The Illinois General Assembly convened this week to continue consideration of bills in committee. Though dozens of bills were approved and sent to their respective chamber’s floor, high profile bills concerning safety and gun control took center stage. Several different bills were moving in both chambers, including bills to ban bump stocks, raise the minimum age to purchase certain firearms, and to license firearm dealers. The licensure bill, SB 1657 (Harmon, D-Oak Park)
, was approved by both chambers and will be sent to the Governor for action. Multiple votes are still pending for the other measures.
The Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB) and the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA) both presented their Fiscal Year 2019 revenue estimates to the House Revenue and Finance Committee. Both predicted revenue growth for the upcoming fiscal year that begins on July 1, 2018. GOMB is predicting state revenues of $31.8 Billion while COGFA is predicting a slightly lower amount at $31.7 Billion. The adoption of a revenue estimate by the General Assembly is usually the first step in the budget making process. Disagreement regarding revenues often occurs, further escalating contentious fiscal battles and making the appropriations (spending) process that much more difficult. This election year provides additional challenges to finding compromise.
The House of Representatives will return to the Capitol next Tuesday-Thursday. The Senate will return on March 13. Both will then take a break during the weeks of the Primary Election (March 20) and Easter/Passover. BILL ACTION FROM THIS WEEK
- SB 2545 (Manar, D-Bunker Hill) clarifies the intent of PA 97-008/SB 7 (Education Reform) that the Reduction in Force (RIF) and Performance Evaluation Reform Act (PERA) committees be excluded from the Open Meetings Act, along with the negotiating team strategy sessions. The bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee and will be sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.
- SB 2658 (Schimpf, R-Murphysboro) provides that a Professional Educator License with Stipulations with a provisional educator endorsement obtained by a service member or a spouse of a service member is valid until June 30 immediately following three (rather than two) years of the license being issued. The bill was supported by the Alliance and approved by the Senate Education Committee and will be sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.
- SB 2844 (Aquino, D-Chicago) requires Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to establish and maintain the Growing Future Educators Program to train high school graduates to become secondary language educators when they have been identified as English learners and are enrolled in an approved educator preparation program. The bill was supported by the Alliance and approved by the Senate Education Committee and will be sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.
- SB 2863 (Raoul, D-Chicago) makes changes to the Workers Compensation Act by adding regulation and expanding employee litigation opportunities. Additionally, the bill would codify onerous case law and increase penalties for employers. The bill was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee and will be sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.
- SB 2900 (Righter, R-Mattoon) provides that if a school board fills a vacancy due to a lack of candidates for election in a congressional township in the most recent election, then the school board shall submit a question to the voters at the next election as to whether they approve at-large election of the board instead of mandatory board representation by area. The bill was approved by the Senate Government Reform Committee and will head to the Senate floor for further consideration.
- SB 2941 (McGuire, D-Joliet) provides that a school district may participate in ISBE’s competency-based, high school graduation requirements pilot program for some or all of its schools. The bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee and will be sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.
- SB 2999 (Van Pelt, D-Chicago) provides that an employer shall reimburse an employee for all necessary expenditures or losses incurred by the employee directly related to services performed for the employer. The bill was approved by the Senate Labor Committee and will be sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.
- SB 3045 (Manar), for the next two years only, increases to 120 days (from 100) the number of days that a retired teacher may teach without impairing retirement status. The bill was supported by the Alliance and approved by the Senate Education Committee and will be sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.
- HB 2617 (Gabel, D-Evanston) requires employee insurance policies to provide coverage for medically necessary expenses for standard fertility preservation services. The bill was approved by the House Human Services Committee and will be sent to the Senate floor for further consideration.
- HB 4409 (Pritchard, R-Sycamore) changes part of the definition of school psychologist to a person that holds a valid Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) credential. The bill was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary: Licensing, Administration & Oversight Committee and will be sent to the House floor for further consideration.
- HB 4514 (Pritchard) provides that only individuals licensed and endorsed as a school counselor may use the title of school counselor. The bill was approved by the House Elementary and Secondary: Licensing, Administration & Oversight Committee and will be sent to the House floor for further consideration.
- HB 4516 (Fine, D-Glenview) would create an insurance mandate of coverage for hearing aids. The bill was approved by the House Insurance Committee and will be sent to the House floor for further consideration.
BILLS SCHEDULED FOR COMMITTEE NEXT WEEK HOUSE MENTAL HEALTH COMMITTEE
- HB 4789 (Breen, R-Lombard) provides that for each school year, school districts shall limit increases in school administrative costs to no more than the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or 5%, whichever is less. The bill was opposed by the Alliance, but approved by the House Elementary and Secondary: Licensing, Administration & Oversight Committee and will be sent to the House floor for further consideration.
