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GOVERNMENT RELATIONS


Alliance Legislative Report 98-14

Distributed via Email: April 26, 2013

CALMER WEEK IN THE CAPITOL

After the previous two weeks of tense debate on controversial issues, this week seemed relatively mild in the State House. The House of Representatives was not in session and the Senate plodded through the more mundane bills that were on the agenda. Generally, the Senate bills that are still “alive” are now in the House and the House bills have been moved to the Senate. The committee process will begin next week for those bills that have crossed the rotunda.

FISCAL YEAR 2014 BUDGET

Up until now, not much (at least publicly) has been done with the state budget for the next fiscal year. In the next few weeks, lawmakers will be crafting the budget, likely reprioritizing what Governor Pat Quinn laid out in his budget address in March.

PENSION REFORM

Though no pension legislation advanced this week, there were reports that Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) had made progress in negotiations with union representatives (including the Illinois Education Association (IEA) and the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT)) on a pension reform agreement. No details are available on what such a plan might include.

The House earlier this spring had approved bills that would make pension changes for current employees who contribute to the state’s public pension plans (including TRS). Provisions would reduce the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA), increase the age of retirement, and cap the salary that would be used to calculate a pension amount.

Pension conversations in the Capitol will likely increase in frequency and intensity in the next couple of weeks.

REMOVAL OF SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS

The legislation that would allow the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to remove school board members from office and suspend local school board elections is pending on the Senate floor. The Alliance strongly opposes the current version of the bill, but is having continued discussions with the ISBE in an effort to improve the legislation. The bill must include transparency of any process to remove board members and provide specific criteria in the law that relates to how school boards operate and govern in Illinois. The Senate deadline for SB 2340 ( Steans, D-Chicago) has been extended to give stakeholders more time to work on the legislation.

SOME PROGRESS MADE

As the Alliance works through the proliferation of proposed legislation containing new unfunded mandates on school districts, results show that some progress has been made. Some mandate proposals are still moving through the process:

HB 1225 (Burke) provide information and training on cardiac arrest in athletes.

HB 1288 (Gabel) establishes new procedure regarding written complaints regarding student rights.

HB 2213 (Ford) creates new rights and procedures for students who are victims of sexual violence.

HB 3070 ( Farnham) requires teachers and counselors to receive in-service training on mental illness.

HB 3133 (Franks) requires districts to submit plans for new buildings to local responders.

HB 3379 ( Tabares) requires adoption of a new policy on teen dating violence.

SB 1711 ( Hastings) requires new training for coaches and P.E. teachers on CPR and AED use.

SB 2178 (Harris) requires catastrophic accident insurance coverage for student athletes.

SB 1625 (Collins) requires school districts to conduct at least one school shooter drill per year.

SB 1932 ( Bivins) requires law enforcement review of school building plans.

However, several bills opposed by the Alliance have been stalled or defeated, including:

HB 8 (Flowers) created a new civil rights violation for not providing “reasonable accommodations”.

HB 15 (Flowers) required new school district procedures regarding sudden cardiac arrest in athletes.

HB 89 (Franks) allowed for zero growth in a PTELL property tax extension if EAV has decreased.

HB 182 (Ives) made contract negotiations subject to the Open Meetings Act.

HB 1205 ( Sente) arbitrarily limited tackling in football practice.

HB 1373 (Chapa LaVia) mandated that a certified school nurse do medical reviews for IEPs.  

HB 1401 ( Nekritz) mandated use of the prudent investor rule when offering investment plans.

HB 1450 ( Crespo) mandated that 65% of school budgets must be spent in the classroom.

HB 2386 (Bradley) required school districts to submit a Fiscal Responsibility Report Card to the state.

HB 2405 (Welch) mandated full day kindergarten.

HB 2509 (Hoffman) required that all work done in an enterprise zone be subject to prevailing wage.

HB 2513 (Phelps) required all newly built schools to have a storm shelter.

HB 2670 (Dunkin) contained new requirements regarding recess in schools.

HB 2681 (Hernandez) mandated 40 hours of community service as a graduation requirement.

