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It’s just a bill

Wednesday, Feb 6, 2019 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Tribune

Illinois lawmakers have renewed bipartisan efforts to address the Chicago Public Schools sexual abuse scandal, filing bills designed to protect students by making sweeping changes to state laws.

Legislators last year proposed 12 bills that would allow state officials to swiftly revoke the licenses of educators found to have sexually abused children, lift the intense secrecy around disciplined teachers and make it a crime for a school employee to have sexual contact with a student regardless of age, among other fixes.

None of those proposals, which were filed late in the legislative session, made it to a floor vote last year. But state Sen. Thomas Cullerton, D-Villa Park, said he now plans “to move forward as fast as possible” with twin bills he crafted with Barrington Hills Republican Rep. David McSweeney.

“It is up to us to get some accountability here,” Cullerton said. “You can’t just leave this on the shelf. It is too important for our kids.”

* Madison County Record

An Illinois lawmaker has made some tweaks to his “parental bullying” legislation, but an opponent says it still goes too far.

State Rep. La Shawn Ford, a Chicago Democrat, in December filed House Bill 181, which would have created the offense of parental bullying. The bill’s synopsis stated that a parent or legal guardian of a child would commit the petty offense, punishable by a fine, “when he or she knowingly and with the intent to discipline, embarrass, or alter the behavior of the minor, transmits any verbal or visual message that the parent or legal guardian reasonably believes would coerce, intimidate, harass, or cause substantial emotional distress to the minor.”

The bill also stated that, if convicted, “a portion of any fine imposed, as determined by the court, be placed in escrow for the purchase of a certificate of deposit for use by the victim when he or she attains 18 years of age.”

More than 70 people filled out witness slips with the House’s Judiciary Committee, in opposition to the bill. […]

“We don’t like government getting in between parents and raising their children,” said Ralph Rivera, a lobbyist for the [Illinois Family Institute]. “Obviously, abuse and neglect are a different matter. But we have to be careful when we infringe on the rights of parents to discipline and raise their children.”

* The Southern

Legislation that would raise the minimum age to purchase cigarettes, e-cigarettes, vapes, chewing tobacco and other products in Illinois to 21 made it past its first legislative hurdle Tuesday.

The Senate bill sponsored by Julie Morrison, a Democrat from Deerfield, won the approval of the chamber’s Public Health Committee along party lines, by a vote of 8 to 4.

But the Republican members did not focus on the main issues the tobacco 21 initiative faced in previous legislative sessions. Instead, they took issue with the removal of language from current state law establishing penalties for minors in possession of tobacco. […]

Morrison said her bill removes that language in an effort to “refocus the responsibility” onto the retailers who sell the tobacco product, as opposed to placing it on the minors who purchase the product.

* Illinois News Network

The Senate will take another crack at raising the minimum pay for Illinois teachers. Senate Bill 10 from state Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hills, is similar to the bill that passed last year, but was vetoed by Gov. Bruce Rauner. Rauner said pay practices should be left to locally elected school boards.

“[That] approach to teacher compensation both limits a school district’s local control and imposes a significant unfunded mandate on school districts,” Rauner wrote in his veto message last year.

With a new governor and Democratic supermajorities in both chambers, Manar got his bill through the Senate education committee Tuesday. He said it won’t increase how much the state gives school districts under the recently passed school funding formula, but it will have a local impact with the initial year of the five-year phase into $40,000 being just over $32,000.

“[The first year is] $32,076,” Manar said. “And I don’t hide behind that. This has a budgetary impact on local school districts.”


  1. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 12:42 pm:

    Dear God, I never wanted to be in the position of agreeing with Ralph Rivera. But that Ford bill is foolish and opening a can of worms best left undisturbed.

  2. - OneMan - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 12:50 pm:

    So if someone yells at my kid because he did something while driving or at work that “parent or legal guardian reasonably believes would coerce, intimidate, harass, or cause substantial emotional distress to the minor” my kid gets a CD out of it?

