April 23 was the deadline for bills to cross from the House to the Senate and vice versa. The past two weeks in Springfield have been bustling with new amendments filed and sent to committee with one hour notice as well as long days of legislative action on the floor. Legislative efforts will now shift to readying bills for final passage and crafting the FY22 State Budget. At this time, the General Assembly continues to be on track to adjourn by the May 31 deadline. A recap of the action:
HB 1966 (Hammond, R-Macomb) and SB 1646 (McClure, R-Jacksonville) allow for the purchase of private school credit under TRS. The member must pay the employee and employer cost plus interest to purchase up to two years of service credit. Both pieces of legislation have been approved by their chamber of origin and will proceed to the opposite chamber for further consideration.
SB 2093 (Martwick, D-Chicago) allows educators working in CPS contract schools to access a defined benefit pension via CTPF. The bill passed the Senate on a vote of 34-18 this week.
HB 2569 (Windhorst, R-Harrisburg) extends the provision allowing retired teachers to return to teaching without penalty until June 30, 2024. It also requires schools to post vacancies on the district’s website and in an online database.
HB 4 (Mayfield, D-Waukegan) allows student instruction to be delivered electronically as an e-learning day when a school is required to be used as a polling place on Election Day.
Parity for Chicago strike votes
HB1160 (Guerrero-Cuellar, D-Chicago) would remove the requirement that 75% of the members of the Chicago Teachers Union must vote to strike. Chicago Public Schools is the only school district this provision currently applies to. The bill passed the House by a vote of 67-42-1.
Electronic signatures for union elections, no strike retaliation
HB2521 (Gonzalez, D-Chicago) would allow electronic signatures to be used in elections to select a labor organization as the representative of the employees in a bargaining unit. The bill also makes any retaliatory action from an employer against employees who are on strike an unfair labor practice. The bill passed the House by a vote of 67-43.
Union rights for Chicago Principals
HB3496 (Davis, D-East Hazel Crest) changes the legal definition of a supervisor in Chicago and would allow principals to be considered educational employees with collective bargaining rights. The bill passed the House by a vote of 68-44.