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GOVERNMENT RELATIONS


Alliance Legislative Report 97-32

Distributed via Email: November 3, 2011

The Illinois legislature returns to the Capitol next week to complete the second and final week of the Fall Veto Session. Lawmakers are scheduled to work Tuesday through Thursday. Several holdover issues from last week will be on the table for further discussion.

REGIONAL SUPERINTENDENT SALARIES

Last week a bill failed that would have provided an alternative revenue source from which to pay the salaries of the Regional Superintendents of Schools. HB 3828 (Mautino, D-Spring Valley) contains the substantive language to require that the salaries for regional superintendents and assistant regional assistants be paid out of Corporate Personal Property Replacement Tax (CPPRT) funds. The bill could be called for a vote again next week. Governor Quinn cut out of the state budget the state funds that would have provided the revenue for the Regional Office of Education (ROE) salaries.

PTELL CHANGES

HB 3793 (Franks, D-Woodstock) would limit taxing districts who are in counties under the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL) to zero revenue growth if property values are declining overall. The bill was approved by a House committee last week, but was not called for a vote on the House floor. The bill could be called for a vote before the full House next week.

This same provision has also been drafted as House Amendment #4 to SB 2073. The bill is pending on the House floor and could be amended with this language at any time and called for a vote before the full House of Representatives.

PENSION REFORM

SB 512 (Cullerton, D-Chicago) , a holdover bill from the spring legislative session, could be called for a vote when legislators return to session next week. It would make pension changes that would affect employees who currently participate in the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS). Under the proposal, TRS-participating employees would have to select a pension plan from three options: remain in the plan with the current TRS benefits but pay a higher contribution rate; change to the “Tier II” plan and pay a lower contribution rate; or participate in a 401(k) type plan. The bill is pending on the House floor.

FISCAL YEAR 2012 BUDGET

No action was taken last week on the governor’s reductions to the FY 2012 state budget. Included in the governor’s cuts was an $89 million hit to student transportation. Discussions were to have taken place this week among legislative leaders and budget chairmen to determine if there was any consensus among legislators to restore funding to any budget line items.

GAMING EXPANSION

The bill from this spring that would have established a casino in Chicago along with adding four new riverboat casinos and slot machines at horse race tracks was stopped by opposition from the governor. Discussions are ongoing about a new gaming bill, though no proposal seems to be on the fast track.   SB 744, which passed both chambers earlier this year, was estimated to bring in $200 million for the Common School Fund.

COMMITTEES SCHEDULED FOR NEXT WEEK

HOUSE REVENUE AND FINANCE COMMITTEE
Tuesday, November 8, 10:00 a.m., Room 115, State Capitol

SB 1227 (Koehler, D-Peoria) creates the Conveyance and Encumbrance of Manufactured Homes as Real Property and Severance Act. It provides that manufactured homes are deemed to be real property and sets forth certain conditions that must be met to convey or voluntarily encumber a manufactured home as real property.

HOUSE ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION COMMITTEE
Tuesday, November 8, 2:00 p.m., D-1, Stratton Office Building

HB 603 (Davis, W., D-Hazel Crest) , with the amendment, would require school districts to purchase insurance that would cover students who sustain an injury that results in medical expenses of $50,000 or more if the injury resulted from participating in an athletic activity under the jurisdiction of the school district. Under the language of the amendment, the coverage must not be “subject to any annual or lifetime maximum benefit”.

SB 634 (Crotty, D-Oak Forest) makes changes for certain school districts in South Cook County regarding the use of the township trustees and school treasurer.

SB 1226 (Maloney, D-Chicago) limits enrollment in the agricultural science school to 720 (instead of 600) students.

SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE
Tuesday, November 8, 2:15 p.m., Room 409, State Capitol

HB 605 (Chapa La Via, D-Aurora) contains the language for the newly revamped school district report card.

HJR 44 (Chapa La Via) addresses school district requests for mandate waivers. It disapproves the Stockton CUSD #206 driver’s education fee request; limits the Ridgewood HSD #234 request for an increase in the driver’s education fee to $300 (instead of the $500 requested); and approves the Keeneyville ESD #20 request regarding content evaluations for one year (instead of five years as requested).

HOUSE PERSONNEL AND PENSIONS COMMITTEE
Tuesday, November 8, 2:30 p.m., Room D-1, Stratton Office Building

HB 3865 (Franks) requires an individual to be a member of TRS before the effective date of the

amendatory Act in order for specified service as an officer or employee of a statewide teacher organization or as an officer of a national teacher organization to qualify as service as a teacher under the Code.

SENATE PENSIONS AND INVESTMENTS COMMITTEES
Tuesday, November 8, 3:00 p.m., Room 400, State Capitol

HB 3375 (McCarthy, D-Orland Park) specifies that a provision authorizing TRS annuitants to return to service must not be construed to authorize multiple annuitants, without impairing their retirement status, to accept employment with a school district or other employer in order to fill, as a group, a teaching position that would ordinarily be occupied by an active participant. If a school board or other employer determines there is a subject or administrative shortage, then it must apply for an exemption under a specific provision of the Pension Code.

OTHER BILLS ASSIGNED TO COMMITTEES

The following bills have been assigned to a committee, but have not yet been scheduled for a hearing:

HB 384 (Mautino) provides that if a person is entitled to a warrant or payment from the state treasury and if a unit of local government, school district, or public institution of higher education holds a then due and payable account or claim against that person, then the State Comptroller may deduct, on behalf of that entity, the owed amount from the warrant or payment. The bill has been assigned to the Senate Revenue Committee.

HB 606 (Mautino) allows Leepertown CCSD 175 to attach its territory to a non-contiguous school district.   The bill has been assigned to the Senate Education Committee.

HB 3813 (Cross, R-Oswego) addresses employees who take leaves of absence or otherwise leave an entity that participates in a state pension system and begins work for another employer who also participates in that state pension system. For example, a school district employee who leaves the district and begins work for a statewide teachers’ union or school board organization. In those cases, any pension credit earned must be based on the participant's salary immediately before the leave of absence or departure from the employer and must contribute an amount equal to the actuarially determined normal cost of the pension calculation. The bill has been assigned to the Senate Pensions and Investments Committee.

HB 3815 (May, D-Highland Park) is similar to HB 3813 as it also addresses employees’ leaves of absence during which a participant is employed by a labor organization. This bill has been assigned to the Senate Pensions and Investments Committee.

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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