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Legislative Update – Week of 11/11/19

The General Assembly wrapped up the fall veto session this week. Action was taken on veto overrides, new proposals, and unfinished business from the spring.

Highlights of the week included:

Post-Janus cleanup sent to the governor
The Senate passed SB 1784 (Sen. Harmon, D-Oak Park) by a vote of 45 – 9. The bill now goes to the governor for consideration. The legislation would prohibit the disclosure of public employees’ personal information to 3rd parties, like the Illinois Policy Institute. The bill would also require employers to provide the union with accurate employee lists and ensure that union representatives have the right to communicate with employees in the workplace and through worksite channels. The legislation also clarifies the dues deduction process.

IFT pension proposals included in pension fund consolidation bill
Both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly approved legislation that will provide for the first time a designated elected trustee position for the Illinois Federation of Teachers on the Teachers Retirement System Board of Trustees. IFT supported SB 1300 (Sen. Castro, D- Elgin, Rep. Hoffman, D-Belleville). The legislation will give a voice to the vast majority of members who rely on TRS for their retirement security. While IFT has been successful in getting members appointed to the TRS board in the past, an elected, active teacher from IFT has never sat on the board. 

IFT is hopeful that this change will be approved by the General Assembly and signed by the governor to ensure that your voice is heard when it comes to the important decisions made by TRS. The election for this position will be administered by TRS; when this will take place is yet to be determined. The legislation also provides for an addition gubernatorial appointee to the board. The new elected board member must be seated by July, 2020. 

In addition, the legislation contains an IFT proposal to fix a provision in current law that kept some members with police powers out of the alternative formula. Arson investigators and commerce commission police officers will now be included in the same pension category as their peers. The bill allows these members to buy back pension credit for time served in a municipal pension system, since most of these individuals have served in other law enforcement positions. The legislation also contains other pension provisions, including the consolidation of police and fire fighter pension systems into individual pension systems. 

Paraprofessional licensure cleanup
SB 10
(Rep. Crespo, D-Streamwood) passed the House and Senate this week. The legislation is a trailer bill to PA 101-220. It will restore the ability of paraprofessionals with a high school diploma to take the Work Keys test to gain licensure.

Delay of implementation of special education changes passes
SB 460
(Sen. Bertino-Tarrant, D-Plainfield) passed unanimously in both chambers. The measure changes 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.

A look ahead
The House and Senate will return to Springfield on Tuesday, January 28. Governor Pritzker will give his State of the State speech the following day.

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