Frese: Governor holding school funding hostage for passage of graduated income tax increase

Representative Frese and fellow House Republicans this week denounced Governor JB Pritzker’s decision to place passage of his graduated income tax proposal ahead of a commitment to fully fund education and other top priorities in the FY 2021 budget.

The Governor has recommended holding back $150 million in funds for the evidence-based school funding formula and an additional $40 million for mandated categorical payments for school special education and transportation unless his graduated tax increase proposal is approved in November. The result is that less funding would be available to help close the equity gap for schools. In addition, his recommendation would disproportionately impact funding for rural and small schools.

Additionally, because school districts must complete their levies and budgets prior to the November vote on the graduated income tax Constitutional Amendment, schools may be forced to delay hiring decisions and to potentially increase property taxes under the Governor’s proposal.