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GOVERNMENT RELATIONS


Alliance Legislative Report 97-20

Distributed via Email: May 31, 2011

LEGISLATURE ADJOURNS FOR SUMMER

The Illinois General Assembly adjourned its spring session Tuesday night after a long day of wrangling over budgets, casinos, workers’ compensation reforms, and other issues. The next scheduled date for legislators to return to the Capitol is October 25, though budgetary matters and capital projects issues could bring lawmakers back before then.

FINAL FISCAL YEAR 2012 BUDGET

As reported in the last Alliance Legislative Report, the Senate on Monday approved the House version of the FY ’12 state budget. Senators then sent over to the House an appropriations bill that added an additional $216 million for K-12 education, attempting to shore up General State Aid funding by $152 million and add funding to other education budget line items. The House of Representatives did not concur in the Senate budget amendment and it will not become part of the budget.

Therefore, the education budget that will be sent to the governor will maintain the current foundation level ($6,119 per pupil) and fully fund the mandated categorical grant programs at current year levels. There would be, however, no funding for teacher/administrator mentoring, principal mentoring, standards and assessments, advanced placement, growth model assessments, and Response to Intervention.

“Final Budget”, then, may not be entirely accurate. It is likely that further budget work will be done either later this year or early next year.

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION REFORM BILL APPROVED

After failing on a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives on Monday night, House members approved a bill to make reforms to the Workers’ Compensation Act on their second try Tuesday evening. HB 1698 (Bradley, D-Marion) passed the House on a vote of 62-43-10.

The bill makes numerous changes in relation to workers' compensation, including provisions regarding: subpoenas, burden of proof, Commissioner and arbitrator standards of conduct, employee leasing companies, citations, construction employer collective bargaining, negotiated rate, wage differential, preferred provider programs, permanent partial disability, out-of-state fees, fee schedules, electronic claims, utilization review programs, employee intoxication, prohibitions on gifts, carpal tunnel syndrome, fraud, sentencing, advisory premium rates, and insurance oversight.

The bill will be sent to the governor.

GAMING EXPANSION APPROVED

The Senate Tuesday voted to approve a massive gaming expansion bill. SB 744 (Link, D-Vernon Hills) establishes a land-based casino in Chicago, adds four more riverboat casinos, and allows for slot machines at horse racetracks. It is estimated that the bill could bring in over $200 million in new revenues to the Education Assistance Fund. The bill will be sent to the governor.

TIF REFORM BILL STALLED

A bill that would make significant changes to the state’s Tax Increment Financing (TIF) law failed to gain approval by the Senate Local Government Committee Tuesday night and is stalled for the spring legislative session. SB 540 (Kotowski, D-Park Ridge) was the result of months of discussions and negotiations led in the House of Representatives by Representative John Bradley. The Alliance was successful in securing several provisions in the bill that reflect TIF positions of the Alliance organizations.

The bill would make the decision of a TIF Joint Review Board binding with a 3/5 vote of its members, allowing other taxing districts to veto a TIF proposal. It provides that no TIF district (or combination of TIF districts) may be established after January 1, 2012 that would incorporate more than 35% of the equalized assessed value of a municipality. It further would limit the scope of residential developments within a TIF district and would add new reporting requirements regarding existing TIF districts, including penalties for non-compliance with the reporting requirements.

OTHER BILL ACTION

The following bills were approved by the legislature and will be sent to the governor:

SB 335 (Steans, D-Chicago) creates the Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Implementation Act (BIMP bill) to make changes in state programs that are necessary to implement the FY ‘12 budget recommendations concerning finance. In the School Code, it establishes a “Low Performing Schools Intervention Program” for the purposes of intervening in certain schools that are in the lowest 5% in terms of performance in the state, if funds are specifically appropriated for this purpose. The bill also contains a provision to use a portion of Corporate Personal Property Replacement Taxes (CPPRT) for stipends for local government officials. Though bill sponsors stated that the bill would be “revenue neutral” and there would be no loss of funds for school districts, it would divert $31 million from CPPRT payments to local governments of which school districts receive 60%. The State aid formula does take the CPPRT amount into consideration when determining a school district’s Available Local Resources.

SB 1831 (Raoul, D-Chicago) requires employers participating in the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) to post the total compensation package of employees making more than $75,000 per year. It provides that if a new 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 (no “double-dipping”). It makes similar changes to the IMRF system to that of TRS regarding the computation of final rate of earnings and a 6% cap on salary increases.

SB 1799 (Steans) will be amended to add the ISBE comprehensive re-write of Article 21 in the School Code regarding teacher certification.

SB 2172 (Steans) extends the state’s “lapse period spending” to December 31, 2011, allowing the state to pay FY ’11 obligations until the end of the year.

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 people from entering the safe school zone without a legitimate purpose.

HB 147 (Dugan, D-Bradley) allows a school district to require a school bus driver to undergo testing to check for alcohol or drugs if the district has reasonable suspicion to believe that a school bus driver permit holder is under the influence of such.

HB 190 (Eddy, R-Hutsonville) p rovides that of the 70 charter schools that are permitted to operate at any one time in Chicago, not more than 5 charter schools devoted exclusively to students from low-performing or overcrowded schools are allowed.

HB 1095 (Dugan) prohibits the use of non-certified rebuilt flame safeguard controls on forced air heating equipment for any non-residential structure.

HB 1197 (Davis, M., D-Chicago) was amended with provisions regarding collective bargaining and strike provisions for the Chicago Public Schools as a follow-up to the education reform bill (SB 7).

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.

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. It allows Open Meetings Act training conducted by the Illinois Association of School Boards to meet the requirements of the proposal.

HB 1716 (Durkin, R-Western Springs) makes changes to the Freedom of Information Act. It d efines "recurrent requester" as a person that, in the 12 months immediately preceding the request, has submitted to the same public body (i) a minimum of 50 requests for records, (ii) a minimum of 15 requests for records within a 30-day period, or (iii) a minimum of 7 requests for records within a 7-day period. The bill allows additional time for a governmental body to comply with a FOIA request from a recurrent requester. It also authorizes a public body to charge a fee for each hour spent by personnel in searching for and retrieving requested records and makes changes regarding requests for commercial purposes.  

HB 2086 (Davis, M.) 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.

HB 2397 (Cross, R-Oswego) provides that school districts will promote 60 minutes of reading per day for certain students in grades K-3.

HB 2870 (Chapa La Via, D-Aurora) 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.

HB 3115 (Gordon, D-Peoria) , subject to appropriation, authorizes the ISBE to provide annual funding to public school districts and state-recognized, non-public schools serving students in grades kindergarten through 12 for the purchase of secular textbooks.

HB 3440 (Chapa La Via) defines “service animal” in the School Code and changes provisions that require school districts to allow service dogs in schools to a provision that requires school districts to make reasonable accommodations for students.

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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