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GOVERNMENT RELATIONS


Alliance Legislative Report 99-22

Distributed via Email: May 22, 2015

POSTURING CONTINUES IN SESSION’S FINAL DAYS

As the Illinois General Assembly prepares for the homestretch of the spring legislative session, the governor and legislative leaders continue to wrangle for the political high ground in budget discussions. Presumably because they were weary of waiting for Governor Bruce Rauner to introduce his bill package, House Democrats continued to offer legislation, which they oppose, that they say is authored by the Republican governor. The bills are called for a vote and summarily defeated. Meanwhile, both sides are billions of dollars apart in crafting a Fiscal Year 2016 state budget. The majority of the dialogue between Democrat legislative leaders and the governor seems to consist of acerbic sound bites in the media.

The governor insists that there will be no discussion about new revenue for the state without first agreeing on a business and economic reform package. Senate and House leaders are pushing for additional revenue to avoid steep cuts in social service programs, but have been resistant to the governor’s reform proposals. Working groups of legislators established by the governor to address these issues reportedly are making little to no progress.

But as of today (Friday), the speculation can cease after amendments were filed to three bills in each chamber which contain the governor’s proposals in writing. The filed amendment to SB 884 (Radogno, R-LaGrange) makes changes regarding tort law under the Illinois Civil Procedures Code. The amendment to SB 994 (Radogno) makes changes to the Workers’ Compensation Act.

The amendment to SB 1046 (Radogno) would:

  • Create the Local Government Taxpayer Protection Act
  • Limit collecting bargaining subjects under the Public Labor Relations Act
  • Limit collecting bargaining subjects under the Educational Labor Relations Act, including pay increases, health insurance, and third party contracting
  • Freeze property tax extensions for all units of local government (including school districts) at 0%. Extensions could only be increased with voter approval.
  • Exempt school districts from the Prevailing Wage Law

The link to the entire amendment is here.

The governor’s bills in the House are HB 4222, HB 4223, and HB 4224.

SCHEDULE

The House of Representatives has cancelled scheduled session days for Saturday and Sunday and both the House and Senate will return to the Capitol on Monday. House Speaker Michael Madigan(D-Chicago) is expected to call for a vote on a series of budget bills next week crafted without input from Republicans.

 The scheduled adjournment date of May 31 appears to be very optimistic at this point.

VISION 20/20 BILLS APPROVED

Part of the Vision 20/20 legislative package is on the way to the governor for approval. HB 2657

(Winger, R-Bloomingdale) is intended to facilitate teaching license reciprocity. It authorizes the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to use moneys in specified funds to support the recruitment and retention of educators. It also makes changes concerning specific endorsements for chief school business officials and other administrator and teaching licenses. The bill was approved by the Senate and will be sent to the governor for his consideration.

HB 2683 (Davis, W., D-E. Hazel Crest) contains the three components of the Vision 20/20 Differentiated Accountability Model. It requires that ISBE implement an outcomes based, balanced accountability measure for local school districts. The bill was approved by the Senate and was sent back to the House for concurrence on the Senate amendment.

Vision 20/20 proposals regarding an evidenced-based funding model and comprehensive unfunded mandate relief are still significant topics of discussions for end-of-session budget agreements.

Another Alliance legislative initiative was approved this week as well. HB 1498 (Bennett, R-Gibson City)allows for an Open Meetings Act exemption for school boards to discuss safety and security measures. The bill was approved by the Senate and will be sent to the governor for his consideration.

PANELS CONTINUE TO MEET

The House Education Task Force met this week and entertained testimony from school districts that would be negatively affected by implementation of SB 1, the General State Aid distribution change. Chris McClain, assistant superintendent for finance and operations/CSBO from Glenbard H.S.D. 87, and Andy Du Ross, superintendent from Schaumburg C.C.S.D. 54, testified.

Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti’s Local Government Consolidation and Unfunded Mandates Task Force met again this week. The panel is expected to approve a list of initiatives to be forwarded for legislation, though no such vote was taken this week. The list includes a moratorium on establishment of new local governments, a citizen-initiated mechanism for local government consolidation, creation of a board of legislative repealers, reducing the scope of the Prevailing Wage Law, and mandate relief for school districts.

