Jason Barickman


State Senator Jason Barickman concedes a new law he co-sponsored to prevent further trauma to some sexual assault victims might not be enough to assuage victims' concerns.

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Despite a standstill over the Illinois budget, a group of bipartisan lawmakers has been meeting more often in recent weeks to devise a plan to overhaul state funding for public schools.

Although Illinois' top leaders aren't meeting to discuss the state budget, members of Gov. Bruce Rauner's education funding reform commission says they're optimistic that the group will be able to come up with at least outlines of a new school funding formula.

Republican state Sen. Jason Barickman says that if reform is going to happen, the group, and ultimately the Legislature, must come to a consensus on complex issues, such as property taxes and achieving parity among school districts.

Jeff Bossert / Illinois Public Media

Republican Governor Bruce Rauner is calling on more Democrats to break ranks with party leaders in order to pass a budget plan for the state.  Rauner says he was ‘stunned’ that Democrats were unable to agree on a budget plan on the last day of the spring session. Some Democrats did break ranks, leading to the defeat of a House budget plan in the Senate, and a Senate school funding bill in the House.

The governor says rank and file members should have stood up to House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton weeks ago.