ICCTA Action Alert
Dec. 1, 2000

The Illinois General Assembly adjourned its fall 2000 veto session on November 30. Last orders of business were approval of a new stadium project at Soldiers Field in Chicago and a "Rule of 85" retirement plan for state employees. The House and Senate will return to Springfield on Jan. 8 - 9, 2001, for the final days of the fall veto session and the 91st General Assembly. On January 10, the new 92nd General Assembly will be seated and organized.

Gov. Ryan Announces Good "Report Card" For Illinois Higher Education
Gov. George Ryan held a press conference Thursday morning to announce that the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education has rated Illinois’ postsecondary system as the best in the nation. Illinois received three A’s for: 1) preparing students adequately for college; 2) the percentage of residents ages 18-44 who enroll in college or other training; and 3) the affordability of colleges within the state.

Gov. Ryan Drops Hints of Community Construction Program
At his press conference Thursday morning, Gov. Ryan deviated from the subject of higher education accomplishments and began speaking of public community college capital construction needs. The Governor specifically noted that some community colleges are still using temporary buildings and that there are other various capital needs. He further commented that he plans to advance a capital plan for community colleges. When asked for details of the plan by the press, the governor indicated that his capital plan is still under development for the upcoming budget year.

Study of Part-Time Faculty Approved
Lawmakers approved House Joint Resolution 19, which requires the Illinois Board of Higher Education to review the dependence on part-time and non-tenure-track faculty in Illinois colleges and universities. HJR 19 requires each public university and community college governing board to provide a report to IBHE regarding the use and compensation of part-time and non-tenure-track faculty. It also requires the Board of Higher Education to consider policies designed to discourage overreliance on part-time and non-tenure-track faculty and to make recommendations concerning the establishment of minimum salary and fringe benefits provisions indexed to tenure-track faculty compensation for part-timers.

"Rule of 85" Program
Also approved was an early retirement plan for participants of the State Employees Retirement System (SERS). Beginning Jan. 1, 2001, SERS participates become eligible to retire without a penalty if their age plus their number of years of service adds up to 85. This plan does not affect participants of the State Universities Retirement System (SURS).

Sales Tax on Gasoline
The General Assembly did not act to continue a temporary elimination of the state sales tax on gasoline. Therefore, the sales tax on gasoline will be reinstated on Jan. 1, 2001, and is expected to restore approximately $350 million annually to the state’s revenues.

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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