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Alliance Legislative Report 97-61

Distributed via Email: August 31, 2012


Governor Pat Quinn this week completed action on all of the legislation sent to him by the Illinois General Assembly this spring. The Governor has 60 days to act on legislation sent to him by the legislature. This includes the 62 education-related bills approved by the General Assembly this year. Details of those bills are contained in the Alliance’s Digest of Bills Passed.

One of the Governor’s last acts was to veto the gaming expansion bill, SB 1849 (Link, D-Vernon Hills). The bill would establish a land-based casino in Chicago, provide for four new riverboat casinos, and allow slot machines at horse racetracks. The program is estimated to generate $1 billion in one time revenues for the gaming licenses, and an additional $700 million to $1 billion in recurring revenues to the state. A portion of all gaming funds is allocated to the Common School Fund.

It will take an extraordinary majority vote in both chambers of the legislature to override the Governor’s veto – a prospect that most observers view as unlikely. Both the Illinois Senate and House of Representatives are scheduled to return to the Capitol on November 27 th for the Veto Session.


The Governor has recently signed the following bills into law:

HB 3806 ( Cavaletto, R-Salem) changes the definition of “chronic truant” in the Juvenile Court Act to be the same as the definition in the School Code. The bill is now Public Act 97-0975, effective August 17, 2012.

HB 3826 (Chapa LaVia, D-Aurora), r egarding service animals that must be allowed in schools, the bill provides that "service animal" means a dog or miniature horse trained or being trained as a hearing animal, a guide animal, an assistance animal, a seizure alert animal, a mobility animal, a psychiatric service animal, an autism service animal, or an animal trained for any other physical, mental, or intellectual disability. The bill expands the definition of “service animal” and adds to the types of disabilities that would allow a student to use a service animal in schools. The bill is now Public Act 97-0956, effective August 14, 2012.

HB 4043 (Bradley, D-Marion) provides that for the consolidation of Christopher Unit School District 99 and Zeigler-Royalton Community Unit School District 188, the consolidation moves forward after one or both of the school districts have been awarded school construction grants.   The bill is now Public Act 97-0925 , effective August 10, 2012.

HB 4239 ( Zalewski, D-Chicago) codifies property tax assessor practices to ensure that general homestead exemptions are being received properly in leasehold property situations. The bill is now Public Act 97-1125, effective August 28, 2012.

HB 4622 ( Nekritz, D-Northbrook), under the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) statute, removes obsolete Social Security procedures, including clarifying that taxes levied for IMRF purposes can only be used for IMRF employer contributions. It extends from 90-180 days for election of an optional form of retirement benefit. The bill is now Public Act 97-0933, effective August 10, 2012.

HB 5212 ( Krezwick, D-Orland Park) provides that a public body may make required notifications regarding revisions in the prevailing wage rate by inserting in the written contract a stipulation that states the revised prevailing wage rates are available on the Department of Labor’s website. The bill is now Public Act 97-0964, effective January 1, 2013.

HB 5689 (Lilly, D-Chicago) creates the Eradicate Domestic Violence Task Force to develop a statewide effective and feasible prevention course for high school students designed to prevent interpersonal, adolescent violence. One of the charges of the Task Force is to “evaluate the approximate cost per school or school district to implement and maintain school curriculum aimed at preventing domestic violence. The Illinois Association of School Boards, the Illinois Association of School Administrators, the Illinois Association of School Business Officials, and the Illinois Principals’ Association each will have representation on the Task Force. The bill is now Public Act 97-1037, effective August 20, 2012.

SB 679 (Harmon, D-Oak Park) provides that if an individual has been diagnosed as having an autism spectrum disorder, meeting the diagnostic criteria in place at the time of diagnosis, and treatment is determined medically necessary, then that individual shall remain eligible for coverage under the provision concerning autism spectrum disorders even if subsequent changes to the diagnostic criteria are adopted by the American Psychiatric Association. The bill is now Public Act 97-0972, effective January 1, 2013.

SB 2524 (Holmes, D-Aurora) p rovides that liability insurance policies issued or renewed on and after January 1, 2013 shall comply with the following: (1) any vehicle that is used for a purpose that requires a school bus driver permit and is used in connection with the operation of private day care facilities, day camps, summer camps, or nursery schools shall carry a minimum of liability insurance in the amount of $1,000,000 combined single limit per accident; (2) all other vehicles which are used for a purpose that requires a school bus driver permit shall carry a minimum of liability insurance in the amount of $2,000,000 combined single limit per accident; and (3) any commuter van or passenger car used for a for-profit ridesharing arrangement shall carry a minimum of liability insurance in the amount of $500,000 combined single limit per accident. The bill is now Public Act 97-1078, effective August 24, 2012.

