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Legislative Highlights for May 31, 2024

Early on Wednesday, May 29, the Illinois House approved SB 251 (Sims, D-Chicago/Gordon-Booth, D-Peoria), which was the bill's final step to becoming the Fiscal Year 2025 Illinois Budget. The FY25 budget is a $53.1 billion spending plan and the legislature's sixth balanced budget in a row.

The Fiscal Year 2025 budget prioritizes education, public safety, economic development, social services, and local governments. The spending plan directs a $350 million increase for K-12 education and full funding for year two of Governor Pritzker’s “Smart Start” plan aimed at adding 5,000 preschool seats across the state and providing workforce grants. The plan would send $198 million to the state’s “rainy day” fund and make the full pension payment required by law.



  • Fully funded pension payment as required by law


Early Childhood

  • $75M increase in Early Childhood Funding for a total investment of $748M in FY25

  • $14M for the NEW Department of Early Childhood


  • $350 million increase in the K-12 evidence-based funding formula

  • $45 million for the second year of a three-year pilot to fill teacher vacancies

  • $3 million to expand access to computer science coursework

  • $10 million increase in CTE

  • $4.3 million for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library statewide (increased from FY24 at $1.6M)

  • National Board Certified Teachers flat at $4.5M

  • After School Matters increased from $5M to $6M

  • $17M for Freedom Schools (same as FY24)

  • $30 million increase in Special Education Transportation

  • $2 million increase in Regular Transportation

  • $300,000 new funding for school breakfast (Breakfast After the Bell)

Higher Education

  • $10 million in additional MAP grant funding,

  • $50 million for AIM High

  • $30 million increase (2%) for public higher education- universities ($24.6 million) and community colleges ($6 million):

  • $6 million funding for Grow Your Own Teachers (same as FY24).

  • $7 million to support the implementation of the Mental Health Early Action on Campus Act

  • $25 million from the IBHE federal projects fund for High Impact Tutoring

  • $2 million from GRF to support basic needs insecurity including housing and homelessness prevention at 4 year colleges and universities

  • $941k increased funding to the Illinois Math and Science Academy

  • $8 million for the minority teachers in Illinois program

  • $2 million for the Re-Up Illinois initiative

Health and Human Services

  • $1.5 million in funding to continue implementing the Children’s Behavioral Health Transformation Initiative

  • $2.4 billion for services for people with developmental disabilities, including a $1 per hour wage increase for Direct Support Professionals

  • $50 million for a child tax credit for eligible low-income families with EITC


  • $1.8 million increased appropriation for the operations of the Illinois Education Labor Relations Board and $400k increase for the Illinois Labor Relations Board. This additional funding plus changes initiated in HB 5324 should significantly speed up the labor board process.

Budget-Related Bills

HB 4959 (Sims, D- Chicago/Gabel, D-Evanston) is the Budget Implementation Bill (BIMP). The legislature passes a BIMP bill each year to make the substantive changes needed to implement the yearly budget. This year changes include:

  • Dental and Vision for TRS Recipients beginning with plan years after January 1, 2025

  • Extends the ability to retiree educators to return to teaching in subject matter shortage areas through June 30, 2027

  • Extends return to work provisions for educators and administrators in Chicago Public Schools to July 1, 2027.

  • New transportation reimbursement program for State Authorized Charter Schools (including for Prairie Crossing, an IFT organized State Authorized Charter)

  • Changes to the Early Childhood Access Consortium including a new state funded ECACE scholarship program (this was previously funded via ESSER/GEER funding)

  • New school bus fleet electrification program through the Illinois EPA. The program is subject to appropriation.

  • 4% transfer authority for agency operations and management of “operations and lump sum expenses”

  • Amends the Mental Health Early Action on Campus Act to allow for grants to public universities for training and peer support

  • Establishes a summer EBT program for students ($2.67M funding included in SB 251)

  • Changes the timing of Comptroller pension vouchering (cash management strategy only)

  • Continuation of the Veterans Property Tax Relief Reimbursement Program (increased from $15M to $30M)

  • Creation of a NEW Springfield UIS Innovation Center

  • Breakfast after the Bell data collection by ISBE and creation of a new Breakfast After the Bell grant program

HB 4951 (Villanueva, D-Chicago/Burke, D-Oak Lawn) is the FY25 state revenue bill, which includes various provisions to increase certain taxes, adjust tax credits, change regulatory provisions and other actions to generate $865 million in projected new state revenue.

Updates on several bills of interest

Over the next month, over 450 bills will be sent to the Governor’s desk for action. The Governor can take three different actions: sign the bill, veto the bill in its entirety, or amendatorily veto (suggest removal of part of the bill).

