SPRINGFIELD - Illinois Senate Republicans are encouraging Republicans to support their caucus fund - citing the group's unanimous opposition to the progressive tax Democrats want. They're just not unified on mandating LGBT history lessons.
Senate Minority Leader Bill Brady wrote in an emailed funding appeal Friday:
You'll be happy to know that this week, Illinois Senate Republicans continued working toward a balanced budget without a tax increase.
We also announced our support for a measure that would prohibit pay raises for elected officials.
This stands in stark contrast to Illinois Democrats, led by Speaker Madigan, who were in Chicago advocating for a graduated income tax.
Indeed, the Republicans boast a "stark contrast" to Democrats on the income tax proposal, but Brady didn't mention that two of his Republican caucus members joined an effort this week forcing all Illinois public schools to include in their curriculum information about figures in American history based on their sexual orientations. State Senators Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) and Chris Nybo (R-Lombard) broke with their Republican caucus to support the Democrats' effort.
For now the mandate, which provides taxpayer funding for updated history materials, does not require private of Christian schools to include the LGBT curriculum.
The proposed measure says, "In public schools only, the teaching of history shall include a study of the roles and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the history of this country and this State." It also says the required taxpayer-funded textbooks shall be "non-discriminatory" of any persons protected in the Human Rights Act.
While SB 3249 passed the Senate easily, there were a few Democrats that joined the majority of Republicans that opposed the new requirement.