HB 2846 ( Golar) required employers to consider for employment persons with criminal records.

HB 2851 (Conroy) required that all principal and teacher evaluations be accessible to the public.

HB 2880 (Ford) required school districts to use a standard student expulsion policy written by ISBE.

HB 2944 (Drury) required public schools to administer ISAT exams to non-public school students.  

HB 3059 (Willis) mandated all schools to have carbon monoxide detectors.

HB 3312 (Ives) required school districts to post a series of new reports on their websites.

SB 1248 (Murphy) created a private school voucher program.

SB 2259 (McCann) prohibited school districts to start school before Labor Day.

SB 2395 ( Manar) mandated school boards to designate a place for students to register to vote.

OTHER BILL ACTION THIS WEEK

The following bills were approved by the Senate and were sent to the House of Representatives for further consideration:

SB 205 (Munoz, D-Chicago) a uthorizes the comptroller to collect a $15 processing charge for certain state vendors and authorizes a third-party vendor to be selected by the comptroller in order to provide enhanced identification services to the state to help local governments and school districts receive monies they are owed by individuals.

SB 336 ( Manar, D-Bunker Hill) creates a Rehabilitation and Revitalization Income Tax Credit for a business owner of a qualified structure who may also qualify for the federal credit.

SB 448 ( Martinez, D-Chicago) , as amended, makes changes concerning the election of the Board of Trustees to the Chicago Teacher Pension Fund.

SB 572 ( Kotowski, D-Park Ridge) , as amended, repeals the School Employee Benefit Act (defunct medical prescription benefit program for teachers).

SB 577 (Koehler, D-Peoria) , as amended, provides that if the state authorizes specific gaming expansion, then $15 million must be used to make special education hold harmless payments to districts.

SB 579 ( Steans) , as amended, allows application fees in the Teacher Certificate Fee Revolving Fund to be used by the ISBE to provide technology and human resources necessary for the renewal of licenses.

SB 923 (Munoz) , as amended, allows schools to install cameras on school buses to record images of vehicles that pass the school bus while engaged in receiving or disembarking students. It requires the municipality and school district to post information regarding this use on their websites.

SB 1572 (Delgado, D-Chicago) , as amended, requires the ISBE to prepare several reports on the operations of the City of Chicago School District 299.

SB 1625 (Collins, D-Chicago), as amended, requires school districts to conduct at least one school shooter drill per year, with participation by local law enforcement agencies

SB 1689 ( Biss, D-Evanston) deletes the education officers electoral board and moves the responsibility of acting on objections to petitions for nomination to serve on a school board, community college board, township board and municipality from the local election authority to the county election officers electoral board.

SB 1791 ( Martinez, D-Chicago) makes changes concerning the award of a Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois Program scholarship to qualified students, the consolidation of the Illinois Future Teacher Corps Program and the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois Program, and the distribution of scholarship funds.

SB 1880 ( Manar) provides for tax equivalent grants to a school district in which the State Capitol is located, subject to appropriation.

SB 1931 ( Bivins, R-Dixon) creates the School Security and Standards Task Force to study the security of schools and draft minimum standards for use by schools to make them more secure and to provide a safer learning environment for the children.

SB 1932 ( Bivins) requires a school board to consult with law enforcement and security experts in the design and planning stages of the construction of any new school building or additions.

SB 1951 ( Althoff, R-McHenry) transfers 25% of certain surplus funds to the Common School Fund.

SB 2178 (Harris, D-Harvey) , as amended, requires public and non-public school districts that have a high school to provide catastrophic accident insurance coverage with a maximum of $3 million or five years (was $7.5 million or 15 years) of coverage for student athletes who sustain an accidental injury while participating in school-sponsored athletic events sanctioned by the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) that results in medical expenses in excess of $50,000, including travel.

SB 2182 (Harmon, D-Oak Park) , as amended, added school districts to the comptroller's unit of local governments registry.

SB 2256 (Harmon) provides that the district's aggregate extension base shall be modified by certain recaptured amounts.

SB 2306 ( Radogno, R-Lemont) p rovides that an employer may access a social network account of an employee if the social network account is used for professional purposes.

