Rauner, Democrats accuse each other of peddling fake news - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Rauner, Democrats accuse each other of peddling fake news

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WSIL -- The Rauner administration and Illinois Senate Democrats are accusing each other of spreading fake news. 

This new fight comes as legislators continue negotiations behind-the-scenes over a state budget.

Senate Democrats are furious over an article that appears in an online publication. It lists several school districts that could lose money under a plan to change the state's school funding formula.

A plan was approved by the Senate on Wednesday, along with several other components of the so-called "Grand Bargain" legislative package.

The bill's sponsors held a press conference on Friday morning, where they accused Gov. Bruce Rauner and his administration of leaking false numbers to the Kankakee Times, which published the article.

State Sen. Andy Manar, D- Bunker Hill, said the numbers listed in the article are from another bill, not the one the senate approved this week.

"I'm tired of the executive branch using and manipulating data to pit people against something (Rauner) claims he wants," said Manar.

Manar said analysts are still working on the real numbers from the bill the senate just approved.

He said whoever leaked the fake numbers is in big trouble.

"Somehow this got from someone in the governor's office to this website, which is quite cozy with Gov. Rauner," said Manar. "And that is a violation. That's a violation of the law."

Democrats are calling on the executive inspector general to investigate and find the source of the leak.

The Kanakee Times updated its article to note that the information it used was from an Illinois Department of Education analysis done last summer. 

In a statement, the governor's office called the leaking accusations leveled against them as outrageous.

"Senate Democrats today jumped the shark. One cannot leak something that is on a public web site. Their false and outrageous accusations have been disproven, and they should apologize for manufacturing blatantly false accusations," said Eleni Demertzis, the governor's spokesperson.

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