May 26, 2017

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Earlier this week, the Illinois Senate Democrats passed their own spending plan for next fiscal year. The Senate Democrat spending plan would raise revenues and at the same time cut spending. A similar approach was a part of the "Grand Bargain" earlier in the session, but without support from Senate Republicans, the Senate majority took steps to pass a budget that their members would support. For more details on the spending plan passed by the Senate,  click here .
The question now becomes whether or not the House of Representatives will take up the budget passed by the Senate. The House has scheduled committee hearings for those budget bills for the beginning of next week. It appears that the House is not putting forward their own spending plan, as procedurally there wouldn't be time to have any newly adopted provisions acted on in time to meet the May 31st constitutional deadline. As always, at this time in the legislative cycle that is subject to change hour by hour. Any legislation needing an immediate effective date, as budget items would, have to pass both houses prior to midnight on May 31st. If they aren't acted upon by that time, they'd need 71 votes in the House and 36 votes in the Senate making it more difficult to get the requisite votes for passage.
Beyond a budget, there has probably been no bigger issue this session than school funding reform. The conversation on school funding reform is ongoing with the Senate version of the evidence based funding concept, Senate Bill 1, being the main vehicle. On Wednesday of this week, the House
Appropriation-Elementary and Secondary Education committee passed SB 1 (Manar, D-Bunker Hill) to the House floor on a 16-3 vote.
With many complicated issues still before the legislature, be sure to keep an eye out for further Alliance legislative updates as issues of importance emerge. Your assistance contacting your lawmakers will be critical for success in last few days of legislative action.
HB 2740 (Welch, D-Westchester) , beginning January 1, 2018, requires the community college board to establish alternative methods of credentialing for issuance of high school equivalency certification, based on high school credit, post-secondary credit, foreign diplomas, and completion of a competency-based program. 
HB 2794 (Ford, D-Chicago) requires school districts to inform all 11th and 12th grade students of dual enrollment and dual credit opportunities at public community colleges for qualified students.
HB 2950 (Conyears-Ervin, D-Chicago) requires schools to designate personnel and periodically provide students information about what to do and resources available if the student is being bullied.
HB 2957 (Fine, D-Glenview) requires school district policies to include synchronization of prescription drug refills on at least one occasion per insured, per year.
HB 2966 (Andrade, D-Chicago) , under   the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF), changes references to "salary" to "reported earnings" regarding additional contributions from the local government and makes the change retroactive to January 1, 2012.
HB 3059 (Pritchard, R-Sycamore) requires school districts to report attendance data by grade level on the attendance information report due to Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) July 1 of each year.
HB 3120 (Demmer, R-Rochelle) , supported by the Alliance, allows a public body to satisfy the newspaper publication requirement for its determination of the prevailing rate of wages by posting on the public body's website a hyperlink to the prevailing wage schedule for that locality on the Department of Labor (DOL) website.
HB 3139 (Chapa LaVia, D-Aurora) , facilitating the work of the Balanced Accountability Model, establishes a definition of chronic absenteeism and requires school districts to collect and review the data and determine needed resources to engage chronically absent students and their families.
HB 3169 (Sauer, R-Libertyville) in sections of the School Code referring to "wards of the State" adds to the definition to include youth in care, as defined as persons placed in the temporary custody or guardianship of the Department of Children and family Services (10 ILCS 505) pursuant to the Juvenile Court Act.
HB 3215 (Wallace, D-Rockford) , opposed by the Alliance, requires schools to provide feminine hygiene products to students at no cost, in school restrooms. It is estimated that this effort would cost $13.5 million statewide.
HB 3368 (Sims, D-Chicago) requires the ISBE to post resources regarding the teaching of entrepreneurial skills for used by school districts with high schools.
HB 3369 (Sims) requires the ISBE to post resources regarding the teaching of high-skilled manufacturing education programs.
HB 3437 (Harper, D-Chicago) requires Chicago charter schools to give at least 60 days' notice of the closure of a school, lasting at least one school year, to all affected students, parents, and legal guardians.
HB 3601 (Greenwood, D-E.St. Louis) encourages  East St. Louis School District 189 to allow 11 & 12th grade students to take classes at Southwestern Illinois College for dual credit at no cost to the student.
