Both legislative chambers were in session this week. For the Senate, the end of this week marks the deadline for all Senate bills to have passed out of a substantive committee. So, it is not surprising there were robust conversations in a significant number of committees.

One of those issues was educator testing for teacher licensing where a subject matter hearing was held in the Elementary and Secondary Education: Administration, Licensing and Charter School Committee. Educators from around the state gave testimony on their experiences with the licensure testing system as it relates to the teacher shortage. Legislators will take the testimony in consideration as they review legislation that will ease the burden on the shortage.

Additionally, there were subject matter hearings on after-school matters, agricultural education, career and technical education, Competency Based Pilot Program and Postsecondary Workforce Readiness Act Program in the Appropriations Elementary and Secondary Education Committee.

Passed out of the House Chamber 

HB1472 (Rep. C.D. Davidsmeyer, R-Jacksonville; Rep. Darren Bailey, R-Louisville; Rep. Dave Severin, R-Benton; Rep. Terri Bryant, R-Murphysboro; Rep. Jerry Costello, II, D-Belleville; Rep. Monica Bristow, D-Alton; Rep. Lawrence Walsh, Jr., D-Joliet; Rep. Deanne Mazzochi, R-Westmont) Amends the Downstate Teacher Article of the Illinois Pension Code. In the provision defining “eligible employment” for the purpose of allowing a teacher to return to teaching in subject shortage areas without impairing his or her retirement status or retirement annuity, changes the ending date of the employment from no later than June 30, 2019 to no later than June 30, 2021. The IEA supports this bill. It passed out of the House with a vote of 115-0 and has arrived in the Senate on first reading.

Labor and Commerce Committee

HB2040 (Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago; Rep. Celina Villanueva, D-Summit; Rep. Delia Ramirez, D-Chicago; Rep. Karina Villa, D-West Chicago; Rep. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, D-Glenview; Rep. Mark Walker, D-Arlington Heights; Rep. Gregory Harris, D-Chicago; Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, D-Chicago; Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez, D-Cicero; Rep. Theresa Mah, D-Chicago; Rep. Aaron Ortiz, D-Chicago; Rep. Luis Arroyo, D-Chicago; Rep. Fred Crespo, D-Hoffman Estates; Rep. Barbara Hernandez, D-Aurora; Rep. Robyn Gabel, D-Evanston; Rep. Robert Martwick, D-Norridge; Rep. Jaime Andrade, Jr., D-Chicago; Rep. Kathleen Willis, D-Addison; Rep. Will Guzzardi, D-Chicago; Rep. Anna Moeller, D-Elgin) Amends the Private Correctional Facility Moratorium Act. Provides that the state, any unit of local government, or a county sheriff, shall not contract with a private contractor or private vendor for the provision of services relating to community correctional supervision. Provides that the Act does not apply to State work release centers or juvenile residential facilities that provide separate care or special treatment operated in whole or part by non-profit (rather than private) contractors. Adds to exempted contracts for ancillary services contracts for electronic monitoring services. The IEA supports this bill. It passed out of the Labor and Commerce Committee with a vote of 18-10 and is on second reading.

Personnel and Pensions Committee 

HB2700 (Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville) Amends the State Employees Group Insurance Act of 1971. Provides that if in any case an error is made in billing a TRS benefit recipient, the Department of Central Management Services shall identify the error and refund the overpaid amount as soon as practicable. Provides that a TRS benefit recipient who has overpaid shall be entitled to a refund of overpayments for up to seven years of past payments. The IEA supports this bill. It passed out of the Personnel and Pensions Committee with a vote of 9-0 and is on second reading.

Senate Education Committee

SB59 (Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, D-Shorewood; Sen. Christopher Belt, D-Cahokia; Sen. Rachelle Crowe, D-Glen Carbon; Sen. Ann Gillespie, D-Arlington Heights; Sen. Laura Ellman, D-Naperville) Amends the Dual Credit Quality Act. Provides that an institution may not collect fees from a high school student enrolled in a dual credit course in excess of what the institution needs, per student, to administer a dual credit program. Provides that any fees collected from the high school student may not be used for any purpose other than administering the dual credit program. The IEA supports this bill. It passed out of the Senate Education Committee with a vote of 14-0 and is on second reading.

SB1189 (Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora; Sen. Iris Martinez, D-Chicago; Sen. Ram Villivalam, D-Chicago; Sen. Christopher Belt, D-Cahokia; Sen. David Koehler, D-Edwards; Sen. Omar Aquino, D-Chicago; Sen. Kimberly Lightford, D-Maywood; Sen. Michael Hastings, D-Orland Hills; Sen. Don Harmon, D-Oak Park) Provides that an approved waiver from or modification to a physical education mandate may remain in effect for a period not to exceed two school years (rather than five school years like other mandate waivers) and may be renewed no more than two times upon application by an eligible applicant. Provides that an approved waiver from or modification to a physical education mandate may be changed within the two-year period by the school board or regional superintendent of schools, whichever is applicable, following the procedure set forth in the code for the initial waiver or modification request. Provides that a school board may determine the schedule or frequency of physical education courses, provided that an elementary school pupil engage in a course of physical education for a minimum of 150 minutes per week and a middle school, junior high school, or high school pupil engage in a course of physical education for a minimum of 225 minutes per week (rather than engage in a course of physical education for a minimum of three days per five-day week). The IEA supports this bill. It passed out of the Senate Education Committee with a vote of 9-7 and is on second reading.

SB1213 SA1 Senate Amendment 1 (Sen. Kimberly Lightford, D-Maywood) Local appeal process for unsatisfactory ratings. Beginning with the first school year following the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 101st General Assembly, each school district shall, in good faith cooperation with its teachers or, if applicable, through good faith bargaining with the exclusive bargaining representative of its teachers develop and implement an appeals process for “unsatisfactory” ratings that includes, but is not limited to, an assessment of the original rating by a panel of qualified evaluators agreed to by the joint committee referred to in power to reevaluate and re-rate a teacher who appeals. The joint committee shall determine the criteria for successful appeals. The IEA supports this bill. It passed out of the Senate Education Committee with a vote of 16-0 and is on second reading.

Commerce and Economic Development Committee

SB1919 (Sen. Ann Gillespie, D-Arlington Heights; Sen. Rachelle Crowe, D-Glen Carbon; Sen. John Cullerton, D-Chicago; Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, D-Shorewood; Sen. Elgie Sims, Jr., D-Chicago; Sen. Laura Murphy, D-Des Plaines; Sen. Kimberly Lightford, D-Maywood) Requires the Illinois Community College Board to establish and administer a manufacturing training grant program. Provides that to qualify for a grant, a community college district and a public high school located in that district must jointly establish a collaborative regional partnership with workforce development organizations, regional economic development organizations, and economic development officials in the district, along with manufacturers, healthcare service providers, and innovative technology businesses that have a presence in the district, to provide a manufacturing training program. This bill passed the Commerce and Economic Development Committee with a vote of 11-0 and is on second reading.

Important dates

A schedule for each chamber can be found on the General Assembly website.

Next week

  • The Senate and House are in session next week.
  • Next Friday, March 29 is the House Bill Committee deadline.

  • The Senate and House are scheduled to remain in session through May 31.