The Alliance is in strong support of the mandate relief provisions being discussed and has met with the administration on these issues. The Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) and the AFL-CIO testified to oppose any mandate relief for school districts.

HOT BILL ACTION THIS WEEK

HB 306 (Guzzardi, D-Chicago) allows students to opt-out of taking a standardized test if the student’s parent or guardian requests, in writing, that the student be excused from the examination. ISBE shall determine the opt-out form. The bill prohibits ISBE, the regional superintendent of schools, or a school board from taking negative action against a student, school, school district, or member of school staff, through grades or evaluations, due to a student opting out. It also requires that students who are excused from taking the standardized test are offered supervised instructional or enrichment opportunities during the time the state examination is administered. The bill was approved by the House of Representatives and was sent to the Senate for further consideration.

HB 1790 (Cavaletto, R-Salem) provides that the career and technical educator endorsement on an Educator License with Stipulations may be renewed and, for individuals who were issued the endorsement on or after Jan. 1, 2015, the license may be renewed if the individual passes a test of basic skills. The bill was approved by the Senate and will be sent to the Governor for his consideration.

HB 3428 (Sente, D-Lincolnshire) provides that a student who takes a College Board Advanced Placement examination and receives a score of three or higher is entitled to receive postsecondary level course credit at a public institution of higher education. The bill, supported by the Alliance, was approved by the Senate and was sent back to the House of Representatives for concurrence in the Senate amendment.

HB 3527 (Fortner, R-West Chicago) modifies the Right to Privacy in the School Setting Act to prohibit an elementary or secondary school from requesting or requiring a student to provide a password or other related account information in order to gain access to the student's account or profile on a social networking website. Instead, it requires the school to provide notification to the student and his or her parent or guardian that the school may conduct an investigation or require a student to cooperate in an investigation if there is specific information about activity on the student's account on a social networking website that violates a school disciplinary rule or policy. The bill was approved by the Senate and was sent back to the House for concurrence on the Senate amendment.

SB 7 (Raoul, D-Chicago) adds new requirements regarding student athlete concussions, including the establishment of a concussion oversight committee which must create a return-to-learn protocol, and school-specific emergency action plans. The bill, amended to address Alliance concerns,was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education: School Curriculum & Policies Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

SB 36 (Althoff, R-McHenry) provides that a school district is subject to and its school board must comply with any valid local government zoning ordinance or resolution that applies where the pertinent part of the school district is located. The bill, opposed by the Alliance, was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education: School Curriculum & Policies Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

SB 100 (Lightford, D-Maywood) makes significant changes to student suspension and expulsion procedures and requires school districts to implement comprehensive new policies. The bill was amended to address Alliance concerns and has removed many of the provisions limiting school district authority. The bill was approved by the House of Representatives and was sent back to the Senate for concurrence on the House amendment.

SB 224 (Bush, D-Grayslake) , with respect to a petition for a proposed change of school district boundaries, creates standards regarding detachment petitions and clarifies who is liable for bonded indebtedness. The bill, an Alliance initiative, was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education: School Curriculum & Policies Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

SB 1793 (Hastings, D-Matteson) , as amended to address Alliance concerns , requires ISBE to develop a model youth suicide awareness and prevention policy that includes certain components that school districts are required to adopt in a policy on suicide awareness beginning in the 2015-2016 school year. The bill was approved by the House of Representatives and was sent back to the Senate for concurrence on the House amendment.

HJRCA 26 (Madigan) proposes to change the Illinois Constitution to allow for an additional income tax of 3% to be imposed on individuals with an income that is greater than $1,000,000 for the taxable year. The revenue collected from the tax would be distributed to school districts on a per pupil basis . It requires approval by 3/5 of the members of both the House of Representatives and the Senate to place a question on the ballot at the 2016 General Election to change the constitution accordingly. Then, the proposed amendment shall become effective if approved by either three-fifths of those voting on the question or a majority of those voting in the election. The resolutions was defeated on the House floor as it fell three votes short of the 3/5 vote necessary.

