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Observations and comments about state government by State Representative Robert W. Pritchard.
District Office 815-748-3494 or E-Mail to bob@pritchardstaterep.com

May 21, 2018
In This Issue:
Ø  Governor Announces Opportunity Zones
Ø  Illinois Tourism’s Steady Growth
Ø  Government Severance Payments to be Limited 
Ø  Legislation Seeks to Make Higher Education More Affordable
Ø  More Graduates Achieve Their Goal
Ø  Basic Skills Test Adds to Teacher Shortage
Ø  Encouraging Youth Involvement in Government

Governor Announces Opportunity Zones
Our local area has been approved for 2 of the 327 Governor-selected, Illinois Opportunity Zones under the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.  All total, 1,305 qualifying low-income census tracts were available for selection in Illinois, of which only 25 percent could be nominated by the Governor for inclusion in the program to support economic growth and investment.
According to the federal legislation, Opportunity Zones present an opportunity for private, tax-free investment in low-income areas with economic need.  The Zones selected in our area include southeast Ogle County and the communities of Hillcrest, Rochelle and Creston.  The other area selected focuses on Northern Illinois University and extends west to Nelson Road and north to Rich Road.
Selection for the zones included such factors as the rates of poverty, crime and unemployment.  The Governor’s selections included 85 counties and limited the number of zones per county.  There is obviously a lot of poverty in large cities, but I hope this program will also help our rural areas and small towns increase economic activity, investment and job growth. 

Illinois Tourism’s Steady Growth
You can find people wanting to leave Illinois but there is a growing number who find value from spending time here.  Our state has a lot to offer, and tourists have noticed.  Just last year The Illinois Office of Tourism reported that nearly 114 million people visited the State on vacation.  This is a significant increase of over one million people from the number of tourists reported for the previous year. 
The domestic leisure market makes up 83 percent of the visitors, compared to the 17 percent that traveled to Illinois for business.  The increase in tourism has also given the State’s economy a boost.  Domestic and international travelers spent $39.5 billion in Illinois in 2017.  In DeKalb County alone nearly $100 million is spent by tourists.
In addition to added revenue, tourism has supported 335,500 jobs, a notable increase from years prior.  These numbers make the success of the tourism industry a vital part of the State’s economy.
New marketing initiatives have helped show what Illinois has to offer and encourage Northern Illinois residents to travel in-state instead of heading to Wisconsin or Michigan for vacation.  Illinois has great parks, lakes and rivers, museums and entertainment like offered at the Egyptian Theatre in DeKalb.
The website, EnjoyIllinois.com, has also been updated to help draw in interest.  Looking ahead, the Bicentennial is expected to draw more visitors through the ongoing celebrations and events.  There’s much to see and do in the Land of Lincoln.

Government Severance Payments to be Limited
A bill is moving through the House that would limit the ability of units of government to offer “golden parachutes” to employees.  SB3604 responds to a number of cases in the last few years where colleges, universities and municipalities have provided generous employment packages, lavish spending accounts, and lucrative severance agreements.  For example, in 2015, the Trustees at the College of DuPage approved a $763,000 severance package for their departing President.
The bill, which passed the Senate unanimously, states severance pay may not exceed more than 20 weeks of compensation, and prohibits severance pay when the employee in question has been fired for misconduct.
This bill makes sense to average workers who often receive little to no out-placement or transition compensation when released by an employer.  In addition, several other states have already adopted such policies, including Minnesota, California, Florida and Idaho. 
Among the opposition to the bill is the International City, County Management Association (ICMA).  The group believes that limiting severance packages would undermine the ability of Illinois communities to attract and retain talented individuals for government positions.  Appointed city managers, presidents and department heads serve at the pleasure of an elected body and are not always evaluated for their performance.  Because of this, they could be terminated at any time a board meets or after an election when a new board is seated.
The ICMA argues that hiring someone under such “political” conditions requires additional compensation to cover time while the person finds another job.  They feel it will be harder for units of government to hire the “best” person under the limitations proposed in the bill.


