Pension aid for Chicago schools vetoed amid budget standoff

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner has vetoed $215 million aimed at helping with Chicago Public Schools’ pension payments as negotiations with Democrats on an overdue state budget broke down again.

The parties agreed to that funding in June on the condition that lawmakers would work on a separate plan to overhaul a statewide pension system that’s more than $100 billion in debt.

But Rauner vetoed the funding immediately after Democratic Senate President John Cullerton denied Thursday there had been a deal in June.

The country’s third-largest school district has a “junk” status from credit agencies and was counting on the money to pay the employer’s contribution to teachers’ pensions.

Illinois has been without a budget for 18 months amid an ideological standoff between Rauner and majority Democrats.