January 26, 2018

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The Illinois General Assembly will return to the Capitol next week to kick  off the 2018 legislative session. The Senate is scheduled to meet Tuesday  through Thursday, January 30 - February 1. The House is set to meet on Tuesday and Wednesday. Governor Bruce Rauner will deliver his State of the State Address on Wednesday.
Historically, the State of the State Address consists of the sitting Governor running through his list of accomplishments for the past year, and outlining what is planned for the coming year. In an election year like 2018, the political and campaign overtones are usually amplified.
The looming of the March 20th Primary Election is first and foremost on the minds of incumbent lawmakers, and this year, the Governor as well. One Republican candidate, State Representative Jeanne Ives (Wheaton), is challenging Governor Rauner in the Primary Election. Six candidates have filed and are running on the Democrat side of the ticket: J. B. Pritzker, Chris Kennedy, State Senator Daniel Biss (Evanston), Regional Superintendent of Schools Bob Daiber (Madison County), Tio Hardiman, and Robert Marshall.
All 118 seats in the House of Representatives will be on the ballot as will one-third of the State Senate seats.
As was highlighted in the last Alliance Legislative Report , Governor Rauner issued an amendatory veto of SB 444, the clean-up bill for the evidence-based funding bill, SB 1947. When the Senate gavels into session on Tuesday, the clock will start running for that chamber to take action. As of now, there has been no motion filed to either accept the amendatory changes recommended by the Governor, or to override the veto. If both chambers approve a vote to either accept or override the Governor's action, the evidence-based funding model will be in place with the technical changes contained in SB 444. If a motion fails in either chamber or if no action is taken on the bill, the new funding changes in the original evidence-based funding bill contained in SB 1947 will stand without the changes in SB 444. Another option would be for the legislature to introduce and pass an entirely new bill with funding distribution changes. This could delay the distribution of any new funds to school districts based on the new evidence-based formula.
As the new legislative session begins and lawmakers start introducing new legislative proposals, Alliance members are bracing for another onslaught of bills containing unfunded mandates and restrictions on local school districts to make decisions. The trend which has been growing in recent years shows no signs of slowing down. To take a look at the running total of legislative mandates, click here .

Next week, a bill (HB 1252) that would require a semester of instruction on civics in junior high is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Education Committee. Other bills that have been, or will likely be, introduced include: a bill to require a unit of instruction in all schools studying the significant role of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals in society; a bill to require a school board to enroll its elementary schools in the Scripps National Spelling Bee program and implement an annual district-wide spelling bee competition for students in the 7th grade (HB 4292); a bill to prohibit school districts from expending funds for expenses for hotels, restaurants, or travel by employees to a convention or gathering (HB 4248); and a bill to prohibit any child under the age of 12 to participate in tackle football offered by an organized youth sports program, including school teams (HB 4341).
School board members and administrators are urged to tell their legislators to oppose all proposed unfunded mandates and initiatives that usurps local decision making authority.
The following committees are scheduled to meet next week:

Monday, January 29, 3:00 p.m., Room 114, State Capitol
Subject Matter Only: Governor's Amendatory Veto of SB 444

Tuesday, January 30, 2:45 p.m., Room 212, State Capitol
SB 2236 (Bertino-Tarrant, D-Plainfield) amends the Invest in Kids Act to provide that no income tax credits for private school tuition may be awarded for any taxable year for which the minimum statutory funding level is not met for public schools.
SB 2260 (Tracy, R-Quincy) provides that, in Fiscal Year 2018, each school district having Personal Property Tax Replacement Fund (CPPRT) receipts totaling 13% or more of its total revenues in FY 2016 shall receive an additional amount equal to 11% of the total amount distributed to the school district from the CPPRT fund.
HB 1252 (Lilly, D-Chicago) would require a semester of instruction on civics in junior high.
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.
HB 3792 (Lilly) provides that students, beginning in 6th grade, should be introduced to developing and applying work ethic in a variety of contexts.


Tuesday, January 30, 3:00 p.m., Room 122 B, State Capitol
HB 4242 (McSweeney, R-Cary) requires units of local government and school districts to provide notice to the public within 72 hours if it enters into a severance agreement with an employee or contractor accused of sexual harassment or sexual discrimination.


Tuesday, January 30, 3:30 p.m., Room 122B, State Capitol
Subject Matter Only: Pension Obligation Bonds