HB 3615 (Jesiel, R-Antioch) changes due process rights for any school employee accused of child abuse or neglect.
HB 3684 (Burke, K. D-Oak Lawn) changes the certification requirements for food handling certified food service sanitation managers and food service sanitation manager instructors beginning January 1, 2018.
SB 449 (Lightford, D-Westchester) requires the State Superintendent of Education to convene a Performance Evaluation Advisory Council to advise the ISBE on the ongoing implementation of performance evaluations in this State.
SB 588 (Bivins, R-Dixon) provides a tax increment financing extension for Milledgeville to 35 years.
SB 609 (Morrison, D-Deerfield) allows taxpayers to appeal a decision of the Property Tax Appeals Board (PTAB) directly to PTAB when the decisions are rendered after the deadline for filing complaints.
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 1739 (Lightford) provides that a student who is already licensed to teach and is enrolled in a course of study leading to an additional teaching endorsement or a master's degree in an academic field in which he or she is teaching or plans to teach may participate in the Minority Teachers of Illinois scholarship program (rather than limiting the program to undergraduate students).
SB 1846 (Hunter, D-Chicago) requires the Department of Public Health to include asthma in the standard school health exam and requires DPH to collect and maintain data.
SB 2028 (Cullerton, T., D-Villa Park) allows schools to be relieved of the alternative plating and registration requirements when using a school bus for school related activities.
HB 1774 (Martwick, D-Chicago) provides for the election of the Chicago Board of Education starting with the 2023 Consolidated Election.
SB 473 (Munoz, D-Chicago) , for Cook County only, increases thesenior citizens homestead exemption from $5,000 to $8,000; increases the Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze income qualification from $55,000 to $65,000 and increases the General Homestead Exemption from $6,000 to $10,000.
SB 764 (Morrison) allows the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), in cooperation with school officials, to distribute appropriate materials in school buildings listing the toll-free telephone number established in the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act to be displayed in a clearly visible location in each school building.
HB 350 (McSweeney, R-Cary) provides that for members of a pension system who are convicted of a felony related to their service results in forfeiture of benefit for their surviving spouse. These changes shall not impair any contract or vested right acquired by a survivor before the effective date of this Act.
HB 370 (Mayfield, D-Waukegan) allows the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), in cooperation with school officials, to distribute appropriate materials in school buildings listing the toll-free telephone number established in the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act to be displayed in a clearly visible location in each school building.
HB 760 (Lang, D-Skokie) allows the East Prairie School District 73 and Brookfield LaGrange Park SD 95 to exceed its debt limit with voter approval and requires any school district seeking legislative approval to exceed debt limit to hold a public hearing with proper notification, and hold a referendum for voter approval of the additional debt.
HB 2525 (Hoffman, D-Belleville) opposed by the Alliance, would codify case law continuing the "any" cause standard that extends employer liability for injuries not directly caused by the workplace.
HB 2545 (Davidsmeyer, R-Jacksonville)  requires all school personnel to undergo training every other year on the warning signs of mental illness and the school district's policy on suicide awareness.
HB 2699 (Wheeler, K., R-North Aurora) for unemployment insurance, provides that an employer is not chargeable for benefit charges that result from the payment of benefits to an individual if the payments were the result of the individual voluntarily leaving work to participate in training programs. If a business is transferred and has any common ownership then the experience rating records must be transferred. Changes the timeline for employing entities to file for overpayment refunds or adjustments. Requires the Director of Employment Security to provide quarterly statements.
HB 2993 (Slaughter, D-Chicago) allows schools to serve produce grown by students in school or community gardens if the produce meets the Department of Public Health (DPH) requirements.
HB 3745 (Conyears-Ervin) requires a school board to permit community groups to advertise events and after-school programs pertinent to students' interests or involvement in a designated area of each school campus that is accessible and commonly used.
SB 444 (Clayborne, D-East St. Louis ) creates the Students Online Personal Protection Act with additional provisions desired by ACT. Contains various provisions to safe guard student data.
The following bills were approved by committees this week:
SB 31 (Cullerton, J., D-Chicago) provides that a law enforcement agency shall not detain an individual solely based on immigration status.
