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GOVERNMENT RELATIONS


Alliance Legislative Report 97-13

Distributed via Email: April 15, 2011

LEGISLATORS MEET ANOTHER DEADLINE

State lawmakers attempted to meet another deadline today (Friday) as it was the last scheduled day a bill had to be approved in its house of origin. Thus, House bills were to have been sent out of the House of Representatives and Senate bills were to have been sent out of the Senate by the end of the legislative day. The House did complete its business, but the Senate has called for additional time. Upon adjournment today, the Senate extended the passage deadline until May 4, giving Senators two more session days to move their bills. The Senate is scheduled to take two weeks off, returning to the Capitol on May 3. House members get a one week vacation and are scheduled to return on April 26.

Once the bills pass to the next chamber, the House will consider Senate bills and the Senate will consider House bills. Each chamber will assign those bills from the opposite chamber to a substantive committee and the process will repeat itself.

EDUCATION REFORM MEASURE APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY

The education reform bill highlighted in the last Alliance Legislative Report passed the Senate Thursday night on a vote of 59-0. SB 630 (Lightford, D-Maywood) was eventually the bill that contained the reform provisions and passed the Senate. The original plan was to place the contents of the negotiated bill on SB 7, but that bill was not in the legislative posture to move out of the Senate yesterday. The Senate did approve SB 7, with the same reform language, on Friday afternoon.

SB 630/SB 7 would link teacher tenure, teacher hiring, and teacher layoffs to teacher performance. It would add an additional hurdle before teachers could go out on strike, streamline the teacher dismissal process, require school board members to receive training, and require school districts to survey teachers and students on the “learning climate” of the schools in the district. For a full analysis of the bill, click here.

LEGISLATION ON FINANCIAL OVERSIGHT PANELS APPROVED

SB 2149 (Sullivan, D-Rushville) has been approved by the Senate regarding the establishment of Financial Oversight Panels (FOP) for school districts. The current FOP provision in the School Code has been previously utilized for specific school districts that were facing dire financial consequences, needed specific attention from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), and met certain statutory criteria. The ISBE initiated legislation to allow for the expansion of the oversight of these panels. The Alliance has been closely involved with the ISBE in the crafting of the legislation as the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB) adopted a new position statement regarding the use of FOPs. The legislation reflects several provisions of IASB Position Statement 2.26.

Please review the analysis of SB 2149 and HB 3108 (Eddy, R-Hutsonville) here.

HOT BILLS THAT WERE APPROVED THIS WEEK

The following bills were approved by the House of Representatives and were sent to the Senate:

HB 2407 (Brown, R-Decatur) , regarding the competitive bidding process for school districts, p rovides that a school board has the power to require that bids include an itemization of costs for any subcontracts. "Subcontracts" are defined in the bill to mean electric, plumbing, heating, ventilation, fire protection, and asbestos abatement contracts that are incorporated into a prime contract.

HB 3474 (May, D-Highland Park) r equires employers participating in the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF), including school districts, to post the total compensation package of employees making more than $75,000 per year. It provides that if a new IMRF hire is receiving a retirement annuity or pension and accepts a contractual position to provide services to a governmental entity from which he or she has retired, then that person's annuity or pension will be suspended during that contractual service. It would make it a Class A misdemeanor for a pensioner who is seeking contractual employment to fail to notify certain persons about his or her retirement status before accepting an employment contract. The bill applies the 6% salary cap (now in place in TRS) to IMRF.

The following bills were approved by the Senate and were sent to the House of Representatives:

SB 150 (Raoul, D-Chicago) ) requires school boards to adopt a policy that is in compliance with the Illinois High School Association’s (IHSA) protocol regarding student athletes suspected of sustaining a concussion or head injury. Information on the district policy must be provided to student athletes and their parents and the IHSA must provide concussion information to the school district for distribution to coaches, athletes, and parents.

SB 1578 (Holmes, D-Aurora) provides that of the four yearly teacher institute days, two days may be used as a teacher's and educational support personnel (ESP) workshop. It p rovides that ESPs may be exempt from a workshop if it is not relevant to the work they do and it is not related to the health and safety of students.

SB 2134 (Garrett, D-Lake Forest) encourages the Regional Office of Education to offer school districts the opportunity to participate in shared operational programs and for school districts to explore new ways to consolidate services and programs with other school districts. The bill also requires school districts to complete a one-page checklist along with the annual financial report to disclose which types of shared service options they may be participating in.

SB 2279 (Raoul) extends the expiration date (by 10 years) for which a person who has retired under TRS may work for a TRS employer for 120 days, instead of 100 days. The provision to allow retirees to work for 120 days was due to “sunset” in 201. The bill moves the date back to 2021.

OTHER LEGISLATION APPROVED THIS WEEK

The following bills were approved by the House of Representatives and were sent to the Senate:

HB 363 (Zalewski, D-Chicago) would require that taxing districts include the Department of Revenue multiplier as a part of the calculation of the estimated cost of an increase in the Limiting Rate being sought in a referendum under PTELL, on a home of $100,000.

HB 1130 (Sente, D-Lincolnshire) creates the Movable Soccer Goal Safety Act that requires entities that sponsor a soccer program (including school districts) to have a policy that outlines how the body will specifically address the safety issues associated with movable soccer goals.

HB 1716 (Durkin, R-Western Springs) authorizes a public body to charge a FOIA records requester for the actual cost of retrieving and transporting public records from an off-site storage facility when the those records are maintained by a third-party storage company that is under contract with that public body.

HB 2265 (Sosnowski, R-Belvidere) provides that "multifunction school-activity bus" means a school bus manufactured for the purpose of transporting 11 or more persons (rather than 11 to 15 persons), including the driver, whose purposes do not include transporting students to and from home or school bus stops.

HB 3223 (Senger, R-Naperville) requires that a remote educational program include the school term for the program, which may vary from the regular school term of the school district.

HB 3294 (Nybo, R-Lombard) allows schools to have access to life-saving emergency epinephrine auto-injectors if and when a student has an anaphylaxis reaction and to allow the school to have personnel trained to administer an emergency epinephrine auto-injector.

The following bills were approved by the Senate and were sent to the House of Representatives:

SB 79 (Steans, D-Chicago) establishes a State Charter School Commission as an independent state agency with statewide chartering jurisdiction and authority.

SB 1742 (Althoff, R-Crystal Lake) adds new information that the Chicago Public Schools must provide to the General Assembly regarding its use of block grants.

SB 1794 (Lightford) and SB 1795 (Lightford) make technical changes and “clean-up” revisions in the School Code.

SB 1799 (Steans) provides that the ISBE shall have the power and authority to sanction teacher and administrator preparation programs, maintain a system of certification testing aligned with ISBE standards, and establish a code of ethics for all educators.

This legislative report is 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 Illinois Statewide School Management Alliance.

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


Alliance Legislative Reports are Cosponsored by IASB and:
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