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Legislative update for the week of February 11

by Beth Camplain | Feb 16, 2019
Highlights include: minimum wage increase, repeal of 3% salary limitations, right-to-work protections, and more.

The IFT is tracking hundreds of the 6,000 plus bills that have been introduced so far this session. Here are highlights from this week’s action:

Minimum wage bill heads to the governor
The House passed the $15 minimum wage bill this week with a veto-proof majority. The governor and lieutenant governor appeared on the House floor during the SB 1 (Lightford/Guzzardi) floor debate to encourage legislators to support working-class families in Illinois. Gov. Pritzker is expected to sign the bill into law next week. 


Repeal of 3% salary limitation advances
HB 350
(Willis) passed out of the House Pension Committee this week by a vote of 6-3-1. HB 350 would repeal the 3% salary limitation on the state pension liability for members of the Teachers Retirement System (TRS) and the State Universities Retirement System (SURS). If the legislation is enacted, the limitation will revert to the previous 6% threshold. The bill now moves to the House floor for consideration.


Right-to-work protections introduced
SB 1474
(Villivalam) was introduced this week. This bill would preempt localities from enacting right to work ordinances. 


Effort advances to establish recall rights for paraprofessionals
HB 921
(Stuart) was approved in the House Education School Curriculum and Policies Committee by a vote of 13-5. This bill establishes recall rights for paraprofessionals and school-related personnel (PSRPs) and ensures that they have the same rights as teachers.


Teacher evaluation reset filed
SB
 1213
(Lightford) and HB 2272 (Martwick) are IFT initiatives introduced to reform the Performance Evaluation Reform Act (PERA) to provide more effective evaluation feedback to teachers and administrators. Changes include making student growth measures permissive, establishing a local appeal process for school districts outside Chicago, and for purposes of the School Report Card, moving to a two-rating evaluation reporting system.


Charter accountability measures introduced
  • HB 809 (Welch) would remove provisions that allow the State Charter School Commission to reverse a school board’s decision to deny, revoke, or not renew a charter.
  • HB 2100 (Welch) would abolish the Charter Commission completely.
  • HB 334 (Martwick) establishes Local School Councils (LSCs) for charters.
  • HB 811 (Martwick) prohibits charter contracts with EMO/CMO.
  • HB 278 (Welch) and SB 197 (Collins) provide for additional charter accountability.


A look ahead
Both chambers return to Springfield next week. The governor will give his budget address and State of the State message on Wednesday before a joint session of the House and Senate.

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