General Assembly Address Current Fiscal Year SpendingBefore crafting the Fiscal Year 2023 budget, the Democratic Majority of the Illinois General Assembly worked with Governor Pritzker to address several outstanding budget issues. The opinion of whether those issues were resolving real problems or just passing on the cost to Illinois employers took a decidedly partisan tone. Democrats supported Senate Bill 2803 (Holmes, D-Aurora) and Republicans voted against the measure.
The spending package in SB 2803 included $2.7 billion for the underfunded Unemployment Insurance trust fund from Federal American Rescue Plan Act. Democrats argued that $2.7 billion for the Unemployment Insurance trust fund was a boost to a fund that is underfunded because of historically large claims due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On the other side of the aisle, Republicans argued not fully closing the backlog to the fund was a quasi-tax on employers who will be responsible for closing the gap in the fund.
Senate Bill 2803 also includes Illinois generated General Revenue Funds to pay down $900 million in state employee health insurance costs, an additional $300 million payment to the state pension funds, and $230 million to cover outstanding liabilities for College Illinois.
With two weeks to go before scheduled adjournment, only a few bills have been sent to the governor’s desk. If your school district has questions, concerns, or praise for any outstanding pieces of legislation, now is the time to reach out to members of the Illinois General Assembly. IASB will continue to keep you informed of important legislative action as it unfolds over the next two weeks.
Bills out of Senate Committees week of March 21HB 3296 (Ness, D-Carpentersville) requires a school district to offer a program to prepare students enrolled in grades 6 through 12 for a career and technical education pathway.
HB 3573 (Holmes) requires a school district to pay to its employees who provide educational support services to the district their daily, regular rate of pay and benefits rendered for any remote learning day if the remote learning day precludes them from performing their regularly scheduled duties and they would have reported for work but for the remote learning day.
HB 4089 (Nichols, D-Burbank) requires a school district to provide a plant-based school lunch option to those students who submit a prior request to the school district requesting a plant-based school lunch option.
HB 4246 (Scherer, D-Decatur) provides for the reinstatement of a lapsed Professional Educator License upon the payment by the applicant of a $50 penalty (rather than a $500 penalty).
HB 4316 (Mussman, D-Schaumburg) requires the superintendent of an employing school to notify the State Superintendent of Education and applicable regional superintendent of schools if they have reasonable cause to believe that a license holder committed an act of sexual misconduct that resulted in the license holder's dismissal or resignation from the school district.
HB 4365 (Didech, D-Buffalo Grove) allows a student's Individualized Education Program (IEP) team to determine whether the special education program of a school district is unable to meet the needs of a child with a disability.
HB 4690 (Mussman) restarts the process of removal or dismissal of teachers and principals that were paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
HB 4994 (Crespo, D-Streamwood) provides that each year prior to the start of the school year, a school board shall file its threat assessment procedure and a list identifying the members of the school district's threat assessment team or regional behavior threat assessment and intervention team with a local law enforcement agency and the regional office of education.
HB 5127 (Halpin, D-Rock Island) provides that within 40 days (instead of 28) after the consolidated election, the board shall organize by electing its officers and fixing a time and place for the regular meetings.
HB 5214 (Villa, D-West Chicago) requires school districts to provide interpreters for parents in IEP and 504 plan meetings.
HB 5265 (Guzzardi, D-Chicago) provides that no discrimination or punishment of any kind, including, but not limited to, the lowering of grades, exclusion from classes, or withholding of student records, transcripts, or diplomas, may be exercised against a student because the student's parents or guardians are unable to purchase required textbooks or instructional materials.
Bills Out of House Committees week of March 21HB 1170 (Meyers-Martin, D-Matteson) allows a school district to in partnership with other school districts, community colleges, universities, and employers to establish a career and technical education center.
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.
SB 3709 (Holmes) provides that with respect to a special education cooperative reorganization, the contractual continued service status of a teacher transfers to the new or different board.
SB 3793 (Morrison, D-Deerfield) adds community service as a penalty for failing to stop before meeting or overtaking a school bus that is stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging pupils and has displayed visual signals.
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.
Bills in Committee week of March 28HB 4243 (Mason, D-Gurnee) prohibits a high school from withholding a student's grades, transcripts, or diploma because of an unpaid balance on the student's school account.
HB 4813 (Gordon-Booth, D-Peoria) exempts from contract bidding requirements contracts for goods, services, or management in the operation of a school's food service, including a school that participates in any of the United States Department of Agriculture's child nutrition programs.
HB 5159 (Evans, D-Chicago) requires school boards to cover the transit fees of students residing one and one-half miles or more from any school to which they are assigned for attendance, regardless of the availability of public transportation.