Kennedy Opposes School Funding Deal, Rauner Veto Of Wage Hike

August 27, 2017
 
Democratic candidate for governor Chris Kennedy speaks to Champaign County Democrats at Jupiter's in Champaign on Saturday August 26.

Democratic candidate for governor Chris Kennedy speaks to Champaign County Democrats at Jupiter's in Champaign on Saturday August 26.

Brian Moline/Illinois Public Media

Count Democrat Chris Kennedy as an opponent of the proposed agreement to fund K-12 schools in Illinois.

The gubernatorial candidate says no one has actually seen the plan yet, but if a proposed $75 million tax credit that benefits private schools is actually part of it, that’s a violation of the Illinois Constitution.

“It says we cannot provide tax dollars for private education," Kennedy said. "And now, they’re clever. They’ve got some lawyers. They’ve figured out a way to do it. But, it’s a violation of the Constitution, and it should not occur.”

Kennedy also says the agreement doesn’t do enough to move Illinois away from its current education funding system, which relies heavily on local property taxes.

The Illinois House is scheduled to vote Monday on the proposal, with the Senate set to vote Tuesday.

Gubernatorial candiate Chris Kennedy chats with fellow Democrats at a campaign event at Jupiter's in Champaign on Saturday August 26.

Photo Credit: Brian Moline/Illinois Public Media

Meanwhile, Kennedy attacked Republican Governor Bruce Rauner for his veto Friday of a minimum wage increase for Illinois.

He said people are leaving Illinois because they can’t make ends meet.

“If they can’t have a full-time job and pay for their own housing, their own health care, their kids’ education, then why would they stay in Illinois?" Kennedy said. "And Governor Rauner’s driving people out of the state, and I think we should reverse that.”

Kennedy also attacked legislators, including Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan, who make money as attorneys from Illinois’ current property tax system, saying it’s keeping them from pushing for a progressive income tax.

Kennedy says a progressive income tax is needed to provide enough state funding for education, and to reduce dependence on local property taxes.

He was in Champaign Saturday for an event with Champaign County Democrats and answered questions from WILL afterward. You can hear his speech from Saturday's event below.

Story source: WILL