Alliance Legislative Report 98-54
Distributed via Email: December 2, 2014
VETO SESSION RESUMES IN CAPITOL
The Illinois General Assembly returned to the Capitol today to finish up its business for the veto session. Lawmakers will be in Springfield through Thursday. Here is a rundown of the education-related legislation being discussed.
IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED
Amendments to SB 2221 (Sullivan, D-Rushville) proposed by State Representative Elaine Nekritz (D-Northbrook) would increase exposure to legal liability for school districts and other entities. Amendments #2 and #3 would eliminate the statute of limitations on any lawsuit due to health problems caused by asbestos. Aimed specifically at mesothelioma, the legislation is drafted broadly enough that other health problems could be covered. This legislation will increase immediate costs to districts through increased liability insurance premiums because of the added legal exposure and could prompt even more costs in the future from new health-related lawsuits.
The bill as amended was approved by the House of Representatives this afternoon (Tuesday). Please call your State Senator and urge a “NO” VOTE on SB 2221. The bill could be called for a vote at any time.
OTHER LEGISLATION OF INTEREST
SCHOOL BOARD REMOVAL
HB 5537 (Currie, D-Chicago) is the Illinois State Board of Education’s (ISBE) bill to remove school board members in cases of poor governance. As amended in the House, the bill would allow for a pilot project in which ISBE could appoint no more than four independent authorities (that take on the role of a local school board) at any one time. HB 5537 was approved by the House in April and will likely come up for a vote in the Senate this week. More details on the bill can be found in Alliance Legislative Reports 98-41 and 98-38.
SB 2711 (Delgado, D-Chicago), as amended in the House, allows for recognized out-of-state time to count towards the minimum four years of total experience for a Principal Endorsement. The bill is awaiting final action in the Senate.
SCHOOL BOARD ELECTIONS
HB 3817 ( Nekritz, D-Northbrook), as amended, makes two changes: it eliminates the School Code requirement that requires the county clerk to verify that nominating petition filings include a statement of candidacy, required number of signatures, a notarized signature of the circulator, and that an economic interest statement has been filed. County clerks are not required to verify this information for nominating petitions filed for any other office. The bill also clarifies in another section of the Election Code that school board members will file their nominating petitions with the county clerk or County Board of Election Commissioners. The bill is awaiting final action in the Senate.
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT
HB 3796 (Currie) defines “voluminous request” and places other clarifications in the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to try to protect public bodies from citizens who intentionally abuse FOIA by repeatedly requesting vast amounts of information. The bill was approved in the spring and was vetoed by the governor. The House of Representatives Tuesday overrode the governor’s veto and the bill was sent to the Senate for veto action.
SB 68 ( Lightford, D-Maywood) would increase the state’s minimum wage to $9.25 per hour on Oct. 1, 2014, $10 per hour on July 1, 2015, and $10.65 per hour on July 1, 2016. The bill is pending on the Senate floor and will also require action from the House of Representatives.
SB 2809 ( Raoul, D-Chicago), as amended in the House, would allow for a civil action to be brought by the attorney general to enjoin the payment of benefits under any of the state’s pension systems to any person who is convicted of any felony relating to or arising out of or in connection with that person's service as an employee. The bill is awaiting final action in the Senate.
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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