K12 Education

CTE Teachers Tenure

SB 463 (Hirschauer, D-West Chicago) is an IFT initiative that clarifies that educators holding career and technical educator endorsements and provisional career and technical educator endorsements are eligible to receive tenure under a bill passed last spring, PA 103-500. The bill also includes language to extend the work of the Performance Evaluation Advisory Committee (PEAC) until December 31, 2024, and continues the work of the PEAC training committee going forward. SB 463 passed both houses.

Paid Student Teaching Effort Moves Forward

In an effort to strengthen and diversify the teacher pipeline, Rep. Barbara Hernandez (D-Aurora) passed HB 4652 ensuring that all student teachers receive fair compensation for their labor. Subject to appropriations, HB 4652 call for stipends of $10,000 for a semester for students and up to $2,000 per semester to eligible cooperating teacher for up to 2 consecutive semesters per academic year, plus additional funds to pay the direct costs of operating the stipend program. Student teaching requires candidates to do the work of a full-time teacher which severely limits their ability to stay gainfully employed. Student teaching is a significant financial stressor which deters some students from pursuing a degree in education. HB 4652 passed the House on a vote of 85-23; the bill could potentially see Senate action in the fall veto session.

Teacher Plan Time

Former educator, Rep. Katie Stuart (D-Collinsville) introduced and passed HB 3907 out of committee that will allow all educators to have daily continuous uninterrupted individual classroom planning time. The bill was amended to remove reference to any specific timeframe. No terminal action was taken on HB 3907 and it will be subject to ongoing legislative discussions.

Prohibition of Corporal Punishment

Senator Adriane Johnson (D-Buffalo Grove) passed HB 4175 that would ban school employees and volunteers from deliberately inflicting pain on a student in response to their behavior. Corporal punishment has been prohibited in public schools for a long time; the bill would extend this prohibition to private schools and also clarifies what constitutes corporal punishment. This bill was approved by both houses and will be sent to the Governor.

FAFSA Flexibilities

SB 998 is an initiative of Senator Dan McConchie (R- Hawthorn Woods) in response to challenges with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) resulting from the delayed federal rollout. The bill would suspend the requirement that students fill out the FAFSA as a graduation requirement for the 2023-2024 school year. Current law allows some flexibility from the requirement already including giving students the option to submit a non-participation form and also administrative waivers. The bill passed the Senate on a vote of 55-0 but was never called for a vote in the House.

Fentanyl Health Education

Rep. Barbara Hernandez (D-Aurora) passed HB 4219 the House on a vote of 107-0. The bill strengthens fentanyl health education by requiring instruction, study, and discussion on the dangers of fentanyl in grades 6 through 12. HB 4219 passed both houses and will be transmitted to the Governor.

Limits on Student Testing in Grades K-6

Rep. Sue Scherer (D-Decatur), a former educator, passed HB 4955 and IFT initiative out of the House on a vote of 81-22. The bill as amended, which will restrict the State Board of Education to funding any standardized assessment or test any students in grades kindergarten through 6 beyond the requirements of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act and encourage ISBE to seek federal testing waivers. The Senate did not advance HB 4955.

Accelerated Placement Changes

Rep. Carol Ammons (D-Champaign) and Sen. Kimberly Lightford (D-Hillside) passed HB 5250 a bill that requires school districts to establish policies no later than the beginning of the 2027-2028 school year that allow (but don’t require) automatic enrollment, in the following school term, for a student to enroll in the next most rigorous level of advanced coursework offered by the high school if the student meets State standards in English language arts, mathematics, or science on a State assessment administered (currently, students who meet OR exceed state standards are accelerated into the next highest course). HB 5250 also provides that a school district's accelerated placement policy may allow for the waiver of a course or unit of instruction completion requirement if (i) completion of the course or unit of instruction is required by the Code or rules adopted by the State Board of Education as a prerequisite to receiving a high school diploma and (ii) the school district has determined that the student has demonstrated mastery of or competency in the content of the course or unit of instruction. HB 5250 passed both chambers and will be sent to the Governor.

Cardiac Emergency Response Plans

Rep. Laura Faver Dias (D-Grayslake) and Sen. Erica Harriss passed HB 5394 that would require the school board of each public elementary and secondary school in the State shall provide all teachers, administrators, and other school personnel, as determined by school officials, with information regarding emergency procedures and techniques, including, without limitation, the Heimlich maneuver, hands-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and use of the school district's automated external defibrillator. HB 5394 both chambers and will be transmitted to the Governor.

