ICCTA Action Alert
Feb. 21, 2003

Community College Legislation Introduced

After introducing nearly 5,000 bills, the 93rd Illinois General Assembly adjourned this week and will return to Springfield on Wednesday, February 26. Many of these bills are considered "shell bills" and will not be brought up for a vote. (A shell bill is legislation that does not include substantive language and is amended to address issues that develop at a later date.) The Senate deadline for the introduction of Senate bills was yesterday (February 20), while the House permits continued introductions until next Friday (February 28).

Committee hearings in each chamber have begun, and the process for conducting the spring 2003 legislative session is well underway. Clearly the highest-profile issue before lawmakers this year is the FY 2004 state budget. In past years, the Governor has delivered his budget to the General Assembly in late February or early March. This year, however, introduction of a budget will not occur until April 9, just five weeks before the General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn on May 23.

In determining the Trustees Associationís position on legislation, ICCTA staff relies on decisions made by the ICCTA Government Relations Committee and approved by the ICCTA Board of Representatives. The Association takes one of three possible positions on legislation:

  • SUPPORT -- ICCTA supports the bill and works for the passage of the legislation
  • OPPOSE -- ICCTA opposes the bill and works to defeat the bill in its introduced form. ICCTA may also work to change (amend) the bill in a way that is acceptable to community colleges.
  • MONITOR -- ICCTA does not have a position on the merits of the bill, or the bill does not specifically or directly impact community colleges. ICCTA monitors the bill because it could be amended to impact community colleges or it may be of interest to the higher education community or units of local government.


    The following is a partial listing of bills of interest to the Illinois community college system. Please note that this list will change daily as new legislation is introduced and other bills are identified as affecting community colleges.

    House Bill 19 -- Higher Education Scholarship Act (Lang)
    ICCTA Position: MONITOR
    Allows scholarships for entering freshman, sophomores, juniors, and seniors who have and maintain at least a "B" average at public and private community colleges, colleges, and universities in Illinois.

    HB 20 -- Teach Illinois Scholarship (Lang)
    ICCTA Position: MONITOR
    Creates the Teach Illinois Scholarship Program for persons preparing to teach in areas of identified staff shortages. The program would requires the recipient to teach in an elementary or secondary school in Illinois for a period of at least 5 years.

    HB 221 & SB 74 -- Surplus State Property (Slone / Shadid)
    ICCTA Position: OPPOSE (in its current form)
    These bills amend the State Property Control Act to redefine the term "responsible officer" to exclude college presidents and prohibit the sale of surplus real property if any state agency requests its transfer. The bills were introduced in response to the sale of the former Zeller Mental Health Center in Peoria to Illinois Central College.

    HB 254 -- Income Tax Credit for Tuition (Reitz)
    ICCTA Position: MONITOR
    Creates an income tax credit of up to $500 for a taxpayer (with an adjusted gross income of less than $100,000) for tuition and fees paid at any public or private college, university, or community college located in Illinois.

    HB 257 / SB 10 -- Limits on University Tuition Increases
    ICCTA Position: MONITOR

    Several bills relate to public-university tuition issues. Beginning with the 2003-2004 academic year, university tuition could not rise by an amount greater than the lesser of: a) 5 percent of the tuition rate for the preceding academic year, or b) the product of the tuition rate for the preceding academic year multiplied by the rate of inflation for the calendar year in which that academic year began. Community colleges are not included.

    HB 278 -- Speech Language Pathologist Licenses (OíBrien)
    ICCTA Position: OPPOSE
    Amends the Illinois Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Practice Act to provide that until September 30, 2003, a person who has practiced for a minimum of 5 years as a program assistant shall be eligible to receive a license as a speech-language pathology assistant from the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation upon completion of forms prescribed by the department and the payment of the required fee.

    HB 540 -- Sale of Higher Education Directory Information (Mitchell)
    ICCTA Position: MONITOR
    Prohibits a university or community college from selling a student's name, address, or telephone number to a business organization or financial institution that issues credit or debit cards.

    HB 1119 -- Increase in IIA Grants (Turner)
    ICCTA Position: SUPPORT
    Changes the name of the Illinois Incentive for Access Grant Program to the Silas Purnell Illinois Incentive for Access Grant Program and increases the maximum annual amount to $1,000 (from $500) for applicants with an expected family contribution of $0.

    HB 1248 & SB 275 -- Local Government Tort Immunity - Bicycles (Nekritz/Cullerton)
    ICCTA Position: MONITOR
    Amends provisions of the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act concerning a local public entity's duty to maintain its property in a reasonably safe condition for intended and permitted users. Provides that a person riding a bicycle is deemed to be an intended and permitted user of a roadway, except in the case of roadways upon which the use of bicycles is prohibited and the prohibition is indicated by appropriate signage.

    HB 1260 & SB 231 -- SURS / Retirees Health Insurance Appropriation (Hannig / Trotter)
    ICCTA Position: SUPPORT
    Makes appropriations to the State Universities Retirement System and to the Community College Health Insurance Security Fund for FY 2004.

    HB 1330 -- State Gift Ban Act Exemptions (Coulson - Cross)
    ICCTA Position: SUPPORT
    Removes the State Gift Ban Act's application to judges, employees of the judicial branch of state government, units of local government, and school districts.

    HB 1387 -- City Colleges of Chicago Treasurerís Bond (McCarthy - Wirsing)
    ICCTA Position: SUPPORT
    Makes the penalty of the treasurerís bond of the Chicago community college district the same as the penalty of the treasurersí bonds of all other community college districts in Illinois.

