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GOVERNMENT RELATIONS


Alliance Legislative Report 98-02

Distributed via Email: January 31, 2013

LEGISLATURE STARTING TO ORGANIZE

The new 98 th Illinois General Assembly has begun to organize for the upcoming legislative session. Procedural rules have been adopted and committee assignments have been announced. The House of Representatives met for one day this week, Wednesday. Both the House and Senate return to the Capitol next week to begin legislative work.

FULL PLATE AHEAD FOR LAWMAKERS

Illinois lawmakers will have plenty to do in the upcoming spring legislative session. It’s a new General Assembly with dozens of new legislators, each trying to make their mark in the Capitol. This will mean a heavy volume of introduced bills, not to mention the significant issues leftover from the last General Assembly. Education issues such as teacher pensions, school funding, school safety, and state takeovers of local school districts;  along with broader issues of firearms restrictions, gay marriage, medical marijuana use, and a host of proposals regarding taxation (including Tax Increment Financing) and labor laws will keep legislators busy through the end of May.

Driving everything will be the Fiscal Year 2014 state budget – and by all accounts this will be another austere spending plan. Governor Pat Quinn has already indicated that K-12 education may be bracing for another $400 million cut. Public education has seen decreases of approximately $800 million over the last three fiscal years.

ALLIANCE LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITIES

The Alliance will be proactively involved in the legislative session and the prominent issues. The executive directors of the Alliance organizations met last week with a group, selectively invited by the Governor’s office, to discuss school safety. This will obviously be a key issue for the spring. The Alliance members were able to attend a more private meeting with the Governor after the meeting as well. Likewise, the Alliance has been involved in discussions with the Illinois State Board of Education and select legislators regarding the FY ’14 education budget, pensions, and the implementation of school reform measures.

The Alliance will be fighting for education dollars, with a priority on the General State Aid formula, mandated categorical grant programs, and a timely passage of the education budget to allow for planning by local school districts. Bills are being initiated to provide more flexibility regarding the mandates for physical education, drivers’ education, and contracting with third party vendors. Legislation is also being drafted by the Alliance to provide greater flexibility regarding property taxation, levies, fund transfers, and the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law. Finally the Alliance bill package will address charter school funding, school board elections, and flexibility in bidding and the Prevailing Wage Act.

A complete list of Alliance legislative initiatives will be provided once bill numbers are confirmed.

COMMITTEE APPOINTMENTS

There will be a new chairman of the Education Committee in the Senate. Senator William Delgado (D-Chicago) will head the committee with Senator Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood) serving as the Vice-Chairman. Senator David Luechtefeld (R- Okawville) has been appointed the Minority Spokesman. Other members of the Senate Education Committee are:

Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Plainfield)    Daniel Biss (D-Evanston)
Bill Cunningham (D-Chicago)    Iris Martinez (D-Chicago)
Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield)    Michael Noland (D-Elgin)
Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford)    Jason Barickman (R-Pontiac)
Karen McConnaughay (R-South Elgin)    Sue Rezin (R-Morris)
Chapin Rose (R-Champaign)      

Representative Linda Chapa LaVia (D-Aurora) will remain Chairman of the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee in the House and Representative Fred Crespo (D-Hoffman Esates) will stay on as Vice-Chairman. The other Democrat members of the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee are:

Monique Davis (D-Chicago)    Kenneth Dunkin (D-Chicago)
Marcus Evans, Jr. (D-Chicago)    Esther Golar (D-Chicago)
Camille Lilly (D-Chicago)      

The Republican members have not yet been named to the committee.

Representative Will Davis (D-Hazel Crest) will remain the Chairman of the Appropriations – Elementary and Secondary Education Committee with RepresentativeLisa Hernandez (D-Cicero) staying on as Vice-Chairman.

LEGISLATIVE ACTION FROM THE LAME DUCK SESSION

HB 1299 ( Verschoore, D-Milan) amends the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law   to provide that the question of establishing a maximum aggregate extension may be combined with the question of forming or establishing a new taxing district. The bill was signed into law and is now Public Act 97-1149, effective June 1, 2013.

HB 3816 (Franks, D-Woodstock) transfers all of the powers, duties, and responsibilities of the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority to the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, including the power to coordinate Statewide violence prevention efforts and development of a Statewide plan to incorporate public health and public safety approaches to violence prevention in families, communities, and schools. The bill was signed into law and is now Public Act 97-1151, effective January 25, 2013.

HB 5495 ( Nekritz, D-Northbrook) sets the aggregate extension base for West Northfield School District No. 31 in Cook County at $12,654,592 for levy year 2012. The bill was signed into law and is now Public Act 97-1154, effective January 25, 2013.