SB 2761 ( Clayborne, D-E. St. Louis) provides that valuation rules for military PPV leases apply to property that is leased for the purpose of the design, finance, construction, renovation, management, operation, and maintenance of rental housing units and associated improvements at military training facilities, military bases, and related military support facilities in the State. The bill is now Public Act 97-0942, effective August 10, 2012.

SB 3250 (Holmes) p rovides that all property taxes not paid by the installment “due date” instead of the “installment date” would be deemed delinquent. The bill is now Public Act 97-0944, effective August 10, 2012.

SB 3314 (Harmon) amends the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL). It specifies that the approximate amount of the tax extendable, as stated on the referendum question submitted to impose a new or increased limiting rate, shall be calculated by multiplying $100,000 by ( i) the percentage level of assessment prescribed for that property by statute, or by ordinance of the county board if applicable; (ii) the most recent final equalization factor certified to the county clerk by the Department of Revenue; and (iii) either the new rate or the amount by which the limiting rate is to be increased. The bill is now Public Act 97-1087, effective August 24, 2012.

SB 3367 (Garrett, D-Lake Forest) makes significant changes regarding drivers’ education, including:

  • requires drivers’ education vehicles used by public high schools to undergo an annual safety
    inspection if the cars are over five years of age or have over 75,000 miles on the odometer;
  • requires school districts to post information about mandate waiver hearings on their websites, as well as posting the notice in the newspaper. If the mandate waiver requests an increase in the
    district’s drivers’ education fee, the amount of that increase must be included on the website and in the newspaper notice;
  • requires school districts requesting a waiver to contract with a private company to provide
    drivers’ education services, to provide evidence that the commercial driver training school  
    employs instructors who hold valid teaching certificates;
  • requires the ISBE to adopt standards for drivers’ education; and
  • requires the ISBE to annually report the approximate per capita drivers’ education cost for each
    school district.

The bill is now Public Act 97-1025 , effective January 1, 2013.

SB 3374 (Holmes) establishes the Enhanced Physical Education Task Force to promote and recommend enhanced physical education programs that can be integrated with a broader wellness strategy and health curriculum in elementary and secondary schools. Each of the four Alliance organizations will have representation on the task force. The bill is now Public Act 97-1102 , effective August 27, 2012.

SB 3746 (McCann, R-Carlinville) amends the State Commemorative Dates Act to designate the third Thursday in May of each year as Volunteer Emergency Responder Appreciation Day. The bill is now Public Act 97-1124, effective August 27, 2012.


On August 29, the Illinois Association of School Boards and the Illinois Association of School Administrators filed a joint amicus with the Illinois Supreme Court. An amicus brief is filed by a non-party to assist a court in deciding a matter before it. The brief, written gratis by Stan Eisenhammer and Laura Pavlik, presents forceful arguments in support of a school district defending its dismissal of a paraprofessional.

The paraprofessional filed a grievance concerning her dismissal. The arbitrator reinstated her believing that the school board had acted arbitrarily and capriciously. After some judicial maneuvers, the case landed with the Court of Appeals. The court vacated the arbitrator’s award and found that the employee was at-will and subject to dismissal for any or no reason. It also found that the arbitrator went beyond terms of the collective bargaining agreement and inappropriately applied his interpretation of “industrial justice.”

The case is now pending with the Illinois Supreme Court. The amicus brief’s disdain for the arbitrator’s award is palpable, and according to Alliance legal counsel, “its arguments resonate with reasonableness and accuracy”. Alliance attorneys are optimistic that this case will end with the Supreme Court’s affirmation of the appellate court’s decision and a demand that Illinois Education Labor Relations Board (IELRB) begin following established law.

Eisenhammer and Pavlik (Hodges, Loizzi, Eisenhammer, Rodick & Kohn LLP) wrote the amicus brief without charge to IASB or IASA.  Their willingness to help our Associations serve Illinois school districts is greatly appreciated.


Information is available on the IASB website regarding the 80 th Joint Annual Conference scheduled for November 16-18 in Chicago. Program information and details are available in the Conference Preview. This booklet includes titles, descriptions and time slots for all workshops and panel sessions, along with a master schedule and details about other conference events.

Conference registration information can be found at:

Likewise, information is available on the IASA website ( regarding its Annual Conference set for October 17-19 in Springfield. The IASA Annual Conference annually draws more than 650 participants to the Capital City, including school superintendents, assistant superintendents, state agency staff and college professors of educational administration. 

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

Alliance Legislative Reports are Cosponsored by IASB and:
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