Observations and comments about state government by State Representative Robert W. Pritchard. District Office 815-748-3494 or E-Mail to bob@pritchardstaterep.com

May 14th, 2018
In This Issue:
·     Working Groups Making Progress
·     Illinois Secures Federal Medicaid Waiver
·     Votes Still Lacking for Equal Rights Amendment
·     Sycamore Park District Awarded Grant
·     Belvidere Firefighters Honored
·     County Fair Money Released
·     Middle School Art Displayed at the Capitol
·     Congratulation to all the Graduates

Working Groups Making Progress

Considerable time is being invested by two bipartisan, bicameral working groups toward crafting a budget framework and making Illinois colleges and universities more attractive to students. With three weeks left in the scheduled spring session, the groups need to reach agreement soon.

I am one of 18 members seeking a framework for the FY2019 budget. This includes reaching agreement on not only available revenue but also policies regarding such things as pensions, employee healthcare, spending levels for agencies and programs, paying unpaid bills, and revenue sharing with local units of government.

The group is committed to crafting a full-year budget that can pass the legislature by the end of May. To do so will require compromise from all sides and agreement among legislative leaders. Following the meeting Thursday, I am still optimistic we can reach the goal.

The 12-member Higher Education Working Group on which I serve has been focused on increasing student enrollment in Illinois institutions, and reducing the cost of higher education compared with out-of-state institutions. Discussion and testimony helped narrow the ideas and legislation is being drafted that includes more student financial aid, reducing institution costs, making college applications easier, and coordination between colleges and universities.

Both groups meet again on Tuesday.

Illinois Secures Federal Medicaid Waiver


After waiting two years, Illinois has finally received federal permission to begin pilot programs to treat drug abuse, opioid addiction and other behavioral health issues under the Medicaid program. Governor Rauner said the 1115 Medicaid waiver will allow $2 billion in funding to be used for 10 pilot programs over the next five years that will link behavioral health with physical health treatments.

Beginning July 1st, these programs will include:

· Short-term substance use treatment at certain inpatient and residential facilities.

· Withdrawal management services, including medication and intake/discharge at a facility.

· Home visits for up to five years for women who have a new-born baby exhibiting drug withdrawal symptoms. A growing number of babies suffer from their mother’s use of opioids or other drugs during pregnancy.

· Services to help recipients find and keep a job, including job coaching and transportation.

· Intensive in-home services to stabilize behavior that may lead to a crisis, hospitalization or residential care.

This federal Medicaid waiver will give a huge boost to behavioral health services and focus on outcomes instead of the volume of services offered.

Votes Still Lacking for Equal Rights Amendment
Since the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was first proposed some 46 years ago, Illinois has included nearly all of its provisions in state law. Yet, advocates would like to see Illinois become the 37th state to ratify the amendment and flocked to the capitol last week to make their case.

Proponents argue the ERA would outlaw sex discrimination and extend all constitutional rights equally regardless of sex. They are empowered by the current national women’s rights movement and incidents of sexual harassment. Many would also like to see the federal government given more power to enforce anti-discrimination.

Opponents resist this expansion of federalism and argue approximately 800 federal laws would be affected including some that give special consideration to women. They also argue the ERA would overturn restrictions on abortions and require public funding for those seeking abortions. Some courts in states where the ERA was incorporated into the state’s constitutions have upheld this view.

The Illinois legislature failed to approve the ERA in 1982 and bills introduced in recent years have failed to be called for a vote in both chambers. The amendment appears to still lack the needed votes for passage.

Sycamore Park District Awarded Grant
The Illinois Department of Transportation announced their 2018 Transportation Enhancement Program awards last week and the Sycamore Park District was among the 53 recipients. The district will receive nearly $1.7 million to extend the Great Western Trail bike and running path.

IDOT received nearly $36 million in federal funding to enhance bicycle, pedestrian and streetscape projects across the state. The agency believes that by investing in local communities, it will contribute to the state’s transportation system as a whole. The Sycamore project specifically addresses a local need while contributing to safe travel and increasing quality of life and enjoyment of the area.

IDOT received 218 applications for projects worth an estimated $252 million for this year’s funding allotment. You can view all project recipients here. The next application period for funding projects will be during the fall of 2019.

Belvidere Firefighters Honored

The State Fire Marshall presented the Medal of Valor to three firefighters from Belvidere and five more from the city received Firefighter Excellence Awards in ceremonies at the capitol last week. The awards were made for displaying exceptional bravery or heroism in the face of danger while performing their duties as a firefighter.