 

OTHER BILL ACTION THIS WEEK

HB 165 (Flowers, D-Chicago) , as amended, allows students in the public schools to voluntarily engage in individual or collective initiated, non-disruptive prayer or religious-based meetings during non-instructional time. The bill was approved by the Senate and was sent back to the House of Representatives for concurrence in the Senate amendment.

HB 494 (Cassidy, D-Evergreen Park) , regarding criminal history records checks for applicants for school district positions, provides that a conviction for a felony more than seven years prior to application for employment must not, in and of itself, be an automatic bar to employment. Exceptions are made for serious crimes that do bar employment (sex crimes, narcotics, Class X felonies) with a school district. The bill was approved by the Senate and will be sent to the governor for his consideration.

HB 2781 (Fortner, R-West Chicago) , as amended, requires ISBE to implement a pilot program for up to three school districts to adopt a program for e-learning that shall permit students to receive instruction electronically, and not while physically present at school. The bill was approved by the Senate and was sent to the House of Representatives for concurrence on the Senate amendment.

HB 2807 (Mitchell, C., D-Chicago) provides that any Illinois museum, providing state superintendent of education approval, shall be approved for professional development activities for teacher licensure renewal. The bill was approved by the Senate and will be sent to the governor for his consideration.

HB 3093 (Durkin, R-Burr Ridge) ,as amended, allows any high school district eligible for Federal Impact Aid whose territory is in two counties, to make a one-time declaration as to interest income not previously declared from 1998 thru 2011 in the debt service fund, prior to June 30, 2016. The bill was approved by the Senate and was sent to the House of Representatives for concurrence on the Senate amendment.

HB 3159 (Gabel, D-Evanston) , as amended,  makes changes regarding the issuance of bonds for North Shore School District 112 and Sandoval C.U.S.D. 501. The bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee and was sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.

HB 3197 (Chapa LaVia, D-Aurora) , as amended, creates the Attendance Commission within ISBE to study chronic absenteeism and make recommendations for strategies to prevent chronic absenteeism. IASB, IASA, and IPA will each have a representative on the commission. The bill was approved by the Senate and was sent back to the House of Representatives for concurrence on the Senate amendment.

HB 3757 (Andrade, D-Chicago) provides that if an employer fails to notify the board to suspend the annuity of an annuitant who returns to service as a participating employee, the employer may be required to reimburse the fund for an amount up to the total of any annuity payments made to the annuitant after the date the annuity should have been suspended, as determined by the board, less any amount actually repaid by the annuitant. The bill was approved by the Senate and will be sent to the governor for his consideration.

SB 792 (Bush) , as amended, provides that if a taxing district maintains a website, the truth in taxation notice shall be published on the website in addition to a newspaper of general circulation. The bill was approved by the House of Representatives and will be sent to the governor for his consideration.

SB 1076 (Murphy, R-Palatine) allows Township High School District 211 to build a building on existing school grounds for special education adult transition programs under certain specifications, without going to referendum. The bill was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education: School Curriculum & Policies Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

SB 1340 (Anderson, R-Moline) , as amended, requires the School Security and Standards Task Force to submit a report to the General Assembly and the governor on or before Jan.1, 2016 and the State Board of Education on or before July 1, 2016 (instead of on or before Jan. 1, 2015). The bill was approved by the House of Representatives and was sent back to the Senate for concurrence on the House amendment.

SB 1410 (Mulroe, D-Chicago) , as amended, provides that children of parents or legal guardians who object to health, dental, or eye examinations, immunizations, or to vision and hearing screening tests on religious grounds shall not be required to undergo the examinations if they present to the local school authority a signed Certificate of Religious Exemption detailing the grounds for objection and the specific immunizations, tests, or examinations to which they object. The bill was approved by the House of Representatives and will be sent to the governor for his consideration.

SB 1679 (Lightford) ,as amended, requires the state superintendent of education to establish a review committee to review virtual education and course choice setting forth provisions concerning committee members, meetings, duties, and support. It also requires the committee to report its findings and recommendations to the governor and General Assembly no later than May 31, 2016 and dissolves the committee upon filing its report. The bill was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary Education: School Curriculum & Policies Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.

This legislative report was 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.

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Bill Text/Status: Illinois General Assembly www.ilga.gov


Alliance Legislative Reports are Cosponsored by IASB and:
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