ICCTA Action Alert
February 15, 2000

The Illinois General Assembly will reconvene the 2000 spring session when both houses return to Springfield on Tuesday, February 15. The week of February 7 - 11 was dedicated to the introduction of new bills and committee hearings that were held to consider bills. The week of February 14 - 18 is the last week for House bills in House committees to be heard and Senate bills in Senate committees to be heard. The final day for bills to be reported out of committees is Thursday, February 17.


Bills Scheduled for Committee Hearings
FY 2001 Community College Appropriation (Senate Bill 1744 -- Donahue)
ICCTA Position: SUPPORT
This bill would provide $319.8 million in state funding for Illinois community colleges in fiscal year 2001 an $18.6 million (6.2%) increase above current-year funding. SB 1744 is scheduled for hearing in the Senate Appropriations Committee on February 15.

Illinois Career Scholarships (House Bill 4265 -- Wirsing)
ICCTA Position: SUPPORT
HB 4265 creates the Illinois Career Scholarship program, administered by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, to provide high school students not seeking baccalaureate degrees with a non-need-based, non-renewable $1,000 incentive to pursue alternative postsecondary training in occupational programs certified by the Illinois Workforce Investment Board, the Illinois Community College Board, the Illinois State Board of Education, or the Illinois Board of Higher Education. The bill is scheduled for hearing in the House Higher Education Committee on February 16.

Transfer of Adult Education to ICCB (House Bill 4266 -- Ryder)
ICCTA Position: SUPPORT
House Bill 4266 would transfer all of ISBE's powers and duties concerning adult education to ICCB on July 1, 2001. ICCB would then be allowed to enter into contracts with eligible providers; to accept federal funds for adult education and adult literacy; to administer a network of providers, programs, and services to provide adult basic education, adult secondary/general education development, English as a second language, and other instruction; and to supervise the administration of adult education and adult literacy programs. HB 4266 is scheduled for hearing in the House Higher Education Committee on February 16.

Definition Change for Athletic Trainers (House Bill 2896 -- Brunsvold)
ICCTA Position: OPPOSE
HB 2896 would change the definitions of the terms "licensed athletic trainer" and "referral" to expand the scope of practice for licensed athletic trainers, permitting them to perform many of the functions of licensed physical therapists without the appropriate educational background. HB 2896 is scheduled for hearing in the House Registration and Regulations Committee on February 16.

Dissection Alternatives Act (House Bill 3254 -- Gash)
ICCTA Position: OPPOSE
Under this legislation, schools may excuse a student from performing or observing dissection and may allow the student to instead perform an alternative project; it also provides that the student may not be penalized for refusing to participate in or observe dissection. ICCTA generally opposes efforts by the General Assembly to mandate higher education curriculum. HB 3254 is scheduled for hearing in the House Elementary and Secondary Committee on February 16.

Metropolitan Community College District (House Bill 3500 -- Younge)
ICCTA Position: OPPOSE
This bill would require ICCB to establish an experimental community college district comprised of the territory of the former Metropolitan Community College district in East St. Louis. ICCB dissolved the MCC district in 1999. HB 3500 is scheduled for hearing in the House Higher Education Committee on February 16.

Elimination of IBHE Site Approval for Opportunities Fund Projects
(House Bill 3993 -- Wirsing)
ICCTA Position: SUPPORT
HB 3993 would change the purposes for which expenditures and distributions from the AFDC Opportunities Fund shall be made to ICCB. It removes the requirement that the board of a community college district have IBHE's prior approval before entering into an installment loan arrangement with a financial institution to borrow money to buy sites and to buy or build and equip buildings and improvements. HB 3993 is scheduled for hearing in the House Higher Education Committee on February 16.

Quern Information Technology Grants (Senate 1444 -- Dillard)
ICCTA Position: SUPPORT
SB 1444 would establish an information technology grant program, administered by ISAC, to provide up to $2,500 per need-based grant for retraining in information technology fields. The scholarships would be named Arthur F. Quern Technology Grants after the former chair of the IBHE. SB 1444 is scheduled for hearing in the Senate Education Committee on February 16. (SB 1444 is the same as HB 3553 below.)

Community Scholarship Foundation (SB 1570 -- Petka)
ICCTA Position: SUPPORT
SB 1570 would create the Community Scholarship Foundation Program, administered by ISAC, to encourage local communities to develop scholarship programs that assist their residents in obtaining a higher education. It would require the Commission to award a $2,000 grant to a local foundation upon demonstration that the foundation has raised $2,000 for scholarships or created an endowment for scholarships. SB 1570 is scheduled for hearing in the Senate Education Committee on February 16.

