February 10, 2017



The Illinois State Senate this week began floor consideration of bills in the proposed  budget compromise, but Senate Republicans said that they were not ready to vote on the components at that time. Three of the more non-controversial bills were approved with all Democrat votes: SB 3 on the consolidation of townships, SB 8 dealing with procurement reform, and SB 10 regarding municipal taxes. But when it came to the first contentious issue, SB 11 that would reform the pension laws, there were not enough Democrats to carry the vote. SB 11 was defeated on an 18-29-10 vote.
Senate Republicans stated that, since all of the budget bills were connected by a clause that says that if one of the bills fail then all of the budget bills fail, they were not ready to offer affirmative votes until all of the legislation was in its final form. Negotiations are still ongoing regarding the Workers' Compensation Act reform and language has yet to be introduced on school funding reform. With that, the Republican Senate leadership urged its members to place "present" votes on the budget bill package.
Though the defeat of one of the "grand bargain" bills caused a stir in the Capitol on Wednesday, leadership from both Senate caucuses insist that the deal is not dead and that the budget compromise will still be approved by the Senate. There still has been no indication from House leadership on the grand bargain package prospects in that chamber.
Regarding the school funding reform bill, the Senate Education Committee held a "subject matter only" hearing Thursday on the Illinois School Funding Reform Commission Report. Secretary of Education Dr. Elizabeth Purvis presented to the committee about the Commission's findings and recommendations, but was chastised by some panel members because there is no legislation drafted with the Commission's plan.
Next Wednesday Governor Bruce Rauner will deliver his annual Budget Address before a joint session of the Illinois General Assembly. This will further set the stage for budget discussions and could affect the status of the Senate budget compromise proposal.
HB 537 (Pritchard, R-Sycamore) limits the ability of local governments to hold referenda regarding sales taxes, issuance of bonds or property taxes to only one time every 23 months and requires that the local government proposing the referenda publish the question no later than 60 days prior to the referenda appearing on the ballot. The bill was approved by the House Cities & Villages Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.
HB 268 (Flowers, D-Chicago) requires Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to establish a school nurse pilot program. The bill was approved by the House Education: School Licensing, Administration and Oversight Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.
HB 426 (Welch, D-Westchester) provides that schools are prohibited from allowing immigration officials to investigate, detain or arrest individuals for violation of immigration law unless a warrant has been issued and consent is given. It further disallows school employees from asking about a student's or family's immigration status and requires the Department of Human Rights to provide training to school personnel. The bill was approved by the House Human Services Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.
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. The bill failed to receive the requisite votes (4-14-0) for passage and remains in the House Education: School Curriculum & Policies Committee.
HJR 11 (Chapa LaVia, D-Aurora) encourages school districts to consider the benefits of the attendance awareness campaign "Every Student Counts, Every Day Matters" urged by the Illinois Attendance Commission.  The resolution was approved by the House Education: School Curriculum & Policies Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.
Wednesday, February 15, 3:00 p.m., Room C-1, Stratton Office Building
HB 438 (Ives, R-Wheaton) authorizes local governments, including school districts, to initiate a neutral evaluation process if it is unable to meet financial obligations. It provides for the selection and qualification of an evaluator, the evaluation process, cessation of an evaluation, declaration of a fiscal emergency and definition of liabilities.
Wednesday, February 15, 3:00 p.m., Room 114, State Capitol
HB 244 (Flowers), under the various drug control acts, p rovides that the enhanced penalty for committing an offense in a school or on school property only applies to an offense committed in or on the grounds of an active and operational school when school is in session, children are present, or when school related activity occurs.
Wednesday, February 15, 4:00 p.m., Room 212, State Capitol
SB 698 (Tracy, R-Mt. Sterling) provides for a partial personnel jurisdiction exemption for rehabilitation/mobility instructors and rehabilitation/mobility instructor trainees at the Illinois School for the Visually Impaired.
SB 704 (Lightford, D-Maywood) prohibits arrest or being otherwise cited for a criminal offense committed during school hours while on school grounds, in school vehicles, or at school activities or sanctioned events except in certain circumstances.
SB 756 (Morrison, D-Deerfield) authorizes a school board to excuse pupils enrolled in grades 9 through 12 (instead of grades 11 and 12) from engaging in physical education courses if those pupils request to be excused for any of specified reasons.
SB 757 (Morrison) provides that college and career ready assessment scores must be removed from  the student's transcript if the student's parent or legal guardian requests such removal. 
SB 764 (Morrison) requires each public school and charter school to post, in a clearly visible location in a public area of the school that is readily accessible to students, a sign in English and in Spanish that contains the toll-free telephone number operated by the Department of Children and Family Services to receive reports of child abuse or neglect.
SB 791 (Sandoval, D-Cicero) provides that a school board may allow students to substitute the entirety of grades 11 and 12 with vocational or technical education courses.
SB 863 (Bertino-Tarrant, D-Shorewood) provides that three of the members of the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) must represent the educator community. (Vision 20/20 initiative)
SB 865 (Manar, D-Bunker Hill) requires a school district report card to include the total and per pupil normal cost amount the State contributed to the Teachers' Retirement System (TRS) in the prior fiscal year for the district's employees, which shall be reported to the ISBE by TRS.
Wednesday, February 15, 4:00 p.m., Room D-1, Stratton Office Building
HB 295 (Olsen, R-Downers Grove), regarding 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. 
HB 449 (Ives),for collective bargaining in a school district (other than Chicago Public Schools), provides that when making wage and benefit determinations during interest arbitration, the employer's financial ability to fund the proposals based upon available resources shall be given primary consideration.
