Legislators representing the Illinois Quad-Cities are, at best, cautious about a compromise proposal that could pave the way for schools to receive funding from the state.
One lawmaker, however, is downright pessimistic.
State Rep. Tony McCombie, R-Savanna, told the Quad-City Times Editorial Board on Friday that "it would be hard" to support the compromise that Democratic and Republican leaders in both the House and Senate reached Thursday.
Details of the plan haven't been released, but some information has become public. McCombie said she's been told the new bill contains virtually all the spending that was contained in the original bill, Senate Bill 1, that Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed, calling it a bailout for Chicago schools.
McCombie also objected to the amount of money the bill would send to Chicago, arguing that it meant less money for the schools in her House district.
The new bill reportedly includes $75 million that would go to tax credits for people who donate to scholarships for private school students, and that also draws McCombie's ire. She said that simply will add to Illinois' budget problems.
"I won't vote for new programs or mandates," she said.
Rep. Mike Halpin, D-Rock Island, said Friday he didn’t have enough details on the agreement among leadership to render a decision on whether he supports it. Halpin said he intends to circle back with superintendents and other stakeholders within his district after seeing the full text of the bill, which could be as early as Sunday.
State Sen. Neil Anderson, R-Andalusia, had much the same reaction Friday. He said he was waiting for a call from his Republican leadership to learn details of the plan, but he hopes there can be a compromise that all parties can live with.
"For me, the first SB 1 was not in the best interests of my district," Anderson said.
On Thursday, Senate President John Cullerton, House Speaker Michael Madigan, Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady and House Republican Leader Jim Durkin announced they had reached a compromise agreement on school funding but details still had to be worked out. They are scheduled to meet again Sunday, before the House meets Monday, possibly to vote on the bill.
On Thursday, Rauner praised the deal, but Friday, he took a different tone. He again said there's too much money for Chicago, and he will try to fix problems with "subsequent legislation."
He says he likes other parts of the deal, including a more equitable way to dispense money and a proposed program to provide tax credits for those who donate to private school scholarships.
The Republican spoke Friday at a Marion Chamber of Commerce event.
The budget lawmakers approved last month requires a new formula for schools to get money this year.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)