SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora, issued the following statement in response to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of Senate Bill 1, an education funding reform measure:

“Today, Governor Rauner allowed partisan extremism and political grudges to get in the way of doing the right thing when he vetoed Senate Bill 1. If passed, this bill would increase state funding for every school in Illinois by sending funding to districts where it is needed most according to a data-driven formula. A month ago, the Rauner administration claimed to be in support of 90 percent of this bill, which is more than most parties to any compromise get.

“Schools in my district will be forced to close as soon as the end of October if Senate Bill 1 does not become law. It is time for the General Assembly to come together and get this passed so that schools can open this fall and remain open all year.”

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SPRINGFIELD – In response to President Donald Trump’s recent actions on climate change, State Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora, joined dozens of state elected officials in signing a letter to Gov. Bruce Rauner inviting him to stand with them in support the Paris Climate Agreement.

“We are calling on Governor Rauner to stand with us against global warming, rising sea levels and other preventable catastrophes,” Holmes said. “Illinois can and should continue to lead the way on environmental protection by working toward the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.”

President Trump withdrew support for the international agreement last week. The Paris Climate Agreement is a United Nations initiative that aims to manage the global average temperature, improve ability to adapt to climate change and increase investment in green technology. So far 148 of the 197 parties to the convention that drew up the agreement have ratified it.

Those who signed the letter to Gov. Rauner call on him to join the governors of 12 other states including Washington, California and New York in continuing to work to limit carbon emissions.

“Fighting climate change is especially important in a state like Illinois, where agriculture is so important to our economy and our communities. We should join states like Washington, California and New York in protecting the environment, as the president refuses to do so,” Holmes said.

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SPRINGFIELD – In response to the Illinois Senate passing a property tax relief package, State Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora, released the following statement:

“It is important that we offer the people of Illinois some tax relief in such difficult financial times. As a homeowner in this community, I have seen my own property taxes rise at an unsustainable rate. This plan would institute two years of property tax relief to help make Illinois more affordable for property owners and ensure a good deal for taxpayers.”

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SPRINGFIELD – A measure sponsored by State Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora, that would give local school boards the final authority to approve new charter schools has advanced out of the Illinois Senate.

“Much of what I do in Springfield is based on the notion that local governments know what is best for the communities that they serve,” Holmes said. “Local school boards will always know better than the State Charter School Commission what the community needs to properly educate students.”

Current law allows the State Charter School Commission to reverse a local school board’s decision to deny, revoke or not renew a charter. Holmes’ measure would eliminate this provision, giving school boards final approval on decisions regarding charter schools.

Holmes claims that the measure before the Senate is meant to safeguard public school districts against overreach from higher units of government.

“I want the people that we elect to local school boards to make the final decisions in regards to charter schools,” Holmes said. “It is important that we protect local school boards from state and federal overreach.”

House Bill 768 was approved by the Senate yesterday. It now moves to the governor for further review.

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