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Alliance Legislative Report 100-15

Distributed via Email: April 21, 2017

The Illinois General Assembly is concluding a two-week break and will return to action next week. The House of Representatives will re-convene on Monday, April 24 and the Senate will resume on Tuesday, April 25. Most action will take place on the respective floors of the chambers as the deadline has passed for a bill to be considered by a committee. Committees will be meeting as needed, however, to consider amendments to bills. The deadline for floor consideration in the chamber of origin is Friday, April 28.

The state continues to struggle without an operating budget in place for most agencies and programs. Before the legislative respite, the majority in the House passed their budget plan to get through the rest of this fiscal year. Called by many names – the lifeline budget, the stop-gap budget, the partial budget – the plan is intended to fund higher education and some social service agencies through the end of June. It is unclear at this time if the Senate will entertain that budget contained in HB 109.

On the larger budget scale, there have been reports that key players have been trying to salvage the “grand bargain” budget plan in the Senate, though there has been no visible movement regarding these components. Thus far, the chilled relationships among Republican and Democrat, House and Senate, and legislature and governor have not seemed to show any defrosting.

There are dozens of significant pieces of legislation that will be considered next week for passage out of the first chamber. Alliance members are urged to talk with their legislators regarding those bills that would be impactful to their school districts. A “Hot Bills” list can be found here.


Monday, April 24, 4:00 p.m., Room 118, State Capitol

HB 537 (Pritchard, R-Sycamore), as amended, requires local governments and school districts to provide certain information to voters when considering referenda regarding sales taxes and issuance of bonds or property taxes. It requires that the local government proposing the referenda publish the question no later than 60 days nor less than 40 days prior to the referenda appearing on the ballot. Amendment #3 would remove provisions only allowing a question to be put one time every 23 months.

Tuesday, April 25, 8:00 a.m., Room 122B, State Capitol

HB 3220 ( Nekritz, D-Northbrook) establishes an Early Retirement Incentive option for teachers. The active teacher must file with the school board before June 30, 2021 written application electing to receive an age enhancement under this section and elect to retire no later than June 30, 2021; have accrued sufficient creditable service; are age 55 by June 30, 2021; not have received any other early retirement incentive. The bill provides for additional calculations and restrictions.

HR 27 ( McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills) states opposition to shifting pension costs of teachers from the state to local school districts.

HR 38 ( Skillicorn, R-Crystal Lake) recognizes that the normal cost of pensions for state educators is the responsibility of the state and should not use the current budget crisis as a reason to shift the financial responsibility to local taxpayers.

Tuesday, April 25, 10:00 a.m., Room 114, State Capitol

HB 512 (Breen, R-Lombard) ,as amended, requires local governments and school districts to publish notice of public questions no later than 60 days nor less than 10 days prior to the referenda appearing on the ballot (currently 30 days).

Tuesday, April 25, 10:00 a.m., Room C-1, Stratton Office Building

HB 2545 ( Davidsmeyer, R-Jacksonville), as amended, requires school personnel who work with students in grades 5-12 to be trained annually at an in-service training institute to identify the warning signs of mental illness and suicide behavior. Pending Amendment #2 would require the training for personnel working with pupils in kindergarten – 12 th grade; pending Amendment #3 would require the training for personnel working with pupils in grades 3-12.

HJR 38 ( Guzzardi, D-Chicago) urges school personnel, parents, and students to be educated about the health impact of heavy backpacks.

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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