Delivered via email: February 25, 2022
Hundreds of Bills Pass Out of Original ChambersThe work of the General Assembly was mostly done on the House and Senate floor this week as the Senate passed a deadline to move bills out of the chamber on Friday, February 25. The House is in session next week before their deadline to move House bills out of the House. The Senate will not be in session next week. Many bills impacting school districts were passed and will now be heard in the other legislative chamber.
Changes Adopted to COVID Paid Administrative Leave BillHouse Bill 1167 (Yang-Rorh, D-Naperville) was introduced as a response to Governor JB Pritzker’s veto of House Bill 2778. HB 1167 would provide paid administrative leave to vaccinated, full-time school employees who have taken sick days due to COVID-19. The sick days used due to COVID-19 would also be restored under HB 1167. One of the most concerning provisions of the bill, double pay for full-time support personnel, was amended out of the bill on February 24.
Employee Mental Health Day Bill Amended in SenateUpon introduction, Senate Bill 3914 (Loughran-Cappel, D-Plainfield) would have given an additional five days of paid mental health leave for all full-time school employees. However, an amendment was adopted in the Senate that will allow full-time school district employees to take mental health days as part of sick days. A school board would be allowed to ask for a “doctor’s note” just as they would for any other usage of a sick day. SB 3914 passed the Senate on February 25. The House version of the original language, HB 4742 (Hernandez, B., D-Aurora) has not yet been amended and contains five additional days of leave.
Changes Proposed to Virtual MeetingsSenate Bill 932 (Castro, D-Elgin) was amended to allow the presiding officer of a public body to determine if holding an in-person meeting would risk the health or safety of members of the public body and to conduct a virtual meeting instead. The bill is being supported by local governments, including school districts, to allow for local control while preserving the integrity of an open meeting. SB 932 was passed out of the Senate Executive Committee but has not yet been called for a vote on the Senate floor.
Bills Passed the SenateSB 3106 (Murphy, D-Des Plaines) provides that parcels are contiguous if they touch or join one another in a substantial sense.
SB 3789 (Morrison, J., D-Highwood) provides that school district efficiency reports must be adopted at open meetings.
SB 3845 (Johnson, D-Waukegan) requires the Gender Equity Advisory Committee submit recommendations on how school districts can better support historically disadvantaged males, including African American students and other students of color, to ensure educational equity.
SB 3907 (Turner, D., D-Carlinville) provides that an individual holding a Short-Term Substitute Teaching License may teach up to 15 (instead of five) consecutive days per licensed teacher.
SB 3986 (Pacione-Zayas, D-Chicago) prohibits the State Board of Education from requiring a school district to administer, develop, or purchase a standardized assessment for students enrolled in prekindergarten through grade 2, other than for diagnostic purposes.
SB 4028 (Simmons, D-Chicago) with respect to the Comprehensive Health Education Program, requires that the instruction on mental health and illness include how and where to find mental health resources in this state.
Bills Passed the HouseHB 4173 (Zalewski, D-Chicago) for a specific township, provides that the school business of the township shall be transacted by four elected trustees and three trustees who are appointed by the school boards (or officers) of specified school districts (rather than three elected trustees).
HB 4292 (Morgan, D-Highwood) extends the option for a pension participant to receive an accelerated pension benefit payment in lieu of any pension benefit or for a reduction in the increases to his or her annual retirement annuity and survivor's annuity to June 30, 2026 (instead of June 30, 2024).
HB 4646 (Yang Rohr) provides that (Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund) IMRF trustees must be granted at least 20 days of paid leave per year for the purpose of attending meetings of the IMRF Board of Trustees.