Legislation

Governor calls Special Session on June 15, 2017

Governor Rauner has called a special session to commence at 12:00 PM on June 21, 2017 for the purpose of considering legislation, new or pending, which addresses a balanced budget and structural reforms, including but not limited to: property tax relief;  job creation;  workers compensation reform;  government consolidation;  education;  term limits;  pension reform and spending limitations.

 

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Recently Passed Legislation  – 2016

Travel Expenses:  Local governments, including school districts, will be required to pass a policy that sets rules for travel expenses for school board members, administrators, and other public officials from local governments.  Failure to adopt such a policy will prohibit approval of any travel expenses until such policy is approved.  Public Act # 99-604, Effective January 1, 2017

Behavior at Traffic Stop:  Driver’s education classes will now include proper behavior when stopped by a police officer at a traffic stop.  Public Act # 99-720, Effective January 1, 2017

School ResidencyA determination that a student is not a resident of a school district must include the specific reason in writing to the person who enrolled the student.  The law also requires the school district and parents to exchange evidence and testimony at least 3 days prior to a residence hearing and does not obligate the parents of guardians to pay tuition until the final determination is made that the student is a non-resident.  Public Act #99-670, Effective January 1, 2017

Charter SchoolProvides that a charter shall be granted for a period of five school years and may be renewed in incremental periods not to exceed ten school years.  Public Act # 99-0840, Effective January 1, 2017

Separate Standards: The Illinois State Board of Education is prohibited from having separate performance standards fro students based on race or ethnicity.  Public Act # 99-0084, Effective January 1, 2016

Civics Education:  Students will have at least one semester of civics education added to the two-year social Studies requirement.  This moves the effective date to July 1, 2016 instead of November 20, 2015 to allow a phase-in for High School students.  Public Act 99-0485, Effective July 1, 2016

Student Social Media:  Modifies the Right to Privacy in School Setting Act to prohibit an elementary or secondary school from requiring that students provide passwords to social media network website.  Schools may conduct an investigation or require students to cooperate in an investigation if there is specific information about activity violating a school policy or rule.  Public Act # 99-0460, Effective August 25, 2015

Heroin Crisis Act: Calls for dispensing opioid antagonists in school, allows administration by school nurse or trained personnel.  Requires ISBE to establish a three-year heroin and opioid drug abuse prevention program.  Public Act # 99-0480, Effective September 9, 2015

Student DisciplineChanges how schools can discipline students.  Requires written reasons for expulsion or suspension and requires schools to take all measures for in-school discipline before suspension or expulsion.  Prohibits zero tolerance and limits out of school suspension to three days.  Other provisions may be viewed on www.ilga.govThis is Senate Bill 1.   Public Act # 99-0456, Effective September 15, 2016.

Epinephrine Auto-Injectors: Specifically allows students to self-administer an Epi-Pen while being transported on a school bus and allows that a supply of Epi-pens may be made accessible before, during and after school.  Modifications were made to the required training for the     Epi-Pen is  to cover anaphylaxis and a review of high-risk areas in the school and related facilities to prevent exposure to allergens.  This is known as the Annie Le Gere Law.  Public Act # 99-711, Effective January 1, 2017

Student Journalist RightsStudent journalists have the right to exercise freedom of speech and the press in school sponsored media.  School districts are prohibited from restraining material for official school publications, with the exceptions of violating school policy, libel, slander, obscenity, invasion of privacy, violation of law, or speech that incites students to commit unlawful actions.  The law removes criminal liability for school districts for any expression made or published by the students.  Public Act #99-678, Effective July 29, 2016

Reporting Concussions:  Starting with the 2016 – 2017 year, any organization providing interscholastic athletics or competition for high schools must have certified trainers fill out a monthly report with details on students who sustained a concussion during a school-sponsored event.  Starting in 2017 – 2018 all programs are required to create an annual report with details from the previous year on concussions and submit a copy to the General Assembly.  Public Act #99-831, Effective on August 19, 2016

Excuse from School to play TapsPublic School students in grades 6 through 12 may be excused from classes for the purpose of sounding “Taps” at a military honors funeral.  Notification must be made to the school at least two days before the absence and include the date, time, and location of the funeral, unless the student did not receive advance notice.
Public Act # 99-804, Effective January 1, 2017

Closed Session Topics The Open Meetings Act now allows public bodies to hold closed session meetings for the purpose of discussing matters protected under the federal Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act or, HIPPA.  Public Act # 99-687, Effective January 1, 2017

Access to Closed Session Recordings:   School board members are allowed to access closed session recordings and minutes in the main office, or official storage location and in the presence of a records secretary, an administrative official, or any elected official of the public body.  Board members are prohibited from recording or removing the recordings or minutes from the public body’s main office or official storage location, except by the vote of the pubic  body or by a court order.  Public Act # 99-515, Effective June 30, 2016

Open Meeting Act Violation LawsuitA civil action based on noncompliance with the Open Meetings Act may now be brought within 60 days of a decision by the Attorney General to resolve a request for review through means other than a binding opinion.  Public Act. #99-714, Effective August 5, 2016

Defining Dyslexia The new definition of Dyslexia was adopted by the Illinois State Board of Education and includes: a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by trouble with accurate or fluent word recognition; poor spelling and decoding abilities;  difficulties with phonics and language; problems with reading comprehension and other similar difficulties.  The new definition replaces the requirement that ISBE adopt rules to incorporate the international definition of dyslexia.  Public Act #99-706, Effective July 29, 2016

Zoning Compliance for Schools:   School Districts must comply with local zoning ordinances, however the municipality or other local government must streamline the zoning application process and minimize administrative burdens, including fees and other costs while expediting the review process to 90 days.  Public Act # 99-0890, Effective August 25, 2016

Homestead Exemptions notice:  Requires residential property owners in Cook County to notify the assessment officer by April 1st if they are no longer living in the residence and no longer qualify for a  homestead exemption, to avoid fines.  Public Act #99-0851, Effective August 19, 2016

Board of Review Notice by EmailSchool districts outside of Cook County may receive electronic notice of Board of Review cases which intend to change an assessment of $100,000 or more.  The school district must consent to the electronic notice and provide a valid e-mail address.  Public Act #99-626, Effective July 22, 2016

PTAB Notice by Email The Property Tax Code has been changed to allow PTAB to use email to deliver copies of a petition to the Board of Review and to deliver the decision on the case.  Public Act # 99-626, Effective July 22, 201

 

For more information and full language of the bill, please visit: www.ilga.gov

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