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Legislative update - Nov. 1, 2019

by Beth Camplain | Nov 01, 2019
This week, the Illinois General Assembly returned to Springfield to consider the Governor’s vetoes during a two-week veto session.

This week, the Illinois General Assembly returned to Springfield to consider the Governor’s vetoes during a two-week veto session. Gov. J.B. Pritzker had an extremely successful first legislative session, only vetoing eight of the 599 bills that made it to his desk. While action on those bills is unlikely, the legislature has taken on a number of other issues.

Highlights of action this week include:

Paraprofessional licensure cleanup
Rep. Fred Crespo (D-Streamwood) positioned SB 10 (a trailer bill to PA 101-220) to move through both the House and Senate next week. SB 10 would restore the ability of paraprofessionals with a high school diploma to take the WorkKeys test to gain licensure.

Students allowed time off school to vote
Rep. Nicholas Smith (D-Chicago) and Sen. Elgie Sims (D-Chicago) sent SB 1970 to Gov. J.B. Pritzker. This legislation would allow eligible high school students to leave school to vote by giving them a two-hour window on Election Day or 15 days beforehand to cast a ballot.

House passes bill to protect union members personal information and affirm workplace rights
The House passed SB 1784, sponsored by Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Belleville) with a bi-partisan roll call that included 93 yes votes. The legislation would prohibit the disclosure of public employees’ personal information to third parties. SB 1784 would also require employers to provide the union with accurate employee lists, ensure that union representatives have the right to communicate with employees in the workplace and through worksite channels, and clarify the dues deduction process. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Delay of implementation of special education changes moves through Senate
The Senate passed SB 460, sponsored by Sen. Bertino-Tarrant (D-Plainfield), and it is expected to be heard in the house the week of November 11. SB 460 moves the effective date of PA 101-515 to July 1, 2020. PA 101-515 made numerous changes to special education law including codifying the regulatory requirements of Response to Intervention, requiring that no later than three school days prior to an eligibility meeting or individualized education program (IEP) meeting that the school must provide the parents with copies of all written material that will be considered by the IEP team at the meeting, and that the school provide notification to the child’s parent or guardian within three school days of the local education agency’s non-compliance with the child’s IEP. Changing the effective date allows districts and educators to implement the provisions of PA 101-515 more thoughtfully.

Hearing held on need to direct Chicago school funding to special populations
The House Elementary and Secondary Education Appropriations Committee held a subject matter hearing on HB 3917 sponsored by Rep. Kam Buckner (D-Chicago). The bill would require that the funds Chicago Public Schools receives for low income, special education, and English language learners to be distributed among all the schools in the district in proportion to the number of high-needs students they serve. It would apply to only the Chicago district.

A look ahead
The legislature returns to Springfield November 12-14 to finish up the fall veto session.

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