NEWS

Legislative Update - week of 5/13/19

Lawmakers rushed to move the remainder of their legislation as the scheduled session adjournment date nears. After Monday, the General Assembly has just 11 session days to put in place the FY20 budget and move other big initiatives like gaming, adult-use recreational marijuana, and a capital bill.

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Act now on these two important issues


Fair Tax – The Fair Tax legislation (SJRCA 1, Harmon-D, Oak Park) has already passed the Senate and is scheduled to be heard in the House Revenue and Finance Committee on Monday May 20. It is critical that lawmakers continue to hear how the Fair Tax will fundamentally change the state’s ability to fund education, higher education and vital state services.


3% Repeal – There is no longer a stand-alone piece of legislation moving the would remove the 3% salary cap. IFT educators have seen how the 3% cap weakens the teaching profession. Fewer college students are entering teaching because they know they won’t be paid like other professionals. To recruit new educators, Illinois needs to show that we value teaching and pay teachers what they’re worth. Call your lawmaker and ask them not to leave Springfield this month without ensuring that the 3% repeal is part of any bill that will implement the budget for the next fiscal year.

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Budget discussions continue


Revenue proposals are beginning to take shape including:

  • legalized adult use marijuana (SB 7, Sen. Steans, D-Chicago) expected to increase revenues by approximately $500 million annually when the program is fully matured, fiscal year 2020 revenue estimated closer to $56 million. The most recent draft allocates 2% of the revenues to public education.

  • graduated tax on video gaming ($89 million) and

  • legalized sports wagering ($212 million) are still in discussions.

It’s anticipated there will be additional General Assembly action on these bills in the days ahead as well as work to finalize the FY20 state budget.

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Update on IFT legislative initiatives for spring 2019


HB 253 (Rep. Guzzardi, D-Chicago and Sen. Fine, D-Glenview) changes the law so that graduate research assistants are recognized as employees, as teaching assistants are. The bill is positioned for final passage in the House.


HB 921 (Rep. Stuart, D-Collinsville) Recall rights for PSRP’s. This bill passed the House and Senate with almost unanimous bipartisan support; next step is the Governor’s desk.


SB 1213 (Sen. Lightford, D-Westchester) As introduced, the bill would have streamlined evaluation ratings to effective/ineffective, made student growth permissive and created an appeals process. As amended the bill creates a local appeals process for unsatisfactory evaluations. The bill passed the Senate with bipartisan support. Negotiations are ongoing in the House.


SB 28 (Sen. Bertino-Tarrant, D-Plainfield) Instructional day restoration. In addition to restoring the instructional day/school year language. The bill now expands e-learning pilots to all districts with requirement of public hearing and school board vote. The effective date of the bill is July 1, 2019 allowing school districts with approved calendars to proceed through the length