Scheduled Adjournment Day ApproachingWith the scheduled adjournment date less than a month away, the Illinois General Assembly convened in Springfield without much tangible progress. Often in the closing weeks of a spring legislative session closed door meetings take place to craft budget and spending plans for the next fiscal year. While not all that information is made public, what appear to be delays are actually progress being made in the legislative process. The Senate continued to pass bills to the House this week, albeit at a much slower pace.
Next week, the House is expected to begin hearing Senate Bills in House Committees in a large-scale effort. The Senate will not be in session but will be conducting virtual committee hearings on a variety of appropriations issues. When both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly are in session again at the same time there will a frenetic three-week march to the scheduled adjournment date of April 8th.
Bills Passed the SenateSB 2803 (Holmes, D-Aurora) appropriates $2,000,000,000 from the State Coronavirus Urgent Remediation Emergency Fund to the Department of Employment Security for payment to the Illinois Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund for partial repayment.
SB 3663 (Rezin, R-Morris) Provides that the number of professional development hours required is reduced by 20% for any renewal cycle that includes the 2021-2022 school year.
Bills in House CommitteesHouse Elem. & Secondary Education: School Curriculum & Policies Committee
Wednesday, March 16, 9 a.m., Virtual Room 1
SB 3845 (Johnson, D-Waukegan) requires the Gender Equity Advisory Committee to 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 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.
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.
House Elementary & Secondary Education: Administration, Licensing & Charter Schools Committee
Wednesday, March 16, 2 p.m., Virtual Room 1
SB 3867 (Johnson) provides that all school boards shall waive fees assessed by the district for each student with a parent who is a veteran or active-duty military with an income at or below 200% of the federal poverty level.
SB 3893 (Joyce, D-Park Forest) provides that a substitute teacher may teach up to 120 (instead of 90) school days for any one licensed teacher under contract in the same school year.
SB 3907 (Turner, D., D-Springfield) provides that an individual holding a Short-Term Substitute Teaching License may teach up to 15 (instead of five) consecutive days.
SB 3915 (Loughran Cappel) provides that the application fee for a Short-Term Substitute Teaching License shall be waived when the governor has declared a disaster due to a public health emergency.
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 3988 (Pacione-Zayas, D-Chicago) allows a paraprofessional educator endorsement on an Educator License with Stipulations to be issued to an applicant who is at least 18 years of age only until the individual reaches the age of 19 years and otherwise meets the criteria for a paraprofessional educator endorsement.