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GOVERNMENT RELATIONS


Alliance Legislative Report 98-08

Distributed via Email: March 8, 2013

HOUSE TAKES FIRST ACTION ON PENSIONS

The Illinois House of Representatives took the first step, albeit a small one, towards acting on pension reform legislation. In House floor action Thursday, members approved an amendment that would cap salaries for pensionable purposes to mirror the limit currently used under the Social Security Act. This would apply to all State pension systems, including the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS).

House Amendment #7 to HB 1154 states that when calculating a TRS member’s pension in the future, the salary used in the calculation could not be more than the Social Security limit (currently just over $113,000), or the most recent salary of the participant (based on the person’s salary 365 days before this law would be enacted). The amendment was adopted onto the bill, but the bill is still pending on the House floor.

House Speaker Michael Madigan allowed for votes on a few pension amendments this week as he did last week. This is the first pension amendment that has gained approval. This will likely not be the bill that will ultimately contain pension reform legislation as discussions and negotiations will continue over the next several weeks in both the House and the Senate. However, given this preliminary approval, it certainly makes it much more likely that a pensionable salary cap will be part of the final pension “solution”.

Last week amendments failed on raising the retirement age for the State’s pension systems and for eliminating the cost of living adjustment (COLA). This week another COLA amendment failed along with an amendment to increase the employee’s pension contribution to 4% of salary.

Both Speaker Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton indicated that there could be action taken on pension legislation next week.

OTHER BILL ACTION THIS WEEK

SB 1703 ( Haine, D-Alton) adds October 7 ( Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Remembrance Day) as a commemorative holiday. The bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

SB 1845 ( Mulroe, D-Chicago) allows for school social work to include services for establishing and delivering anti-bullying programs. The bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

SB 1880 ( Manar, D-Bunker Hill) provides for tax equivalent grants to a school district in which the State Capitol is located, subject to appropriation. The bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

HB 2245 (Chapa LaVia, D-Aurora) provides that upon employment and at least once every 5 years thereafter, school personnel, including substitute teachers, who work directly with students must complete mandated reporter training provided by an individual or agency with expertise in recognizing and reporting child abuse. The bill was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

HB 2428 (Conroy, D-Villa Park) requires the ISBE to establish a Task Force on Civic Education. The bill was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

BILLS SCHEDULED FOR COMMITTEE NEXT WEEK

SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE
Tuesday, March 12, 1:00 p.m., Room 400 State Capitol

SB 1931 ( Bivins, R-Dixon) creates the School Security and Standards Task Force to study the security of schools.

SB 1932 ( Bivins) requires a school board to consult with law enforcement and security experts in the design and planning stages of the construction of any new school building or additions.

SB 2157 (Cunningham, D-Chicago) provides that, if requested, a school board is authorized to excuse a pupil from engaging in a physical education course if the pupil has an intellectual or physical disability, is participating in an athletic program outside of the school setting, and documents such participation as determined by the school board.

SB 2198 (Connelly, R-Wheaton) provides that the Section concerning transportation to and from specified interscholastic or school-sponsored activities does not apply to transition students who have completed grades 9 through 12.

SB 2199 ( Frerichs, D-Champaign) removes a provision that prohibits a candidate for licensure from beginning an internship or residency required for licensure until he or she has passed the applicable content area test.

SB 2213 (Sullivan, D-Rushville) , an Alliance initiative, permits school districts to contract out for Drivers’ Education services.

SB 2259 (McCann, R-Jacksonville) requires teachers to complete 20 hours of in-service training annually, 10 hours of which a teacher may complete through online.

SB 2321 ( Bertino-Tarrant, D-Plainfield) , an Alliance initiative, provides that a school board may excuse pupils in grades 9 through 12 enrolled in a show choir program for credit from engaging in physical education courses if those pupils request to be excused for ongoing participation in such show choir program.

SB 2340 ( Steans, D-Chicago) allows the ISBE to remove elected school board members and to “suspend” the opportunity for local school board elections (see ALR 98-04)

SB 2377 (Link, D-Vernon Hills) provides that any charter school located in a school district that contains all or part of a federal military base may set aside up to 33% of its current charter enrollment to students with parents assigned to the federal military base.

HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS – ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION COMMITTEE
Tuesday, March 12, 3:00 p.m., Room C-1, Stratton Office Building

Subject Matter Hearing: Illinois State Board of Education Budget

HOUSE ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION COMMITTEE
Wednesday, March 13, 8:30 a.m., Room D-1, Stratton Office Building

HB 2491 ( Cabello, R-Loves Park) requires the ISBE to perform an income eligibility review on all applications for participation in the school breakfast program, the school lunch program, the free breakfast program, the free lunch program, or the summer food service program.

HB 2513 (Phelps, D-Harrisburg) requires all new school building construction to include a storm shelter in its design and construction.

HB 2631 (Chapa LaVia) provides that any two or more school districts that share the same boundaries may combine transportation activities.

HB 2660 ( Davis, W., D-Hazel Crest) an Alliance initiative, adjusts the school funding formula for school districts with Charter Schools.  

HB 2670 (Dunkin, D-Chicago) requires schools to provide at least 20 minutes of recess each day for grades kindergarten through five.

HB 2681 (Hernandez, D- Cicero ) requires high school students to complete 40 hours of community service to be eligible to graduate high school.

