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Federal

Federal Initiatives

Federal Funding and the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act (CARA)

Congress is now charged with appropriating federal funding authorized under the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act signed into law by President Obama on September 30, 2011. CARA secured the federal response to the national and public health emergency posed by autism spectrum disorders for another three years. Sponsored by Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Mike Doyle (D-PA) in the House of Representatives, and Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Mike Enzi (R-WY) in the Senate, the law authorizes $693 million in federal resources for continued autism research, treatment and services.

Federal Health Care Reform

The implementation of the 2010 Affordable Care Act could have profound implications on autism insurance benenfits in bevery state. Autism Speaks is closely monitoring the implementation of the law by the states and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act 

ASI is supporting the ABLE Act which would allow the creation of tax-free 529 accounts for individuals with disabilities, including autism, to save for their future needs without losing access to other resources.

Military Families and Autism Advocacy

ASI is supporting action by Congress to strengthen and expand autism coverage under the military’s TRICARE insurance program. Learn more about this issue and other initiatives affecting military families raising children with autism.

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SUPPORT HB 1446
CHIEF HOUSE SPONSORS : REP. KATHLEEN WILLIS, REP. DEBORAH CONROY, REP. LA SHAWN
K. FORD AND REP. MONIQUE D. DAVIS
CHIEF SENATE SPONSORS: SEN. BILL CUNNINGHAM AND SEN. WILLIAM DELGADO
Ensuring consistent implementation of special education IEPs across school districts
HB 1446 amends the Illinois School Code to:
Conform with 23 IL. Admin. Code 226.220 to require a specific timeline for
implementation of special education services.
Adds clarity to the specific timeline for providing special education services.
Requires the school district to provide special education and related services in
accordance with a student’s IEP within 10 school attendance days after notice
is provided to the parent.
Provide consistency for school districts regarding timelines for
implementation of special education services.
Currently, the Illinois Administrative Code requires school districts to implement
special education services within 10 days after notice is provided to a parent.
However, the Illinois School Code states that these services shall be provided
“as soon as possible” … “but not after the next school semester…”
This inconsistency between the Illinois Administrative Code and the Illinois
School Code creates differences among districts in special education services
implementation.
For schools that do not follow the semester system, this provision does not
provide them with a specific timeline of when services must be implemented.
Making the School Code more specific to be consistent with what the Illinois
State Board of Education has adopted will ensure that all school districts
implement IEPs within 10 school attendance days.
HB 1446 will create clarity and consistency across school districts about when special
education services must be implemented.

 

BILLS PENDING IN THE ILLINOIS GENERAL ASSEMBLY

House Bill 18–Flowers. Appropriates $1,000,000 from the General Revenue Fund to the State Board of Education for autism programs. Effective July 1, 2013.  Appropriations for Elem. And Sec. Ed. Committee.

House Bill 64–Ford. Creates the Privacy in the School Setting Act. Replaces references to “school” with “post-secondary school” and makes corresponding changes in the bill. Sets forth a definition of “elementary or secondary school”. Removes references to prospective students. Provides that the provision concerning prohibited inquiries does not apply when a post-secondary school has reasonable cause to believe that a student’s account on a social networking website contains evidence that the student has violated a school disciplinary rule or policy. Provides that an elementary or secondary school  will include notification to the student and his or her parent or guardian that the elementary or secondary school may request or require a student to provide a password or other related account information in order to gain access to the student’s account or profile on a social networking website if the elementary or secondary school has reasonable cause to believe that the student’s account on a social networking website contains evidence that the student has violated a school disciplinary rule or policy. Provides that these expectations and the notification must be published in the elementary or secondary school’s disciplinary rules, policies, or handbook or communicated by similar means. Removes language that requires an elementary or secondary school to establish expectations for students regarding the use of social networking websites, which shall include notification. Requires that the school just provide notification instead. Passed House.  Now in Senate Third Reading.

House Bill 129–Welch.  Permits (instead of requires) a school board to designate the first Monday in October of each year “Bring Your Parents to School Day”. Provides that on this day, a school board may (instead of shall) permit the parents or guardians of students to attend class with their children and meet with teachers and administrators during the school day.   Passed House.  Postponed in Senate Education..

House Bill 946–Yingling. Amends the School Code. Creates the Young Adults Heroin Use Task Force to address the growing problem of heroin use in high schools across this State. Sets forth the membership of the Task Force. Requires the Task Force to conduct a study on the heroin use problem in high schools and suggest programs for high schools to use to address the problem, which programs may involve local law enforcement agencies. Requires the Task Force to report its findings and recommendations to the General Assembly and Governor on or before June 30, 2014. Abolishes the Task Force and repeals these provisions on July 1, 2014. Effective immediately. House Committee Amendment No. 1
Removes language that provides that the Task Force shall meet initially at the call of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, shall select one member as chairperson at its initial meeting, and shall thereafter meet at the call of the chairperson.  House Committee Amendment No. 2
Removes language that provides that the Task Force shall meet initially at the call of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, shall select one member as chairperson at its initial meeting, and shall   thereafter meet at the call of the chairperson. House Floor Amendment No. 3 Replaces everything after the enacting clause. Reinserts the contents of the bill as amended by House Amendment No. 2. Effective immediately.House Floor Amendment No. 4
Replaces everything after the enacting clause. Reinserts the contents of the bill as amended by House Amendment No. 2, but changes the membership on the task force. Effective immediately.  Passed House. Postponed in Senate Education.

House Bill 1002–Chapa LaVia.  Amends the Educator Licensure Article of the School Code. Adds as a member of the State Educator Preparation and Licensure Board one school service personnel certificate holder or holder of a Professional Educator License with a school service personnel endorsement who is employed in the public schools and who has been nominated by a statewide professional school service personnel organization, to be appointed by the State Board of Education; makes a related change.  Passed House.  Postponed in Senate Education.

House Bill 1165–Madigan.  Amends the Illinois Pension Code. For the General Assembly, State Employees, State Universities, and Downstate Teacher retirement systems, provides that, for a Tier I retiree, (i) the amount of each automatic annual increase in retirement annuity occurring on or after the effective date of this amendatory Act shall be the lesser of $750 ($600 if the annuity is based primarily upon service as a covered employee) or 3% of the total annuity payable at the time of the increase, including previous increases granted, and (ii) the monthly retirement annuity shall first be subject to annual increases on the January 1 occurring on or next after the attainment of age 67 or the January 1 occurring on or next after the fifth anniversary of the annuity start date, whichever occurs earlier. Defines terms.  Passed House.  Now in Senate Executive Committee.

House Bill 1288–Gabel. Provides that the State Board of Education shall adopt State complaint procedures (instead of State complaint procedures that allow a parent, individual, organization, or advocate to file a signed, written complaint with the State Board of Education alleging that a school district, cooperative service unit, or this State has violated the rights of one or more children with disabilities). Makes changes concerning the response to a complaint. Removes the amendatory language that provides that State complaint procedures may be used to allege non-compliance by a school district or other public entity with a decision of a due process hearing officer. Changes a reference from a school district or other public entity agreeing to participate in mediation to a school district or other public entity voluntarily agreeing to participate in mediation. Restores current law to provide that if applying for initial admission to a school district, the student shall, with the consent of the parents (if the student is not at least 18 years of age or emancipated), be placed in the school district program until all such proceedings have been completed.  Second Reading Senate.

House Bill 1324–Flowers.  Amends the Chicago School District Article of the School Code. Requires the Chicago Board of Education to establish a school nurse pilot program. Provides that under the program, the Board shall require the top 20% of the lowest performing schools in the school district, as determined by the Board, to employ a school nurse in conformance with certain provisions of the Code concerning school nurses. Requires the Board to implement this program beginning with the 2013-2014 school year. Effective immediately.  Passed House. Now in Senate.

House Bill 1373–Chapa LaVia. Amends the Children with Disabilities Article of the School Code. Provides that a medical review done as part of a special education evaluation may be performed by (1) a certified or licensed school nurse, (2) a physician licensed to practice medicine in all of its branches, or (3) a nurse who holds a bachelor’s degree or higher and is licensed as a registered professional nurse or advanced practice nurse under the Nurse Practice Act, provided that only a certified or licensed school nurse may make recommendations regarding educational interventions, accommodations, or modifications based on the findings of a child’s medical review. Effective immediately.  Re-referred to House Rules.

House Bill  1446–Zalewski– Amends the Children with Disabilities Article of the School Code. Replaces provisions that specify when special education services shall be provided or the child must be placed in the appropriate program with provisions that require that special education and related services shall be provided in accordance with the student’s IEP no later than 10  school attendance days after notice is provided to the parents pursuant to specified provisions of the Code of Federal Regulations and implementing rules adopted by the State Board of Education. Effective immediately.   Passed House.  Now in Senate Education.

House Bill 2245–Chapa LaVia.  Amends the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act.  Provides that within one year of initial employment and at least every 5 years thereafter, school personnel required to report child abuse must complete mandated reporter training by a provider or agency with expertise in recognizing and reporting child abuse (rather than upon employment and at least once every 5 years thereafter, school personnel, including substitute teachers, who work directly with students must complete mandated reporter training provided by an individual or agency with expertise in recognizing and reporting child abuse). Effective July 1, 2014.  Passed House.  Third Reading Senate.

House Bill 2267–Gordon-Booth.  Amends the School Code. Provides that any school district with an enrollment of less than 750 students shall be dissolved and its territory annexed by the regional board of school trustees upon the filing of a petition. Provides that if, pursuant to petition, all of the territory of a district is to be annexed to another district, then the annexing district and the annexed district need not be contiguous if certain requirements are met and documented. Provides that 2 or more school districts not contiguous to each other, each of which has an enrollment in grades 9 through 12 of less than 600 students, may jointly operate one or more cooperative high schools if certain requirements are met and documented. Provides that (i) any 2 or more entire elementary districts that are not contiguous, (ii) any 2 or more entire high school districts that are not contiguous, or (iii) any 2 or more entire unit districts that are not contiguous may be organized into a combined school district if certain requirements are met and documented. Provides that if (1) a petition is filed for the reorganization of 2 or more school districts that requires a new school building to effectively educate students, (2) the change is granted and approved at an election, and (3) no appeal is taken, then, with the approval of the regional superintendent of schools, the change may become effective after one or more of the school districts have been awarded school construction grants; provides for the voiding of a petition. Makes other changes. Passed House.  Third Reading Senate.

House Bill 2322–Chapa LaVia.  Amends the Children with Disabilities Article of the School Code and the Children’s Mental Health Act of 2003. Provides that school social work services may be provided by qualified specialists who hold a Professional Educator License with a school support personnel endorsement in the area of school social worker. Provides that school social work services may include implementing social and emotional education programs and services, establishing and implementing bullying prevention and intervention programs, and evaluating program effectiveness. Provides that school social workers may implement a continuum of social and emotional education programs and services in accordance with students’ needs. Effective immediately.  Passed House. Now in Senate Education.

House Bill 2420–Chapa LaVia.  Amends the School Code. In the Teacher Certification Article, provides that a person who holds an active license issued by the State as a marriage and family therapist shall be deemed to have satisfied the continuing professional development requirements to renew a school service personnel certificate. In the Educator Licensure Article, includes marriage and family therapist as a school support personnel endorsement area that may be affixed to a Professional Educator License. Effective immediately.  Passed House. Postponed in Senate Education.

