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GOVERNMENT RELATIONS


Alliance Legislative Report 97-17

Distributed via Email: May 20, 2011

NO MOVEMENT ON BUDGET OR PENSIONS THIS WEEK

Though the legislature was primed to take action on significant issues this week, progress fizzled and proposals on a Fiscal Year 2012 budget and pension reform will be on the table again next week. There were discussions between budget negotiators in the House of Representatives and Senate, and even with the governor, but no agreement was reached. The two chambers need to reconcile differences between the House budget plan and the Senate budget plan – the main difference being that the House starts its budget assumption with $1 billion less money to spend than does the Senate plan.

NO PENSION BILL YET

Many thought that this week would be the week that the House of Representatives would unveil its pension reform proposal. Pension committees were scheduled to meet on Wednesday and Thursday but both committee meetings were cancelled. It is expected that the House proposal will include scaling back pension benefits for current employees of the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS). No official pension reform bill or amendment has yet been filed with the House Clerk. The House Personnel and Pensions Committee has scheduled hearings next week for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. This will give flexibility to the committee and bill sponsors to choose the day they wish to attempt to move legislation.

PREOCCUPIED LEGISLATORS

One could almost hear the brakes being put on legislative proceedings when “the map” was given to legislators Thursday. Every ten years, after the census, legislative district boundaries are redrawn to reflect population changes throughout the state. The new legislative district, to a legislator, can mean an easy road to reelection or, perhaps, the end of a legislative career. So when the new boundary map was released this week, many lawmakers were preoccupied with scouring the map looking for familiar territory (and familiar voters). Other legislative discussions seem to come to a sudden stop for the afternoon.

Committees will be held this weekend on the new legislative boundaries. This issue, like the others, will need to be resolved before the General Assembly adjourns.

ADJOURNMENT NEXT WEEK?

The scheduled adjournment date is May 31, but there is a recurring rumor that legislative leaders would like to wrap up legislative work by the end of next week and send members home for the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Many issues, if the legislature chooses to address them all, remain to be resolved: the FY ’12 budget (this must be completed), pension reform, legislative boundaries (this must be completed), and workers’ compensation reform, to name a few.

Between now and June 1, the bills can be approved by a simple majority vote – a majority held by the Democrats in both the House and Senate. If the session spills into June, the bills would need a 3/5 majority vote for passage and, thus, Republican votes would be needed. This gives added incentive to Democrat leaders to make sure agreements are reached on these larger issues and business is completed by the end of May. Otherwise, the minority party would have a seat at the table.

HOT BILL ACTION THIS WEEK

HB 200 (Cross, R-Oswego) 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. The bill was approved by the Senate and will be sent to the House of Representatives for concurrence in the Senate amendment.

HB 1216 (Chapa La Via, D-Aurora) would establish a “School District Realignment and Consolidation Commission”. The commission includes one member from each of the Alliance organizations (IASB, IASA, IPA, IASBO). The bill was approved by the Senate and will be sent to the House of Representatives for concurrence in the Senate amendment.

HB 1670 (Burke, K., D-Oak Lawn) requires elected officials (including school board members) to successfully complete the training program provided by the Public Access Counselor regarding the Open Meetings Act. The bill was amended with an Alliance amendment which allows Open Meetings Act training conducted by the Illinois Association of School Boards to meet the requirements of the proposal. The bill is pending on the Senate floor.

HB 2086 (Davis, M., D-Chicago) provides that a student cannot 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, except in cases where there is a safety issue. The bill was approved by the Senate and will be sent back to the House of Representativesfor concurrence in the Senate amendment.

HB 3539 (Morrison, R-Palatine) eliminates the “hold harmless” provision of the state aid formula. The bill was approved by the Senate and will be sent to the governor.

SB 1794 (Lightford, D-Maywood) contains a proposal by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) making legislative changes to align the statute with current practice in the aftermath of the “Cory H” court decision. It eliminates the certification of special education teachers by categorical designation and replaces it with the structure for certifying special education teachers currently in effect and outlined in the ISBE policies commonly referred to as the transition rules. The bill was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee and was sent to the House floor.

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. The bill was approved by the House of Representatives and will be sent to the governor.

SB 2149 (Sullivan, D-Rushville) creates the Financial Oversight Panel (FOP) Law of the School Code to allow a school district to petition the ISBE for the establishment of an FOP. For a comprehensive analysis of the bill, click here. The bill was approved by the House of Representatives and will be sent to the governor.