Strengthening Supports for Students Experiencing Homelessness

Illinois school districts identified over 58,000 students experiencing homelessness in the 2022-23 school year. However, almost that many students - an estimated 55,000 more students experiencing homelessness - have not been identified. Illinois has a companion funding program mirroring the federal program, which is set to expire this year. As a result, Rep. Michelle Mussman (D-Schaumburg) and Sen. Adrianne Johnson (D-Waukegan) introduced and passed HB 5407 to expand the Illinois homelessness prevention program. The grants shall be awarded to applicant school districts based on the percentage of students experiencing homelessness in an applicant school district. The state can better support students with a program that has proven successful, allowing school districts to identify ways that best provide help understanding that homelessness looks different throughout the state and being permitted to implement programs that work best for the community in the best interests of students and families in the district. HB 5407 passed both chambers and will go on to the Governor.

Community College Teacher Preparation Programs

HB 5455 (Crespo, D-Streamwood) is an initiative of ISBE and would allow for community colleges to create their own teacher education preparation programs for individuals who already hold a bachelor’s degree but are seeking a professional educator's license (PEL). ISBE noted that this would help address the teacher shortage by increasing geographic access to PEL programs and reducing the financial burdens associated with obtaining a PEL. The bill passed out of committee despite opposition by the University systems and bipartisan concerns but was not acted on by the full House. The sponsor agreed to meet with the Teacher Shortage Workgroup to discuss this bill but no additional bill action has been taken.

PSRP minimum wage salary study

HJR 57 (Davis, D-Hazel Crest) directs the Professional Review Panel and the Illinois State Board of Education to conduct the analysis and financial modeling required to evaluate the implications of implementing the recommended $22 minimum hourly rate for employees providing educational support services. The analyses will show the financial impact on school districts if the PSRP minimum salary were increased to $20 in school year 2025-2026, $21 in school year 2026-2027, and $22 in school year 2027-2028. The resolution passed both Houses; the Professional Review Panel meets on June 4th and will likely discuss procedures for moving this study forward.

Bill to Create new Department of Early Childhood Advances

Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford (D-Hillsdale)/Representative Mary Beth Canty (D-Arlington Heights) passed SB 1 out of the Senate. The bill creates a new state agency: the Department of Early Childhood. This legislation seeks to provide a better coordinated system of birth-to-five services and allow the state to reduce complexity and advance equity for families with young children. Currently, the majority of early childhood services for babies, toddlers and young children are split among three state agencies—the Illinois Department of Human Services, the Illinois State Board of Education, and the Department of Children and Family Services. The new Department of Early Childhood should unite the majority of early childhood services into one place, making it easier for families to access critical services and for stronger coordination between the various early childhood programs and services provided by the state. SB 1 has now passed both chambers unanimously; it is anticipated that the Governor will sign the bill.

Continuity of Care for Special Education Students Beyond Age 18

Rep. Michelle Mussman (D – Schaumburg) passed HB 4581 out of the House on a vote of 112-0. This bill, an initiative of the Illinois Assistive Technology Project, provides that if a student who is 18 years of age or older with no legal guardian is placed residentially outside of the school district in which the student's parent lives and the placement is funded by a State agency or through private insurance, then the resident district is the school district in which the parent lives. HB 4581 has now passed both houses.

Air Quality in Schools Task Force

Rep Laura Faver Dias (D – Grayslake) passed HB 4903 out of committee. Provides that the State Board of Education shall, in consultation with the Department of Public Health, compile resources for elementary and secondary schools relating to indoor air quality in schools, including best practices for assessing and maintaining ventilation systems and information on any potential State or federal funding sources that may assist a school in identifying ventilation needs. Provides that the State Board of Education shall compile these resources in consultation with stakeholders, including, but not limited to, the Department of Public Health, local public health professionals, ventilation professionals affiliated with a Department of Labor apprenticeship program, licensed design professionals, representatives from regional offices of education, school district administrators, teachers, or any other relevant professionals, stakeholders, or representatives of State agencies. Provides that, no later than 30 days after resources are compiled, the State Board of Education shall implement outreach strategies to make the compiled resources available to elementary and secondary schools, including publication of the compiled resources on the State Board of Education's website. Provides that the State Board of Education may, in consultation with the Department of Public Health or any other relevant stakeholders, update the compiled resources as necessary. Effective January 1, 2025. The bill has now passed both houses.

Transition Planning for Special Education Students

Rep. Suzanne Ness (D – Carpentersville) passed HB 5276 out of committee. This legislation provides that the transition planning process and the transition plan prepared for a student shall include consideration of the assistive technology needs of the student related to the student's transition goals while the student is participating in transition-related activities and in post-school activities, including assistive technology evaluations, devices, and services and the availability and accessibility of appropriate assistive technology devices and services for the student in post-school activities. Effective immediately. The bill passed both chambers and will be transmitted to the Governor for action.