SB 704 (Lightford) 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 1692 (Raoul, D-Chicago) expands who can be on the concussion oversight team and evaluate a student who has been removed from practice or competition.
SB 1796 (Hastings, D-Frankfort) creates the Students Online Personal Protection Act. Contains various provisions to safe guard student data.
SB 1991 (Bennett, D-Champaign) allows the ISBE to adopt a proficiency test for applicants seeking a professional educator license in the area of career or technical education if they are applying in an identified shortage area.
HB 512 (Breen, R-Lombard)  requires local governments and school districts to publish notice of public questions no later than 60 days nor less than 10 days prior to the referenda appearing on the ballot (currently 30 days).
HB 1332 (Fine) as amended, requires insurance coverage for eating disorders.
HB 2802 (Mah, D-Chicago) requires employers within the jurisdiction of the Regional Transportation Authority, and with over 25 full-time employees, to offer a transportation benefit program: either a federal program allowing employees to exclude from taxable wages the employees commuting costs or a program where the employer provides a transit pass or reimburses the employee for parking payments.
HB 2959 (Fine) provides that no health insurance coverage may impose any preexisting condition exclusion.     
HB 3052 (Jones, T., D-S. Holland) , opposed by the Alliance, impacts Ford Heights School District 169 and Chicago Heights School District 170. Establishes new designations for certain school districts as "minor district" and "major district". Defines "minor district" as an elementary school district whose boundaries are wholly or partially within a multiple school district municipality, having 30% of its EAV in the multiple school district municipality and who's exceeded their debt limit by 400% of the district's limiting rate or 200% of the rate of the major district in the area. Prohibits a "minor district" from borrowing, from establishing an annual tax rate, for extending a new tax rate.
HB 3080 (Reis, R-Olney) from July 2017 to June 2019, allows retired teachers to be paid for 120 days without impairing retirement status.
HB 3792 (Lilly, D-Chicago) provides that students, beginning in 6th grade should be introduced to developing and applying work ethic in a variety of contexts.  
Sunday, May 28, 2017, 4:00 p.m., Room 118, State Capitol
SB 1947 (Collins, D-Chicago) among other provisions, creates a definition of chronic absenteeism.
Monday, May 29, 2017, 2:00 p.m., Room 122B, State Capitol
SB 9 (Hutchinson, D-Olympia Fields) makes numerous changes to the State's tax structure, including increasing the individual income tax rate from 3.75% to 4.95% and the corporate income tax rate from 4.8% to 7% beginning January 1, 2017; increasing the Education Expense Credit (for taxpayers who pay tuition for non-public K-12 education) from $500 to $750; and creating an income tax credit of $250 for teachers or other school personnel who purchase instructional material or supplies.
Tuesday, May 30, 2017, 9:00 a.m., Room 118, State Capitol
HB 3443 (Lilly) creates the Education Prioritization Act requiring the appropriation of the amount appropriated in the previous year for General State Aid and 51% of total new general funds available beginning in Fiscal Year 2018.
SB 1289 (Morrison) creates a uniform statement of economic interest form that must be completed by all who are required to file. Changes required disclosures that must be made. Authorizes the Secretary of State to institute an electronic statement of economic interest filing system and repeals the provision calling for filing with the county clerk.
SB 1424 (Biss, D-Skokie) Creates a small donor campaign contribution matching system for candidates for the offices of Governor, Attorney General, State Comptroller, State Treasurer, Secretary of State, State Senator, and State Representative. 
SB 1518 (Althoff, R-McHenry) allows quick-take powers for certain parcels of land in Kane and McHenry Counties.
SB 1702 (Link, D-Gurnee)  Provides that the hospital credit applies for tax years ending on or after December 31, 2012 and ending on or before December 31, 2022.
SB 1904 (Silverstein, D-Chicago) requires the Department of Labor (DOL) to publish, by July 15 of each year on its official website, a prevailing wage schedule for each county based upon the prevailing rate of wages investigated and ascertained by the Department during the month of June.
SB 1947 (Collins) among other provisions, creates a definition of chronic absenteeism.
SB 1979 (Cunningham, D-Chicago) Makes a provision that allows a person that has been granted a senior citizens homestead exemption, to keep the exemption without needing reapply for the exemption apply to Cook County.    
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.