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GOVERNMENT RELATIONS


Alliance Legislative Report 97-26

Distributed via Email: August 30, 2011

GOVERNOR FINISHES WORK ON BILLS

Governor Pat Quinn this week finished his work of consideration of all of the legislation sent to him by the legislature this spring. In all, 640 bills (407 House bills and 233 Senate bills) were approved by the legislature and sent to the governor. Of these, 122 bills are on the Alliance’s list; these bills directly or indirectly affect local school districts.

The governor signed 610 of the 640 bills into law; he issued vetoes on the other 30. Those bills that were vetoed will be taken up by the legislature when it returns to session for the fall Veto Session October 25-27 and November 8-10. A total of 6,278 bills were introduced in the spring session.

BILLS SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR

HB 78 (Jakobsson, D-Urbana) creates the offense of criminal trespass in a safe school zone. The violation is committed when a student who has been suspended or expelled, or an employee who has been dismissed for disrupting operations at school, knowingly enters or remains in a safe school zone without lawful business. The bill is now Public Act 97-0547, effective January 1, 2012.

HB 1095 (Dugan, D-Bradley) prohibits the use of non-certified rebuilt flame safeguard controls on forced air heating equipment for any non-residential structure (including schools). The bill is now Public Act 97-0554, effective January 1, 2012.

HB 1571 (Cross, R-Oswego) 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 is now Public Act 97-0559, effective August 25, 2011.

HB 1716 (Currie, D-Chicago) makes changes to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). 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. The bill is now Public Act 97-0579, effective August 26, 2011.

HB 3115 (Gordon, D-Peoria) , subject to appropriations, authorizes the Illinois State Board of Education (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. Textbooks can include computer software and electronic textbooks. The bill is now Public Act 97-0570, effective August 25, 2011.

SB 1435 (Righter, R-Mattoon) extends the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district in Lawrenceville to 28 years instead of 23 years. The bill is now Public Act 97-0600, effective August 26, 2011.

SB 1799 (Steans, D-Chicago) , generally, repeals all of the current teacher certification requirements and creates a new Article 21B of the School Code to establish a teacher licensure program. It renames the Teacher Certification Board the State Educator Preparation and Licensure Board and names the State Superintendent of Education the only entity that can grant a teacher’s license. The bill creates three types of licenses: a Professional Educator’s License, a Professional Educator’s License with Stipulations, and a Substitute Educator License. From there, teachers and administrators must earn endorsements for teaching and administrative positions (endorsements for superintendent, principal, chief school business official, teacher leader, school support personnel). The bill establishes new requirements for out-of-state teacher license applicants, alternative routes for teacher endorsements, and alternative routes for superintendent endorsements. The bill is now Public Act 97-0607, effective August 26, 2011.

BILLS VETOED BY THE GOVERNOR

HB 190 (Eddy, R-Hutsonville) provides that of the 70 charter schools that are permitted to operate at any one time in Chicago, not more than five charter schools devoted exclusively to students from low-performing or overcrowded schools are allowed. The Governor issued an Amendatory Veto of the bill. In order to further clarify which students are able to enroll in these charter schools, the Governor recommends that the bill explicitly define the children who are at risk of dropping out. Additionally, in an effort to preserve the original intent laid out for these charter schools, he recommends that the legislation explicitly grant priority admission to those students who have dropped out. The legislature will take up the Governor’s action in the October Veto Session.

HB 3440 (Chapa La Via, D-Aurora) 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. The Governor issued an Amendatory Veto of the bill. He was concerned that the application of this legislation could conflict with the Americans with Disabilities Act if students with service animals are denied access to school facilities and activities. He recommends changing the provision stating that “reasonable accommodations must be sought” regarding students who wish to use service animals in school to service animals in schools “shall be permitted”.

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


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