The Illinois General Assembly has been debating countless proposals to address a myriad of issues facing the citizens of the State of Illinois. As is usually the case, the question arises “who is going to pay for it?”

So, this year the conversation about revenue has been robust. Here are a few of the proposals that have been discussed and the type of revenue that they could potentially generate:

The most extensive revenue proposal introduced to date is the Fair Tax. The  Fair Tax would substantially alter the revenue landscape in the state of Illinois,  generating a projected $3.4 billion in revenue. This proposal will require a change in the Illinois constitution and, therefore, will have to be approved by the General Assembly with a 3/5 vote in order to be placed on the November 2020 ballot.

Another somewhat controversial revenue proposal is the $170 million that could be generated from licensing fees  produced by legalizing  recreational marijuana.

The Governor included a bag tax in his proposed fiscal year 2020 budget, floating a statewide tax of 5 cents per bag. Pritzker’s administration pegged revenue estimates for the new tax at $19  to $23 million, depending on whether Chicago is exempt.

Lastly, legalized sports betting has been introduced. The fiscal year 2020 budget anticipates $200 million in licensing fees from legalized sports wagering to help plug a $3.2 billion hole in next year’s state budget.

House Chamber

HB2275 (Rep. Melissa Conyears-Ervin, D; Rep. Marcus C. Evans, Jr., D; Rep. Mary E. Flowers, D; Rep. Thaddeus Jones, D; Rep. Rita Mayfield, D; Rep. Kambium Buckner, D; Rep. Jaime M. Andrade, Jr., D; Rep. Ann M. Williams, D; Rep. Delia C. Ramirez, D; Rep. Kelly M. Cassidy, D; Rep. Aaron M. Ortiz, D; Rep. Celina Villanueva, D; Rep. Will Guzzardi, D; Rep. Robert Martwick, D; Rep. LaToya Greenwood, D; Rep. Justin Slaughter, D; Anne Stava-Murray, D; Rep. Arthur Turner, D; Rep. Yehiel M. Kalish, D; Rep. Curtis J. Tarver, II, D; Rep. Anthony DeLuca, D; Rep. Theresa Mah, D; Rep. Sonya M. Harper, D; Rep. Nicholas K. Smith, D; Rep. Camille Y. Lilly, D; Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth, D; Rep. Lamont J. Robinson, Jr., D) Amends the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act. Removes language concerning impasse procedures involving an educational employer whose territorial boundaries are coterminous with those of a city having a population in excess of 500,000. Repeals provisions concerning subjects of collective bargaining with that educational employer. The IEA supports this bill. This bill passed out of the House with a vote of 73-35.

House Committee Bills

HB52 (Rep. Mary Flowers, D) The State Board of Education shall develop and maintain a program aimed at facilitating education in advanced manufacturing technical skills. Provides that the program shall be implemented in no less than 12 public high schools, over the span of 3 years, where the youth unemployment rate is at least twice the national average. Specifies program requirements. Provides that the state board shall ensure that each high school participating in the program has adequate funding for at least one industry coordinator, tutoring, pre-employment and on-the-job mentoring, professional and leadership development, and life and financial management instruction. Provides that the state board shall use a program provider to help design, build, and accredit the training program. The IEA supports this bill. This bill passed the Elementary and Secondary Education: School Curriculum and Policies Committee 8-8-1.

HB254 (Rep. Will Guzzardi, D) The State Board of Education must make available on its website information about actively employed teachers within each school district, pupil-teacher ratios for each school district, class instructors by grade level and subject in each school district, and class size in each school. Requires each school district to report the information required for the state board’s report no later November 16, 2021, and also make that information available on its website. The IEA supports this bill. It passed out of the Elementary and Secondary Education: Administration, Licensing and Charter School Committee with a vote of 5-3.

HB1561 (Rep. Fred Crespo, D; Rep. Tony McCombie, R; Rep. Terra Costa Howard, D; Rep. Grant Wehrli, R) Requires all school boards of school districts to develop threat assessment protocols and to create threat assessment teams. Provides that the threat assessment team shall include specified personnel and other members. Provides that a threat assessment protocol adopted by the school board shall be a public document and be posted on the school district’s website. Provides that a school board shall create the threat assessment team within 30 days after the effective date of the amendatory Act and adopt an initial threat assessment protocol within 90 days after the effective date of the amendatory act. The IEA supports this bill. This bill passed the Elementary and Secondary Education: School Curriculum and Policies Committee 19-0.

