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GOVERNMENT RELATIONS


Alliance Legislative Report 97-11

Distributed via Email: April 8, 2011

The Illinois General Assembly convened in the Capitol this week, proceeding with hundreds of less controversial bills, and meeting behind closed doors on several of the weightier legislative issues. Discussions continued on the Fiscal Year 2012 state budget, education reform, workers compensation reform, and other legislative initiatives.

EDUCATION REFORM TALKS CONCLUDING

As was reported in the last Alliance Legislative Report, there have been continuing talks regarding education reform. Most of the discussions have been in the Senate, though there was a short-lived attempt in the House of Representatives this week to jumpstart the ed reform issue in a committee amendment. The House committee hearing that was scheduled for this purpose was cancelled after communication between legislators spearheading this effort in the House and Senate agreed negotiations were progressing and more time should be given to stakeholders.

An education proposal is expected to emerge in the Senate next week. Though there have been some tentative agreements on issues such as using teacher performance as a factor in filling teacher vacancies, placing limitations on teacher certificates, and attaining tenure, there are still several outstanding issues. In the likely event that agreements are not reached on teacher dismissal procedures, teacher strike law changes, principal certification changes, and school board member training requirements, members of the Senate will determine the magnitude and design of these provisions in the bill.

Once an amendment is drafted, the Alliance Legislative Report will get details out to Alliance members. The Senate plans to pass an education reform bill out of the Senate by next week’s deadline to have Senate bills out of the Senate.

BILL ACTION THIS WEEK

The following bills were approved by the House of Representatives and will be sent to the Senate for further consideration:

HB 78 (Jakobsson, D-Urbana) provides that if a school board designates the area within 1,000 feet of a school to be a safe school zone, then the principal of that school and the local law enforcement agency may prohibit persons, other than residents, from entering the safe school zone without a legitimate purpose.

HB 139 (Ford, D-Chicago) with an Alliance amendment, adds a provision to the remediation section of the State Goals and Assessments article that when a remediation program is developed for a student the program may include an emphasis on reading and math if the student has performed below grade level for 2 consecutive school years.

HB 192 (Eddy, R-Hutsonville) , as amended, amends the Stalking No Contact Order Act to provide that the court may order that the respondent accept a change of educational placement or program, as determined by the school district. The bill makes other changes for this procedure and adds protections for the school district.

HB 287 (Flowers, D-Chicago) provides that a school board may create a committee on the retention of students, consisting of the district superintendent, a district administrator who directs student instruction and curriculum, a principal, and a teacher. If such a committee is created, it requires that the committee review the school's decision to retain with respect to each student and make a final decision regarding whether or not to retain a particular student – allowing the committee to prohibit a school board from retaining a student.

HB 1204 (Howard, D-Chicago) r equires school districts to provide instruction in violence prevention and conflict resolution education for grades kindergarten through 12 (rather than grades 4 through 12).

HB 1216 (Chapa LaVia, D-Aurora) establishes the School District Realignment and Consolidation Commission that will include representatives from Alliance partner organizations, to make recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly on the number of school districts in this state, the optimal amount of enrollment for a school district, and where consolidation and realignment would be beneficial.

HB 1486 (Saviano, R-Elmwood Park) extends the Tax Increment Financing District from 23 to 35 years for the Village of Bensenville.

HB 1518 (Currie, D-Chicago) for the Senior Citizens Real Estate Tax Referral Act beginning in tax year 2012, increases the taxpayer's income eligibility limit from $50,000 to $55,000. It provides that "qualified property" must not be held in trust, other than an Illinois land trust with the taxpayer identified as the sole beneficiary, if the taxpayer is filing for the program for the first time effective as of the Jan. 1, 2011 assessment year or tax year 2012 and thereafter.

HB 1530 (Lang, D-Skokie) provides that an insurer that provides coverage for hospital or medical expenses under a group policy of accident and health insurance or health care plan shall provide coverage under the policy for treatment of serious mental illness and substance use disorders (instead of serious mental illness).