HB 751 (Davidsmeyer, R-Jacksonville), in the provision defining "eligible employment" for the purpose of allowing a teacher to return to teaching in subject shortage areas without impairing his or her retirement status or retirement annuity, changes the ending date of the employment from no later than June 30, 2013 to no later than June 30, 2020. 
Thursday, February 16, 8:30 a.m., Room 115, State Capitol
HB 655 (Cavaletto, R-Salem) requires ISBE to use e-mail delivery of lapse of an educator's license but no sooner than 6 months prior to the license lapsing.
HB 734 (Crespo, D-Streamwood) requires that three of the members of the ISBE must represent the educator community. (Vision 20/20 Initiative)
HB 760 (Lang, D-Chicago) allows the East Prairie School District 73 to exceed their debt limit with voter approval.
HB 773 (Skillicorn) ends school district use of interfund transfers upon signing of the legislation.
HB 793 (Demmer, R-Rochelle) provides a process whereby a local school board could waive or modify certain State mandates. (Vision 20/20 Initiative)
HB 826 (Lilly, D-Chicago) codifies in statute licensure requirements for school social workers and prohibits school social workers from providing services outside they're employment to any student in the district. It makes a recommendation for a student to social worker ratio of 250 to 1.
Thursday, February 16, 8:30 a.m., Room C-1, Stratton Office Building
HB 332 (Drury, D-Highwood) makes changes regarding student data privacy laws.
Thursday, February 16, 10:00 a.m., Room D-1, Stratton Building
HB 663 (Morrison, R-Palatine),if payments are delayed to schools, allows the school board to discontinue any instructional mandate (with exceptions) by resolution. If a student requests information on any mandate discharged, the school shall provide that information. (Alliance Initiative)
HB 670 (Morrison) gives flexibility to school districts within the Drivers' Education mandate by allowing for contracting and proficiency examinations. (Alliance Initiative)
HB 696 (Martwick, D-Chicago) provides for the election of the Chicago Board of Education beginning with the 2018 general primary election.
HB 726 (Jones, D-Chicago) requires the completion of instruction in Black History in order to complete the 8th grade or graduate from high school. It requires each public university to offer a course studying the events of Black History and allows a public university to meet the requirement by offering an online course.
Thursday, February 16, 10:00 a.m., Room 118, State Capitol
HB 433 (Butler, R-Springfield) provides that a school board, upon request to the Department of Transportation, may obtain a decal to place on a school bus or a multifunction school-activity bus that provides notice that trespass on the bus is prohibited and provides notification of the penalties for the criminal trespass to the vehicle under the Criminal Code. 
HB 529 (McDermed, R-Frankfort) requires all school buses to be equipped with 3-point seat belts.
Thursday, February 16, 12:00 p.m., Room 114, State Capitol
HB 262 (Flowers) increases the minimum wage to $15 per hour on October 1, 2017.
HB 349 (McSweeney), under the Illinois Education Labor Relations Act (IELRA), provides that no collective bargaining agreement shall be reduced to writing by the parties until the provisions of the agreement are substantially complete. It provides that once the agreement is reduced to writing and signed by the parties, it is eligible for ratification by both parties.
HB 447 (Ives) provides that, once an agreement is reached between a public or educational employer and its employees regarding all of the terms of a collective bargaining agreement, the agreement shall be reduced to writing and published on the website of the public or educational employer. Not less than 14 days after publishing, the public employer must hold a public meeting on the ratification of the agreement. Any contract where the total compensation exceeds $150,000 shall also be published not less than 14 days prior to being signed by the parties and a public meeting must be held after the 14 days of posting.
HB 448 (Ives) and HB 797 (Sosnowski, R-Rockford), for collective bargaining in a school district other than CPS, provide that when making wage and benefit determinations during interest arbitration, the employer's financial ability to fund the proposals based upon available resources shall be given primary consideration.
HB 660 (Batinick, R-Plainfield), under the IELRA, provides that a public employer is prohibited from providing the exclusive bargaining representative the social security numbers of public employees in the bargaining unit and the exclusive bargaining representative is prohibited from requesting the social security numbers of public employees in the bargaining unit.
Thursday, February 16, 12:00 p.m., Room 122B, State Capitol
HB 364 (McDermed) prohibits, under the State Mandates Act, the General Assembly to approve of any unfunded mandates during a calendar year which contains a general election.
HB 788 (Demmer) c reates the Local Unfunded Mandate Exemption Act to provide that all units of local government, school districts, and public colleges and universities may, by a majority vote of the governing body, exempt themselves from specified mandates that are unfunded if it is determined that it is not economically feasible to comply with the unfunded mandate.
Thursday, February 16, 1:30 p.m., Room 115, State Capitol
HB 290 (Olsen, R-Downers Grove), for school districts with 500 or more students, requires the district to maintain a website and post certain information on the website. It allows citizens of the district to bring mandamus or injunction to compel the district to comply with the posting requirements. Records required to be posted must be posted in perpetuity. It relieves the district from the FOIA requirements of copying and making available for public inspection records that are published on the district's website.
HB 442 (Ives) requires a unit of local government or school district with an operating budget of $1 million or more to maintain an Internet website and post to that website, for the current calendar or fiscal year, the following information: (1) information about elected and appointed officials; (2) notice of and materials prepared for meetings; (3) procedures for requesting information from the unit of local government or school district; (4) annual budget; (5) ordinances; (6) procedures to apply for building permits and zoning variances; (7) financial reports and audits; (8) information concerning employee compensation; (9) contracts with lobbying firms; (10) taxes and fees imposed by the unit of local government or school district; (11) rules governing the award of contracts; (12) bids and contracts worth $25,000 or more; (13) a debt disclosure report; and (14) public notices.
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.