SB 2170 (Clayborne, D-E. St. Louis) makes changes to the School Facility Occupation Tax Law which allows counties to impose a sales tax with receipts earmarked for school construction. It requires the imposition of the sales tax if the voters approve the referendum (instead of allowing the county board to choose to impose the sales tax) and requires the tax rate to be set forth in the question (instead of allowing the county board to choose to impose the tax at a different rate). The bill was approved by the Senate and was sent to the House of Representatives.

OTHER BILL ACTION THIS WEEK

HB 192 (Eddy, R-Hutsonville) 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. The bill was approved by the Senate and will be sent to the governor.

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). The bill was approved by the Senate and will be sent to the governor.

HB 1240 (Franks, D-Woodstock) provides that upon request of a school district, any information obtained by a school district pursuant to provisions concerning criminal history records checks and checks of the Statewide Sex Offender Database and Statewide Child Murderer and Violent Offender Against Youth Database within the last 5 years must be made available to that school or school district. The bill was approved by the Senate and will be sent to the governor.

HB 1277 (Rita, D-Blue Island) am ends the Open Meetings Act to authorize the closure of meetings between auditors and governmental audit committees, finance committees, and their equivalents, when the discussion involves internal control weaknesses, identification of potential fraud risk areas, known or suspected frauds, and fraud interviews conducted in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards of the United States of America. The bill was approved by the Senate and will be sent to the governor.

HB 1415 (Jones, D-Calumet City) requires certain schools in Representative Jones’ legislative district to “opt in” to a pilot project for operation of a full-year school plan if a school remains on the academic watch list after two years. The bill was approved by the Senate and will be sent to the governor.

HB 1571 (Mayfield, D-Waukegan) , as amended, changes the Care of Students with Diabetes Act to clarify that for school employees and delegated care aides, training shall occur during regular in-service training. The bill was approved by the Senate and will be sent to the House of Representatives for concurrence in the Senate amendment.

HB 1831 (Hernandez, D-Cicero) removes a provision that requires the educational services block

grant to include the Bilingual Program. The bill was approved by the Senate and will be sent to the governor.

HB 2397 (Cross) provides that school districts will promote 60 minutes of reading per day for certain students in grades K-3. The bill was approved by the Senate and will be sent back to the House of Representativesfor concurrence in the Senate amendment.

HB 2401 (Mitchell, R-Rock Falls) 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. The bill was approved by the Senate and will be sent to the governor.

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 who serves in a branch of the armed forces. It requires each school district to report this information as aggregate data to the ISBE under the Student Information System. The bill was approved by the Senate and will be sent to the governor.

HB 3109 (Cole, R-Lake Villa) 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. The bill was approved by the Senate and will be sent to the governor.

HB 3131 (Pihos, R-Glen Ellyn) , as amended, p rovides that a public body conducting an open meeting must take reasonable steps to ensure that a copy of the required notice and agenda is continuously available for public review during the entire 48-hour period preceding the meeting; publication of the notice and agenda on a website that is maintained by the public body satisfies the requirement for continuous posting. The bill was amended and approved by the Senate Executive Committee and the bill is pending on the Senate floor.

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. The bill was approved by the Senate and will be sent to the governor.

HB 3281 (Mathias, R-Buffalo Grove) provides that the gross disobedience or misconduct for which a school board may expel pupils includes that perpetuated by electronic means. The bill was approved by the Senate and will be sent to the governor.

SB 79 (Steans, D-Chicago) establishes a State Charter School Commission as an independent state

agency with statewide chartering jurisdiction and authority. The bill was approved by the House of Representatives and will be sent to the governor.

SB 621 (Holmes, D-Aurora) provides that four or more contiguous school districts with all or portion of their territory located within the geographic boundaries of the same municipality may, when in their judgment the interest of the districts and of the students therein will be best served, jointly operate, through an institution of higher education located in the municipality, a science and mathematics partnership school for serving some or all of grades kindergarten through 8. The bill was approved by the House of Representatives and will be sent to the governor.

SB 1578 (Holmes) provides that of the four yearly teacher institute days, two days may be used as a teacher's and educational support personnel (ESP) workshop under certain circumstances. The bill was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee and was sent to the House floor.

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). The bill was approved by the House of Representatives and will be sent to the governor.

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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