HB 1549 (Tracy, R-Quincy) provides that any person trained (instead of currently certified) in basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation or AED use provides emergency care shall not, as the result of his or her acts or omissions in providing emergency care, be liable for civil damages, unless the acts or omissions constitute willful and wanton misconduct.

HB 1552 (Nybo, R-Elmhurst) provides that the Department of Human Rights shall adopt the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission's determination as its own (instead of at the Department's discretion, the Department may accept the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission's determination as its own or process the charge pursuant to the Act).

HB 1645 (Hatcher, R-Yorkville) provides that, if in any taxable year the governing authority of any taxing district determines that a surplus of funds is available from any source, that taxing district may, by resolution or ordinance, eliminate its tax levy for that taxable year.

HB 1706 (Gabel, D-Evanston) , regarding personnel reimbursement for children in hospital or home instruction, provides that a child qualifies for home or hospital instruction if it is anticipated that, due to a medical condition, the child will be unable to attend school and instead must be instructed at home or in the hospital for a period of two or more consecutive weeks or on an ongoing intermittent basis.

HB 2086 (Davis, M., D-Chicago) provides that under no circumstances may an eligible student be denied participation in an alternative learning opportunities program based solely on the fact that he or she has been suspended or expelled from school.

HB 2100 (McAsey, D-Romeoville ) changes the name of the offenses of criminal street gang recruitment on school grounds or public property adjacent to school grounds to criminal street gang recruitment on school grounds, public property adjacent to school grounds, or park district property. It also includes in the offense criminal street gang recruitment on park district property.

HB 2401 (Mitchell, R-Rock Falls) as amended provides that each campus of a Chicago charter school devoted to reenrolling dropouts must be operated through a contract or payroll by the same legal entity as that for which the charter was certified.

HB 2870 (Chapa La Via) provides that school districts shall provide the opportunity for students to voluntarily state on the enrollment form whether the student has a parent or guardian who serves in a branch of the armed forces. It requires each school district to report this enrollment information as aggregate data to the ISBE under the Student Information System.

HB 3027 (Crespo, D-Streamwood) requires student teachers to undergo a State Police and FBI fingerprint-based criminal history records check.

HB 3109 (Cole, R-Lake Villa) as amended, requires new questions to be answered by the Advisory Council on Bilingual Education regarding class size, educator certification, current ISBE rules, and alternative bilingual education programs.

HB 3131 (Pihos, R-Glen Ellyn) provides that any required agenda under the Open Meetings Act must be sufficiently descriptive to give the public reasonable notice of the items that will be considered or will be the subject of final action at the meeting. It requires the public body conducting a public meeting to ensure that at least one copy of any requested notice and agenda for the meeting is continuously available for public review during the entire 48-hour period preceding the meeting.

HB 3236 (May, D-Highwood) provides that health benefit purchasing cooperatives may be organized by one or more persons in geographic areas designated by the Director of the Department of Insurance.

HB 3440 (Chap LaVia) defines “service animal” in the School Code.

HB 3464 (Pihos) changes the date of the teacher supply and demand report to Jan. 1, 2012 (instead of 2011) and changes the date of when superintendent and teachers salaries must be reported to the ISBE.

HB 3539 (Morrison, R-Palatine) eliminates the “hold harmless” provision in the general state aid formula.

The following bills were approved by the Senate and will be sent to the House of Representatives for further consideration:

SB 167 (Sullivan, D-Quincy) provides that a municipality may regulate wind farms and electric-generating wind devices without creating a zoning commission or adopting a zoning ordinance for the entire municipality when considering certain siting issues. It provides that the authorization applies to ordinances adopted before, on, or after the effective date of the amendatory Act by a municipality to regulate wind farms and electric-generating wind devices within 1.5 miles of the corporate boundaries of the municipality.

SB 1869 (Pankau, R-Bloomingdale) amends the Department of Central Management Services Law of the Civil Administrative Code of Illinois. It provides that the Department shall accept job postings from all local units of government and shall post those openings on its current statewide database of jobs.

SB 2073 (Link, D-Lake Bluff) provides that decisions of the Property Tax Appeal Board shall be made within 365 days after the date the appeal was received by the Board. Effective Jan. 1, 2012.