SB 2339 ( Mulroe, D-Chicago)  provides that if a joint insurance pool requires a member to submit written notice in order for the member to withdraw from a qualified pool, then the period in which the member must provide the written notice cannot, except in certain circumstances, be greater than 120 days.

SB 2389 ( Steans) , as amended, removes the requirement that school districts with Average Daily Attendance   ( ADA) between 1,000 and 50,000 that qualify for supplemental General State Aid (GSA) for disadvantaged students submit a plan to ISBE.

BILLS SCHEDULED FOR COMMITTEE NEXT WEEK

HOUSE ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION COMMITTEE
Thursday, May 2, 10 a.m., Room C-1, Stratton Office Building

SB 84 ( Luechtefeld, R- Okawville) makes changes in how a school district deposits and accounts for teacher certification registration costs and back fees.

SB 1221 ( Martinez) establishes the State Seal of Biliteracy program to recognize public high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in one or more languages in addition to English.

SB 1550 ( Radogno) amends the Children with Disabilities Article of the School Code with respect to transition services. It provides that the first individualized education plan for when a student turns age 14 1/2 must include measurable post-secondary goals based upon age-appropriate transition assessments and other information available regarding the student that are related to independent living skills (instead of independent living skills where appropriate).

SB 1703 ( Haine, D-Alton) adds Oct. 7 ( Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Remembrance Day) as a commemorative holiday.

SB 1845 ( Mulroe D-Chicago) allows for school social work to include services for establishing and delivering anti-bullying programs.

SB 2157 (Cunningham, D-Chicago) provides that, if requested, a school board is authorized to excuse a pupil from engaging in a physical education course if the pupil has an intellectual or physical disability, is participating in an athletic program outside of the school setting, and documents such participation as determined by the school board.

SB 2199 ( Frerichs, D-Champaign) removes a provision that prohibits a candidate for licensure from beginning an internship or residency required for licensure until he or she has passed the applicable content area test.

HOUSE REVENUE AND FINANCE COMMITTEE
Thursday, May 2, 10 a.m., Room 114, State Capitol

SB 1228 (Link, D-Vernon Hills) provides that the school’s custodian of funds has right to legal counsel of the school district’s choosing when a tax objection complaint is filed, instead of representation by the state’s attorney.

SB 1519 (Connelly, R-Wheaton) provides that a taxing district may abate all or a portion of the property taxes on certain tool and manufacturing business properties.

SB 1541 (Rose, R-Mahomet) creates a local charities scratch-off lottery game that benefits those local charities having a budget under $500,000.

SB 1659 (Van Pelt, D-Chicago) modifies the income tax credit for businesses hiring ex offenders. It limits the amount of credit to no more than $1,500 for each ex-offender hired and they must be hired within 3 years of release.

SB 1737 (Rose) provides that if a taxpayer is notified before Oct. 1 that he or she owes an arrearage of taxes due to administrative error then the county may send a separate bill which may be due no sooner than 30 days after the next installment of taxes.

SB 1937 ( Radogno) provides that proven income of a dependent in a household eligible for the Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze may be excluded from the applicant’s household income for the purposes of eligibility for the Freeze.

SB 2257 (Harmon) would eliminate the ability of PTELL taxing districts to ask the voters for a limiting rate increase after January 2014. It provides instead for a new referendum question based upon an increase in the aggregate extension.

SENATE REVENUE COMMITTEE
Wednesday, May 1, 3 p.m., Room 409, State Capitol

HB 189 ( Cloonen, D-Kankakee) allows property tax rates to be calculated beyond three decimal points to allow the extension to be as close to the levy requested as possible but may not exceed the levy requested.

HB 1206 ( Sente, D-Lincolnshire) exempts property owned by the Executive Board of the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System used for disaster preparedness and response from property taxation.

This legislative report is written and edited by the lobbyists of the Illinois Association of School Boards to provide information to the members of the organizations that comprise the Statewide School Management Alliance.

Bill Text/Status: Illinois General Assembly www.ilga.gov


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