Senate Week in Review: August 14-18, 2017
Despite the Illinois Senate’s vote to override the Governor’s amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1 during the week, Senate Republicans continue to call on all sides of this important issue to work together toward a bipartisan solution that will bring parity to the state’s school-funding formula.
The Illinois Senate also passed a bipartisan measure that will help retain and create jobs, and Illinois residents are preparing for next week’s solar eclipse.
Senate Republicans Continue Push for School Funding Parity
Senate Democrats voted August 13 to override the Governor’s amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1. Senate Republicans remain open to bipartisan negotiations on a new proposal that will deliver the necessary and equitable funding many school districts seek.
Senate Bill 1 in its current form allocates hundreds of millions of extra dollars to the Chicago Public Schools (CPS), at the expense of every other school district. Senate Republicans believe that an evidence-based model should treat all schools fairly, as well as create true parity. All 852 Illinois school districts should be treated the same rather than providing extra funding for one district to bail out their pension liability and years of mismanagement.
Republicans remain committed to working toward true compromise, and stand ready each and every day to find a solution that will ensure that Illinois schools remain open and that all are treated fairly and equitably.
Job Creation Measure Passes Senate
A bipartisan measure that extends tax credits for companies and brings jobs to Illinois is now headed to the Governor after it passed the Senate this week. House Bill 162 extends the program known as EDGE, short for Economic Development for a Growing Economy, which serves as a vital economic tool to ensure businesses stay in Illinois.
The EDGE program was created in 1999 and serves as the state’s main jobs incentive program, creating nearly 34,000 jobs in Illinois and retaining another 46,000 since its creation.
House Bill 162 makes several reforms to the program including changes concerning capital investment and employment requirements, distinguishing between larger employers (more than100 employees) and smaller employers (100 or fewer employees), as well as new provisions regarding supplier diversity, claw-back, and how the credit is calculated. Ultimately, House Bill 162 was the result of negotiations between several Senate and House legislators and business groups.
Total Eclipse of the Sun
On August 21, a solar eclipse will be visible across the entire U.S. The last total solar eclipse seen coast to coast in the U.S. was in 1918. Starting shortly before noon and lasting until 2:45 p.m. central time, people in Illinois can see the moon pass in front of the sun.
There is a 70-mile wide path across the country called the path of totality, which is when the sun will be completely blocked by the moon. Parts of southern Illinois are in the path of totality and people there will see a total eclipse. Totality in Carbondale and the immediate surrounding area will last approximately 2 minutes and 40 seconds. Central and northern Illinois will see varying degrees of the partial eclipse with decreasing magnitude further north.
Looking directly at the sun is unsafe except during the brief phase when the moon entirely eclipses the sun. The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as eclipse glasses or hand-held solar viewers.
More information about the path of the eclipse and how long it will last can be found at https://eclipse.aas.org/.