* Learn something new every day…
* Daily Journal…
Legislation requiring a $40,000 minimum salary for teachers would affect some local school districts. […]
Under the bill, the $40,000 includes the pension costs districts pick up on behalf of teachers. For a teacher making $40,000, that amounts to an extra $3,600.
The Herscher district’s starting salary, including pension contributions, is about $35,000.
Herscher Superintendent Rich Decman opposes the legislation, calling it “political gamesmanship.”
“It’s great on the face. Most first-year teachers would be ecstatic with a $5,000 raise,” he said. “I don’t think it would be practical to do this without the funding. I’m a proponent of local control. I don’t think it’s reasonable for the state to dictate salaries. This is what I would call another unfunded mandate.”
* Press release…
Business groups representing employers of all sizes across the state held a press conference today to provide evidence that legislation, allowing third parties hired by local governments to view Illinois businesses and taxpayers’ confidential sales tax information, would codify current illegal behavior of both local governments and a contingency fee-based company called Azavar. Evidence indicates private sales tax information has been already shared illegally with Azavar, and the company explored ways to evade the protections in current law. HB 2717, proposed by Representative Chris Welch (D-Westchester) is poised for consideration in the Illinois House.
Currently, the tax information local governments receive from IDOR is protected by strict confidentiality requirements imposed by IDOR. Allowing access to this information outside a strict chain-of-custody endangers taxpayer information. In 2016, the business community conducted a FOIA of several municipalities’ communications with Azavar and revealed certain local leaders were already sharing confidential sales tax information with the auditing firm. This action violates current state law. This fact was later confirmed at a hearing in May 2017, when the bill’s sponsor and local officials admitted local governments “up and down the state” are engaging in this activity.
The business coalition along with the Illinois Department of Revenue have suggested several changes to the bill, including removal of the contingency fee proposal secured by Azavar (which in some cases is upwards of 45%). These proposals have been rejected.
* More bills…
* Government consolidation efforts gain traction in General Assembly
* Proposal would let more voters try to cut property taxes
* Statehouse bills would increase drivers’ awareness of bike safety
* Illinois plan: Replace armed school officers with therapists