HB 2682 (Hernandez) requires prospective teachers in a teacher preparation programs to receive instruction on the linguistic, cultural, evaluative, and instructional methods related to the education of English Language Learners.

HB 2758 ( Cabello) requires the ISBE to perform an income eligibility review on a random 20% of all applications for participation in the school breakfast program, the school lunch program, the free breakfast program, the free lunch program, or the summer food service program.

HB 2762 (Scherer, D-Decatur) lowers the compulsory school age from 7 years to 6 years.

HB 2768 (Welch, D-Westchester) requires principals to utilize resources of proper law enforcement agencies when the safety and welfare of students and teachers are threatened by illegal use or possession of weapons or by illegal gang activity.

HB 2837 ( Demmer, R-Rochelle) requires all reports submitted on behalf of education-related advisory groups, boards, committees, councils, task forces, and working be submitted to the Illinois P-20 Council.

HB 2851 (Conroy) requires a school district to provide the performance evaluation for teachers and principals upon the request of the parents of a student.

HB 2852 (Conroy) requires school boards to develop and implement a policy for notifying parents of students who use a school bus stop located within 500 feet of the residence of a registered sex offender.

HB 2880 (Ford, D-Chicago) requires the ISBE to establish a standard student expulsion policy that applies to each school district.

HB 2931 (Ives, R-Wheaton) ,concerning transportation to and from specified interscholastic or school-sponsored activities, does not apply to students with disabilities who are receiving transportation for curriculum-related activities as part of the student's individualized educational program.

HB 2944 (Drury, D-Highwood) requires non-public schools to administer the ISAT examinations.

HB 2966 (Costello, D-Red Bud) requires the ISBE to establish a bullying hotline.

HB 2978 (Lilly, D-Chicago) requires student teachers to undergo criminal background checks.

HB 3031 ( Cloonen, D-Kankakee) states that school board members may expend district funds only for “school purposes”, including the conduct of business, operations, and education. It prohibits expenditures for “entertainment purposes”.

HB 3053 ( McAsey, D-Romeoville) allows a school board to excuse a pupil from engaging in a physical education course if the pupil is a child with a disability, is participating in an athletic program outside of the school setting that is equivalent to a varsity athletic program at his or her school, and documents such participation.

HB 3063 (Roth, R-Morris) provides that if a first-year principal evaluates teachers where the evaluation plan provides for a teacher in contractual continued service to be evaluated once in the course of every two school years, then a new 2-year evaluation plan must be established.

HB 3065 (Fortner, R-West Chicago) requires high schools to increase graduation requirements by adding a year of math.

HB 3070 ( Farnham, D-Elgin) requires school guidance counselors, teachers, school social workers, and other school personnel to be trained to identify the warning signs of mental illness.

HB 3077 (Evans, D-Chicago) requires the ISBE to create a statewide dropout reengagement system to provide appropriate educational opportunities and access to services for students ages 16 to 21 years who have dropped out of high school.

HB 3084 ( Mell, D-Chicago) requires high school students to complete 15 hours of community service to be eligible to graduate high school.

SENATE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Wednesday, March 13, 3:00 p.m., Room 212, State Capitol

SB 1 ( Cullerton, D-Chicago) contains Senate-initiated pension reform provisions, including the “election” by pension system participants to choose between a compounding COLA and health insurance benefits.

SB 35 ( Biss, D-Evanston) contains House-initiated pension reform provisions, including capping the pensionable salary, increasing the retirement age, and delaying and decreasing the COLA.

SB 2404 (Holmes, D-Aurora) contains the labor union-initiated pension reform provisions, including increasing the employees’ contribution amount, adjusting the “pension ramp”, and providing additional revenues earmarked to make pension payments.

HOUSE REVENUE COMMITTEE
Thursday, March 14, 8:00 a.m., Room 115, State Capitol

HB 2466 (Harris, D., R-Mt. Prospect) increases the General Homestead Exemption from $6,000 to $7,000.

HB 2524 (Sims, D-Chicago) increases by $100 million the amount of General Obligation Bonds authorized to be sold for grants to schools for the School Construction Law.

HB 2605 ( Mautino, D-Spring Valley) transfers 25% of certain surplus funds to the Common School Fund.

HB 2651 ( Mautino) requires the Department of Revenue to certify to each assessment officer the EAV per acre of farmland for each soil productivity index, provides that any increase or decrease in the EAV per acre by soil productivity index shall not exceed 10% from the previous year’s soil productivity index certified assessed value of the median cropped soil.

HB 2806 ( Osmond, R-Antioch) provides that the school’s custodian of funds has right to legal counsel of the school district’s choosing when a tax objection complaint is filed, instead of representation by the State’s Attorney.

HB 2928 ( Zalewski, D-Riverside) increases the Senior Citizens Homestead Exemption to $5,000, the General Homestead Exemption to $7,000 in Cook County and $6,000 in all other counties.

HB 3041 ( Kifowit, D-Aurora) allows for zero growth in the property tax extension for school districts in counties under the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL) if overall EAV has decreased from the previous year’s EAV.

HB 310 (Ford) creates a lottery scratch off for School Choice Scholarships, providing a private school voucher program with proceeds from the scratch off fund that would be directed toward the 20 regions where the most lottery tickets are sold.

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 Statewide School Management Alliance.

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


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