ICCTA Action Alert
Nov. 30, 2001

Veto Session Wrap-Up
Both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly adjourned the fall veto session on Thursday afternoon, November 29, and are scheduled to return to Springfield on Tuesday, January 9, 2002. Much of the attention of lawmakers and the Governor turned to the Stateís fiscal condition, resulting in a series of budget reductions. Most of the proposed budget cuts were made under the Governorís authority and did not require General Assembly approval.

Major veto-session issues affecting community colleges included FY 2002 state budget reductions, Freedom of Information Act changes, Open Meetings Act changes, and final approval of a Speech Language Pathology Assistant category.

Issues of Interest to Community Colleges
Budget Reductions
Gov. George Ryan has proposed reducing current year (FY 02) spending throughout agencies of state government. He has the authority to reduce spending in those agencies directly under his control, and he can request that agencies not under his control also reduce spending. In House Bill 3495, the General Assembly provided the Governor with additional authority to reduce base rates for nursing home reinbursements and to increase certain Public Aid co-payments. No additional reductions in education budgets were made by the General Assembly during the veto session.

Open Meetings Act (Passed as amended)
An amended version of House Bill 3098 was approved by the General Assembly and sent to the Governor for his consideration. The bill amends the Illinois Open Meetings Act to require the presiding officer at a closed meeting to sign an affidavit stating that nothing was discussed in the meeting that was not authorized by the legal purpose for conducting the meeting. Stripped from the original bill was a provision that required verbatim minutes to be recorded during the closed meeting.

Freedom of Information Act (Governorís veto stands)
House Bill 3078 would require that the dollar amount of a public body's agreement to settle litigation be considered public record. The bill was vetoed by the Governor this summer, and the House overrode the Governorís veto on November 15. The Senate did not vote on the issue, thus leaving the Governorís veto to stand.

Speech Language Pathology Assistants (Passed as amendatorily vetoed)
Both houses of the General Assembly accepted the Governorís amendatory veto of House Bill 1356. The bill, which now becomes law, creates a new and recognized position of Speech Language Pathology Assistant.

For additional information on state legislative issues, contact ICCTA at 1-800-454-2282.

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Illinois Community College Trustees Association
401 E. Capitol Ave., Suite 200
Springfield, IL 62701-1711
217-528-2858 (phone)
217-528-8662 (fax)
ICCTA@communitycolleges.org (e-mail)

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