HB 5825 (Chapa LaVia, D-Aurora) clarifies that appropriations for the State Charter School Commission flow through the Illinois State Board of Education. The bill was signed into law and is now Public Act 97-1156, effective January 25, 2013.

HB 6193 (Mitchell, J., R-Rock Falls) , in the Comprehensive Health Education Act, requires that age-appropriate sexual abuse and assault awareness and prevention education be included in grades pre-kindergarten through 12 (instead of sexual assault awareness taught in secondary schools). The bill also allows programs on sexual abuse and assault awareness and prevention to be included in teacher in-service programs. The bill was signed into law and is now Public Act 97-1147, effective January 24, 2013.

SB 3297 (Garrett, D-Lake Forest) increases the debt limit for Hall High School District 502 under specific circumstances. The bill was signed into law and is now Public Act 97-1146, effective January 18, 2013.

BILLS SCHEDULED FOR COMMITTEE NEXT WEEK

Though it is unlikely that many bills will actually be considered in committee next week, there have been several committee meetings scheduled with bills posted for consideration, including:

SENATE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Tuesday, February 5, 1:00 p.m., Room 212, State Capitol

SB 1 ( Cullerton, D-Chicago) contains pension reform provisions. Generally, it combines the TRS pension components of last spring’s proposals that included “an election” by TRS participants regarding the compounding Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) (this is “Part B” of the bill) and the proposal from the “lame duck” session which restructured pension benefits without the “election” provision (this is “Part A” of the bill). The theory is that if this bill would be enacted and challenged, the court would determine if “Part A” is constitutional and, if it is not, “Part B” – the choice provision – would be in place.

HOUSE REVENUE & FINANCE COMMITTEE
Tuesday, February 5, 4:00 p.m., Room 114, State Capitol

HB 78 (Ford, D-Chicago) requires the Department of Revenue to offer a special instant "After-School Rescue" scratch-off lottery game with revenues going into the After-School Rescue Fund.

HB 82 (Ford) provides that moneys from the Lottery shall be distributed to school districts based on the district's percentage of lottery sales.

HB 88 (Franks, D-Woodstock) doubles the amount of the disabled persons' homestead exemption from property taxes.

HB 89 (Franks) , for school districts in those counties that are under the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL), commonly referred to as property tax caps, would limit taxing districts to zero growth if property values are declining overall.

HB 95 ( McSweeney, R-Cary) amends the PTELL law. It p rovides that, for tax years 2013 through 2015, the extension limitation is (a) 0% or (b) the rate of increase approved by voters (instead of the lesser of 5% or the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index during the 12-month calendar year preceding the levy year or (b) the rate of increase approved by voters).

HB 150 (Morrison, R-Palatine) increases the maximum income limitation under the Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption from $55,000 to $75,000 for applicants who have occupied the residence for 5 years or more.

HOUSE ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION COMMITTEE
Wednesday, February 6, 8:30 a.m., Room 413, Stratton Office Building

HB 3 (Chapa LaVia, D-Aurora) e xtends the time period during which a school district may do interfund transfers for three more years.

HB 15 (Flowers, D-Chicago) establishes new requirements for school districts, training for coaches, and paperwork by parents of athletes regarding sudden cardiac arrest. It includes a pilot project in Chicago for requiring student athletes to undergo an EKG and includes sanctions for coaches statewide.

HB 16 (Flowers) authorizes school boards to create a committee on the retention of students, consisting of the district superintendent or his or her designee, a district administrator who directs student instruction and curriculum, a principal, and a teacher.

HB 17 (Flowers) u rges, under a school board's policies and rules concerning infectious disease, school boards to allow students to wash their hands with a soap or detergent.

HB 64 (Ford) prohibits a school from requesting or requiring a student to provide a password in order to gain access to the student's account or profile on a social networking website.

HB 76 (Ford) creates the School Choice Act to allow for publicly funded vouchers to be used for tuition at non-public schools.

HB 77 (Ford) prohibits the sale of any food on school premises that contains trans fats.

HB 127 (Davis, W., D-Hazel Crest) requires that all school districts that offer high school athletics have catastrophic health insurance coverage for all student athletes who participate in school-sponsored events under the auspices of the Illinois High School Association (IHSA). The coverage, which only applies once a student’s regular health insurance has reached all maximum limits, must cover for up to 15 years or $7.5 million.

HB 160 ( Osmond, R-Gurnee) gives more flexibility regarding interfund transfers to school districts who are under the limitations of PTELL.

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


Alliance Legislative Reports are Cosponsored by IASB and:
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