Bruce Rauner

Rauner Blames Madigan for Defeat of CPS Pension Payment Delay

The governor released a statement saying Madigan "wanted to kill" the bill aimed at helping CPS make a full pension payment

The battle continues in Springfield between Gov. Bruce Rauner and House Speaker Michael Madigan as a last-ditch measure to help Chicago Public Schools make a full payment to the teachers' pension fund failed in the Illinois House Tuesday. 

After the House rejected the plea supported by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Gov. Rauner, the governor pointed his finger at House Speaker Michael Madigan as the culprit for the bill's failure. 

"Governor Rauner and Republican leaders supported this legislation, but the Speaker had Chicago Democrats vote against it," Lance Trover, a spokesperson for the governor, said in a statement. "The only reason the Speaker's Chicago caucus would vote against the Mayor's bill is because Madigan wanted to kill it."

CPS is scheduled to make a payment of $634 million to the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund on June 30, but Emanuel made it clear earlier this week that the district did not have enough money to make the payment. 

The measure to extend the deadline to Aug. 10 failed 53-46 in the House, but it is not clear why it didn't pass. 

"Welcome to the mystery of the legislative process," Emanuel said in an interview on "Chicago Tonight" on Tuesday in response to the vote. 

Legislators will vote once more on the bill on June 30 when the pension payment is due, and despite its failure to pass the measure this week, Madigan appears confident the bill will pass the second time around. 

"I'm sure it can be done," Madigan told the Chicago Sun-Times

A report from the firm Ernst & Young this week showed that CPS could run out of money as early as this summer. The district's dire financial situation could mean teacher layoffs, shorter school years and bigger class sizes. 

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