November 9, 2017

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Both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly have adjourned for 2017, a year that saw a full year budget passed, new revenues, and a school funding formula overhaul. The House of Representatives and the Senate are scheduled to convene the 2018 spring veto session in late January. 

In previous Fall Veto Sessions, Governor Bruce Rauner was very successful in sustaining a vast majority of his vetoes. However, things were different this year as a number of vetoes were overridden by the General Assembly. The growing number of votes against the Governor started with the budget and revenue package (SB 6 and SB 9) overrides in July and largely continued into the fall. One major win for the Governor was defeating the override of a bill that would have prohibited local "Right-to-Work Zones" (SB 1905)

The most impactful piece of legislation considered for school districts this Veto Session was SB 851 (Cullerton, D-Chicago) - the latest property tax base reduction idea to be voted on. To read more about SB 851 click here. The House approved the bill Wednesday on a vote of 75-32-1. A late House amendment also added an additional homestead exemption for long-time occupants. Although the Senate had time Thursday to consider the measure, it was not called for a vote before adjournment. The measure could be considered by the Senate upon its return in January. Alliance members are encouraged to continue the advocacy against SB 851.

HB 1252 (Lilly, D-Chicago) requires a semester of instruction on civics in either of the 6th, 7th, or 8th grades in all public schools (currently just high schools). The bill was approved by the House and is pending in the Senate.

HB 1262 (Currie, D-Chicago) provides that a School Code mandate waiver request regarding tax rates, funds, or transfers shall not be reviewed by the panel of General Assembly members, but shall be submitted to the full General Assembly for consideration. The bill was approved by the House and is pending in the Senate. 

HB 2462 (Biss, D-Skokie) prohibits an employer from screening an applicant's wage history before being interviewed before employment. The Senate failed to override the Governor's veto on a vote of 29-17-1 (it required 36 votes) and the bill is dead.

HB 2977 (Welch, D-Westchester) requires elementary schools to offer instruction on cursive writing. The Senate voted to override the Governor's veto and the bill will become law.  

HB 3298 (Scherer, D-Decatur) allows, under certain circumstances, the application fee for a substitute teacher license to be refunded. The Senate voted to override the Governor's veto and the bill will become law

SB 81 (Lightford, D-Maywood) would increase the State minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2022. No vote was taken on the veto override motion and the bill is dead

SB 403 (Bush, D-Grayslake) creates a natural disaster income tax credit of up to $750 per homeowner for property damaged by the July 2017 flood. The bill was approved and will be sent to the Governor.

SB 444 (Manar, D-Bunker Hill) makes technical changes to the new evidence-based funding formula regarding English Learners, Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL) calculations, and Equalized Assessed Valuation (EAV) adjustments. The bill was approved and will be sent to the Governor for consideration. 

SB 453 (Lightford) would have clarified procedures for identifying school districts in need of a school discipline improvement plan, school board approval, and submission of improvement plans as prescribed by Public Act 98-1102. The bill also would have created the Safe Schools and Healthy Learning Environments Program to require self-selected school districts to reallocate funding for school-based law enforcement in order to access matching funding for other social-emotional and restorative practices. On a second attempt on the Senate floor, the bill failed to receive the requisite number of votes and the bill is dead.