ICCTA Action Alert
May 17, 2000

Gov. Ryan Signs FY 2001 State Budget
Gov. George Ryan today signed the state's FY 2001 budget, which provides a 6.2% increase in funding for Illinois community colleges. Also included in the budget are several election-year tax breaks for property owners, low-income seniors, and the working poor. (Click here for additional information on the FY 2001 budget.)

Legislation of interest to community colleges
The Illinois Constitution mandates that Gov. Ryan has 60 days to "take action" on a bill that is sent to him by the Illinois General Assembly. His four possible options include:
1) Sign the bill;
2) Veto the bill;
3) Amendatorily veto the bill; or
4) Do nothing. If the Governor takes no action, the bill automatically becomes law.

Because many bills were sent to the Governor during May, he has until mid-June to take action on the remaining bills on his desk.

The following bills have passed both house and await gubernatorial action:

State Universities Retirement System / Pensions Code (House Bill 1583 -- Murphy)
This bill provides resolution to the Mattis v. SURS lawsuit and eliminates loss of survivor benefits due to remarriage. It also makes numerous changes in the Illinois Pension Code affecting eligibility and other benefits for various public employees.

Dissection Alternatives Act (HB 3254 -- Gash)
HB 3254 creates the Dissection Alternatives Act, which excuses students from performing or observing dissection and allows them to instead perform an alternative project.

Elimination of IBHE Site Approval for Opportunities Fund Projects (HB 3993 --Wirsing)
HB 3993 would change the purposes for which expenditures and distributions from the AFDC Opportunities Fund shall be made to the Illinois Community College Board. It also removes the requirement that a community college board secure the Illinois Board of Higher Education'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.

Transfer of Adult Education to ICCB (HB 4266 -- Ryder)
HB 4266 would transfer all of the Illinois State Board of Education's powers and duties concerning adult education to ICCB on July 1, 2001.

Prepaid Tuition Contracts (SB 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.

MAP Grant Increase (SB 1538 -- Watson)
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 the increased grant amounts because community colleges do not charge tuition rates high enough to qualify students for the maximum grants.

Quern Information Technology Grants (SB 1444 -- Dillard)
SB 1444 would establish an information technology grant program to provide up to $2,500 per need-based scholarship for retraining in information technology fields. This legislation was amended into HB 4587 and signed by the Governor as Public Act 91-0711.

Gender Equity in Intercollegiate Sports (SB 1589 -- Geo-Karis)
This legislation removes a repealer for gender equity in intercollegiate athletics and requires the IBHE to report to the General Assembly every three years regarding gender equity in sports.

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Legislation pending before the General Assembly:

Community College Treasurers' Bond (HB 1729 -- Woolard)
This ICCTA initiative would change the amount of the required bond for community college treasurers (except for the City Colleges of Chicago) to 25% of the amount of all bonds, notes, mortgages, moneys, and effects of which the treasurer has custody. Currently, the bond is set at 200% or 100% in all districts, depending upon whether individuals or an authorized surety company provide the surety. This change would makes the rate the same as for school district treasurers. HB 1729 has been held in the Senate.

Definition of Athletic Trainers (HB 2896 -- Brunsvold)
HB 2896 would change the definition of the terms "licensed athletic trainer" and "referral" to permit athletic trainers to perform many of the functions of physical therapists without the appropriate educational requirements. HB 2896 has been held in the House.

Review of FOIA Denial (HB 3469 -- Rutherford)
Under this Freedom of Information Act legislation initiated by Illinois Attorney General Jim Ryan, 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. Amends the Freedom of Information Act. In addition, the bill requires the Attorney General post his or her opinions on the World Wide Web and make them available for inspection at his or her office. HB 3469 has been held in the Senate.

Free Tuition for "B" Students (HB 3831 -- Lang)
This bill creates the State University Scholarship Act, which would allow provide scholarships for entering freshman, sophomores, juniors, and seniors at public community colleges and universities who maintain a "B" average. The scholarship -- which is subject to the amounts appropriated by the General Assembly -- would include tuition and mandatory fees. HB 3831 has been held in the Senate.

Metropolitan Community College District (HB 3958 -- Younge)
This bill provides 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. HB 3958 has been held in the House.

Illinois Career Scholarships (HB 4265 -- Wirsing)
HB 4265 creates the Illinois Career Scholarship program to provide high school students not seeking baccalaureate degrees with $1,000 grants to pursue training in occupational programs certified by ICCB, IBHE, the Illinois Workforce Investment Board, or the Illinois State Board of Education. HB 4265 has been held in the Senate.

#911 Number/Location Identification (SB 1400 -- Klemm)
SB 1400 would move the deadline (to June 30, 2001) for when telephone switchboard services must be connected to the public witched network in a manner that calls to "911" result in automatic number and location identification. Current law mandates June 30, 2000 as the deadline. SB 1400 has been held in the House.

Lawmakers will return to Springfield on November 9 to begin the fall veto session. 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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