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Key Takeaways from the Governor's Budget Address and Legislation to Watch (Part 2 of 2)

(via the Illinois Federation of Teachers)


Health Insurance and Retiree Health Insurance
  • Teacher’s Retirement Insurance Program fully funded.

  • College Insurance Program (CIP) fully funded.

  • State employee group health insurance fully funded.

 

In addition to the governor’s budget address, several committees convened and took important action on bills. The highlights include:

 

HB 3286 (Ness, D-Carpentersville) is an Illinois Manufacturers Association initiative that provides stipends for teachers who participate in externships with a manufacturing company in this state. The externships experience is designed to give teachers the opportunity to spend time outside of the classroom and in manufacturing facilities. The proposal is subject to appropriation and will be amended on the floor for a technical change requested by the State Board of Education. The House Elementary & Secondary Education Licensing Committee unanimously approved HB 3286. The bill will now move to the House floor.

 

SB 3110 (Edly-Allen, D-Grayslake) provides that if a vacancy on a regional board of school trustees occurs in a single county educational service region, then the vacancy may be filled by a person who is a resident of a congressional township not represented on the board. The Senate Education Committee unanimously approved SB 3110. The bill will now be heard by the full Senate.

 

SB 3164 (Edly-Allen, D-Grayslake) would modify restrictions on pre-Kindergarten through grade 2 assessments to allow their use in determining students’ eligibility for advanced academic programs. The bill passed out of the Senate Education committee and goes to the full Senate for consideration.


SB 3166 (Koehler, D-Peoria Heights) makes a change to what documents are retained in a student’s permanent record. The bill is an initiative of the Illinois Guardianship and Advocacy Commission, which hopes to facilitate continuity of information between K12 schools and community placements for certain individuals. The Illinois State Board of Education and Illinois Principals Association are working with the sponsor on an amendment to clarify the scope of the retained information. SB 3166 passed the Senate Education Committee. Once an amendment is filed and adopted, it will go before the full Senate.


SB 3237 (Belt, D-East St Louis) makes changes to the school construction program to accommodate districts that applied for school construction funding in 2004, 2005 and 2006 and already built a new school building. The bill is contingent on funding from the Illinois General Assembly and would require those districts to submit a new application. The Senate Education Committee approved the measure. It now goes to the full Senate for consideration.


Tier II hearing

The House Personnel and Pensions Committee held a subject matter hearing on the effects of Tier II pensions on recruitment and retention on Thursday, February 22. IFT member Jason Marmolstein, an English teacher at Niles North High School, shared his experience as a Tier II member and detailed the financial challenges he and fellow Tier II members face. The committee plans additional hearings later this spring to further highlight the inequities of Illinois’ Tier II pension plan. Discussions are focused on changes to Tier II pensions, including retirement age, financial security in retirement, and the fact that teachers in Illinois do not participate in Social Security.   

 

A look ahead

Legislators are back in their districts and will return to Springfield on March 5. Legislative action will likely pick up speed as the deadlines to move bills out of House and Senate Committees approach and both chambers begin to deliberate on components of the FY25 budget.

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