Alliance Legislative Report 98-22
Distributed via Email: July 10, 2013
GUNS ADDRESSED; PENSIONS STILL PENDING
The Illinois legislature returned to the Capitol for a one day session Tuesday to address a brief agenda. The only items on the schedule were Governor Pat Quinn’s amendatory veto of the concealed carry of firearms legislation and pension reform. Both the House of Representatives and the Senate took votes on the gun legislation, but no votes were taken regarding pensions.
The battle over the right to carry concealed firearms has been raging in Illinois for years. Firm action was required this year because the Illinois courts this spring decided that there is a right to carry firearms, but that limitations can be part of any such law. The courts gave the General Assembly six months to enact such a law. After one 30-day extension of the court order, July 9 was the deadline for the legislature to act.
After months of intense wrangling between pro-carry advocates and gun control supporters, a compromise was finally reached in the waning hours of the spring legislative session and HB 183 (Phelps, D-Harrisburg) was approved overwhelmingly by both the House and Senate. Governor Quinn, however, issued an amendatory veto on the bill on July 2, making nearly a dozen substantial changes to the legislation. Representative Phelps quickly filed a motion to override the governor’s veto.
In session Tuesday, the House did override the governor’s veto – without discussion or floor debate. The Senate also overrode the veto, making the bill law. It is now Public Act 98-0063. The Senate Executive Committee considered a separate bill (HB 11) that contained all of the governor’s proposed changes but it was held in the committee. Another bill, HB 1453, had provisions that would have made some minor tweaks to the concealed carry legislation. The Senate approved this bill but it was defeated in the House.
The law now allows for the concealed carry of firearms with specified restrictions. It specifically prohibits carrying a concealed firearm in “any building, real property, and parking area under the control of a public or private elementary or secondary school”. It also contains a provision that states that it is the duty of the principal to report to the Department of State Police “when a student is determined to pose a clear and present danger to himself, herself, or to others, within 24 hours of the determination”.
The issue of pension reform has taken a similar path, but without resolve. The stalemate on finding a solution to the pension funding crisis has continued for more than two years. When no pension bill was approved in the spring, the governor called on legislators to take up the issue this summer. A conference committee made up of 10 legislators has been working on the issue, looking at the “Senate version” of pension reform, the “House version” of pension reform, and a new “hybrid” proposal floated by the leadership of the state’s universities.
Governor Quinn gave the legislature a “deadline” of Tuesday (July 9) to pass a bill. Lawmakers leading the pension reform discussions brushed off the Governor’s request, despite the threat by the governor of “consequences” if the deadline was not met.
This morning (July 10), the governor announced his consequences for inaction. In a press conference in Chicago, Governor Quinn announced his line item veto of the budget which will eliminate the salaries and stipends for legislators. The governor stated that lawmakers should not get paid until they pass a pension reform bill.
For more details on pension reform discussions and proposals, please refer to previous Alliance Legislative Reports 98-21 and 98-19.
The legislature will likely be back in session again before the summer is over to discuss pension reform.
BILLS SIGNED INTO LAW
The Digest of Bills Passed has been completed. This IASB publication contains all of the education-related legislation that was approved by the General Assembly this spring. Hard copies are available upon request.
This publication is designed to alert Alliance members of potential new laws, and to prompt further action. School board members and administrators are urged to contact the governor’s office and weigh in on legislation that would impact their local school district. Writing to the governor and requesting that a bill be signed into law or vetoed is an important function of the legislative process, just as it is to contact legislators while a bill is being considered in the House and Senate. Please forward any such correspondence to the Alliance lobbyists as well.
The governor has already signed into law some of these bills, including:
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 among the Education Fund, Transportation Fund and Operations and Maintenance Fund. It is now Public Act-98-0026; effective June 21, 2013.
HB 192 (Jackson, D-East St. Louis) allows Township High School District 113 to issue bonds that become due within 25 (instead of 40) years. It is now Public Act 98-0036; effective June 28, 2013.
HB 226 ( Sente, D-Lincolnshire) pr ovides that a person who is 17 years old on the date of a primary may vote at the primary if that person is otherwise qualified and will be 18 years old on the date of the following election. The bill is now Public Act 98-0051; effective Jan. 1, 2014.
HB 494 (Chapa La Via) provides that, from April 1, 2013 through April 1, 2014, there is a moratorium on the establishment of charter schools with virtual-schooling components in school districts other than the Chicago school district. The bill is now Public Act 98-0016; effective May 24, 2013.
HB 513( DeLuca, D-Chicago Heights) provides that those candidates who are admitted to an alternative teacher certification program at Governors State University on or before March 31, 2014 must complete the program before Sep. 30, 2015. The bill is now Public Act 98-0038; effective June 28, 2013.
HB 1188 (Burke, D-Chicago) provides that a taxing district obtaining referendum approval for an increased limiting rate under the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law on March 20, 2012, the limiting rate for 2012 shall be the rate that generates the approximate total amount of taxes extendable for that tax year, as set forth in the proposition. The bill is now Public Act 98-0006; effective March 29, 2013.
HB 1868 ( Unes, R- Pekin) makes changes regarding a provisional career and technical educator endorsement. It provides that an “Educator License with Stipulations” is renewable and does not require completion of an approved educator program. However, it does provide for additional requirements when issued for provisional and technical educator endorsement. The bill is now Public Act 98-0028; effective July 1, 2013.
HB 2404 (Currie, D-Chicago) changes the definition of delinquent minor to include a person who was under 18 (rather than 17) years of age when he or she committed an offense classified as a felony. The bill is now Public Act 98-0061; effective Jan. 1, 2014.
HB 2768 (Welch, D-Westchester) requires school principals to utilize resources of law enforcement agencies when the safety and welfare of students and teachers are threatened by illegal use or possession of weapons, or by illegal gang activity. The bill is now Public Act 98-0059; effective Jan. 1, 2014.
HB 3049 (Hernandez, D-Cicero) adds the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) as an agency that appoints an ex-officio member to the Illinois Latino Family Commission. The bill is now Public Act 98-0032; effective Jan. 1, 2014.
SB 1625 (Collins, D-Chicago) requires school districts to hold at least one drill per year in each school that specifically addresses a shooting incident. Local law enforcement must be invited to participate in the drill. The bill is now Public Act 98-0048; effective July 1, 2013.
SB 1894 ( Hutchinson, D-Chicago Heights) increases the Senior Citizens Homestead Exemption to $5,000 in Cook County, $4,000 for all others, and increases it to $5,000 permanently after 2013. It also increases the General Homestead Exemption to $7,000 in Cook County and $6,000 in all other counties. The bill is now Public Act 98-0007; effective April 23, 2013.
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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