I had the opportunity to visit with the men about the fire incident in 2017 that earned them the recognition. They responded to a 3-story multi-family structure fire that quickly engulfed the building in smoke and fire. Two dozen occupants were able to flee the building, some jumping from windows; but 9 were trapped and had to be rescued by ladder or carried unconscious from the building.

Lieutenant Shawn Schadle and Firefighters Aaron Pihl and Jeff Vaughan were awarded Medals of Valor. Captain Mark Zumbragel and Firefighters Mark Beck, James Kriebs, Jason Swanson and Nicolas Thornton received Excellence Awards. Congratulations to these men for their demonstrations of bravery and thanks to all who continually serve and protect us.

Fortunately fire incidents as the one in Belvidere don’t happen often. Nevertheless, the Firefighters must be trained, physically fit, equipped with the necessary tools, and ready to respond in seconds.


Shown with the Belvidere Fire Department honorees were Fire Chief Al Hyser (second from left) and Mayor Mike Chamberlain (second from the right). 

County Fair Money Released
At long last and with repeated urging from me and other legislators, the Governor finally released the appropriated funds to support county fairs. While funding was appropriated, there had been insufficient cash to pay the local fair associations.

Agriculture is the leading industry in Illinois. County fairs provide an opportunity to demonstrate the skills of animal husbandry and crop production, new technology, arts and crafts, and much more. Fairs are a social gathering and provide entertainment. According to a University of Illinois Extension Study, county fairs generate $170 million in economic activity for the state and help support over 100 jobs and thousands of volunteers.

Middle School Art Displayed at the Capitol
The entries in my annual Middle School Art Contest were on display last week in the Capitol. Thousands of visitors got to see not only the creative talent of our local youth but also the benefits of art education in our schools. My thanks go to students and teachers at Hinckley-Big Rock, Burlington Central and DeKalb for participating.

The contest winner was Adrina Middono, a 7th grader from Hinckley-Big Rock Middle School and runner up honors went to Sadie Marks, an 8th Grader from Huntley Middle School, DeKalb.

Art encourages focus, concentration, creativity, attention to detail and hand-eye coordination. Art also teaches problem solving, follow-through and social interaction.

Congratulations to all the Graduates


During May and June, families across Illinois celebrate student education achievements at ceremonies and parties. It’s been a number of years since I received a college degree but I took the stage earlier this month to accept an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree from Aurora University President Rebecca Sherrick for my legislative work in education.

It’s important to remember that education is life-long and gaining knowledge and skills are the tools for progress and public service. Congratulations and best wishes to all those reaching an education milestone.

Have a great week and call my District Office to share your opinions or if I can be of assistance. 

-Bob

Observations and comments about state government by State Representative Robert W. Pritchard.
District Office 815-748-3494 or E-Mail to bob@pritchardstaterep.com

April 30, 2018
In This Issue:

·     Bond Sales Fund Capital Projects
·     Rush to Pass Legislation before Deadline
·     Use ComEd’s Energy Efficiency Program
·     Work Moves Slows Toward a Budget
·     Extending Property Tax Exemptions
·     Progressive Income Tax Proposed
·     Federal Grant to Help Fight Opioid Abuse
·     Increasing Support for Apprenticeship Opportunities

Bond Sales Fund Capital Projects
Last week the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget announced the sale of $500 million of General Obligation Bonds to fund some much needed projects.  The sale “rolled over” existing commitments to maintain capital infrastructure and conduct other essential long-term elements. 

The first $450 million will finance capital projects including roads, mass transit and deferred maintenance within state agencies.  The final $50 million will be used to finance information technology programs.

While Illinois’ debt is given a relatively low rating by international credit-measurement agencies, the obligations continue to be ranked as investment-grade securities.  For example, leading bond analytical firm Moody’s Investors Services ranks Illinois general obligation debt at Baa3 with a negative outlook. 

The bonds in Wednesday’s sale will mature over a variety of years.  The longest maturing bonds will expire in 2043 at an interest rate of 4.88 percent.  Interest rates on the bond package as a whole averaged 4.55 percent.

Rush to Pass Legislation before Deadline
Last week was the official deadline for passing legislation out of each chamber.  On Friday alone, the House acted on over 60 bills in 6 hours.  Here are some of the bills passed in the House.

HB4594:  Reforms the criminal court fee system comply with Supreme Court orders.  Further, it makes all fees consolidated to unified schedules and it allows for waivers for low income individuals who are unable to pay such fines.