House Bill 2428–Conroy.  Amends the School Code. Provides that the State Board of Education shall establish the Task Force on Civic Education. Sets forth provisions concerning the members of the Task Force. Provides that the Task Force shall (1) analyze the current state of civic education in this State; (2) analyze current civic education laws in other jurisdictions, both mandated and permissive; (3) identify best practices in civic education in other jurisdictions; (4) make recommendations to the General Assembly focused on substantially increasing civic literacy and the capacity of youth to obtain the requisite knowledge, skills, and practices to be civically informed members of the public; and (5) make funding recommendations if the Task Force’s recommendations to the General Assembly would require a fiscal commitment. Provides that no later than May 31, 2014, the Task Force shall summarize its findings and recommendations in a report to the General Assembly. Repeals these provisions on May 31, 2015. Effective immediately. Adds one member appointed by the head of an association representing principals or district superintendents to the task force.   Passed House.  Now in Senate Education.

House Bill 2435–McAsey.  Appropriates $500,000 from the General Revenue Fund to the State Board of Education to provide a grant to the Illinois Association for Gifted Children for the provision of professional development, guidance, materials, resources, and technical assistance for Illinois teachers and administrators in the identification of gifted students and instructional programming for gifted students in grades K through 12 using evidence-based practices supported by current research on the education of gifted children. Effective July 1, 2013. Assigned to Appropriations–House Elem. and Sec. Ed.

House Bill 2583–Burke.  Amends the Chicago Teacher Article of the Illinois Pension Code. In the definition of “member”, specifies that an employer may not reclassify a non-hourly employee as an hourly employee for the purpose of evading or avoiding its obligations. Provides that any certified teacher or staff employed by a corporate or non-profit entity engaged in the administration of a charter school shall presumptively be a participant in the Fund, unless the organization establishes to the satisfaction of the Board that an individual certified teacher or staff member is not working as a teacher or administrator directly or indirectly with the Charter School. Changes and imposes penalties for failure to submit payroll records and pension contributions on time. Provides that an employer in possession of member contributions deducted from payroll checks is holding Fund assets, and thus becomes a fiduciary over those assets. Requires each Charter School to appoint a Pension Officer. Amends the State Mandates Act to require implementation without reimbursement. Effective immediately.  Passed House.  Now in Senate Second Reading.

House Bill 2675–Lilly.  Provides that all public school classes (instead of all classes) that teach sex education and discuss sexual intercourse in grades 6 through 12 shall emphasize that abstinence from sexual intercourse is a responsible and positive decision and is the only protection that is 100% effective against unwanted teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) when transmitted sexually.  Passed House.  Now in Senate Executive Committee.

House Bill 2762–Scherer.  Amends the School Code. With regard to the requirement that whoever has custody or control of any child between the ages of 7 and 17 years (unless the child has already graduated from high school) shall cause the child to attend some public school in the district wherein the child resides the entire time it is in session during the regular school term, sets forth the exception that if the child turns 7 during the regular school term, that child shall be made to attend that entire school term. Passed House. Now in Senate.

House Bill 2768–Welch.  Amends the School Code. In a Section concerning a principal’s duties (in a school district other than the Chicago school district), provides that it shall be the responsibility of the principal to utilize resources of proper law enforcement agencies when the safety and welfare of students and teachers are threatened by illegal use or possession of weapons or by illegal gang activity. Specifically includes illegal gang activity as a criminal offense for which courts and law enforcement agencies must report to the principal of a public school whenever a child enrolled therein is detained.  Passed House. Second Reading Senate.

House Bill 2779–Moffitt. Amends the School Code. Provides that certain provisions requiring applicants, as a condition of employment with a school district, to authorize a fingerprint-based criminal history records check do not apply to a certified or licensed teacher who has retired from employment with a school district and is again applying for employment with a school district as a teacher if that person (i) submitted to a fingerprint-based criminal history records check as a condition of employment with a school district within the last 10 years, as of the date of application, and (ii) signs an affidavit stating that he or she has not been convicted of any crime since that check was performed, which affidavit shall be in a form as determined by the State Board of Education and filed with the school district. Makes technical corrections.  Passed House. Second Reading Senate.

House Bill 2900–Nekritz. Amends the Downstate Teacher Article of the Illinois Pension Code. Provides that, beginning July 1, 2013, a member shall be ineligible to elect to participate in the early retirement without discount program, unless, prior to July 1, 2013, he or she has notified his or her employer of his or her intent to retire under that program before that date. Provides that the early retirement without discount option is otherwise terminated as of July 1, 2013. Effective immediately.  Re-referred to House Rules.

House Bill 2975–Lilly.  Amends the Children with Disabilities Article of the School Code. In a Section concerning school psychological services, provides that nothing in the Section prohibits school social workers from providing those school psychological services listed for which they are appropriately trained. In a Section concerning school social work services, provides that school social worker services may include providing those school psychological services listed under the Section concerning school psychological services if the person is appropriately trained. Adds references to Professional Educator Licenses in these Sections.    Re-referred to House Rules.

House Bill 3063–Roth.  Amends the Evaluation of Employees Article of the School Code. With respect to a provision that provides that a principal shall not be prohibited from evaluating any teachers within a school during his or her first year as principal of such school, adds language to provide that if a first-year principal exercises this option in a school district where the evaluation plan provides for a teacher in contractual continued service to be evaluated once in the course of every 2 school years, then a new 2-year evaluation plan must be established. Effective immediately.  Passed House.  Now in Senate Education.

House Bill 3070–Farnham.  Amends the School Code. Provides that school guidance counselors, teachers, school social workers, and other school personnel who work with pupils in grades 7 through 12 shall be trained to identify the warning signs of mental illness and suicidal behavior (instead of just suicidal behavior).  Passed House.  Now in Senate Second Reading.

House Bill 3112–McAsey. Amends the Educator Licensure Article of the School Code with respect to the provisions concerning National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Provides that any licensee holding a current National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) Master Teacher designation during any particular fiscal year shall complete a minimum of 5 hours of professional development, which may include providing professional development that aligns to NBPTS standards, for each year of the renewal cycle. Provides that a total of 50 hours of professional development per 5-year renewal cycle must be completed in order to renew a license. Effective July 1, 2013.  Passed House.  Postponed in Senate Education.

House Bill 3133–Franks. Amends the School Safety Drill Act. With respect to the report produced after the annual review required to be conducted by a public school district, requires the report to report any renovation or addition to a school building or a change in the floor plan, any emergency and crisis response plan, or any evacuation plan of a school building and acknowledge that there has been submission of a change in floor plans, an emergency and crisis response plan, or an evacuation plan to the local fire department, the local law enforcement agency, or other emergency responders. Provides that, within 30 days after completion of any renovation or addition to a school building or a change in the floor plan, an emergency and crisis response plan, or an evacuation plan of a school building that modifies a previously approved emergency crisis response plan at least 60 days prior to the annual review meeting required to be conducted by a public school district, the school board or its designee shall contact the local fire department, the local law enforcement agency, and other emergency responders to set up a meeting to review any changes in procedures and protocols affected by building modifications as a result of renovations, additions, or changes in floor plans, an emergency and crisis response plan, or an evacuation plan. Effective immediately.  Passed House. Postponed in Senate Education.

House Bill 3190–Osmond. Amends the School Code and the Communicable Disease Prevention Act. Provides that, beginning July 1, 2014, upon entering the 7th and 12th grade of any public, private, or parochial school, a student shall present to the school proof of having received an immunization containing meningococcal conjugate vaccine. Requires the Department of Public Health to adopt a rule requiring students, upon entering the 7th and 12th grade of any public, private, or parochial school, to receive an immunization containing meningococcal conjugate vaccine beginning July 1, 2014. House Committee Amendment No. 1  Requires a student to receive and present proof of having received the immunization upon entering the 6th (instead of 7th) grade. House Committee Amendment No. 2
Provides that proof of having received an immunization containing meningococcal conjugate vaccine shall consist of documentation of one dose of the MCV4 vaccine for 6th grade entrance and documentation of 2 doses for 12th grade entrance, unless the first dose was administered to a child who was 16 years of age or older, in which case documentation of only one dose is required at 12th grade entrance. Makes a related change in the provisions amending the Communicable Disease Prevention Act.  Passed House.  Now in Senate Education.

House Bill 3379–Tabares.  Amends the School Code and the Critical Health Problems and Comprehensive Health Education Act. Requires a school board to adopt a policy that (1) states that teen dating violence is unacceptable and is prohibited and that each student has the right to a safe learning environment; (2) incorporates age-appropriate education about teen dating violence into new or existing training programs for students in grades 7 through 12 and school employees; (3) establishes procedures for the manner in which employees of a school are to respond to incidents of teen dating violence that take place at the school, on school grounds, at school-sponsored activities, or in vehicles used for school-provided transportation; (4) identifies by job title the school officials who are responsible for receiving reports related to teen dating violence; and (5) notifies students and parents of the teen dating violence policy adopted by the board. Provides that the Comprehensive Health Education Program may include instruction on teen dating violence in grades 7 (instead of 8) through 12. Effective July 1, 2013. House Committee Amendment #1 removes the provisions amending the School Code to require a policy on teen dating violence. Places the language requiring a policy on teen dating violence in the Critical Health Problems and Comprehensive Health Education Act instead. Effective July 1, 2013.  Passed House.  Now in Senate Education.

Senate Bill 1–Cullerton.  Amends the General Provisions, General Assembly, State Employee, State Universities, and Downstate Teacher Articles of the Illinois Pension Code. Increases the retirement age for certain Tier I members and participants. Changes the conditions of eligibility for, and the amount of, automatic annual increases for Tier I retirees. Increases required employee contributions for Tier I members and participants. Limits pensionable salary for Tier I participants and, in future terms, for Tier II members of the General Assembly Retirement System. Changes the required State contribution to each of the affected retirement systems so that those systems are 100% funded by 2044, and changes the actuarial cost method from projected unit credit to entry age normal. Adds State funding guarantees. Provides that the System shall not use any contribution received by the System under the applicable Article to provide a subsidy for the cost of participation in a retiree health care program. Makes other changes. Amends the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF), Cook County, State Employees, State Universities, Downstate Teachers, and Chicago Teachers Articles of the Illinois Pension Code. For participants who first become participants on or after the effective date of the amendatory Act, prohibits (i) payments for unused sick or vacation time from being used to calculate pensionable earnings and salary and (ii) unused sick or vacation time from being used to establish service credit. Imposes limitations on participation by certain persons. Amends the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act and the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act to provide that amendments to Articles 14, 15, and 16 of the Illinois Pension Code (and to Article 1 as it applies to those Articles) are not subject to collective bargaining and take precedence. Amends the State Finance Act; to the list of standardized items of appropriation, adds “State retirement contribution for annual normal cost” and “State retirement contribution for unfunded accrued liability” and defines those terms. Amends the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget Act. Adds those terms to a list of classifications to be used in statements and estimates of expenditures submitted to the Office in connection with the preparation of a State budget. Amends the State Mandates Act to require implementation without reimbursement. Makes other changes. Includes an inseverability provision. In each of the funding guarantees, provides that the State pledges not to impair the rights and remedies of the boards of trustees as set forth in the funding guarantees (rather than any rights and remedies of the boards of trustees); also makes changes in the State funding pledge. Provides that the changes, the impact of changes, and the implementation of changes made to the State Employees, State Universities, or Downstate Teacher Article of the Illinois Pension Code, or to the General Provisions Article of that Code as it applies to those Articles, made by the amendatory Act, and those Articles thereafter, are not subject to interest arbitration or any award issued pursuant to interest arbitration. In the Budget Stabilization Act, deletes the reference to terminating transfers into the Pension Stabilization Fund if any provision of the amendatory Act is held invalid, which duplicates the effect of the inseverability provision. Makes changes in the Findings Section. Makes changes to the inseverability provision. Also makes technical and other changes. Effective immediately.  Passed House 62-51.

 

Senate Bill 1224–Murphy. Amends the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF), Cook County, State Employees, State Universities, Downstate Teachers, and Chicago Teachers Articles of the Illinois Pension Code. For participants who first become participants on or after the effective date of the amendatory Act, prohibits (i) payments for unused sick or vacation time from being used to calculate pensionable earnings and salary and (ii) unused sick or vacation time from being used to establish service credit. Effective immediately. Passed Senate.  Now in the House Personnel and Pensions Committee.

Senate Bill 1307–Lightford.  Amends the School Code. Lowers the compulsory school age from 7 years to 5 years; makes a related change. Requires all school districts to establish kindergarten for the instruction of children who are 5 years of age or older. Effective July 1, 2013.  Third Reading Senate.

Senate Bill 1550–Radogno.  Amends the Children with Disabilities Article of the School Code with respect to transition services. Provides that the first individualized education plan for when a student turns age 14 1/2 must include measurable post-secondary goals based upon age-appropriate transition assessments and other information available regarding the student that are related to independent living skills (instead of independent living skills where appropriate). Effective immediately.  Passed House. Second Reading Senate.

Senate Bill 1571–Delgado. Amends the Chicago School District Article of the School Code. Makes a technical change in a Section concerning the application of the Article and definitions.  Second Reading Senate.

Senate Bill 1845–Mulroe.  Amends the Children with Disabilities Article of the School Code with respect to school social work services. Provides that school social work services may include establishing and delivering anti-bullying programs. Effective immediately.  Passed Senate.  House Elementary and Secondary Education Committtee.

Senate Bill 1931–Bivins. Amends the School Code. Creates the School Security and Standards Task Force within the State Board of Education to study the security of schools in this State, make recommendations, and draft minimum standards for use by schools to make them more secure and to provide a safer learning environment for the children of this State. Sets forth provisions concerning the membership of the Task Force, meetings of the Task Force, State Board support for the Task Force, and the duties of the Task Force. Provides that, on or before January 1, 2014, the Task Force shall submit a report to the General Assembly and the Governor on specific recommendations for changes to the current law or other legislative measures. Provides that, on or before January 1, 2014, the Task Force shall submit a report to the State Board on specific recommendations for model security plan policies for schools to access and use as a guideline, which report is exempt from inspection and copying under the Freedom of Information Act. Provides that the Task Force is abolished and these provisions are repealed on January 2, 2014. Effective immediately.  Passed Senate. Now in House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee.

HJR0001–Chapa LaVia.  Creates the Truancy in Chicago Public Schools Task Force.  Passed House.  Placed on Calendar Order of Secretary’s Desk Resolutions.

HJRCA0011–Sosnowski.  Proposes to amend the General Provisions Article of the Illinois Constitution. Repeals a provision that specifies that membership in any pension or retirement system of the State, any unit of local government or school district, or any agency or instrumentality thereof shall be an enforceable contractual relationship, the benefits of which shall not be diminished or impaired. Effective upon being declared adopted.  Referred to House Rules.

 

 

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Illinois Legislature Approves Bill Shielding Families From Any Changes Resulting From DSM-5

SPRINGFIELD (May 25, 2012)– The Illinois Senate and House of Representatives gave final approval to a bill amending the state’s 2008 autism insurance reform law by assuring that any individual already diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder would not lose benefits as a result of any changes adopted in the upcoming 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

Sponsored by Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago), the bill was in response to concerns that a large percentage of individuals, particularly those who are higher functioning or have Asperger syndrome, would be excluded from an autism diagnosis and thus lose benefits when the DSM-5 is published next year.

