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GOVERNMENT RELATIONS


Alliance Legislative Report 97-52

Distributed via Email: May 18, 2012

LEGISLATURE PREPARES FOR FINAL RUN

The Illinois House of Representatives finished its weekly business on Thursday and the Senate wrapped up its work today (Friday). Both chambers sent their members home for the weekend to return Monday. Legislators are then scheduled to be in session every day until adjournment – scheduled for May 31.

Though there has been production by the legislature on the lighter issues – 123 bills have already been approved by both legislative chambers to be sent to the Governor -- legislative leaders have left the “heavy lifting” for the last 10 days of session. The Fiscal Year 2013 state budget is still far from complete; and the companion budget issues of Medicaid cuts and pension reform must be completed first so budgeteers can factor in any new budget savings.

FISCAL YEAR 2013 BUDGET

Negotiations were being held behind closed doors on the budget and no official budget numbers are available. For K-12 education, there will be likely be a cut below the current FY ’12 budget amount with the amount of that cut dependent on the overall cuts to the Medicaid budget. Lawmakers were targeting $2.7 billion in cuts to the Medicaid program and if that target is not met, larger cuts will have to be made in other parts of the state budget, including public education.

The current statutory GSA foundation level is $6,119 per pupil; the current year’s actual appropriation level drops that amount to $5,953 per pupil. If an additional $250 million is cut from K-12 education – the amount most believe will be the minimum cut –the FY 2013 foundation level is estimated to fall to $5,631 per pupil. Obviously, if further cuts are made beyond that amount, the per pupil foundation level will drop accordingly.

PENSION REFORM

There is still no draft legislation on the issue of pension reform. Like the budget discussions, pension meetings have been taking place behind closed doors in the Capitol. An increase in the retirement age, an adjustment to the compounding Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA), an increase in the employees’ pension contribution amount, and a shift of pension costs from the State to local school districts all are provisions that are still being discussed.

More information on these issues is available at: http://www.iasb.com/govrel/pli12.cfm

TIF REFORM BILL MOVING AGAIN

An amendment that would make significant changes to the State’s Tax Increment Financing (TIF) law has been offered for hearing in the House Revenue and Finance Committee as early as Tuesday morning. The Committee will meet on Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. in Room 115 of the State Capitol and could consider the TIF amended at that time. House Amendment #1 to SB 410was the result of months of discussions and negotiations led in the House of Representatives by Representative John Bradley (D-Marion) last spring. 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, 2013 that would incorporate more than 35% of the equalized assessed value of a municipality over 25,000. 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.

LEGISLATIVE ACTION THIS WEEK

SB 1565 (Lightford, D-Maywood) would increase the minimum wage in the state (currently set at $8.25 per hour). Specifically, it would increase the minimum wage every year by fifty-cents plus the rate of inflation for the previous year until it reached the inflation-adjusted equivalent of $1.60 in 1968. The bill was approved by the Senate Executive Committee and was sent to the Senate floor.

SB 3252 (Althoff, R-Crystal Lake) , with an Alliance-initiated amendment, makes changes regarding tax rates for a reorganization for schools in the Spring Grove, Richmond area. The bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

HB 3819 (Chapa La Via, D-Aurora) makes changes to what is required to be included in the report of the Advisory Council on Bilingual Education. The bill was approved by the Senate and will be sent to the Governor for his consideration.

HB 4043 (Bradley, D-Marion) contains provisions to facilitate the consolidation of Christopher Unit School District 99 and Zeigler-Royalton Community Unit School District 188. The bill was approved by the Senate and will be sent to the Governor for his consideration.

HB 4602 (Burke, D-Oak Lawn) makes changes for the Ridgeland School District 122 regarding the issuance of bonds. The bill was approved by the Senate and will be sent to the Governor for his consideration.

HB 4687 (Pihos, R-Glen Ellyn) amends the Open Meetings Act to require the posted agenda to set forth the general subject matter of any resolution or ordinance that will be the subject of final action at the meeting. The bill was approved by the Senate and was sent back to the House of Representatives for concurrence in the Senate amendment.

HB 4993 (Cross, R-Plainfield) provides that a candidate for an administrative certificate who has enrolled and began coursework prior to August 1, 2011 in an approved ISBE program, and who successfully completes that program prior to January 1, 2013, may apply for the general administrative endorsement until January 1, 2013 without his or her 2 years of full-time teaching or school service personnel experience.   The bill was approved by the Senate and will be sent to the Governor for his consideration.

HB 5013 (Gabel, D-Waukegan) requires school districts to make publicly available, by December 1 of each year, the student immunization data that the district is required to submit to the ISBE each year. The bill was approved by the Senate and will be sent to the Governor for his consideration.

HB 5114 (Burke, D., D-Chicago) did r equire all students enrolled in grades 6-8 in the public schools to watch a training video on CPR and how to use an automated external defibrillator. The bill was amended to remove the mandate and make the CPR training permissive under the section of the School Code regarding safety education. The bill, as amended, was approved by the Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

HB 5825 (Chapa La Via) had been the bill that contained the Illinois State Board of Education’s (ISBE) new transportation reimbursement formula changes. All of that language has been stricken (and ISBE is not expected to pursue the transportation language any further this spring) and the new amendment makes changes regarding the newly established State Charter School Commission. It provides that the Commission, instead of being a new State agency, will be an independent arm under the ISBE with appropriations channeled through the ISBE. The bill was approved as amended by the Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for consideration.

HB 5826 (Chapa La Via) was amended to remove obsolete and duplicative language from the School Code as identified by ISBE. The bill was approved as amended by the Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor.

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 Statewide School Management Alliance.

Bill Text/Status: Illinois General Assembly www.ilga.gov


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