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IFT's End-of-Session Legislative Highlights (Part 2 of 3)

After an anything but normal spring legislative session comprised of remote legislating and zoom committee hearings, the Illinois General Assembly (GA) wrapped up its business for the first half of the 102nd GA. Before the Memorial Day holiday, a long list of issues remained unresolved, including ethics reform, property tax changes, and passage of the state budget. Both the House and Senate worked into the wee hours of June 1, and the Senate returned for session later that day.

Highlights of the action:

IFT Initiatives

House Bill 18 extends the time between evaluations for teachers previously rated “proficient” or “excellent” from two to three years and applies to all school districts in the state. It also extends the work of Performance Evaluation Advisory Committee (PEAC) to June 30, 2024 (PEAC was scheduled to end June 30 of this year). The bill passed both chambers.

House Bill 375 will provide university and community college adjuncts with a notice of the status of the class(es) they were hired to teach. The employer will give the notice once at least 30 days before the start of the semester or term and then again 14 days before the start of the semester or term. The bill passed both the House and Senate.

House Bill 2908 creates a 21-member elected school board for the City of Chicago. Passed the Senate, requires concurrence in the House.

Labor Initiatives

Workers’ Rights Constitutional Amendment

Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 11 would amend the Bill of Rights of the Illinois Constitution to explicitly state that employees have a fundamental right to organize and collectively bargain through a representative of their choosing to negotiate wages, hours, and working conditions. It would also prohibit any state law from being passed that interferes with that right such as so-called “right to work” laws. Passed by both the House and Senate, the proposed Constitutional amendment will be on the November 2022 ballot and needs to be approved by 60% of the voters.