SB 2096 (Althoff, R-Crystal Lake) provides that a school board does not have to comply with the Illinois Accessibility Code with respect to the accessibility to press boxes that are on school property if the press boxes are in bleachers that have points of entry at only one level, and the aggregate area of the press box is no more than 500 square feet (instead of if the press boxes were constructed before Aug. 25, 2009).

SB 2133 (Garrett, D-Highwood) removes a provision that requires the educational services block grant to include the Bilingual Program.

SB 2143 (Sullivan, D-Quincy) provides that a reorganized school district or cooperative high school may use a school construction grant application that was submitted by one of the consolidating school districts if that application has not been entitled for a project by the ISBE and if specified conditions are met within the current or prior 4 (instead of 2) fiscal years.

SB 2232 (Frerichs, D-Champaign) provides that a bill making an appropriation may not be considered for final passage by either the House of Representatives or the Senate unless a copy of that bill, in its final form, has been made conveniently available on the General Assembly's Internet website for at least 4 days before final legislative action by the General Assembly prior to presentation to the governor.

BILLS OUT OF COMMITTEE

HB 2058 (Arroyo, D-Chicago) , as amended, would prohibit the sale, offering for sale or delivery of any “energy drink” with a caffeine level of 6mg or more per ounce to a person under 18 years of age. The bill was approved by the House Human Services Committee and sent to the House floor for further consideration.

SB 2170 (Clayborne, D-Belleville) was amended to remove the contents of the legislation to move it to the Senate floor to allow for further negotiations on the subject matter of the County School Facility sales tax. The bill was approved by the Senate Revenue Committee and sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

COMMITTEES SCHEDULED FOR NEXT WEEK

HOUSE INSURANCE COMMITTEE

Monday, April 11, 5 p.m., Room C-1, Stratton Building

HB 542 (Hernandez, D-Cicero) , in which House Amendment #2 provides the following regarding insurance pools:

  • No joint insurance pool or cooperative shall require a member to provide notice to withdraw more than 30 days before withdrawal;
  • Requires the pool to allow a member without penalty to rejoin the pool if their withdrawal was for the sole purpose of seeking competitive pricing and is within 60 days of the withdrawal;
  • Requires that the head of any pool be a licensed insurance producer; and
  • Disallows any joint insurance pool or cooperative from entering into any contract for insurance coverage that exceeds one year.

Alliance lobbyists have been working to oppose this legislation with other local governments and insurance pool/cooperative organizations. Please contact Representative Hernandez, your state representative, and members of the House Insurance Committee to voice your opposition. You can obtain contact information for House of Representative members by going to the Legislative Information System website.

HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE – ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION

Monday, April 11, 1 p.m., Room 118, State Capitol

HB 326 (Madigan) contains the appropriation for the Illinois Math and Science Academy

HB 327 (Madigan) contains the appropriation for the Board of Higher Education

HB 328 (Madigan ) contains the appropriation for the Illinois Student Assistance Commission

HB 1199 (Lyons) contains the appropriation for the ISBE textbooks line item

HB 1472 (Flowers) contains the appropriation for the ISBE Autism Programs

HB 2106 (Madigan) contains the appropriation for the ISBE for FY ’12

HB 2107 (Madigan) contains the appropriation for the Educational Labor Relations Board

HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE – ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION

Tuesday, April 12, 8 a.m., Room 118, State Capitol

Subject matter: Hearing on Fiscal Year 2012 Budget

HOUSE ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION COMMITTEE

Monday, April 11, 5 p.m., Room 114, State Capitol

HB 2392 (Connelly, R-Naperville) House Amendment #1 provides, among many provisions, that organizations such as the IHSA may not use multipliers in establishing rules of competition for high school activities.

HB 2397 (Cross, R-Oswego) House Amendment #1 makes modifications to the Care of Students with Diabetes Act in the section pertaining to in-service training of delegated care aides.

HOUSE ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION COMMITTEE

Wednesday, April 13, 8 a.m., Room 114, State Capitol

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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