LAWMAKERS WRAP UP VETO SESSION
The Illinois General Assembly concluded the Fall Veto Session this week and adjourned until January 28, 2020. Legislators deliberated on a mix of revisions of legislation that was enacted earlier this year, hold-over issues from the spring session, and some new issues which emerged.
At the conclusion of the session, Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) announced that he would be retiring in January. This, of course, begins the political maneuvering among those Senators who wish to replace him.
LEGISLATIVE ACTION FROM THIS WEEK
SB 10 (Manar, D-Bunker Hill) reinstates a competency test for persons seeking a paraprofessional educator endorsement. With the inadvertent removal of this provision as part of a bill approved in the spring, it required all those seeking to become a paraprofessional to have an associate’s degree or at least 60 semester hours of credit at an institution of higher education. This now again allows a pathway for licensure by passing a competency test. The bill was approved by both chambers and will be sent to the Governor for consideration.
SB 119 (Steans, D-Chicago) makes revisions to the budget implementation legislation from the spring regarding the Capital Projects Fund, bonded indebtedness and general obligation bond authorizations. It directs $9 million from cigarette tax receipts to the Common School Fund and Healthcare Provider Relief Fund. The bill also exempts aviation fuel from county-wide sales tax receipts and adds a yearly Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase to motor fuel taxes imposed by county boards in DuPage, Kane, Lake, Will, and McHenry counties. The bill was approved by both chambers and will be sent to the Governor for consideration.
SB 460 (Bertino-Tarrant, D-Plainfield), regarding the requirement that a school district must forward all written materials to parents of students subject to an Individualized Education Program (IEP) within three days of the eligibility meeting, extends the compliance deadline to July 1, 2020. The bill was approved by both chambers and will be sent to the Governor for consideration.
SB 533 (Manar) amends the Time Standardization Act to provide that daylight saving time shall be the year-round standard time of the entire state. The bill was approved by the Senate and has been assigned to the House Rules Committee.
SB 669 (Cullerton, J.) was intended to contain “clean-up language” for the gaming expansion bill enacted earlier this year. It would have modified the tax/revenue structures between the state and the City of Chicago as there have been concerns that the high tax level in the current law to provide Chicago additional funds is a deterrent for entities to even apply for the gaming license. Though language is drafted, no agreement was reached and the bill was not called for a vote. Revenue receipts from a Chicago casino are a key component of the funding streams to pay for the statewide infrastructure plan enacted this summer – including school construction.
SB 730 (Cullerton, J.), among other provisions, fixes an omission in Public Act 101-0221 regarding economic interest statements. The bill reinstates the requirement for the local government chief administrator to annually, on or before February 1, certify to the county clerk a list of names and addresses of persons that are required to file. The bill was approved by both chambers and will be sent to the Governor for consideration.
SB 1300 (Castro, D-Elgin) consolidates the pension funds for municipal police and fire employees from the various individual funds across the state. The bill also adds two additional people to the Board of Trustees of the Teachers’ Retirement System. One person appointed by the Governor and one additional teachers. The bill was approved by both chambers and will be sent to the Governor for consideration.
SB 1557 (Steans) is the “trailer bill” for the recreational cannabis bill that was enacted earlier this year. The bill makes clarifications that smoking cannabis is not allowed in public places such as bars and restaurants, and that employers can still declare drug-free work zones to prohibit cannabis use. Revisions were also made to provisions regarding paraphernalia and notification of expungements. The bill was approved by both chambers and will be sent to the Governor for consideration.
SB 1639 (Steans) requires registered lobbyists to disclose specifically if clients include local governments, including school districts. It also requires lobbyists to disclose any elected or appointed offices they hold; requires lobbying firms that contract out other lobbyists to disclose who is lobbying for each business or other client; and requires the Secretary of State’s Office to improve the lobbyist database, integrating these new provisions and making the entire system easier to search and navigate. The bill was approved by both chambers and will be sent to the Governor for consideration.
SB 1784 (Harmon, D-Oak Park) is a response from organized labor to the Janus decision handed down by the United States Supreme Court. In the Janus case, the Supreme Court declared that public employees were not required to pay any union dues if they did not wish to do so. While state law cannot override the Janus decision, there are several items in SB 1784 that will require additional communication from school districts to bargaining units and will also restrict communications with employees. The bill requires school districts to provide every month to the bargaining unit representative “any home and personal cellular telephone numbers on file with the employer”. The legislation also requires any employee with questions about union membership to be directed to the bargaining unit representative. The bill was approved by both chambers and will be sent to the Governor for consideration.
HB 961 (Crespo, D-Streamwood), for Cook County, changes the sunset date for seniors to waive reapplying for the senior citizen homestead exemption to taxable years 2019 through 2023. The bill was approved by both chambers and will be sent to the Governor for consideration.
SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION DISCUSSION SCHEDULED
Members have been named to the School Construction Task Force and a meeting schedule has been set. The panel will first meet on Tuesday, November 19th, from 9:00-11:00 a.m. in the video conference rooms at the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) in Springfield and the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago. Subsequent meetings are scheduled on December 11th, January 8th, February 3rd, and February 26th. Here is the agenda and registration information.
The charge of the Task Force is to review current school construction laws and research the needs for capital improvements in Illinois’ schools. On or before March 1, 2020, the task force must submit a report to the Governor, General Assembly, and the chairperson of the Illinois State Board of Education that outlines its recommendations.
Task force members include:
Daniel Booth, Superintendent, Carbondale ESD 95
Jeff Dosier, Superintendent, Belleville THSD 201
Senator Pat McGuire, Illinois Senate District 43
Joe Neri, Representative of Early Childhood Education Programs
Michael Riordan, Superintendent, Oak Lawn CHSD 229
Jesse Ruiz, Deputy Governor for Education
Genevra Walters, Superintendent, Kankakee SD 111
Senator Chuck Weaver, Illinois Senate District 37
Representative Chris Welch, Illinois Representative District 7
Representative Tom Bennett, Illinois Representative District 106