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Alliance Legislative Report 99-27

Distributed via Email: June 12, 2015


After announcing a “continuous session” at the end of scheduled adjournment in May, the House and Senate have agreed to meet at the Capitol every Tuesday in June. The reported schedule will give the majority leaders in the legislative and executive branch at least three more opportunities to work out their differences before current budget plan expires on July 1. If the action undertaken this week is any indication, a compromise solution does not appear to be at hand.


Property tax extension freeze was the topic of the week as both the Senate and House discussed the issue at length. In the Senate, a rare “Committee of the Whole” was held to discuss a property tax extension freeze and its impact on local governments. Three panels were presented to the Senate. The first panel was to provide background on property taxation in the state and the function of property tax caps. The second and third panels were comprised of local government representatives speaking to the impact of a freeze on services provided.

The second panel was deemed the “education panel.” The panelists were Robin Steans, executive director of Advance Illinois, Dr. James Mitchem, superintendent of Valley View CUSD 365U, Tony Sanders, CEO of Elgin CUSD 46, and Dr.  Brent Clark, executive director of the Illinois Association of School Administrators. Each of the panelists provided testimony and were questioned by Senators regarding the effect of a property tax extension freeze.   All panelists clearly stated that combined with the state funding crisis, a property tax freeze would be devastating to districts across Illinois.

Meanwhile in the House, two votes were taken on a property tax extension freeze. One proposal, Amendment #1 and #2 to HB 691, sponsored by John Bradley (D-Marion), was presented as a replica of Governor Bruce Rauner’s “Turnaround Agenda.” However, unlike Rauner, the House Democrats split the issues of a property tax freeze (Amendment #1) and collective bargaining changes (Amendment #2). The House only adopted Amendment #1 to HB 691 with Amendment #2 failing to receive any “yes” votes. The House also voted on HB 690 which was substantially similar to HB 695 (see ALR 99-21 for more information), both sponsored by Jack Franks (D-Marengo). HB 690 failed with only 41 “yes” votes. Forty of those votes came from Democrats and the lone Republican “yes” vote was David McSweeney (R-Cary).


IASB/Alliance advocacy for public education is shaped by the positions established by our members; that’s YOU! You can be an active participant in this process by submitting resolutions through the IASB resolutions process. These submissions are reviewed by a resolutions committee and then forwarded to the Delegate Assembly to be acted upon for adoption. Once your resolution becomes an IASB position statement your advocacy team communicates with lawmakers and policy makers to affect change. The deadline for submitting a resolution is Wednesday, June 24. You can obtain the form to submit your resolution here. Questions? Contact Connie Crowder at 217-528-9688, ext. 1132.

This legislative report was 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.

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