That’s the mind-set these days of Gov. Bruce Rauner, who went about giving his support on Monday to a measure meant to ensure that public colleges across the state will continue to operate at least for the rest of the current academic year.
THE STATE’S LACK of a budget has been particularly harsh on public education. They’re not getting the levels of state funding upon which they rely for operations. They’re actually having to rely upon the tuition paid by their students – which isn’t enough to keep classes open in full.
At Chicago State University, a school that traditionally is a little more messed up financially than other schools, there was actually fear that there wouldn’t be enough money to finish the current academic year.
The school might have to close down and students would find their academic work for the year all a waste.
Other schools might have to start cutting certain programs, leaving students out in the cold.
BUT THE GENERAL Assembly, that body whom Rauner thinks deserves all the blame for the state’s financial situation because they’re Democrats unwilling to see organized labor as “the enemy” like he does, last week gave its support to a measure that comes up with some $600 million to allow public higher education to keep going in full at least through September.
That’s the beginning of the 2016-17 academic year, which theoretically the state Legislature and the governor are working on already. Except they still haven’t figured out 2015-16 for real!
Now why would Rauner be so willing to make this move, which he said in a statement on Monday would, “represent a first step toward compromise between Democrats and Republicans” toward putting together the overall budget that would keep state government operating in its entirely.
Probably for the same reason that Rauner, as his one budgetary action last year, enabled elementary education programs to have a budget.
FOR THE PUBLIC grammar schools and high schools are the one entity that have received their state funding during the state fiscal year that began back on July 1.
Try denying a child the chance to be in the classroom supposedly learning something, and you’d see how quickly that child’s parents would turn on Rauner and wind up voting en masse for anybody with the nerve to run against him.
Now that college students, whose financial aid was threatened by the lack of state Monetary Award Program grants, could wind up losing the chance to be able to attend classes and try to make something of their future lives (seriously, how many people can actually afford the modern-day cost of college without some financial aid?), we’d see how quickly they’d become motivated to register to vote and become a force that supports something other than the sweet-sounding-but-impractical rhetoric of presidential dreamer Bernie Sanders.
Rauner, in his Monday statement, talks of the need to build upon bi-partisan political rhetoric. As though he thinks he is making the initial gesture to a hostile pro-union political force more interested in looking out for organized labor interests than those of the people.
WHICH SOUNDS A bit as ridiculous to me as those people who like to pretend the U.S. Civil War was truly a conflict over state’s rights with civil rights issues being completely irrelevant to the struggle.
|Would Abe be ashamed of Ill. today?|
I’m not even getting into the fact that the issues upon which certain people tried to rely upon the concept of state’s rights to defend were despicable and immoral. It just seems like Rauner is determined to view our financial situation through as narrow a lens as the Confederacy-apologists try to view that century-and-a-half old war.
Although it’s likely purely coincidental that it means Rauner is fighting against “union” the same way those Southerners were. That war is over, and the fight for a state budget ought to be.
It’s time for the sides to come together and compile the budget agreement that keeps government going. After that, Rauner can resume his organized labor fight – perhaps gaining enough Legislature support after the next elections to have a chance of legitimately reducing labor union influence.