[ Return to top ]


Other Bills of Interest
Review of FOIA Denials (House Bill 3469 -- Rutherford)
ICCTA Position: MONITOR
Under this Freedom of Information Act legislation, a person denied access to inspect or copy a public record by the head of a public body may request a review of the denial by either the Illinois Attorney General or a state's attorney. The bill also authorizes the Attorney General or State's Attorney to seek declaratory or injunctive relief against a public body that fails to disclose records in response to the determination that its denial was unlawful.

Prepaid Tuition Contracts (House Bill 3552 -- Wirsing)
ICCTA Position: SUPPORT
This bill would exempt the assets and income of the Illinois Prepaid Tuition Trust Fund from taxation and provides that the contract shall be considered an investment for investing a ward's money. (HB 3552 is the same as SB 1537 below.)

Quern Technology Grants (House Bill 3553 -- Wirsing)
ICCTA Position: SUPPORT
HB 3553 would establish an ISAC-administered information technology grant program to provide up to $2,500 per need-based grant for retraining in information technology fields. The scholarships would be named after the late IBHE chair Arthur F. Quern. (HB 3553 is the same as SB 1444 above.)

Free Tuition for "B" Students (House Bill 3831 -- Lang)
ICCTA Position: SUPPORT
This bill creates the State University Scholarship Act, which would allow scholarships to be awarded to entering freshman, sophomores, juniors, and seniors at public community colleges and universities when the student maintains a "B" average. The scholarship -- which is subject to the amounts appropriated by the General Assembly -- would include tuition and mandatory fees. HB 3831 passed out of the House Higher Education Committee on Wednesday, February 9, and has been sent to the full House for consideration.

Public Building Commission Bonds (House Bill 3923 -- A. Moore)
ICCTA Position: MONITOR
Under this bill, any unit of local government having a public building commission lease rental base would be authorized to levy a public building commission lease rental base alternate tax levy as a revenue source for alternate bonds. HB 3923 also provides that alternate bonds supported by the levy may be issued for any lawful corporate purpose of the unit of local government.

Computer Assistance Grants (House Bill 3945 -- Silva)
ICCTA Position: MONITOR
This legislation would require ISAC to award grants to Monetary Award Program grant recipients under a program to increase the availability of computers to needy students through state assistance.

Community College Dissolution Vote (House Bill 3958 -- Younge)
ICCTA Position: OPPOSE
HB 3958 would require that before ICCB may implement a plan for the dissolution of a community college district, the question of whether or not the district should be dissolved must be submitted to the voters of that district.

Grants for Full-Time Faculty (House Bill 4287 -- Holbrook)
ICCTA Position: SUPPORT THE CONCEPT
This Illinois Federation of Teachers initiative would require ICCB to establish and administer a grant program to award grants to community college districts to increase the amount of credit hours taught at community colleges by full-time faculty.

Grants for Full-Time Faculty (House Bill 4327 -- Holbrook)
ICCTA Position: SUPPORT THE CONCEPT
Another IFT initiative, HB 4327 would appropriate $10 million to ICCB to fund the grants established by HB 4287 (designed to increase the amount of credit hours taught at community colleges by full-time faculty).

#911 Number/Location Identification (Senate Bill 1400 -- Klemm)
ICCTA Position: SUPPORT
SB 1400 would delay until June 30, 2001 when telephone switchboard services must be connected to the public switched network in a manner that calls to "911" result in automatic number and location identification. Current law mandates June 30, 2000 as the deadline.

Final Rate of SURS Earnings (Senate Bill 1500 -- Maitland)
ICCTA Position: SUPPORT
This bill would make changes concerning the calculation of the final rate of earnings under the State Universities Retirement System.

SURS Changes (Senate Bill 1501 -- Maitland)
ICCTA Position: SUPPORT
SB 1501 would make numerous changes affecting eligibility, benefits, and administration of benefits for SURS members.

Non-Applicability of Public Labor Relations Act (Senate Bill 1523 -- Jacobs)
ICCTA Position: SUPPORT
This legislation would provide that the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act is not applicable to units of local government employing less than 35 employees at the time the Petition for Certification or Representation is filed.

Prepaid Tuition Contracts (Senate Bill 1537 -- Watson)
ICCTA Position: SUPPORT
This bill would exempt the assets and income of the Illinois Prepaid Tuition Trust Fund from taxation and provides that the contract shall be considered an investment for the purpose of investing a ward's money. (SB 1537 is the same as HB 3552 above.)

MAP Grant Increase (Senate Bill 1538 -- Watson)
ICCTA Position: MONITOR
This legislation increases the maximum Monetary Award Program grant for full-time students by $210 (from $4,530 to $4,740). Community college students cannot access these higher grant amounts because community colleges do not charge tuition rates that are high enough to qualify students for the higher grants.

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

[ Return to top ]




Ads
In Association with Amazon.com


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)
http://www.communitycolleges.org



| Home | News | Events | Links |