In an unusual flurry of activity for early February, the House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 1 (Lightford, D-Maywood) which increases the minimum wage across the State of Illinois to $15 dollars per hour by 2025. For more information on SB 1,click
. Governor JB Pritzker made it clear during his campaign that raising the minimum wage is a top priority. The Governor was on the House floor as members voted 69-47-1 to send the bill to his desk. SB 1 is expected to be signed into law before the Governor gives his budget speech next week.
GOVERNOR TO DELIVER BUDGET ADDRESS
As required in the Illinois Constitution, the Governor of the State of Illinois must present a budget that details the financial outlook for Illinois. The Governor's Budget Address is scheduled for February 20, at noon. Unfortunately, as it has been in many recent years, the financial outlook at this point is negative. By most reports, the Governor is expected to describe a state looking at a $3 billion deficit with an additional backlog of bills that is nearly $15 billion. It is expected that Governor Pritzker will suggest ways for the General Assembly to change laws to increase revenues. Many of those changes could revolve around taxing items that are currently untaxed or "under" taxed, and taxing items that are currently illicit in Illinois such as sports gambling and recreational marijuana.
One of the biggest policy issues Governor Pritzker campaigned on was the need for Illinois to adopt a graduated income tax. However, the Illinois Constitution states that the income tax must be at a "non-graduated rate". Even if the Constitution is successfully amended, and a graduated income tax becomes law, additional revenues from a graduated income tax would not be realized in Fiscal Year 2020. The groundwork is being laid to move Illinois in that direction for the future.
Another clear message from the Governor's office in the lead up to the budget address is that they will present a transparent budget that will not rely on revenues that have been unrealized in the past. One of the main tactics used by previous administrations to present what appeared to be a balanced budget, was the sale of the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago. While the sale of the Thompson Center is still a desire of Governor Pritzker, he said he would not count the projected sale towards overall revenues.
In the education transition report release by the Governor's office earlier this month, a clear emphasis was made on equitable and adequate funding. The report calls for Illinois to "aggressively" fund K-12 education with a goal of full funding by 2027. It is expected that during the Budget Address, Governor Pritzker will highlight those same issues and push for additional funding to go into the Evidence-Based Funding Model. You can watch the budget address at
. After the speech, Alliance lobbyists will be reacting to the speech and taking questions on
OTHER BILL ACTION FROM THIS WEEK
HB 350 (Willis, D-Northlake)
increases the 3% cap (enacted in Public Act 100-0587) on end of service salary increases, without additional contribution of employers, to 6%. The bill was approved by the Personnel & Pensions Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.
HB 921 (Stuart, D-Collinsville)
provides that if an educational support personnel (ESP) employee is dismissed as a result of a Reduction In Force (RIF), and the employee accepts re-employment with the same district, the employee maintains any rights accrued during the previous service with the school district. The bill was approved by the Elementary & Secondary Education: School Curriculum & Policies Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.
HB 922 (Chapa LaVia, D-Aurora)
requires school districts to provide feminine hygiene products in all restrooms of the district free of charge. The bill was approved by the Elementary & Secondary Education: School Curriculum & Policies Committee and was sent to the House floor for further consideration.
BILLS SCHEDULED FOR COMMITTEE NEXT WEEK
SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE
Tuesday, February 19, 1:00 p.m., Room 212, State Capitol
SB 209 (Bertino-Tarrant)
provides that u
nder no circumstances may a petition for withdrawal from a joint special education agreement be presented to other member districts less than 18 months from the date of the proposed withdrawal.
SB 210 (Murphy, D-Des Plaines)
equires the Illinois High School Association to allow students receiving special education services to be eligible for interscholastic competition until the day before the student's 22nd birthday.
SB 217 (Manar, D-Bunker Hill)
requires a school district to continue paying the full salary of an individual called to active military duty.
SB 1250 (Murphy)
requires a school district, to permit a student diagnosed with a pancreatic insufficiency to self-administer and self-manage his or her pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy.
SB 1303 (Manar)
provides that, subject to appropriation, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) must award grants to school districts to implement Freshman Success plans.
SB 1371 (Rose, R-Champaign)
provides that, upon submitting an application to the regional superintendent of schools, a school district may obtain a temporary door locking device for use on a school building.
HOUSE CITIES & VILLAGES COMMITTEE
Tuesday, February 19, 3:00 p.m., Room 118, State Capitol
HB 1630 (Skillicorn, R-Crystal Lake)
creates the Local Government Bankruptcy Neutral Evaluation Act allowing a local public entity, including school districts, to initiate an evaluation process if they cannot meet financial obligations.
HOUSE JUDICIARY-CRIMINAL COMMITTEE
Tuesday, February 19, 3:00 p.m.,
Room C-1, Stratton Office Building
HB 1579 (Burke, D-Oak Lawn)
provides that be
fore sentencing a juvenile for a threat against a school building or school personnel, the court must order a mental health evaluation.
SENATE LOCAL GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE
Wednesday, February 20, 9:00 a.m., Room 409, State Capitol
SB 223 (Castro, D-Elgin)
removes the option for political subdivisions to forgo evaluations for architectural, engineering or land surveying services when the political subdivision has a satisfactory relationship with one or more firms.
HOUSE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Wednesday, February 20, 8:30 a.m., Room 118, State Capitol
HB 1637 (Welch, D-Westchester)
creates the Keep Illinois Families Together Act requiring the Illinois Attorney General to adopt rules to limit assistance with immigration enforcement at school and other facilities to ensure that the facilities remain safe and accessible to all Illinois residents, regardless of immigration status.
HOUSE ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION: SCHOOL CURRICULUM & POLICIES COMMITTEE
Wednesday, February 20, 1:30 p.m., Room 115, State Capitol
HB 1475 (Bryant, R-Mt. Vernon)
establishes school district protocols for caring for students that have epilepsy or seizure-related occurrences.
HB 1559 (Hernandez, D-Cicero)
defines "media literacy" and provides that, beginning with the 2019-2020 school year, every public high school may include in its curriculum a unit of instruction on media literacy.
HB 1561 (Crespo, D-Streamwood)
requires all school boards to develop threat assessment protocols and to create threat assessment teams. It also requires that the threat assessment protocol be a public document and be posted on the school district's website.
HB 1627 (Skillicorn)
ends the authority granted to school boards to transfer money from their Educational, Operations and Maintenance, Transportation, or Tort Immunity Fund.
HJR 13 (Bennett, R-Pontiac)
creates the School and Law Enforcement Coordination Task Force to study the use of security cameras in schools in Illinois in coordination with local law enforcement.
HOUSE ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION: ADMINISTRATION, LICENSING & CHARTER SCHOOL COMMITTEE
Wednesday, February 20, 2:30 p.m., Room 115, State Capitol
HB 1629 (Skillicorn)
disallows school districts from using funds received through evidence-based state funding for payment of travel, lodging or dining expenses.
HR 10 (Stuart, D-Collinsville)
encourages the ISBE from using edTPA as the teacher certification for licensure.
HOUSE PERSONNEL & PENSIONS COMMITTEE
Thursday, February 21, 10:30 a.m., Room 118, State Capitol
HB 1472 (Davidsmeyer, R-Jacksonville)
extends from June 30, 2019, to June 30, 2021, the flexibility to allow a teacher to return to teaching in subject shortage areas without impairing his or her retirement status.
HR 27 (McSweeney, R-Cary)
states that the opinion of the Illinois House of Representatives is that the proposed educational pension cost shift from the State of Illinois to local school districts, community colleges, and institutions of higher education is financially wrong.