HB4781: Ensures each university is making their best effort to hire a veteran as the Coordinator of Veterans and Military Personnel Student Services on each campus in Illinois.

HB5632:  Directs that an ambulance or rescue vehicle shall operate a siren and lamps only when it is reasonably necessary to warn pedestrians and other drivers of the approach.

HB5749:  IDOT and local authorities may issue special permits for trucks to carry heavier loads of agricultural commodities and limits the total fees for those permits to no more than $1,000.

HB4513: Requires that on public construction projects, to the extent practicable, at least 10 percent of the man-hours performing construction services be performed by individuals who reside in areas of poverty.

HB5309: Forbids state agencies from paying a bonus to their employees using tax revenue.

HB3479: Requires managed care community networks that contract with the Department of Healthcare and Family Services to establish, maintain, and provide a fair and reasonable reimbursement rate to pharmacy providers for pharmaceutical services and related products.

HB4858: Allows local school districts and community colleges to apply for and receive grants for purchases of land, construction of facilities, and equipment in order to improve teaching for jobs related to manufacturing. 

HB4799: Provides that, in every public school for grades K-8th, there shall be instruction, study, and discussion of safe bicycling and walking practices prevention traffic injuries.

HB4643:  Allows Physical Therapists to diagnose and treat patients for a limited time without the patient first receiving a "documented current and relevant diagnosis" from a physician, dentist, advanced practice registered nurse, physician assistant, or podiatric physician.

HB5551: Reinstates in law that the Office of the State Fire Marshall shall inspect Community-Integrated Living Arrangements (CILAs) so they may comply with licensing requirements.

HB4208: Establishes the Safe Schools and Healthy Learning Environments Program to offer additional ways to deal with student discipline beside school resource officers and making student arrests.

HB5136: Clarifies that meetings of school management and unions to discuss teacher evaluation plans and student growth are not covered under the Open Meetings Act.

HB4369: Directs the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to develop an online handbook to provide guidance on dyslexia and its challenges in an educational setting.

Observations and comments about state government by State Representative Robert W. Pritchard.
District Office 815-748-3494 or E-Mail to bob@pritchardstaterep.com

April 23, 2018

In This Issue:
·     Legislative Initiatives to Combat Teacher Shortage
·     Independent Redistricting Reform
·     Bills Pass the House Last Week
·     Improving School Safety
·     Unemployment at Lowest Rate in More Than 10 Years
·     Youth Council Visits the Capitol

Legislative Initiatives to Combat Teacher Shortage
Our children’s education remains a top priority, which is why the growing teacher shortage in Illinois has been especially troubling.  To combat the shortage, several pieces of legislation have been filed by lawmakers and the topic continues to be debated in Springfield. 

The Illinois State Board of Education said the 2017-18 school year began with about 2,000 unfilled teaching positions across the state.  In addition, Regional Offices of Education report increasingly difficulty finding substitute teachers.  The teacher shortage is much more pronounced in rural districts while substitute teacher shortage concerns were most evident in the southern part of the state.  The most difficult positions to fill include bilingual, Spanish, special education as well as nurses and school psychologists.

The shortage can be tied to a combination of factors including: educators retiring, leaving Illinois, or the profession; compensation and benefits; the challenges of teaching today’s students; fewer students interested in teaching or able to pass the qualifying tests; and hurdles for out-of-state educators to be licensed in Illinois.

Legislative measures have been filed to address some of these challenges.  HB4167: Establishes a short-term substitute teaching license.  Applicants must hold an associate’s degree or have completed at least 60 credit hours from an accredited university.  Current law requires a bachelor’s degree for all substitute teachers.

HB4280 and SB2844: Establishes the growing future language-educator program.  It would allow high schools to hire high school graduates who are proficient in a language other than English and are pursuing an educator license, to mentor and teach English language learners.

HB4409: Addresses the shortage of school psychologists by removing the requirements that those who already hold a valid Nationally Certified School Psychologist credential must also take state-mandated tests.

HB4956: Requires every Illinois public university with an educator preparation program to offer a three-year degree completion program.  The sponsor seeks to reduce the cost of education and time learning material outside of the area of specialty.

HB5153: Streamlines the hiring process for educators at the Illinois School for the Deaf and Illinois School for the Visually Impaired.

