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GOVERNMENT RELATIONS


Alliance Legislative Report 98-18

Distributed via Email: May 24, 2013

LAWMAKERS ENTER FINAL WEEK OF SESSION

The Illinois General Assembly will take a brief break for Memorial Day weekend festivities, then will return to the Capitol to wrap up the 2013 spring legislative session. Both the House of Representatives and Senate will take Saturday off; the House will then return on Sunday and the Senate on Monday. Many “big ticket” items remain on the agenda, including the Fiscal Year 2014 State budget, pension reform, and concealed carry of firearms.

PENSION COST SHIFT ON TABLE

Though no specific legislative language emerged this week to shift the “normal cost” of the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) onto local school districts, leadership in the House of Representatives is still strongly pushing the idea and the Alliance is still opposing it.   Alliance representatives were summoned to a meeting with House leaders to discuss implementation of a cost shift which provided another opportunity to explain the disastrous effect that would have on local school district budgets – especially if no revenue source was identified for districts to cover these new costs.

The current “normal cost” of TRS is estimated to be just over 6% of a school district’s TRS payroll. Under the plan currently being discussed for institutions of higher education, a cost shift would be phased in at a rate of ½% of payroll per year until all normal costs are shifted. Assuming that such a ramp would be used if costs were shifted onto local K-12 school districts, the normal costs would be assumed in about 12 years. Again, there is no legislation currently submitted regarding a shift of TRS costs onto school districts so one can only make broad assumptions.

On the pension “reform” side of the equation, there was no movement this week regarding the two bills that would adjust pension benefits. SB 1 is the House version which makes pension benefit changes (salary cap, COLA adjustment, increase in retirement age) with no participant or annuitant input. SB 2404, the Senate version, requires participants and annuitants to “elect” to alter pension benefits or make concessions to keep current benefits. If either of these bills were to be approved, the normal costs would decrease.

Certainly if a cost shift would occur, there would have to be something in place to allow local school districts to pay and manage the new cost. A revenue source would have to be put in place, and additional district flexibility would be needed through broad mandate relief determined by the local school board. There would have to be safeguards as well against the legislature granting pension enhancements in the future which the local school district would then have to pay for.

Discussions on all aspects of pension reform will likely be at the forefront when legislators return to the Capitol next week. School board members and administrators should be prepared to contact their legislators on this issue once specific provisions become available. The Alliance will be closely involved in this matter and will be alerting Alliance members of any developments.

HOT BILL ACTION THIS WEEK

HB 3 (Chapa La Via, D-Aurora) extends the “sunset provision” by three years (from 2013 to 2016) that allows school districts to transfer monies from one fund to another. The bill was approved by the Senate and will be sent to the Governor for his consideration.  

HB 494 (Chapa LaVia) establishes a moratorium on the establishment of charter schools with virtual-schooling components in school districts other than the Chicago school district from April 1, 2013 through April 1, 2014. The bill was approved by the Senate and will be sent to the Governor for his consideration.

HB 1225 (Burke, D., D-Chicago) , as amended, r equires the Illinois High School Association to post a training video on cardiopulmonary resuscitation and automated external defibrillators on the its website, but only if it is provided to the association free of charge and is no more than 15 minutes in length. It also requires school districts to notify parents and staff in newsletters, bulletins, calendars, or other correspondence currently published by the school district of the posted video and encourage parents and staff to view it. The bill was approved by the Senate and was sent back to the House of Representatives for concurrence in the Senate amendment.

HB 2245 (Chapa La Via) provides that upon employment and at least once every five years thereafter, school personnel who work directly with students must complete mandated reporter training provided by an individual or agency with expertise in recognizing and reporting child abuse. The bill was approved by the Senate and will be sent to the Governor for his consideration.

HB 2675 (Lilly, D-Chicago) provides that if an elementary or secondary public school offers sex education, it must be medically accurate and developmentally and age appropriate and requires the ISBE to provide resource materials for the curriculum. If a school district does not currently provide sex education, this bill does not require it and that if such instruction is offered, the district may choose and adapt the curriculum that meets the specific needs of its community. The bill was approved by the Senate and will be sent to the Governor for his consideration.

HB 3063 (Roth, R-Morris) provides that if a first-year principal evaluates teachers where the evaluation plan provides for a teacher in contractual continued service to be evaluated once in the course of every two school years, then a new 2-year evaluation plan must be established. The bill was approved by the Senate and will be sent to the Governor for his consideration.

HB 3070 ( Farnham, D-Elgin) requires teachers and counselors to receive in-service training regarding mental illness. The bill was approved by the Senate and will be sent to the Governor for his consideration.

HB 3190 ( Osmond, R-Antioch) requires students entering grades 6 th and 12 th grade to be immunized for meningococcal conjugate. The House approved the Senate amendment and the bill will be sent to the Governor for his consideration.

HB 3379 ( Tabares, D-Chicago) r equires new policies and instruction on teen dating violence. The bill was approved by the Senate and will be sent to the Governor for his consideration.

SB 2178 (Harris, D-Harvey) requires public school districts that have a high school to provide catastrophic accident insurance coverage with a maximum of $3 million or 5 years of coverage for student athletes who sustain an accidental injury while participating in school-sponsored athletic events sanctioned by the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) that results in medical expenses in excess of $50,000.  The bill was approved by the House of Representatives and will be sent to the Governor for his consideration.