HB2234 (Rep. Sonya Harper, D; Rep. LaToya Greenwood, D; Rep. Deb Conroy, D; Rep. Michelle Mussman, D; Rep. Camille Lilly, D; Rep. Nicholas Smith, D; Rep. Justin Slaughter, D; Rep. Michael Halpin, D; Rep. Bob Morgan, D; Rep. Will Guzzardi, D; Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez, D; Rep. Margo McDermed, R) 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 if a student non-attendance day is scheduled for a day that would otherwise include a physical education class or if the school building is not otherwise open to students on a day that would otherwise include a physical education class, a student is not required to make up the minutes from that class; defines “student non-attendance day”. The IEA supports this bill. This bill passed the Elementary and Secondary Education: School Curriculum and Policies Committee 11-6.

HB2263 (Rep. Camille Y. Lilly, D) In provisions concerning postsecondary and career expectations, provides that, beginning in grade 6, students should be introduced to the importance of developing and applying a work ethic in a variety of contexts. The IEA supports this bill. It passed out of the Elementary and Secondary Education: School Curriculum and Policies Committee with a vote of 12-7.

HB2267 (Rep. Robert Martwick, D; Rep. Mary E. Flowers, D; Rep. Ann M. Williams, D; Rep. Jaime M. Andrade, Jr., D; Rep. Sonya M. Harper, D; Rep. Gregory Harris, D; Rep. Camille Y. Lilly, D; Rep. Celina Villanueva, D; Rep. Jay Hoffman, D; Rep. Mary Edly-Allen, D; Rep. Katie Stuart, D; Rep. Karina Villa, D; Rep. Aaron M. Ortiz, D; Rep. Theresa Mah, D; Rep. Sam Yingling, D; Rep. Jonathan Carroll, D; Rep. Carol Ammons, D; Rep. La Shawn K. Ford, D; Rep. Emanuel Chris Welch, D; Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez, D; Rep. Kathleen Willis, D; Rep. Terra Costa Howard, D; Rep. Kelly M. Cassidy, D; Rep. Grant Wehrli, R; Rep. Michael P. McAuliffe, R; Rep. Natalie A. Manley, D; Rep. Mark L. Walker, D; Rep. Curtis J. Tarver, II, D; Rep. Delia C. Ramirez, D; Rep. Kambium Buckner, D; Rep. Lamont J. Robinson, Jr., D; Rep. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, D; Rep. Anne Stava-Murray, D; Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, D; Rep. Frances Ann Hurley, D; Rep. Justin Slaughter D; and Rep. Maurice A. West, II, D) The election of the Chicago Board of Education for the 2023 and 2027 consolidated primary elections only (rather than beginning with the 2020 general primary election only as a nonpartisan election on a separate ballot and each consolidated election thereafter). Provides that no later than June 30, 2029, the General Assembly must review and revise the election of members of the Chicago Board of Education and if the General Assembly has not reauthorized the election of members of the Chicago Board of Education by June 30, 2029, then, on May 13, 2031, the terms of all members elected in 2027 shall end, and a new Chicago Board of Education consisting of seven members shall be appointed by the Mayor. Beginning on May 9, 2023 (rather than March 24, 2020) and until May 13, 2031, successors of the Inspector General for the Chicago school district shall be appointed by the school board instead of the Mayor. The IEA supports this bill. It passed out of the Executive Committee with a vote of 13-0.

HB2932 (Rep. Nicholas Smith, D; Rep. Robyn Gabel, D; Rep. Aaron Ortiz, D; Rep. Sue Scherer, D; Rep. David Welter, R; Rep. Norrine Hammond, D) Provides that, beginning with the 2019-2020 school year, an applicant seeking a Professional Educator License or an Educator License with Stipulations who holds a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education is not required to pass a test of basic skills to be issued that license. Makes conforming changes. The IEA supports the bill. This bill passed out of the Elementary and Secondary Education: Administration, Licensing and Charter School with a vote of 7-1.