HB5005: Assures salaries of teachers employed by the Department of Juvenile Justice are comparable with teachers in area school districts.  It also recognizes state teaching licenses without further testing. 

HB5627: Recognizes and removes hurdles for out-of-state licensed educators to teach in Illinois.

Independent Redistricting Reform
A House Resolution was filed last week calling for independent redistricting reform.  Legislative maps are redrawn every ten years following the U.S. census so that lawmaker’s districts will contain an equal number of constituents.  Drawing a fair map is important to help protect voter rights and create a more representative government.  The current process of redistricting has been skewed by partisan politics that only creates more polarization.

House Resolution 995 would produce a fair map.  It calls for maps to be drawn without regard to incumbency and partisanship, and allows voters the opportunity to choose a candidate based on the issues and policies most important to them. 

According to a poll from the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, 72 percent of Illinois residents, including a majority of both Republicans and Democrats, support the creation of an independent commission to draw legislative district maps.  I have also placed a poll on my Facebook page to measure opinions regarding independent redistricting.

Bills Pass the House last Week
The House deadline for passing bills out of the chamber has been set for this Friday.  Consequently there was a flurry of legislative activity last week.  Here is a sampling of some of the bills that passed the House.

HB4104: An initiative of the Illinois Municipal League to overturn a ruling from the Comptroller that all municipal audits had to be made using the accrual method of accounting.  The bill will continue the practice of allowing both a cash and modified accrual basis of accounting.

HB4637: Provides a referendum process for voters to dissolve townships in McHenry County through petition or resolution of a township board.  The bill also requires townships in Lake and McHenry to dissolve any township road districts that maintain less than 15 miles of road.

HB5771:  Requires schools to document and report students with chronic absenteeism.  Some schools make little effort to see that students attend school.  Absenteeism has been correlated with dropping out of school.

HB4081: Provides a penalty of up to $10,000 for any call center business that leaves the state without providing at least a 120 day notice to the State Treasurer.  Many legislators have concerns that the language of the bill would include most businesses and points out the unfriendly business climate in Illinois.

HB4413:  Requires that any pension board meeting subject to the Open Meetings Act must be broadcast to the public in real-time over the internet. 

HB4846:  Seeks to improve public safety by imposing a fine for texting and using a hand-held cell phone while driving.   Violation of this offense will result in a fine of $75 for a first offense, $100 for a second offense, $125 for a third offense, and $150 for a fourth or subsequent offense.

HB4645:  Extends the repeal of the Health Facilities Planning Act and Certificate of Need program until 2029.  The act was intended to avoid duplication of healthcare services and ensure public accountability surrounding health care facility operations.

HB5513:  Requires the Department of the Lottery to offer a special instant scratch-off game to benefit State police memorials.

HB4870:  This bill requires every school to allow a parent or guardian to administer medical cannabis infused products to their student on school premises, unless it would cause a disruption to the learning environment.  Current state law prohibits the use of medical cannabis on school grounds even when the student has a prescription for the medication. 

HB5109: Creates a forgivable loan to students studying Community Behavioral Health Care when they practice in underserved areas following graduation.  The sponsor believes this will help address the need for mental health and substance abuse professionals.

HB4745:  Allows the Department of Public Health to avoid procurement delays in purchasing the equipment and technology necessary for Newborn Metabolic Screening.

HB5021:  Provides the Board of Higher Education with authority to confiscate student records from an institution that proposes to discontinue operations.  Such records are the only proof of classes taken, grades and other information about the student’s educational experience.

HB5267:  Requires law enforcement to provide a full report of the investigation of the crime to the Attorney General’s Office within 15 days of a request for the report. The following information can be redacted from reports: names of confidential sources and informants, locations from which law enforcement conduct surveillance, and information related to issues of national security the law enforcement agency provided to or received from the United States or other federal law enforcement agencies.

HB4944:  Reduces in half the number of safety tests needed each year for vehicles weighing 10,000 pounds to 26,000 pounds (flatbed trucks and step-vans).  The owner will save time and money.



Observations and comments about state government by State Representative Robert W. Pritchard.
 District Office 815-748-3494 or E-Mail to bob@pritchardstaterep.com

April 9, 2018


In This Issue:
·     Legislature Returns to Work
·     Evidence Based School Funding Released
·      FY2019 Budgeting Process Has Begun
·      IDOT Releases Funds for Local Roads
·      STEM Program Launched
·     Agriculture Photos Sought


Legislature Returns to Work
After a four week break for the primary election, the Legislature returns to Springfield this week to consider hundreds of bills.  The Speaker scheduled only 16 session days in the first 3 months of this year and 33 days in the next two months.

For a bill to continue in the process toward passage into law, it must be voted out of committee by Friday.  That means debate will be limited on each bill and committees will be pressured to pass along some bills that should be held for further amendments and input from groups affected by the legislation.

This schedule is one of the reasons that bad legislation is often passed into law and people may be surprised by the unintended consequences of a new law.  Nevertheless, the process does help prevent some ill-conceived bills from being passed. 

I will comment on many of the bills as they move through the process in the next few weeks.  Of course, always feel welcome to share your views on legislation with me by contacting Jesse in my district office or Shelly in Springfield.

New School Funding Released
The long awaited extra funding for education will start flowing to school districts on Tuesday.  The Comptroller said the $395 million will be divided among six payments and distributed by July.  Schools in my legislative district will receive nearly $8.6 million in additional funding.  The amount each district will receive depends upon the needs of their students and their currently available resources.  The complete calculations for the funding formula by school district can be found on ISBE’s website here.  

According to the formula, schools in my legislative district are short about $59 million of what they need to provide an adequate education while all districts across the state are short about $7.2 billion.  The Indian Creek School district has over 100 percent of its adequacy target while most local districts are 57 to 73 percent funded.

The formula identifies the different types of staffing recommended for the needs of the students in the school, salaries for different types of staff and then adjusts the figures based on the regional cost of living.  Districts are still free to determine staff hiring, salaries and other services but they are encouraged to look at the 27 practices in the formula for producing the best student outcomes.

FY2019 Budgeting Process Has Begun
The five House appropriation committees have been holding hearings on various expenditures in the state budget for several weeks.  When I first joined the legislature more than a dozen years ago, the budgeting process always began by determining available revenue and using that as a spending target.   

The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA) still starts from the revenue side in developing its three-year budget forecast for the legislature.  Their report which was released in recent weeks takes into account the State’s economic opportunities, expenditures, threats to anticipated revenues, and concludes with potential three year budget scenarios.  The full report can be found here.

The legislative agency estimates that revenue will drop slightly from FY2018 and then grow by 2 to 3 percent in the next two years.  Part of that revenue growth is dependent upon convincing companies to invest in Illinois, expanding the sales tax to more items, and legalizing and taxing recreational cannabis.

On the spending side, COGFA said that reducing the interest rate paid on unpaid bills and paying bills in full were major opportunities for balancing the budget.  The agency noted that continuing to limit spending to the rate of income growth was key to eliminating unpaid bills.  They said the state in recent years is headed in that direction.


State Representative Bob Pritchard has launched his 2nd Annual Legislative Art Contest.

Representative Pritchard has hosted this contest the last two years to show his support of the arts and the value the arts play in education.

The contest calls for middle school students from schools in his 70th district to submit their artwork for a chance to win, and have their art displayed in the Capitol building in Springfield. One winner and two runners up will be chosen.

The contest concludes April 20th 2018, when all entries must be delivered or mailed to Rep. Pritchard’s District Office in Sycamore. You can find the submission form, guidelines and more details about the contest here.
State Representative Bob Pritchard passed two bills in the House of Representatives this week, that both amend the school code.

HB4514 provides that only persons licensed and endorsed as a school counselor may use the title "school counselor." The Illinois Mental Health Counselors Association has found that some school districts are hiring unlicensed, non-school counselors to serve in this role. The IMHCA supported this legislation to ensure that if a school district hires a school counselor, they will have the credentials required of a licensed school counselor. These requirements were designated by the State Board of Education.

HB4409 will help ease the shortage of Illinois school psychologists. This bill ensures that Nationally Certified School Psychologists do not have to meet additional State-mandated tests to be licensed in Illinois. It is an initiative of the Illinois School Psychologists Association, who contend the national certification sets a high standard of training and further state requirements discourage qualified individuals from practicing in Illinois schools.

Both HB4514 and HB4409 passed unanimously in the House, and will now move forward to the Senate for further consideration.