Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Alliance Legislative Report 100-79

Last week the Illinois General Assembly convened for the first week of the two-week Veto Session. During the majority of the first three years of Governor Bruce Rauner's administration, veto overrides were few and far between as legislators in his Republican party were reluctant to vote against the sitting Governor. With Governor-elect J.B. Pritzker defeating Rauner for the top executive office in Illinois in the recent General Election, members of the Governor's party did not hesitate to join the Democrat majority in overriding the veto of dozens of bills.

However, while many veto actions were overridden in their original chamber during the first week of Veto Session, two important issues that the Alliance was interested in were not called for a vote on the override motions. One of the most controversial bills from the spring legislative session was Senate Bill 2892 (Manar, D-Bunker Hill), which would have phased-in a minimum teacher salary of $40,000 over the next few years. Another overly prescriptive mandate, SB 2572 (Holmes, D-Aurora), would have required all students to have 150 minutes of Physical Education a week. While there is reason to be optimistic about defeating these two measures, they could still be called during the second week of veto session next week. If these issues are not addressed in the Veto Session, the Alliance expects both to be an issue in the next General Assembly.

The following vetoed bills were overridden by the House of Representatives and will be considered by the Senate next week:

HB 1262 (Currie, D-Chicago) provides that a School Code mandate waiver request regarding tax rates, funds, or transfers shall not be reviewed by the panel of General Assembly members, but shall be submitted to the full General Assembly for consideration.

HB 4284 (Chapa LaVia, D-Aurora), a Vision 20/20 initiative, would require at least three members of the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to be from the educator community, defined as a teacher, principal, superintendent or school business official.

HB 4657 (Manley, D-Joliet) creates the Emotional Intelligence Education Task Force to develop curriculum guidelines and best practices on emotional intelligence and social-emotional learning.

HB 4743 (Ford, D-Chicago) disallows any employer from discriminating between employees by paying wages to an African-American employee at a rate less than another employee who is not African-American for the same or substantially similar work on a job that requires equal skill, effort and responsibility.

HB 5175 (Hoffman, D-Belleville) repeals the authority of the Charter School Commission to act on appeals to overturn a local school board's decision regarding Charter Schools. Now, initial decisions of a local school board are subject to judicial review under the Administrative Review Act.

HB 5195 (Greenwood, D-E. St. Louis) allows school boards to provide free transportation for any pupil residing within 1 1/2 miles from the school attended where conditions are such that walking, either to or from the school to which a pupil is assigned for attendance or to or from a pick-up point or bus stop, constitutes a serious hazard to the safety of the pupil due to a course or pattern of criminal activity.

The following vetoed bills were overridden in the Senate and will be considered in the House next week.

SB 2332 (Morrison, D-Deerfield) raises the age from 18 to 21 years for any person to legally purchase tobacco products, electronic cigarettes, and alternative nicotine products.

SB 2345 (Lightford, D-Westchester) requires ISBE to provide information for the school report card as to whether or not a school has participated in the Illinois Youth Survey.

The following vetoed bill was called for a vote in the House to override the veto, but the motion failed.

HB 3792 (Lilly, D-Chicago) would have provided that students, beginning in 6th grade, should be introduced to developing and applying work ethic in a variety of contexts.