Illinois Legislative Report By Leo Welch
House Bill 4330, Wheeler (Martinez)PA 99-0600
Amends the School Code. For admissions purposes, requires each public university in the State to accept the State Seal of Biliteracy as equivalent to 2 years of foreign language coursework taken during high school if a studentís high school transcript indicates that he or she will be receiving or has received the State Seal of Biliteracy. Provides that each public community college and public university in the State shall establish criteria to translate a State Seal of Biliteracy into course credit based on foreign language course equivalencies identified by the community collegeís or universityís faculty and staff and, upon request from an enrolled student, the community college or university shall award foreign language course credit to a student who has received a State Seal of Biliteracy. Requires the State Board of Educationís rules to ensure that the criteria that pupils must achieve to earn a State Seal of Biliteracy meet the course credit criteria. Requires students enrolled in a public community college or public university who have received a State Seal of Biliteracy to request course credit for their seal within 3 academic years after graduating from high school.
House Bill 5561, McSweeney (Connelly), PA 99-0611
Amends the Public Community College Act. Creates the Accelerate College pilot program. Authorizes a community college district board of trustees to enter into an Accelerate College educational partnership agreement with any school district wholly contained within the community college districtís jurisdiction. Provides that an agreement must offer a group of high school students the right to take community college courses without paying for tuition of those courses. Provides for the size of the program. Allows community colleges to charge fees limited to the actual operating costs and related student activities. Provides that any coursework completed by high school students in a community college shall be transferable to all public universities in this State on the same basis as coursework completed by community college students who have previously earned high school diplomas. Requires the Illinois Community College Board to study the effectiveness of the program and to issue an annual report. Repeals the provisions 36 months after the effective date of the amendatory Act. Amends the School Code to make conforming changes. Effective immediately.
Senate Bill 579, Martinez (Hernandez), PA 99-0734
Amends various Acts related to the governance of public universities in Illinois. Provides that the student members of the Boards of Trustees shall not be deemed to have a direct conflict of interest in and may vote on any item involving the employment or compensation of the Chancellor at any campus or President of the University or the election of officers. Effective immediately.
Senate Bill 2155, Cunningham (K. Burke), PA 99-0691
Amends the Public Community College Act. Provides that recognition shall include review of compliance with applicable State and federal laws regarding employment contracts and compensation. Provides that the Illinois Community College Board shall convene an advisory committee to review the findings and make recommendations for changes or additions to the laws or review the findings and make recommendations for changes or additions to the laws or review procedures. Makes a technical change.
Senate Bill 2156, Cunningham (K. Burke), PA 99-0897
Amends the State Universities Article of the Illinois Pension Code. Provides that a participant may establish creditable service and earnings credit for periods of furlough (or voluntary reduction in pay taken in lieu of furlough) beginning on or after July 1. 2015 and ending on or before June 30, 2017 by paying, on an after-tax basis, specified employee and employer contributions, plus interest. In the provision requiring employers to make an additional contribution to the System under certain circumstances when an employee receives an increase in annual earnings exceeding 6%, provides that when assessing payment, the System shall include earnings that would have been paid to a participant had the participant not taken periods of voluntary or involuntary furlough (or voluntary reduction in pay taken in lieu of furlough) on or after July 1, 2015 or on or before June 30, 2017. Requires the employer to report such earnings in a manner prescribed by the System. Also requires the System to provide advance notice to a participant in the self-managed plan of the participantís obligation to direct the investment of employee and employer contributions into one or more investment funds selected by the System at the time he or she makes his or her initial retirement plan selection. Provides that if a participant in the self-managed plan fails to direct the investment of employee and employer contributions into the various investment options offered to the participant when making his or her initial retirement election choice, the System shall invest the employee and employer contributions in a default investment fund on behalf of the participant, and the investment shall be deemed to have been made at the participantís investment direction. Provides that the participant has the right to transfer account balances out of the default investment fund during time periods designated by the System.
Senate Bill 2159, Cunningham (K. Burke), PA 99-0694
Amends various Acts relating to the governance of public universities in Illinois and the Public Community College Act. Sets forth provisions governing employment contracts of the president or all chancellors (rather than all employment contracts) entered into, amended, renewed, or extended after the effective date of this amendatory Act. With respect to employment contracts entered into with the president or all chancellors of a public university, sets forth provisions concerning severance, start and end date, and automatic rollover clauses. Provides that public notice given prior to action on the formation, renewal, extension, or termination of employment contracts must be compliant with the provisions of the Open Meeting Act and must include a copy of the governing board item or other documentation providing, at a minimum, a description of the proposed principal financial components of the presidentís or all chancellorsí appointments. Provides that any performance-based bonus or incentive-based compensation to the president or all chancellors of the community college must be approved by the governing board in an open meeting. With respect to public community colleges, removes provisions concerning limitations of employment contracts entered into, amended, renewed, or extended after the effective date of this amendatory Act. Provides that severance payments or contract buyouts may not occur if there are pending criminal charges against the president or chancellors of the community college related to their employment. Provides that the criteria and goals upon which the bonus or incentive-based compensation for a president or chancellors of a community college is based must be made available to the public no less than 48 hours before board approval of the performance-based bonus or incentive-based compensation. Provides that severance payments or contract buyouts may be placed in an escrow account (rather than may not occur) if there are pending criminal charges against the president or chancellors. Make related changes.
Senate Bill 2174, Cunningham (Breen), PA 99-0695
Amends the Board of Higher Education Act. Provides that the Board of Higher Education shall require every voting member of the governing board of a public university appointed for a term beginning after January 1, 2016 to complete a minimum of 4 hours of professional development leadership training. Provides that a public university shall maintain on its Internet website the names of all voting members of the governing board who have successfully completed the training. Provides that after the effective date of this amendatory Act, by July 31 of each year, the chairperson of each governing board shall certify to the Board the number of hours of training that each member received during the preceding fiscal year. Sets forth provisions providing for if a board member has not completed the training. Provides that the training may be provided by the Board or by other qualified providers approved by the Board. Provides that the training may cover the topic of contract law. Provides that the professional development leadership training shall include certain topics.
Senate Bill 3301, Rose (Fortner) , PA 99-0636
Creates the Illinois Articulation Initiative Act. Removes references to seamless transfers. Requires that all courses approved for Illinois Articulation Initiative General Education Codes must be transferable as part of the General Education Core Curriculum package (Rather than all courses approved for Illinois Articulation Initiative codes must be directly transferable either as part of the General Education Core Curriculum package or as equivalent major courses). Provides that all public institutions of higher education shall determine if Illinois Articulation Initiative major courses are direct course equivalents or are elective credit toward the requirements of the major. Provides that if the receiving institution does not offer the course or does not offer it at the lower-division level, the student shall receive elective lower-division major credit toward the requirements of the major for the course and may be required to take the course at the upper-division level. Provides that the Board of Higher Education and the Illinois Community College Board shall co-manage the specific requirements of the General Education Core Curriculum.