Legislative highlights for week of April 30

House and Senate members returned to Springfield for both committee and floor action this week. The volume of bills being heard in committees has slowed as legislators spend more time on the floor. Our legislative team is now keeping watch on amendments to new and existing bills.

Updates from action this week:

Collective bargaining rights for more public employees

SB 525 (Aquino, D-Chicago) requires that determination of an employee’s confidential or managerial status shall be based on the employee’s actual duties and not on written job descriptions. The bill makes other changes regarding bargaining unit clarifications. These changes will allow for some employees currently misclassified as management to join a union and gain collective bargaining rights. The bill also allows for contracts for employees under the constitutional officers to extend for more than 12 months into the new term of the officer. The current law requires those contracts to expire by June 1 of the new term. The bill passed out of the Senate by a vote of 44-11.

Updates to Teacher and Principal Mentoring Requirements

SB 814 (Lightford, D-Maywood) creates a new teacher induction and mentoring program that aligns with the Illinois Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning Standards and requires school districts, with their collective bargaining representative, to make a choice between their current mentoring program and the one set forth in this bill. The bill came from discussions led by the Illinois P20 Teacher Leadership Effectiveness Committee.

Trauma Training Requirements

SB 2109 (Villa, D-West Chicago) requires school board members, administrators, and teachers to annually complete a course of instruction on the adoption of trauma-informed school standards.

Resolution to Limit the Uses of Seclusion and Restraint

HR 88 (Ramirez, D-Chicago) submits that the use of seclusion and restraint is harmful to students, should be employed only as a last resort to prevent young people from harming themselves or others, and that only trained staff should use seclusion or restraint. The long-term goal should be to reduce and eventually eliminate the use of restraint and seclusion. Passed committee 19 – 0.

Resolution declaring March 2022 – Whole Child Month

HR 196 (Didech, D-Buffalo Grove) proclaims that March of 2022 will be named Whole Child Month to recognize the value of assuring that each student is challenged, supported, healthy, safe, and engaged. The resolution urges educators, communities, and parents to support a whole child approach to education for all students and urges all schools to celebrate Whole Child Month by adopting a Whole Child Tenet to promote and encourage throughout March.

We anticipate that several bills will be heard in House and Senate Committees in the week ahead, including: