Legislation Recently Signed into Law
Legislators tackled numerous issues during this year’s legislative session. Most residents have experienced the increase motor fuel tax or have heard about increases to vehicle registration fees. However, legislators approved a sleuth of legislation that most residents aren’t aware of.
Public Act 101-0011 amends the Cook County Article of the Illinois Pension Code. Provides that an active participant may establish service credit and earnings credit for periods of furlough providing they pay the employee contributions. Provides that to receive the service credit and earnings credit for periods of furlough, the participant cannot receive compensation or any type of remuneration from the county.
Public Act 101-0004 amends the Counties Code regarding winds farms and electric-generating wind devices. Provides that even if a county has or has not formed a zoning commission and has not adopted formal zoning the provisions still apply. Clarifies that only a county may establish standards for wind farms, electric-generating wind devices, and commercial wind energy facilities in unincorporated areas of the county outside of the zoning jurisdiction of a municipality and the 1.5-mile radius surrounding the zoning jurisdiction of a municipality.
Public Act 101-0012 provides that for a pupil of legal school age and in kindergarten or any of grades first through twelfth, a day of attendance is counted for sessions of more than five clock hours of school work per day under direct supervision of teachers, non-teaching personnel or volunteer personnel when engaging in non-teaching duties and supervising in instances specified under the Code. The following activities can be counted toward the calculation of clock hours of school work per day: instruction in a college course in which a student is dually enrolled for both high school credit and college credit, participation in a supervised career development experience in which student participation and learning outcomes are supervised by an educator licensed under the School Code, participation in a youth apprenticeship in which student participation and outcomes are supervised by an educator licensed under the School Code, or participation in a blended learning program in which course content, student evaluation, and instructional methods are supervised by an educator licensed under the School Code.
Provides that a research-based program for e-learning days must be verified by the regional office of education or intermediate service center for the school district (rather than submitted to the State Superintendent of Education for approval. Requires the program to address the school district's responsibility to ensure that all teachers and staff who may be involved in the provision of e-learning have access to any and all hardware and software that may be required for the program. Provides that a proposal for the program must include a provision that ensures that non-electronic materials are made available to students participating in the program who do not have access to the required technology or to participating teachers or students who are prevented from accessing the required technology and that ensures that the protocol regarding general expectations and responsibilities of the program is communicated to teachers, staff, and students at least 30 days prior to utilizing an e-learning day.
Public Act 101-0005 amends the Open Meetings Act. Provides that a public body may hold a closed meeting to consider the appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, performance, or dismissal of specific employees, specific independent contractors, or specific volunteers (currently, only specific employees) of the public body or legal counsel for the public body, including hearing testimony on a complaint lodged against an employee, independent contractor, or volunteer of the public body or against legal counsel for the public body to determine its validity.
As of July 1, the Cook County minimum wage increased to $12.00 per hour and the Cook County base wage for tipped employees will increase to $5.25 per hour. As a reminder, numerous municipalities have opted out of the increase. Additional information concerning Cook County’s minimum wage ordinance is available at: https://www.cookcountyil.gov/service/minimum-wage-ordinance.