ICCTA Action Alert
June 2, 2003


Spring Session Wrap-Up

The Illinois General Assembly adjourned the spring 2003 legislative session very late on the night of Saturday, May 31. The Senate adjourned just before midnight, while the House adjourned about an hour later. Both houses have scheduled their next return to Springfield for the fall veto session, which is scheduled to be held on Nov. 4-6 and 18-20.

Lawmakers approved Gov. Rod Blagojevichís revenue and spending plan for fiscal year 2004, mostly along party line voting. The Governor was also granted significant new powers to access most state funds and transfer those funds to the stateís cash-starved General Revenue Fund. Additional spending above the Governorís budget was approved for capital projects, school districts and some state agencies. Many believe that the budget that was approved is about $200 million more than revenues can support in FY 04 and some trimming of the approved budget will be required.

During the final few days and hours of the spring session, initiatives including the reconfiguration of state board appointments where board members are salaried; budget implementation; a watered-down ethics reform package; and a capital appropriations program were approved. Proposals to change the way the State Universities Retirement System (SURS) board is configured and to transfer SURS pension funds for state budget use did not materialize.



BILLS OF INTEREST TO COMMUNITY COLLEGES

BILLS SIGNED INTO LAW BY THE GOVERNOR
House Bill 60 -- In-State Tuition for Undocumented Immigrants
ICCTA Position: MONITOR

Requires in-state tuition rates to be charged to undocumented immigrant students who meet the following criteria: (1) resided with his or her parent or guardian while attending a high school in the state; (2) graduated from a high school or received a GED in the state; (3) attended school in the state for at least 3 years as of the date the individual graduated from high school or received a GED; (4) registers as an entering student not earlier than the 2003 fall semester; and (5) provides an affidavit stating that he or she will file an application to become a permanent resident of the United States at the earliest opportunity the individual is eligible to do so. Provides that any revenue lost by a university in implementing the amendatory provisions shall be absorbed by the university's income fund. Signed into law as Public Act 93-0007.

House Bill 2660 -- Pension Bonding
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. Signed into law as Public Act 93-0002.

Senate Bill 19 -- Chicago School Reform
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. Signed into law as Public Act 93-0003.


BILLS PASSED BY BOTH HOUSES AND SENT TO THE GOVERNOR
House Bill 221 -- Surplus State Property
ICCTA Position: OPPOSE

This 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.

House Bill 761 -- Sale of Higher Education Directory Information
ICCTA Position: MONITOR

Prohibits a community college, school district, or university from providing a student's name, address, telephone number, social security number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information to a business organization or financial institution that issues credit or debit cards, unless the student is 21 years of age or older. Effective July 1, 2003.

House Bill 1118 -- Limits on University Tuition Increases
ICCTA Position: MONITOR

For students first enrolling after the 2003-2004 academic year, provides that for 4 continuous academic years following initial enrollment (or for undergraduate programs that require more than 4 years to complete, for the normal time to complete the program), the tuition charged an undergraduate student who is an Illinois resident shall not exceed the amount that the student was charged at the time he or she first enrolled in the university. Community colleges are not included in this legislation.

House Bill 1119 -- Increase in IIA Grants
ICCTA Position: SUPPORT

Changes the name of the Illinois Incentive for Access Grant Program to the Silas Purnell Illinois Incentive for Access Grant Program. In addition, the bill increases the maximum annual amount of the grant in FY05 to $1,000 (from $500) for applicants with an expected family contribution of $0.

House Bill 1387 -- City Colleges of Chicago Treasurerís Bond
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 and school districts in Illinois.

House Bill 1457 -- Redefinition of Educational Employee
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.

House Bill 1491 -- Driver Training Programs
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.

House Bill 1543 -- Higher Education Line Item Appropriations
ICCTA Position: MONITOR

Requires universities to identify state appropriations for universities by line items and not by lump sum. Community colleges are not included in this legislation.

House Bill 2805 -- University Faculty Member on IBHE
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.

House Bill 3412 -- Governmental Ethics Act
ICCTA Position: MONITOR

Creates the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act. Prohibits state officers and employees of the executive and legislative branch of state government and the Auditor General and his or her employees from engaging in political activities during state time. Requires the implementation and maintenance of personnel policies for those officers and employees. Requires annual ethics training for those officers and employees. Prohibits certain practices by those officers, candidates for those offices, and those employees with respect to campaign contributions, fund raising, public service announcements, and post-state service employment. Creates protections for whistle-blowers. Preempts home rule and requires units of local government and school districts to adopt similar provisions. States that a registered lobbyist may not serve on a board, commission, authority, or task force authorized or created by state law or by executive order of the Governor.

Senate Bill 1586 -- Verbatim Minutes of Closed Session
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 court of closed meeting minutes and recordings.

Senate Bill 1980 -- Lincoln Land Community College Election By Subdistricts
ICCTA Position: MONITOR

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).


BILLS THAT FAILED TO PASS BOTH HOUSES
House Bill 19 -- Higher Education Scholarship Act
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.

House Bill 254 -- Income Tax Credit for Tuition
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.

House Bill 278 -- Speech Language Pathologist Licenses
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.

House Bill 1495 -- Local Govt Tort Immunity - Snow Removal
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.

House Bill 2252 -- Community College Purchasing Consortium
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.

House Bill 2279 -- Community College Dormitories
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.

House Bill 2593 -- New Community College for East St. Louis
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.

Senate Bill 205 -- Illinois Opportunity Scholarships
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.

Senate Bill 334 -- Mobile Home Tax
ICCTA Position: SUPPORT

Provides that mobile homes placed on permanent foundations shall be taxed as real property.

Senate Bill 815 / House Bill 2806 -- Mandated Ratio of Part-time / Full Time Faculty
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.

Senate Bill 1021 -- Community College Book Stores
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." Does not permit the sale of general merchandise that was not on the bookstore shelves prior to 1980. Permits the operation of the bookstore without restrictions if it is leased out to a private vendor.


Call ICCTA at 1-800-454-2282 for the latest legislative updates



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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