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Alliance Legislative Report 99-01

Distributed via Email: January 13, 2015


2015 ushers in a new look in the state Capitol. Governor Bruce Rauner (R-Winnetka) was inaugurated Monday and the new 99 th Illinois General Assembly will be sworn into office tomorrow (Wednesday). Along with Governor Rauner, several new faces were present among the other state constitutional officers. Joining veteran statewide office-holders Attorney General Lisa Madigan (D-Chicago) and Secretary of State Jesse White (D-Chicago) are newcomers Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti (R-Wheaton), State Comptroller Leslie Munger (R-Lincolnshire), and State Treasurer Michael Frerichs (D-Gifford).

Governor Rauner has begun to assemble his governance team, naming several individuals to specific posts, including his chief of staff, budget director, policy director, legislative director, and a few cabinet posts (Department of Employment Security and Department of Transportation). His staff selections are a mix of veteran Illinois government experts and those whose experience has been established in other states (namely Indiana).

The governor did announce his choice for chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education: Reverend James Meeks. Meeks is a pastor of a large church in Chicago and served for 10 years as a state senator, chairing the Senate Education Committee for a time. He first ran as an independent but served future terms as a Democrat. The fate of the other members of the State Board and the state superintendent has not yet been revealed by the governor.

The legislature is scheduled to be in session Wednesday and Thursday this week and the House of Representatives is planning to return on Jan. 28-29. Both chambers will be in session steadily in February and March. For the full legislative calendar, click here.


Governor Rauner released his transition report which contains his blueprints for improving Illinois, including public education. Pages 43-51 contain his observations and plans for education from pre-school through college. He mentions the lack of technology and district flexibility as challenges, cites a lack of “coordination and accountability” in the public school structure, and acknowledges inadequate funding in both the K-12 and higher education systems.

Governor Rauner does call for relief from mandates on school districts and referred to the Vision 20/20 plan. For more on how school administrators and board members can push for mandate relief please review the last to pages of the 2014 Legislative Session Overview.

In the report, the governor also advocates for the expansion of charter schools and for establishing a pilot project for “turn around schools.” The complete transition report can be found here.


An Alliance Leadership Summit has been scheduled for Feb. 17-18 in Springfield to focus on the future of public education in Illinois and will revolve around "Vision 20/20," the Statewide School Management Alliance's legislative initiative for public education. In addition to informative panels and keynote speakers, there will also be an Alliance reception and legislative visits to the Capitol.

For more information on the summit, go to the IASB homepage.

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

Alliance Legislative Reports are Cosponsored by IASB and:
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