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Legislative Report

By Leo Welch

Senate Bill 3244, Frerichs (Chapa LaVia), Public Act 97-0704 Requires the State Board of Education to coordinate the acquisition, adaptation, and development of middle and high school mathematics curriculum models to aid school districts and teachers in implementing standards for all students by March 1, 2013. Provides that the development process shall include the input of representatives of statewide educational organizations and stakeholders. Provides that the curriculum models and training programs must be made available to all school districts, which may choose to adopt or adapt the models in lieu of developing their own mathematics curricula. Request the Illinois P-20 Council to submit a report to the Governor and the General Assembly on the extent and effect of utilization of the curriculum models by school districts. Provides that within four years after the effective date of the amendatory Act, State mathematics test results and 4higher education mathematics remediation data must be used to gauge the effectiveness of high school mathematics instruction and the extent of standards attainment, and be used to guide the continuous improvement of the mathematics curriculum and instruction.

House Bill 5531, Arroyo, Lost Amends various Acts relating to the governance of State universities. Repeals provisions that permit the children of employees of a State university who have been employed by one or more state university for an aggregate period of at least seven years to receive a 50% tuition waiver, unless household income is $50,000 or less, or employee or child is a veteran. House Resolution 897, Biss, Tabled Resolves that the Illinois Student Assistance Commission shall convene a task force to deliberate options for the adoption of new rules for the Monetary Award Program (MAP), with the goal of improving the outcomes for students who receive these awards.

Senate Bill 3800, Maloney, Public Act 97-0950 Amends the Higher Education Student Assistance Act. Authorizes the Illinois Student Assistance Commission to deduct from the salary, wages, commissions, and bonuses of any employee in this state and, as otherwise permitted, any employee outside the State of Illinois by serving a notice of administrative wage garnishment on an employer for the recovery of a student loan debt owned or serviced by the Commission. Provides that levy must not be made until the Commission has caused a demand to be made on the employee such that the employee is provided an opportunity to contest the existence or amount of the student loan obligation.

Senate Bill 3803, Lightford, Referred to Assignments Creates the College Completion Report Card Act. Provides that the report card must be (i) clearly linked to performance funding metrics and the goals of the Public Agenda and (ii) simple to read and clearly indicative of minority and low-income student access, student progress, and progress towards increasing college completion.

Senate Bill 3804, Kotowski. Referred to Assignments Amends the Board of Higher Education Act and the Public Community College Act. Requires the Board of Higher Education, in conjunction with the Illinois Community College Board, to establish a Statewide Articulation and Transfer Committee.

House Bill 5248, Cunningham (Maloney), Rules Committee Amends the Public Community College Act. Provides that the provisions of a Section requiring the award of a contract to the lowest responsible bidder do not prevent a community college from complying with the terms and conditions of a grant, gift, or bequest that calls for the procurement of a particular good or service, or the use of a particular contractor, provided that the grant, gift, or bequest provides all funding for the contract, and that the grant, gift, or bequest must comply with all applicable laws and must not interfere with, or otherwise impair, any collective bargaining agreements the community college may have with labor organizations.

Senate Bill 3428, Maloney (Beiser), Public Act 97-1106 Amends the Public Community College Act. Provides that, after the effective date of the amendatory Act, one of the 11 members of the Illinois Community College Board to be appointed by the Governor, and with the advice and consent of the Senate, must be the president of a public community college.

House Bill 5914, Rose, Public Act 97-0814 Amends various Acts relating to the governance of public universities in Illinois. Prohibits hiring search committees from being funded with money derived from state taxes or tuition or fees charged students.

House Bill 4687, Pihos (Dillard). Public Act 97-0827 Amends Open Meetings Act. Provides that posting of the notice and agenda on a website that is maintained by the public body satisfies the requirement for continuous posting. Specifies that if a notice or agenda is not continuously available for the full 48-hour period due to actions outside of the control of the public body, then that lack of availability does not invalidate any meeting or action taken at a meeting.

Senate Bill 2949, Silverstein (Mathias), Public Act 97-1038 Amends the University Religious Observances Act. Provides that any student in an institution of higher learning, other than a religious or denominational institution of higher learning, who is unable, because of his or her religious beliefs, to attend classes or to participate in any examination, study, or work requirement on a particular day shall be excused from any such examination, study, or work requirement and shall be provided with an opportunity to make up the examination, study, or work requirement that he or she may have missed because of such absence on a particular day; provided that the make-up examination, study or work does not create an unreasonable burden upon the institution. Prohibits fees of any kind from being charged by the institution for making available to the student such an opportunity. Provides that no adverse or prejudicial effects shall result to any student because of his or her availing himself or herself of these provisions. Requires publication of these provisions.

House Bill 4996, Biss (Steans), Public Act 97-0968 Amends the State Universities Article of the Illinois Pension Code concerning annuitants who return to employment. Requires notification and documentation of persons receiving a retirement annuity who are employed by university and community college employers. Defines "affected annuitant" as a person who, while receiving a retirement annuity, has been employed by a university or community college employer for more than 18 paid months and has received earnings in one academic year of more than 40% of his or her highest annual rate of earnings. Provides that the employer of an affected annuitant must pay to the System an employer contribution equal to the annuitant's annual retirement annuity. Provides procedures, payment deadlines, and penalties for noncompliance.

Senate Bill 538, Kotowski (Franks), Rules Committee Amends the Illinois Pension Code. Requires the five state-funded retirement systems, in their annual certification of the required state contribution for the next fiscal year, to specifically identify the System's predicted state normal cost for that fiscal year. Requires the State Universities Retirement system to also include the predicted state cost for the self-managed plan for the next fiscal year.

Source: Illinois Board of Higher Education