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GOVERNMENT RELATIONS


Alliance Legislative Report 98-48

Distributed via Email: May 23, 2014

LEGISLATURE TO TAKE SHORT BREAK

The Illinois General Assembly left the Capitol Friday afternoon for an abbreviated holiday weekend back in the district. Lawmakers will return to Springfield on Monday afternoon for the homestretch of the legislative session. The scheduled adjournment date is May 31.

As stated in the last Alliance Legislative Report, House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) noted that there were not enough House members who would vote for extending the current income tax rates which is necessary to fund the appropriations bills approved earlier in the House of Representatives. Today (Friday) an attempt in the House to pass a "doomsday" budget - a budget relying on revenues with the lower income tax rates beginning Jan. 1 - failed miserably. HB 3792 (Madigan) received only five "yes" votes on the House floor.

This brings the House back to the budget drawing board. It can send over to the Senate the earlier approved budget (which lacks the requisite revenue necessary) or draft a new budget somewhere in between that budget plan and the austere budget voted down today. The Senate has yet to take a budget vote.

EDUCATION TAX QUESTION ON BALLOT?

Speaker Madigan has also sponsored legislation that would allow voters to weigh in on the matter of the "millionaire tax." An amendment to HB 3816 would place an advisory question on the November General Election ballot asking: "Should the Illinois Constitution be amended to require that each school district receive additional revenue, based on their number of students, from an additional 3% tax on income greater than one million dollars?"

The referendum would be strictly advisory and not binding. In March, the Speaker sponsored a resolution that would have placed a binding question on the ballot to change the Illinois Constitution to allow for the tax on income over one million dollars. The measure was approved by a House committee but was never called for a vote on the House floor. The deadline has passed for putting constitutional amendments on the ballot.

The amendment to HB 3816 was approved by the House of Representatives and was sent to the Senate for consideration.

If HB 3816 is signed into law, the question regarding the tax on millionaires will join several other referenda on November's ballot. Citizen petition drives have added ballot questions regarding legislative term limits and the possibility of an independent body establishing the next new legislative boundaries (instead of the General Assembly doing it). HJRCA 52 (Madigan) seeks to amend the Illinois Constitution to expressly prohibit discrimination in the election process. SJRCA 75 (Steans, D-Chicago), which provides for the ratification of the proposed equal rights amendment to the United States Constitution, will be on the ballot if it is approved by the House of Representatives. HB 3814 (Madigan), if approved by the Senate, will add an advisory question on increasing the minimum wage.

OTHER BILL ACTION THIS WEEK

The following bills have been approved by both chambers and will be sent to the governor:

SB 587 (Hutchinson, D-Chicago Heights) provides that a career and technical educator endorsement on an Educator License with Stipulations may be renewed if an individual passes a test of basic skills.

SB 3412 (Steans) requires ISBE to establish the academic standards that are to be applicable to students who are subject to state assessments and establishes the new process for standardized tests in grades 3-12.

HB 3695 (Dunkin, D-Chicago) allows one of the three years of mathematics that a pupil must successfully complete as a prerequisite to receiving a high school diploma to be an Advanced Placement computer science course.

HB 4207 (Fine, D-Glenview) prohibits a student from being subjected to bullying through the transmission of information from a computer that is accessed off school property or from the use of technology or an electronic device that is not owned by a school district if the bullying substantially interferes with or limits the victim's ability to participate in opportunities offered by a school.

HB 5393 (McAsey, D-Romeoville) modifies the Educator Licensure Article of the School Code with respect to the Illinois Teaching Excellence Program.

HB 5431 (Sente, D-Lincolnshire) requires IHSA to develop an online certification and training on concussion awareness that will be required for high school coaching personnel and athletic directors.

HB 5588 (Mautino, D-Spring Valley) removes several outdated, obsolete and duplicative provisions of laws governing schools.

HB 5619 (Fortner, R-West Chicago) provides that for the purposes of implementation of ordinances definition of "school grounds" includes technological infrastructure.

HB 5716 (Brauer, R-Springfield) urges electronic building plans to be part of emergency policies.

The following bills were sent back to the House of origin for concurrence in amendments:

HB 3754 (Chapa La Via, D-Aurora) repeals the law that establishes the State Charter School Commission and returns charter school authorizing and appeal powers to ISBE. A 10 member Charter Schools Appeals Board is established within ISBE to make decisions regarding persons or organizations that are appealing the decision of a local school board regarding a charter school proposal. The bill was approved by the Senate and was sent back to the House of Representatives for concurrence in the Senate amendment.

HB 3937 (Chapa La Via) extends the moratorium on the establishment of charter schools with virtual-schooling components in school districts through Dec. 31, 2016 (instead of through Apr. 1, 2014). The bill was approved by the Senate and was sent back to the House of Representatives for concurrence in the Senate amendment.

HB 5707 (Cassidy, D-Chicago) requires numerous new procedures and policies regarding bullying. A full description of the legislation can be seen here. The bill, which was amended to address Alliance concerns, was approved by the Senate and was sent back to the House of Representatives for concurrence in the Senate amendment.

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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