ICCTA Action Alert
April 10, 2003


The Illinois General Assembly will adjourn this afternoon and is scheduled to return to Springfield on Tuesday, April 15. Last week marked the half-way point in the spring session, as lawmakers concluded most of their planned work on legislative proposals introduced into the house of origin. This means, that with some exceptions, House bills have passed out of the House, and Senate bills have passed out of the Senate in order to receive further consideration. Most legislation that has not advanced at this point probably will not advance to final passage.

FY 2004 BUDGET

The highlight of the week in Springfield was marked by the long-awaited budget that Governor Blagojevich delivered to the General Assembly on Wednesday, April 9. In his budget message, the Governor announced several measures to shore up sagging prospects for FY 2004. Although many state agencies will receive steep funding reductions under the Governorís budget, education and public safety received modest increases. The Governor also announced that this budget marks the first time since 1981 that state expenditures will be less than the prior year. An analysis of Gov. Blagojevichís budget as its affects Illinois higher education is available on the Illinois Board of Higher Educationís web site.

COMMUNITY COLLEGE-RELATED BILLS THAT ARE ADVANCING

HB 2660 -- Pension Bonding (Madigan)
ICCTA Position: SUPPORT
Authorizes the issuance of an additional $10 billion in general obligation bonds. Provides for the proceeds of those bonds to be used to reduce the unfunded liabilities of the five state-funded retirement systems (including the State Universities Retirement System). This is Gov. Blagojevichís initiative to provide partial relief from funding reductions in fiscal year 2004 by financing (or "refinancing") the unfunded accrued liability of the public pension systems. Passed out of the House 79-18-18 and has been sent to the Senate.

SB 1586 -- Open Meeting Act - Verbatim Minutes of Closed Session (Obama)
ICCTA Position: OPPOSE
Requires that a public body make a verbatim audio or video recording of closed meetings. Establishes procedures for the availability to the public and the court of closed meeting minutes and recordings. Passed out of the Senate 44-9-0 and has been sent to the House.

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. Passed out of the House 85-6-25 and sent to the Senate.

HB 221 -- Surplus State Property (Slone)
ICCTA Position: OPPOSE (in its current form)
The bill amends the State Property Control Act to redefine the term "responsible officer" to exclude community college presidents. It also requires that unused state property leased by the Illinois Department of Central Management Services may not be leased at less than 60% of the fair market rental value rate unless specified conditions are met; provides procedures for determining the fair market rental value; and prohibits the sale of surplus real property if any state agency requests its transfer. The bill was introduced in response to the disposition of the former Zeller Mental Health Center in Peoria to Illinois Central College. Passed out of the House 103-13-1 and sent to the Senate.

HB 1118 & SB 10 -- Limits on University Tuition Increases (Joyce / Walsh)
ICCTA Position: MONITOR
Several bills relate to public-university tuition issues. For newly enrolled students, 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. Passed out of the House 104-6-5 and sent to the Senate.

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. Passed out of the House 89-0-26 and sent to the Senate.

HB 1387 -- City Colleges of Chicago Treasurerís Bond (McCarthy)
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. Passed out of the House 117-0 and sent to the Senate.

HB 1457 -- Redefinition of Educational Employee (O'Brien)
ICCTA Position: OPPOSE
Amends the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act to provide that an academic employee of a community college who provides less than 3 (currently 6) credit hours of instruction per academic semester is not an "educational employee" within the meaning of the Act. Amends the State Mandates Act to require implementation without reimbursement. Passed out of the House 103-14-0 and sent to the Senate.

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. Passed out of the House 94-23- 0 and sent to the Senate.

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. Passed out of the House 117-0-0 and sent to the Senate.

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. Passed out of the House 102-8- 5 and sent to the Senate.

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. Passed out of the House 114-0-0 and sent to the Senate.

HB 3024 -- Ban on Child Sex Offenders on Campus (Brady)
ICCTA Position: SUPPORT
Prohibits child sex offenders from knowingly being present in any institution of higher education building unless expressed permission is granted by the administrator of the institution. Passed out of the House 79-18-18 and has been sent to the Senate.

HB 3479 -- Sale of Higher Education Directory Information (Flider)
ICCTA Position: MONITOR
Prohibits a university or community college from providing a student's name, address, or telephone number to a business organization or financial institution that issues credit or debit cards. Passed out of the House 116-0-0 and has been sent to the Senate.

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. Passed both houses and has been sent to the Governor.

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). Passed out of the Senate 34-20- 1 and sent to the House.

LEGISLATION THAT DID NOT ADVANCE

HB 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 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.

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.

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


ICCTA Lobby Day is Wednesday, April 30.
Register here or call 1-800-454-2282 today.




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



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