    HB 1474 & SB 502 -- University Retail Sales Act (McCarthy / Radogno)
    ICCTA Position: OPPOSE
    Adds community colleges to the University Retail Sales Act by defining "state institution of higher learning" to mean "a university, college, community college, or junior college in this state that is publicly supported by taxes levied and collected within the State on income, sales, or property."

    HB 1491 -- Driver Training Programs (Novak)
    ICCTA Position: MONITOR
    Prohibits public schools and educational facilities from contracting with an entity that provides driving instruction (including truck driving) or prepares an applicant for the Secretary of State's driver's license examination unless that entity is licensed by the Secretary of State. The bill also increases the amount of the surety bond required to operate a driver training school to $20,000 (from $10,000) and raises the application and renewal fees for a license to operate a driver training school.

    HB 1495 -- Local Govt Tort Immunity - Snow Removal (Mathias)
    ICCTA Position: SUPPORT
    Amends the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act. Provides that neither a local public entity nor a public employee or agent of the local public entity who removes or attempts to remove snow or ice from a street, sidewalk, or other public way is liable for any injury that results from a condition caused by that undertaking unless the alleged misconduct was willful and wanton.

    HB 1543 -- Higher Education Line Item Appropriations (Granberg)
    ICCTA Position: MONITOR
    Amends the State Finance Act to require state appropriations for higher education to be made by separate line items and not by lump sum.

    HB 2252 -- Community College Purchasing Consortium (Black)
    ICCTA Position: SUPPORT
    Amends the Public Community College Act to add contracts for goods or services procured through an intrastate or interstate governmental agency consortium as an exception to the requirement that contracts for the purchase of supplies, materials, or work involving an expenditure in excess of $10,000 must be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder.

    HB 2277 -- Lincoln Land Community College Election By Subdistricts (Hannig - Watson)
    ICCTA Position: OPPOSE
    Requires the election of Lincoln Land Community College trustees by subdistrict rather than at-large, beginning with the 2005 consolidated election. The term of each trustee elected before the effective date of the amendatory Act would end on the date that the trustees elected in 2005 are officially determined. The bill also provides for 4-year and 2-year terms (rather than 6).

    HB 2279 -- Community College Dormitories (Leitch)
    ICCTA Position: SUPPORT
    Amends the Public Community College Act to allow a community college board to provide or contract for residential housing for students and employees.

    HB 2329 / HB 2878/ HB 2884 -- MAP Increase (Graham / Wirsing / Myers - Bost)
    ICCTA Position: OPPOSE
    Increases the maximum Monetary Award Program grant for full-time and part-time undergraduate students.

    HB 2593 -- New Community College for East St. Louis (Younge)
    ICCTA Position: OPPOSE
    Requires the Illinois Community College Board to establish a new community college district, comprised of the territory of the former Metropolitan Community College in East St. Louis, to be known as Gateway Community College. Provides that ICCB may not abolish, restrict, or take over the operation of Gateway Community College without first notifying the General Assembly and receiving permission from the General Assembly for the action.

    HB 2805 -- University Faculty Member on IBHE (McCarthy)
    ICCTA Position: MONITOR
    Provides that one of the 10 members of the Illinois Board of Higher Education appointed by the Governor must be a faculty member at a public university.

    HB 2864 -- Speech Language Pathology - Qualifications (Saviano)
    ICCTA Position: MONITOR
    Amends the Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Practice Act to allow a person who has applied to the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation for a license to practice speech-language pathology or audiology may practice without a license pending disposition of the application if specified criteria are met. Provides that a person who undertakes supervised professional experience as a speech-language pathologist must obtain a temporary license from DPR.

    SB 19 -- Chicago School Reform (Jones)
    ICCTA Position: MONITOR
    Implements an agreement to repeal parts of the Chicago School Reform legislation enacted in 1995. The City Colleges of Chicago is included in this legislation.

    SB 205 -- Illinois Opportunity Scholarship (Lightford)
    ICCTA Position: SUPPORT
    Creates the Illinois Opportunity Scholarship Act to be administered by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission. Provides for the award, beginning with the 2004-2005 academic year, of undergraduate scholarship awards, renewable for up to 4 years, for use at institutions of higher education located in Illinois.

    SB 333 -- SURS Military Credit (Clayborne)
    ICCTA Position: SUPPORT
    Amends the State Universities Article of the Illinois Pension Code. Reduces the calculation for the contribution required for purchasing credit for certain military service.

    SB 334 -- Mobile Home Tax (Clayborne)
    ICCTA Position: SUPPORT
    Provides that mobile homes placed on permanent foundations shall be taxed as real property.

    SB 529 -- Tax Exemption for College Savings Programs (Welch)
    ICCTA Position: SUPPORT
    Exempts distributions from the College Illinois! or Bright Start savings programs from state income tax (to the extent those distributions were excluded from income in arriving at federal adjusted gross income).

    SB 815 / HB 2806 -- Mandated Ratio of Part-time / Full Time Faculty (del Valle / McCarthy)
    ICCTA Position: OPPOSE
    Requires the governing board of each public university and community college to achieve a ratio under which at least 75% of all full-time equivalent teaching positions are held by full-time faculty members and not more than 25% of all full-time equivalent teaching positions are held by part-time teachers. The bill also provides for a phase-in, starting in FY 2004, that requires a university to use 33% of its increase in state funding each year and a community college district to use 33% of its increase in its annual distribution formula grants to achieve that ratio.

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

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