago school system to a temporary property tax freeze proposal with collective bargaining curbs in a revised proposal Monday, Aug. 17.
This week's plan offers CPS $400 million in fiscal help as part of a package with a local government temporary property tax freeze that would free local governments of some collective bargaining requirements and contracting requirements if approved by voters.
The Senate and House have previously voted on property tax freeze and school funding measures, but none has exactly mirrored what Rauner wants - a freeze accompanied with the collective bargaining curbs and changes in contracting rules.
The bill would also provide more funding for poor school districts and launch a review process aimed at overhauling school funding formulas. He also added worker's compensation reforms to the new plan. They are opposed by Democratic leaders.
"This is comprehensive legislation that benefits everyone we're asking the General Assembly to focus, let's focus on one piece of legislation in good faith, and let's get this done," Rauner said at a news conference.
State Senate President John Cullerton's office called the latest plan "totally unacceptable." The House leadership noted that Rauner's proposals on collective bargaining and worker's compensation reforms have been shot down in that chamber.