SB 2193 ( Forby, D-Benton) allows for the concealed carry of firearms with specified restrictions. The bill specifically prohibits such concealed carry in “any building, real property, and parking area under the control of a public or private elementary or secondary school”. The bill was approved by the House of Representatives and was sent to the Senate for further consideration.

SB 2339 ( Mulroe, D-Chicago)   provides that if a joint insurance pool requires a member to submit written notice in order for the member to withdraw from a qualified pool, then the period in which the member must provide the written notice cannot be greater than 120 days. The bill was approved by the House of Representatives and will be sent to the Governor for his consideration.

OTHER BILL ACTION THIS WEEK

HB 61 (Ford, D-Chicago) makes changes to the provision concerning children of school age who are reported as having been diagnosed as having AIDS or HIV. The bill was approved by the Senate and will be sent to the Governor for his consideration.

HB 490 (Davis, M., D-Chicago) requires applicants seeking a Professional Educator License or an Educator License with Stipulations to pass a basic skills test, if required, before the license is issued (instead of before they may be admitted to an education preparation program). The bill was approved by the Senate and was sent back to the House for concurrence in the Senate amendment.

HB 922 (Hurley, D-Chicago), as amended, increases record keeping requirements for contractors and subcontractors performing Prevailing Wage work. The bill was approved by the Senate and was sent back to the House for concurrence in the Senate amendment. 

HB 946 ( Yingling, D- Hainesville) creates the Young Adults Heroin Use Task Force to address the growing problem of heroin use in high schools across this State. The bill was approved by the Senate and was sent back to the House for concurrence in the Senate amendment.

HB 983 ( McSweeney, R-Cary) would require 45 days instead of 30 days for petitions to be filed causing a backdoor referendum to approve use of alternate bonds. The bill also lowers the petition signature requirement. Finally the legislation would require an entity not involved in the project to report on the sufficiency of revenues for the project. The bill was approved by the Senate and was sent back to the House for concurrence in the Senate amendment.

HB 1351 (Poe, R-Springfield) , for the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF), provides that an annuitant shall be considered a participating employee if he or she returns to work as an employee with a participating employer and works more than 599 hours annually (or 999 hours annually with a participating employer that has adopted a resolution excluding from participation in IMRF any person employed in a position normally requiring performance of duty for less than 1000 hours per year). The bill was approved by the Senate and will be sent to the Governor for his consideration.

HB 1443 ( Moylan, D-Des Plaines)  states that if employees of a school district whose duties including reporting crime fails to report acts of hazing, the employee himself/herself can be charged with the crime of hazing. The bill was approved by the Senate Criminal Law Committeeand was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

HB 1868 ( Unes, R- Pekin) makes changes regarding a provisional career and technical educator endorsement. The House approved the Senate amendment and the bill will be sent to the Governor for his consideration.

HB 2420 (Chapa La Via) allows school districts to employ a person who holds an active license issued by the State as a marriage and family therapist. The bill was approved by the Senate and will be sent to the Governor for his consideration.

HB 2947 (Drury, D-Highwood) regarding the State budget, makes certain requirements that indicate whether there is a projected budget surplus or deficit for general funds in the current fiscal year and whether it would be balanced. It also requires that the budget reflect actual figures available on the date the budget is submitted. The bill was approved by the Senate and was sent back to the House for concurrence in the Senate amendment.

HB 3112 ( McAsey, D- Lockport) provides that any charter school located in a school district that contains all or part of a federal military base may set aside up to 33% of its current charter enrollment to students with parents assigned to the federal military base, with the remaining 67% subject to the general enrollment and lottery requirements. The bill was approved by the Senate and was sent back to the House for concurrence in the Senate amendment.

HB 3125 ( Mautino, D-Spring Valley) exempts school districts from the requirement that certain employers must post job openings on the IllinoisJobLink.com site, but encourages school districts to do so. It also adds penalties (Class 3 or 4 Felony) for the willful filing of fraudulent quarterly wage reports regarding the Department of Employment Security. The bill was approved by the Senate and was sent back to the House for concurrence in the Senate amendment.

HB 3236 (Lilly) provides that the Eradicate Domestic Violence Task Force shall submit a report to the General Assembly on or before April 1, 2014 (instead of on or before April 1, 2013). The bill was approved by the Senate and will be sent to the Governor for his consideration.

SB 1534 (Rose, R-Champaign) , for the Deferred Compensation Article of the Illinois Pension Code, provides that where federal law has been changed to allow IRS Section 457 plans to be amended to add Roth contributions and in-plan rollovers requires local governments to amend their plans as well. The bill was approved by the House of Representatives and will be sent to the Governor for his consideration.

SB 1762 ( Lightford, D-Maywood) makes technical changes to the Education Reform Act. The bill was approved by the House of Representatives and will be sent to the Governor for his consideration.

SB 2157 (Cunningham, D-Chicago) provides that, if requested, a school board is authorized to excuse a pupil from engaging in a physical education course if the pupil has an IEP and is placed in an adaptive athletic program. The bill was approved by the House of Representatives and will be sent to the Governor for his consideration.

SB 2199 ( Frerichs, D-Champaign) removes a provision that prohibits a candidate for licensure from beginning an internship or residency required for licensure until he or she has passed the applicable content area test. House Amendment #1 addresses requirements for school service personnel trained in out-of-state programs. The bill was approved by the House of Representatives and was sent back to the Senate for concurrence in the House amendment.

SB 2306 ( Radogno, R-Lemont) provides that an employer may access a social network account of an employee if the social network account is used for professional purposes. The bill was approved by the House of Representatives and will be sent to the Governor for his consideration.

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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