Governor Vetoes Bill That Would Make It Harder for School Districts to Get Rid of Unfunded Mandates

Here’s the veto message from Governor Bruce Rauner on House Bill 1262 sponsored by Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie and Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant:

Today I veto House Bill 1262 from the 100th General Assembly, which walks back the progress that was made on mandate relief for school districts as a part of last year’s funding reform legislation.

This legislation would require that when the State Board of Education submits to the General Assembly requests of school boards or superintendents for relief from certain state mandates, the requests must be reviewed by the entire General Assembly, and not a panel of the four leaders.

Last year, Public Act 100-465 changed the process for how requests by school boards to have state mandates waived are handled. The new process allows the requests to be reviewed by the four legislative leaders as opposed to the entire General Assembly before the State Board is allowed to approve them. The purpose of this change was to streamline the waiver process and allow more flexibility when school districts do not believe that a given mandate serves the best interests of their students. Reintroducing categories of mandates that need to go to the entire General Assembly demonstrates a step backward and begins to unravel the incremental progress that was recently made on mandate reform.

Therefore, pursuant to Section 9(b) of Article IV of the Illinois Constitution of 1970, I hereby return House Bill 1262, entitled “AN ACT concerning education,” with the foregoing objections, vetoed in its entirety.

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