The Illinois Senate on Tuesday advanced a measure seeking a two-year property tax freeze plus changes to the state's school funding formula.
Pushed by Senate President John Cullerton, the plan would also require the state to pay employer costs for Chicago teacher pensions. All other school districts in Illinois have those costs covered by the state.
The bill now heads to the House for consideration.
Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner wants state lawmakers to approve a property tax freeze, but he wants such a measure paired with changes to give local governments greater control over the prevailing wage and collective bargaining. Such changes, Rauner argues, would help balance out a possible decline in revenue localities could see with a property tax freeze.
Rauner does not back the Senate president's legislation, which was approved on a 37-1-18 vote, because it doesn't include those collective bargaining and prevailing wage changes.
Meanwhile, the Chicago Public Schools has been pressing state lawmakers to address the teacher pensions and school funding issues.
CPS CEO Forrest Claypool issued a statement Tuesday after the measure passed the Senate: "For the first time, Springfield has taken a step toward treating Chicago teachers, students and taxpayers just like the rest of the state. We look forward to continuing to work with our leaders in Springfield to prioritize education funding reform and finally end the inequity that requires Chicago alone to take scarce dollars from the classroom to pay for teacher pensions."