Tuesday, March 6, 11 a.m., Room C-1, Stratton Office Building
HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS-ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION COMMITTEE
- Subject Matter Hearing - School Based Health Center
Tuesday, March 6, 1:30 p.m., Room D-1, Stratton Office Building
- Subject Matter Hearing - Budget Requests: Principal Mentoring (IPA), Early Childhood Advocates, Latino Policy Forum
- HB 5812 (Davis, D-East Hazel Crest) contains the legislative fixes requested by ISBE in order to properly calculate disbursements for the Evidence Based Funding Formula.
HOUSE HUMAN SERVICES COMMITTEE
Wednesday, March 7, 8:00 a.m., Room 122B, State Capitol
- HB 4340 (Wheeler, R-Crystal Lake) requires school administrators to post notice of the human trafficking hotline in the administrative office or another location in view of school employees. Includes a civil penalty for non-compliance with the posting requirement.
- HB 4737 (Harris, D-Chicago) requires Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to provide 19 year olds, still attending high school the same services and programs provided to any child under 18.
HOUSE ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION: LICENSING, ADMINISTRATION & OVERSIGHT
- HB 4782 (Burke, D-Oak Lawn) contains an insurance mandate requiring coverage for diagnosis and treatment of milk protein allergies.
Wednesday, March 7, 8:00 a.m., Room 114, State Capitol
- HB 4706 (Scherer, D-Decatur) makes the requirement for substitute teachers to be physically fit, permissive. The bill defines what can be required and medical personnel required to make the determination. Requires the hiring school board to pay for the examination when it requires an examination of any substitute teacher employee.
- HB 5249 (Brady, R-Normal) allows a parent or guardian of a child with disabilities to enroll in a school district in which the child was previously enrolled under certain circumstances.
- HB 5627 (Bennett, R-Pontiac) makes changes to teacher licensure to address teacher shortage and substitute teacher shortage.
HOUSE ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION: SCHOOL CURRICULUM & POLICIES COMMITTEE
- HB 5796 (Chapa LaVia, D-Aurora) requires chronic absenteeism information to be reported on the ISBE school report card for students with Individualized Education Programs and Section 504 plans.
Wednesday, March 7, 10:00 a.m., Room D-1, Stratton Office Building
- HB 4369 (Sommer, R-Morton) requires ISBE to develop and maintain a dyslexia handbook, make it available on their website and update it every 4 years.
- HB 4685 (Connor, D-Romeoville) requires schools to allow students to possess and use topical sunscreen products. It also mandates that schools provide a unit of instruction on skin cancer prevention.
- HB 4730 (Harper, D-Chicago) reverses and limits the mandate relief provided in PA 100-465 regarding physical education. It limits waivers to 2 years, and only allows 2 renewals and sets minimum requirements for pupil engagement in physical education to 150 minutes per week for elementary school students and 225 minutes per week for high school students.
- HB 4908 (Moeller, D-Elgin) requires all children entering kindergarten, second, sixth and ninth grades to have a dental examination.
- HB 4925 (Breen) adds chiropractic physicians to the medical professionals involved in the concussion protocol for interscholastic athletic activity.
- HB 5561 (Swanson, R-Woodhull) provides that a public school student receiving a high school diploma shall have the right to wear a military uniform at high school graduation, under certain circumstances.
- HB 5571 (Chapa LaVia) facilitating the work of the Balanced Accountability Model, establishes a definition of chronic absenteeism and requires state funded early childhood programs to collect and review the data and determine needed resources to engage chronically absent students and their families.
- HB 5795 (Chapa LaVia) establishes a definition for truant students as a child who is subject to compulsory school attendance who is absent without valid cause for more than 1% but less than 5% of the past 180 days.
HOUSE REVENUE & FINANCE COMMITTEE
- HR 796 (Harper) encourages the General Assembly to pass legislation making the Chicago Board of Education an elected body instead of appointed by the Mayor.
Thursday, March 8, 10:00 a.m., Room 122B, State Capitol
MENTAL HEALTH COMMITTEE
- HB 4958 (McDermed, R-Frankfort), an Alliance initiative, provides that for levy years 2019 and later, for school districts subject to Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL), allows districts to levy below their previous year’s extension without penalty, by allowing the district to recapture a previous year’s “aggregate extension base” up to 3 years.
Thursday, March 8, 10:00 a.m., Room D-1, Stratton Office Building
- HB 5110 (Lang, D-Skokie) requires issuance of a license as a clinical social worker, social worker, professional counselor, or clinical professional counselor, to an applicant licensed under the laws of another jurisdiction if the requirements for licensure in that jurisdiction are substantially equivalent to the requirements in Illinois.