Changes to SLP Licensure Requirements

Sen. Ram Villivalam (D – Chicago) and Rep Kevin Olickal (D-Chicago) passed SB 3467, which makes changes to Speech Language Pathology Assistant (SLPA) Licensure requirements including:

  • Clarification that graduates of an SLPA program or candidates for licensure can perform the duties of a SLPA under the supervision of a SLP without a license. This exemption currently exists for students studying to become SLP’s and audiologists.

  • Changes to the qualifications for licensure as a speech language pathology assistant. The amendment clarifies that the SLPA candidate must have received a bachelor’s degree in a program that meets the course and completion of requirements for certification as a SLPA.

  • A SLPA student must take thirty-six (36) semester credit hours in technical content areas designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills required for SLPA’s. Section 8.6 is amended to update the technical content areas required in a SLPA program.

The bill passed both houses and will be transmitted to the Governor.

Climate Change Instruction

HB 4895 (Yang Rohr, D- Naperville) directs ISBE to develop instructional materials for use in teaching climate change. Climate change is already required to be taught to students as part of the Next Generation Science Standards adopted by ISBE. HB 4895 passed both chambers and will be transmitted to the Governor.


HB 4623 (Gong-Gershowitz) provides that a person convicted of committing or attempting to commit an obscene depiction of a purported child is ineligible for a commercial driver’s license (CDL) with a school bus driver endorsement. The bill passed both houses and will be transmitted to the Governor.


Tier II Pension Improvements

The House Pension Committee approved HB 4873 (Kifowit, D-Aurora) and HB 5211 (Kifowit, D-Aurora). These bills provide for various improvements for members of Tier 2 in all impacted pension systems. Representative Kifowit indicated that the legislation is intended to be a place holder for further discussions on the issue and will act as the focus of continuing subject matter hearings to address the Tier 2 issue for all systems. These issues include but are not limited to retirement age decrease, increases in post-retirement cost of living adjustments, and tackling compliance with the social security wage base.

Higher Education

Dual Credit Requirements Post-Higher Learning Commission Change

After extensive negotiations, the House approved HB 5020 (Blair-Sherlock,D-Villa Park) on a vote of 105-1. The legislation provides for various changes to the way dual credit is administered to students. Changes include a limitation on the ability of High Schools to college shop for dual credit providers, safeguards on high school instructor qualifications, and a union voice on maintaining rigor of dual credit classes. Senator Castro (D-Elgin) picked up the bill in the Senate but did not move the bill forward. Summer discussions are planned.

Dual Credit Recognition for Joliet Junior College

The House adopted HR 647 (Benton, D-Plainfield). The resolution recognizes Joliet Junior College on the successful implementation of its 12x12x12 dual credit program. Commends the community college for continuing to inspire learning, transform lives, and strengthen communities. Encourages community colleges to pursue and implement similar dual credit programs of their own.

Higher Education Mental Health Days

The Senate Higher Education Committee approved SB 2606 (Koehler-D, Peoria Heights). The legislation provides for students to utilize up to 2 days for mental health. Amendments have been provided that limit this availability if the student has a record of absenteeism. Additional discussions are planned on this topic and another bill will likely be filed in the future.

Higher Education Winter Weather Emergencies

SB 331 (Turner, D-Springfield) has passed both houses and will be sent to the Governor. The legislation requires that employees of a university or community college be paid their regular rate of pay if a campus has been closed due to a declaration of a winter weather emergency.


Personnel Record Review

HB 3763 (Guzzardi, D-Chicago) gives employees the right to request personnel documents, contracts, handbooks, policies, and procedures the employee is subject to. Specifies procedures for allowing the employee to inspect or be provided with those documents. The bill passed both chambers and will be transmitted to the Governor.

Labor Relations Board Timeliness Goals

HB 5324 (Hoffman, D-Belleville) Specifies the annual reporting requirements of the Illinois Labor Relations Board and Illinois Educational and Labor Relations Board. Provides timeliness goals for the boards to follow upon the filing of unfair labor practice charges. The bill passed both chambers and will go to the Governor’s desk next.

Employee Freedom of Speech

SB 3649 (Peters, D-Chicago) This legislation will protect workers if they refuse to attend “captive audience meetings” – employer sponsored meetings on religious or political issues. Some employers have used these meetings to discourage employees from joining a union. The bill passed both houses and will be transmitted to the Governor.

A Look Ahead

The fall veto session calendar has not yet been released; but it is anticipated that the legislature will return to Springfield for action after the November 5 General Election.

Watch Under the Dome for additional updates!


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