SPRINGFIELD – The best way to help schoolchildren is for Gov. Rauner to agree to sign a landmark overhaul of how Illinois funds public education, Illinois Senate President John Cullerton said Thursday.

Cullerton renewed his request for Rauner to indicate his support for Senate Bill 1 and cautioned him against using his veto powers to rewrite the plan, which would jeopardize its future. Cullerton noted that an amendatory veto does not automatically become law and instead sets up a showdown with lawmakers on an override vote.

Here is the full statement from Senate President John Cullerton:

“All the governor needs to do is tell us he will sign his name. The fastest way to help the children is to sign this historic education reform into law.

An unconstitutional amendatory veto threatens all the work that has gone into this reform proposal. I again urge the governor to show us any changes he wants and to sit down for rational discussions now.

We’ve done our homework. We passed an overhaul of the worst public school funding system in the nation. All the governor has to do is sign his name to get credit.”

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Senate President John Cullerton renewed his request that Governor Rauner put down his veto pen and instead meet with the legislative leaders to make sure he understands what is in the historic school funding overhaul before it arrives on his desk. Here is the full statement from Senate President John Cullerton.

“Last week, the governor didn’t know where he’s getting the education numbers he’s been using. He lashes out over what he calls a ‘Chicago bailout,’ but the same provision appears in his ‘plan.’ He calls Senate Bill 1 ‘historic’ and then says he will veto it immediately.

I’d like to have a conversation with Governor Rauner in hopes of getting some clarity as to exactly what is going on. We slowed down the process in the Senate in order to let everyone blow off some steam, politically speaking.

Six weeks later, the governor’s temper continues to flare. I don’t want him making statewide classroom funding decisions out of a position of anger.

I’d like the opportunity to make sure he knows what is in the proposal from the people who wrote it so he can make a rational decision.”

SPRINGFIELD – There’s no need for expensive special sessions, and Gov. Rauner should simply convene a meeting to end the secrecy regarding whatever classroom funding changes he has in mind, Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton said in a statement released Friday.

Here is the full statement from Senate President John Cullerton.

“Education advocates and school leaders across our state support Senate Bill 1. They know what it does. What no one knows is what Gov. Rauner’s plan would do. So, rather than expensive special sessions and conflict-driving vetoes, let’s have a meeting so we can see what the governor’s plan is. It can be as simple as that. I would encourage the governor to convene a leaders meeting rather than a special session.”

SPRINGFIELD - Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton issued the following statement regarding the pending retirement of his colleague and friend Republican Leader Christine Radogno.

"She and I began as Senate leaders on the same day. We started our relationship in those roles by voting for each other. We then turned our attention to the impeachment trial. We followed that up with a long-overdue, bipartisan agreement on investing in roads, bridges, schools and other infrastructure.

It has been nine years of cooperation and professionalism.

It’s been my honor to have Leader Radogno as my legislative partner, and I have cherished the opportunity to work with her as a colleague and friend. She was the one who first reached out to me to start the Senate effort to show that we could balance the budget. Frankly, this week’s leaders meetings wouldn’t be occurring if it wasn’t for her.

I will miss her camaraderie and common sense. But I also hope that she has a few tricks left up her sleeve before July 1 to help us finally get out of this mess."