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GOVERNMENT RELATIONS


Alliance Legislative Report 99-48

Distributed via Email: June 1, 2016

SESSION ADJOURNED; NO BUDGET APPROVED

For the second consecutive summer, the Illinois General Assembly will be in “continuous session” as lawmakers search for an elusive budget deal. Like last year, the legislature adjourned without approving a budget for the coming fiscal year. A mixture of court orders and the shifting of revenues from dedicated funds into the General Revenue Fund have allowed the state to be operational for the past 11 months even though no spending plan was ever adopted by lawmakers.

Groups of legislators had been meeting in “working groups” for the past several weeks in hopes of reaching a budget compromise. Even though the groups reportedly had been making progress, House Speaker Michael Madigan announced early in the day Tuesday that there would not be enough time to draft and pass an agreed bill and that the House would be meeting each Wednesday of June to keep working on a Fiscal Year 2017 budget. Governor Bruce Rauner responded by calling for a "stop-gap" six-month budget to keep state government operating and to assure school districts that funding would be available to open schools in the fall. This plan was rejected by the Democrat majorities.

But both the House and Senate continued to work into the night and adjourned as the clock was approaching midnight. The House will return to the Capitol on Wednesday, June 8; the Senate is adjourned until “the call of the chair.”

APPROPRIATION BILLS DEFEATED

Not only are the governor and Democrat leadership at odds on the budget, but the Democrat majorities in the House and Senate are apparently not on the same page either.

As highlighted in the last Alliance Legislative Report, the House had approved an omnibus budget bill (SB 2048) and sent it over to the Senate. The bill would have funded all of state government, including K-12 education with a $700 million increase in the form of "equity grants." Amid concerns that the bill was billions of dollars out of balance, the Senate called the bill Tuesday night and it was defeated on a vote of 17-31-10.

The Senate then approved a stand-alone K-12 education appropriations bill (HB 2990) that would have held all school districts harmless at the FY '16 funding level, added $700 million in "equity grants" based on low income student concentration levels, and provided $205 million to the Chicago Public Schools for pension payments. But upon arriving in the House, only 24 representatives supported the bill and it failed on a roll call vote of 24-92.

That was the last game in town and both chambers adjourned shortly after that vote.

NO SCHOOL FUNDING FORMULA CHANGES

Both HB 3190 (Davis, W., D-East Hazel Crest) and SB 231 (Manar, D-Bunker Hill) were scheduled for hearing in the House Executive Committee Tuesday morning. Shortly before the committee was set to begin, it was announced that the hearing was postponed. When the committee re-convened in the afternoon, it was announced that neither bill would be considered this spring.

SB 231 would have replaced the current General State Aid formula and collapsed GSA, special education, and poverty grants into a single formula. It used weighted measures in the foundation level so certain characteristics and students would have generated increased funding. Additional weighting, for instance, would have been added for low-income students, English language learners, and special education students. Opponents of the plan were concerned that when funds were redistributed it could have created a scenario of “winners and losers” among school districts.

HB 3190 was a “hybrid plan” that would have replaced the current funding formula next year with the components of SB 231, but for fiscal years 2018 and beyond would have implemented an Evidence-Based Funding Model for funding distribution. The bill also would have provided $205 million to Chicago Public Schools (CPS) for payment to the teachers’ pension fund.

Discussions on changing the school funding formula will likely continue throughout the summer.

BILL ACTION FROM THIS WEEK

The following bills were approved by the legislature and will be sent to the governor:

HB 4036 (Lilly, D-Chicago) extends FMLA to all employers for employee leave related to domestic violence.

HB 4365 (Welch, D-Westchester) provides that IHSA must require all member schools that have certified athletic trainers to complete a monthly report on student-athletes who have sustained a concussion.

HB 4630 (Ives, R-Wheaton) requires that any and all available minutes and verbatim recordings of meetings closed to the public prior to a newly elected official's term in a public body shall be available to that official for review, regardless of whether those minutes or verbatim recordings are confidential.

HB 4715 (Bryant, R-Mt. Vernon) allows the court to fine a public body $1,000 each day the public body fails to comply with a court’s order regarding a FOIA compliance violation.

HB 5720 (Andrade, D-Chicago) establishes a task force on Computer Science Education.

HB 5729 (K. Burke, D-Oak Lawn) establishes the Post-Secondary and Workforce Readiness Act and requires higher education boards and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to jointly adopt and publicize model post-secondary and career expectations for K-12 students. It establishes a competency-based, high school graduation requirements pilot program; transitional mathematics courses; reading and communication transitional competencies; and College and Career Pathway Endorsements and State Distinction programs.

HB 5901 (Guzzardi, D-Chicago) requires the principal of each public school to report to ISBE certain information concerning the administration of assessments to students.

HB 5902 (Guzzardi) provides that a student journalist has the right to exercise freedom of speech and of the press in school-sponsored media, regardless of whether the media is supported financially by the school district or by use of school facilities or produced in conjunction with a class in which the student is enrolled.

HB 5918 (Thapedi, D-Chicago) provides that a charter shall be granted for a period of five school years and may be renewed in incremental periods not to exceed ten (instead of five) school years.

HB 6044 (Chapa LaVia) delays for a year when ISBE and a Balanced Accountability Measure Committee will identify a number of school districts to begin implementing balanced accountability measures.

HB 6131 (Hurley, D-Chicago) provides that a driver education course (whether offered by a public school, a non-public school, or a driver training school) shall include instruction concerning law enforcement procedures for traffic stops, including a demonstration of the proper actions to be taken during a traffic stop and appropriate interactions with law enforcement.

HB 6136 (Wallace, D-Rockford) creates the Advisory Council on At-Risk Students within ISBE.

HB 6162 (Skoog, D-Peru) requires employers to grant use of sick leave including illness, injury, or medical appointment of the employee’s child, spouse, sibling, parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandchild, grandparent, or stepparent.

HB 6252 (Willis, D-North Lake) allows a certain school district to withdraw from a special education joint agreement.  

HB 6299 (Andrade) provides that if an Educational Support Personnel (ESP) is dismissed as a result of a RIF and the employee accepts re-employment with the same district, the employee maintains any rights accrued during the previous service with the school district.  

HB 6333 (Gabel, D-Chicago) requires ISBE to create a model asthma episode emergency response protocol to be adopted by school districts.

SB 1582 (Nybo, R-Lombard) allows students with IEPs who attend certain private day schools to be transported in a multi-function school activity bus.

SB 2186 (Althoff, R-McHenry) provides that a school district is subject to and its school board must comply with any valid local government zoning ordinance or resolution that applies where the pertinent part of the school district is located.

SB 2227 (Holmes, D-Aurora) provides that the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity shall submit a bi-yearly review and report on mandates (beginning in 2019) detailing the nature and scope of each existing state mandate enacted the previous two years and another review and report every 10 years (beginning in 2017) on all effective mandates.

SB 2823 (Koehler, D-Peoria) allows a school board, by a resolution adopted by at least two-thirds of the board members, to engage the services of a licensed real estate broker to sell property constructed or renovated by students as part of a curricular program, for a commission not to exceed seven percent, contingent on the sale of the property within 120 days.

SB 2896 (Althoff) provides annual notice to IMRF annuitants that they must report employment with an IMRF employer, reimbursement to the fund is shared when a violation occurs and for employers only when they have knowingly failed to notify IMRF to suspend the annuity. The reimbursement provisions do not apply if the annuitant returned to work with the employer for less than 12 months.  

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


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