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Legislative Report By Leo Welch

1. HB2353—Veterans' Benefits
Veterans from any state who are using federal benefits may receive in-state tuition Governor Approved

2. SB2202—Smoke Free Campus Act
All state supported institutions of higher education would become smoke free Referred to Rules Committee

3. HB1032—Tuition Waivers
Repeals employee tuition waivers (50% after 7 years of service) Referred to Rules Committee

4. HB5—Minority Status
Would redefine existing definition of "minority" to include individuals of Middle Eastern descent Referred to Rules Committee

5. SB1900—Public Access to Published Research
Would provide free public access to final peer reviewed manuscripts and requires public access to all published scholarly works by faculty members. Includes reporting requirements.

Governor Approved

6. HB2965—Creation of 25 lower divisions courses transferable across all public institutions. Also requires ability to reverse transfer course credit back to community colleges in order to fulfill Associate degree requirements.

Referred to Rules Committee

7. HB3320—Report to IBHE on cost of online programs
Universities would be required to submit to IBHE a report on the cost of making the institution's for most popular academic programs available online. Referred to Rules Committee

8. HB3350—Amends Illinois Tax Act
Any scholarship, grant, or waiver provided to a student would have to be treated as taxable income by the student. Referred to Rules Committee

9. HB336—Sets tuition rates at universities
Would set undergraduate and graduate at $103.32 per credit hour for 2014. Beginning in 2016, tuition would then increase by annual rate of inflation. Referred to Rules Committee

10. SB1398—Early graduation waiver
Would provide tuition waiver for students who graduate early from high school, with the length of the tuition waiver being equal to the difference between 8 semesters and the actual number of semesters the student was enrolled in grades 9 through 12. Referred to Assignments

11. HB1443—Hazing
University employees who do not report hazing would also be charged with hazing, a class A misdemeanor. Governor Approved

12. HB183—Concealed Carry
Prohibited areas include any college or university building, classroom, laboratory, medical clinic, hospital, artistic venue, athletic venue, entertainment venue, college or university-related organization property, any real property, including parking areas, sidewalks, and common areas under the control of a public or private community college, college, or university. Veto Overridden

13. SB1687—Return to Work
Limits SURS retirees working in a SURS college or university to a salary cap of 40 percent of their highest annual salary prior to retirement. Certain exceptions apply.

In Effect
Pension Reform
Various bills were introduced, but none passed. There will be some form of bill that will be passed that will have a negative impact on public employee pensions.