The bill, S-679, specifies that any individual with an autism diagnosis would  remain eligible for coverage under the 2008 autism insurance law “even if subsequent changes to the diagnostic criteria are adopted by the American Psychiatric Association.” The bill goes to Governor Pat Quinn.

Older Public Acts for Autism.

Public Act 95-257

Autism IEP parameters

 provides that, in the development of the individualized education program for a student who has a disability on the autism spectrum, the IEP team shall consider certain factors: 

(1) The verbal and nonverbal communication needs of the child; 
(2) The need to develop social interaction skills and proficiencies; 
(3) The needs resulting from the child’s unusual responses to sensory experiences; 
(4) The needs resulting from resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines; 
(5) The needs resulting from engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements; 
(6) The need for any positive behavioral interventions, strategies, and supports to address any behavioral difficulties resulting from autism spectrum disorder; 
(7) Other needs resulting from the child’s disability that impact progress in the general curriculum, including social and emotional development.  

The law also clarifies that it does not create any new entitlement to a service, program, or benefit, but must not affect any entitlement to a service, program, or benefit created by any other law.
Effective January 1, 2008.  The bill was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Susan Garrett and led in the House by Rep. Patti Bellock.  Passed both houses unanimously. 
SB 79 

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/billstatus.asp?DocNum=79&GAID=9&GA=95&DocTypeID=SB&LegID=27517


Public Act 95-251

 Autism qualifies for disability database (“waitlist”) without regard to IQ

 provides that a person diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder may be assessed for eligibility for services under Home and Community-Based Services Waivers for persons with developmental disabilities without regard to whether that person is also diagnosed with mental retardation, so long as the person otherwise meets applicable level-of-care criteria under those waivers.  It is our hope that this will allow for greater access to not only the waitlist but also to expanding home and community services.  The bill was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Susan Garrett and led in the House by Rep. Aaron Schock. Passed both houses unanimously. SB 51

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/billstatus.asp?DocNum=51&GAID=9&GA=95&DocTypeID=SB&LegID=27261


 

Public Act 95-226

 Autism license plate

 provides for the issuance of Autism Awareness license plates.  (For more details on how to order these plates, visit www.autismillinois.org in the next few weeks; we will post information as it becomes available from the Secretary of State’s office).  In addition to the appropriate registration fees, an applicant for the special plate shall be charged an original issuance fee of $40 and a fee of $27 for each renewal. Provides that $25 of the additional original issuance fee and $25 of the renewal fee shall be deposited into the Autism Awareness Fund. Provides that $15 of the original issuance fee and $2 of the renewal fee shall be deposited into the Secretary of State Special License Plate Fund. Provides that, subject to appropriation by the General Assembly and approval by the Secretary of State, all moneys in the Autism Awareness Fund shall be paid to the Illinois Department of Human Services for the purpose of grants for research, education, and awareness regarding autism and autism spectrum disorders.  The bill was introduced in the House by Rep. Patti Bellock and led in the Senate by Sen. William Delgado. Passed the House 115-1; passed the Senate 56-3. HB 2808

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/billstatus.asp?DocNum=2808&GAID=9&GA=95&DocTypeID=HB&LegID=31607   


Public Act 95-171

requires that probationary police officers receive training in autism.  The bill was introduced by Rep. Patti Bellock and led in the Senate by Sen. John Millner.  Passed both houses unanimously.

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/billstatus.asp?DocNum=3454&GAID=9&GA=95&DocTypeID=HB&LegID=32327  


Public Act 95-106

requires that the Department of Human Services study and report on potential funding streams for services to adults with autism who do not also have mental retardation.  The bill was introduced by Rep. Rosemary Mulligan and led in the Senate by Sen. Carole Pankau.  Passed both houses unanimously.

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocTypeID=HB&DocNum=1535&GAID=9&SessionID=51&LegID=30341  

 

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