February 3, 2017


The Illinois General Assembly is scheduled to return to work next week  with the Senate slated to be in session Tuesday through Thursday and the House of Representatives set for session on Wednesday and Thursday. Committees have been scheduled to consider bills in both chambers, but all eyes will be on the Senate floor as leaders stated that they plan to vote on components of the budget compromise package.
The Senate budget package, contained in Senate Bills 1 through 13, was highlighted in Alliance Legislative Report 100-01 found here. Testimony has already been taken on the bills in committees and now the bills are postured for votes on the Senate floor. Most are on "Third Reading", the final passage stage, on the chamber floor. A few, which still need revisions, are on "Second Reading", the amendment stage.
The comprehensive and controversial bill package includes provisions to increase the State income tax rates, expand the sales tax base, impose a property tax freeze, reform pension plans, increase the minimum wage, expand gaming, reform the Workers' Compensation Act, and more. Lawmakers will proceed slowly with this load of weighty issues and the proposed budget deal's fate is not clear. Even with approval in the Senate, no one knows exactly what is in store in the House of Representatives.
SB 1 is generally considered to be the place holder for the school funding reform language. The bill currently contains no substantive language, but it can be amended with a new plan on the Senate floor. Now that the Governor's Illinois School Funding Reform Commission has issued its report, there could be legislation drafted this week for SB 1.
Tuesday, February 7, 4:30 p.m., Room 212, State Capitol
SB 650 (Connelly, R-Naperville) provides that certain notices concerning requests for mandate waivers may be made electronically.
Wednesday, February 8, 1:30 p.m., Room 212, State Capitol
SJRCA 1 (Harmon, D-Oak Park) proposes to amend the State Constitution to allow for a graduated income tax rate structure.
Wednesday, February 8, 2:00 p.m., Room 114, State Capitol
HB 354 (McSweeney, R-Cary) creates the School Water Supply Testing Act to require that drinking water used in all public school facilities be tested for lead at least once a year.
Wednesday, February 8, 3:00 p.m., Room 115, State Capitol
HB 106 (Batnick, R- Plainfield)
provides that the holder of a master's degree in public administration who completes an additional six semester hours of internship in school business management from a regionally accredited institution of higher education and passes applicable State tests is eligible for a chief school business official endorsement.
HB 256 (Beiser, D-Alton)
requires applicants to IHSA for certification to be a sports official, including renewals, to authorize a fingerprint-based criminal history records check to determine whether the person has committed a disqualifying offense. 
HB 261 (Mussman, D- Schaumburg)
allows a school district to provide housing assistance to a homeless student if it would be cheaper than paying for the transportation cost for the student to attend their district of origin. 
HB 265 (Flowers, D-Chicago)
requires annual lead testing of the water supply in buildings of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS).
HB 268 (Flowers)
requires CPS to establish a school nurse pilot program.
HB 269 (Flowers)
provides for the waiver of tuition assessed by a school district on children whose parents are unable to afford them. With respect to summer school, provides that a school board must waive all or part of summer school charges if it determines that the family of a pupil is indigent or the educational needs of the pupil require his or her attendance.
HB 331 (Drury, D- Highwood)
requires the ISBE, in conjunction with the Department of Public Health, to establish a calorie transparency program to be implemented in public schools. It requires a school board to conspicuously display the nutritional information of all food items offered for sale in all schools.
HB 353 (McSweeney)
prohibits post-retirement educator bonuses after the effective date of the act (grandfathers in existing contracts.
HB 378 (Reick, R -Woodstock)
allows any interested person to request the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) to determine if a new ISBE rule is a mandate on local school districts.
HB 425 (Welch, D-Westchester)
makes changes to the salary structure of Regional Superintendents of Schools and their assistants, especially in regard to the Educational Service Centers in Cook County.
HB 459 (Ives, R-Wheaton)
provides that a school district may not refinance debt past the repayment period of the debt when issued, may not issue debt to be serviced over a period of greater than 20 years, and may not issue capital appreciation bonds.
HB 507 (Sommer, R-Morton)
allows a school board to use remaining funds on hand in the Fire Prevention and Safety Fund for dyslexia screenings for students. 
Wednesday, February 8, 3:00 p.m., Room C-1, Stratton Office Building
HB 332 (Drury) makes changes regarding student data privacy laws.
Wednesday, February 8, 4:00 p.m., Room D-1, Stratton Office Building

HB 295 (Olsen, R-Downers Grove), regarding Teachers' Retirement Service (TRS) pensions,
provides that "salary" does not include expense reimbursements, expense allowances, or fringe benefits unless included in a reportable flexible benefit plan.
HB 436 (Ives) amends the State's retirement systems, including TRS, to require them to prepare and implement a Tier 3 plan that aggregates State and employee contributions in an individual participant account which are used for payouts after retirement.
HB 437 (Ives) prohibits a TRS employer from making employee pension contributions on behalf of an employee.
HR 27 (McSweeney) states opposition to shifting pension costs of teachers from the State to local school districts.
HR 38 (Skillicorn, R-Crystal Lake) recognizes that teacher pension costs are the responsibility of the State and not local taxpayers.
Thursday, February 9, 10:30 a.m., Room 114, State Capitol
HB 213 (Ford, D-Chicago)
creates the School Choice Act to allow students to pay for qualified education expenses at participating nonpublic schools through a scholarship program.
HB 243 (Flowers)
requires school districts to establish a partnership with a local police department, county sheriff, or police training academy to establish a training program for high school students.
HB 266 (Flowers)
prohibits the ISBE from assessing any student whose parent or guardian has requested that their student not be assessed with a State assessment.
HB 440 (Ives)
makes physical education permissive.
HB 443 (Ives)
creates the Illinois School Choice Program allowing any State-recognized, non-public school to receive a voucher for students wishing to enroll. 
HJR 11 (Chapa LaVia, D-Aurora)
encourages school districts to consider the benefits of the attendance awareness campaign "Every Student Counts, Every Day Matters" encouraged by the Illinois Attendance Commission.
Thursday, February 9, 10:30 a.m., Room C-1, Stratton Office Building

HB 529 (McDermed, R-Frankfort) requires all school buses to be equipped with 3-point seat belts.
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.