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The [Tuesday] Papers

"Following some twists and turns, the Illinois House on Monday narrowly approved a historic overhaul of the way the state funds schools, a key step toward freeing up money for classrooms that also sets the stage for a Chicago Public Schools property tax hike," the Tribune reports.

"The measure, which passed with two votes to spare, heads to the Senate for a vote as early as Tuesday. Gov. Bruce Rauner has vowed to sign the bill 'quickly,' and Mayor Rahm Emanuel praised the plan as providing 'parity and stability for children across Illinois.'

"The day was not without drama, however, primarily due to Democratic opposition to a Republican-backed $75 million tax credit program for private school tuition."

And also due to Democratic collusion with Republicans for the tax credits, also known as "vouchers."

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"Still, the agreement was hailed as an example of what can happen when Democrats and Republicans work together instead of ripping each another apart."

Hailed by who? The Democrats and Republicans who supported the bill? I'm not sure that qualifies as the broad hailing the reporters are implying here - especially since the tax credit program was hammered out in private among a few select legislators in a back room.

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Here's how big a deal this is to Republicans:

"House Republican Leader Jim Durkin called the agreement 'probably the most significant legislation to pass out of this chamber in decades.'"

I'm all for bipartisan compromise, but shouldn't that give Democrats pause?

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"Rauner argued the original bill set aside too much money for CPS."

But CPS comes out of this with more money than the original bill that Rauner vetoed.

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"Legislative leaders announced a tentative plan last week, but did not unveil the details until just hours before lawmakers were called to vote on the plan Monday."

Again, that doesn't sound like something to be hailed.

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Democrats, like newspapers, will always break your heart.

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The outstanding question which I haven't seen answered - and I haven't read all of the coverage, so if it it exists somewhere, let me know - is if the scholarship/voucher program was absolutely necessary to get this bill passed. I find it hard to believe it was. Can you imagine headlines like "Republicans Kill Entire State School Funding Bill Over $75 Million in Last-Minute Private Scholarship Voucher Program?"

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So why did Democrats go along with it? Here's an explanation that sadly rings true from the Tribune's Eric Zorn:

"Because too many lawmakers, including some Democrats, have either given up on the idea of public education, are secretly fond of the idea that taxpayers should support religious indoctrination or are under the delusion that competition for scarce resources will magically make public schools better."

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Here's more from WBEZ's Linda Lutton:

"The program is controversial because every dollar donated to the scholarship programs is 75 cents less in tax revenue to the state. So taxpayer money that would otherwise go to state coffers to pay for things like roads and schools is diverted to help pay for tuition at private schools."

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And here's Lutton on another reason why this is so maddening:

"Before Monday, the program was never presented as a stand-alone bill to be debated by lawmakers - another point of controversy among opponents. It was introduced during closed-door negotiations between Republicans and Democrats over the school funding overhaul Rauner vetoed."

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Illinois' AVR
In a time of increased efforts to restrict access to the polls, Illinois took a step in the opposite direction, becoming on Monday the 10th state to enact automatic voter registration.

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BeachBook

The Partisan Frame Of This Post About Ted Cruz, Hurricane Harvey Aid & An Ill-Prepared Interviewer.

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Many Famous Suffragettes Were Actually Working To Advance White Supremacy.

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If You've Never Lived In Poverty, Stop Telling Poor People What To Do.

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Illinois Athletic Director: I Love Our War Chant, But We're Getting Rid Of It For Some Reason.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: MBGA.



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Posted on August 29, 2017


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock Including Riot Fest Highlights.
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POLITICS - Wolfpack vs. Obama.
SPORTS - Joe Maddon's Magical Mystery Tour.

BOOKS - Why Al-Qaeda Is Still Strong.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Beachwood Photo Booth: Mural Man.


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