HB3096 (Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez) Provides that, on and after January 1, 2020, a referendum to increase the district’s aggregate extension may be submitted to the voters. The IEA opposes this bill. This bill passed the Revenue and Finance Committee 15-0.

HB3303 (Rep. Fred Crespo, D) Amends the school code. With regard to state assessments, provides that beginning no later than the 2020-2021 school year, the State Board of Education shall annually assess all students in reading and mathematics in kindergarten through grade three to meet the goals and standards of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act and any related rules. The IEA opposes this bill. This bill passed out of the Elementary and Secondary Education: School Curriculum and Policies Committee with a vote of 12-7.

Senate Committee Bills

SB28 SA1 Senate Amendment 1 (Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, D; Sen. Chuck Weaver, R) Provides that pupil participation in any of the following activities shall be counted toward the calculation of clock hours of school work per day: (i) instruction in a college course in which a student is dually enrolled for both high school credit and college credit, (ii) participation in a supervised career development experience in which student participation and learning outcomes are supervised by an educator licensed under the School Code, (iii) participation in a youth apprenticeship in which student participation and outcomes are supervised by an educator licensed under the School Code, or (iv) participation in a blended learning program in which course content, student evaluation, and instructional methods are supervised by an educator licensed under the School Code. With regard to the e-learning days program, removes a requirement limiting the program to three school districts and requiring the State Board of Education to report its recommendations for expansion, revision, or discontinuation of the program on or before June 1, 2019. The IEA supports this bill. This bill passed the Senate on a vote of 53-0 and is in the House for further action.

SB1460 SA 1 Senate Committee Amendment 1 (Sen. Andy Manar, D) Provides that if adequate funds are available, incentives under the program must include (i) a one-time incentive of $3,000 payable to National Board certified teachers teaching in Tier 1 rural or remote school districts, (ii) an annual incentive of $3,200 for National Board certified teacher rural or remote candidate cohort facilitators, and (iii) an annual incentive of $2,500 for National Board certified teacher rural or remote liaisons. Makes the program applicable to qualified educators who are employed by or retired from school districts (rather than just employed by school districts) and who are in the process of obtaining licensure through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. The IEA supports this bill. This bill passed the Senate on a vote of 48-0 and is in the House for further action.

SB1669 Senate Committee Amendment 1 (Sen. Iris Martinez, D) Requires the Department of the Lottery, beginning on January 1, 2020 or as soon thereafter as is practical, to offer a special instant scratch-off game to benefit school STEAM programming. Requires the net revenue from that game to be deposited into the School STEAM Grant Program Fund. Provides that moneys received from the scratch-off game shall be used by the State Board of Education to fund school STEAM grants. Defines “net revenue.” Amends the State Finance Act to create the School STEAM Grant Program Fund as a special fund in the state treasury. Requires the State Board of Education to administer the School STEAM Grant Program for the purpose of making science, technology, engineering, art, and math programming available to low-income students in disadvantaged neighborhoods. The IEA opposes this bill. This bill passed the Senate on a vote of 33-3 and is in the House for further action.

SB2025 (Sen. David Koehler, D) Requires each school district to inform a student’s parent or guardian if his or her child is beginning to receive tiered Response to Intervention support that is more intensive than the universal level of instruction and must allow the parent or guardian to participate in the process; defines “Response to Intervention”. Requires a school district to request parental or guardian consent to conduct a case study evaluation of a student to determine if the student is in need of special education services if the student has been in the highest level of Response to Intervention support for 45 consecutive school days and has not shown meaningful, measurable progress under the performance goal or goals established for the student. Provides that a Response to Intervention may be utilized as a component of an evaluation to determine if a child is eligible for special education services due to a disability (rather than a specific learning disability). The IEA supports this bill. It passed out of the Senate Education Committee as amended with a vote of 16-0 and is on second reading.

Important dates

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

Next week

  • Both the Senate and House are in session next week and are scheduled to remain in session through May 31.