    Ummm Ok.

    Might want to have financial investment professional on hand at HS sporting events.

    An 18 year old senior yelled miss at my kid while he was shooting a free-throw and that was intended to harass him. Can only adults commit these crimes?

  3. - Just a citizen - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 12:57 pm:

    Good grief. I can just imagine the unforeseen circumstances of
    Fords bill. And isn’t it the parents’ job to discipline their children?

  4. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 1:01 pm:

    ==“We don’t like government getting in between parents and raising their children,” said Ralph Rivera, a lobbyist for the [Illinois Family Institute]==

    lol. The Illinois Family Institute is selective in what they do and do not want the government involved in as far as families are concerned aren’t they? They are more than happy to have the government heavily involved when it comes to the issues of gay people.

    That being said, I think the legislation is less than perfect. How do you determine what is “substantial emotional distress?” I’ve taken all electronics away from my kids before and you would have thought the world as we know it ended. I think they would argue “substantial emotional distress” occurred. lol.

  5. - Amalia - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 1:10 pm:

    Tom Cullerton does very interesting and good work.

  6. - Get It Solved - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 1:11 pm:

    A minimum starting school teacher salary at $32,076, will be around $3K more than a full time worker earning $15 on minimum wage? I’m glad to see they are addressing the issue, but this seems long overdue.

  7. - Not It - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 1:12 pm:

    When are we going to see legislators filing bills dealing with the scandals at the Chicago City Council?

  8. - OneMan - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 1:17 pm:

    == When are we going to see legislators filing bills dealing with the scandals at the Chicago City Council? ==

    There is a bill requiring all aldermen/trustees/SB Members/legislators or members of an elected board to declare before any meeting with a member the same entity or different elected entity that they are or are not wearing a wire in a voice loud enough to be captured on a recording device.

    It is the Snitches Get Stitches Act HB 1002

  9. - City Zen - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 1:28 pm:

    ==but it will have a local impact with the initial year of the five-year phase into $40,000 being just over $32,000.==

    What school districts have a starting teacher salary of less than $32,000 today? And if there are any, are those districts picking-up the teachers pension contribution. Because that should count as salary.

  10. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 1:36 pm:

    ==are those districts picking-up the teachers pension contribution. Because that should count as salary.==

    I hardly think that is a panacea for someone making less than $32,000 even if they are.

    I think $40K is even too little for a teacher.

  11. - Odysseus - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 1:52 pm:

    City Zen @ 1:28:

    According to the Teacher Salary Data, there are roughly 45 districts that have a minimum bachelor’s starting salary less than $32K. I don’t know whether they are actually hiring people at those rates or if this is just a schedule.

  12. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 1:58 pm:

    Teachers make 13.89 per hour in Illinois.,-Illinois

  13. - the Patriot - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 2:02 pm:

    So if you take their phone away to embarrass them for bullying another kid on social media, the parent is the criminal.

    The State better get a handle on the VAPE epidemic NOW. You can’t smell it like you could if someone smokes in the bathroom. Kids are doing it in school, in homes, and it is in many cases worse than cigarettes. Talk to a school administrator and it is a major problem.

  14. - JoanP - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 2:03 pm:

    That “parental bullying” bill is just weird.

    The whole point of yelling at your teenager to clean his room is to coerce him into cleaning his room.

    “And if you think you’re going out in public dressed like that, young lady, you’ve got another think coming.”

    And so her life was ruined. [door slam]

  15. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 2:05 pm:

    Odysseus - if it says schedule then that is the actual rate of pay for starting teachers. If they coach or teach summer school they can pad it a little but otherwise what that table says is what they are paid. Also, in many districts you are “starting” if you are new to the district no matter how many years of experience you have somewhere else.

  16. - Bourbon Street - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 2:20 pm:

    Those of us who were raised by members of The Greatest Generation are getting quite a laugh out of Rep. Ford’s bill. I recall my mother’s “Death Stare”, the point of which was to coerce, intimidate, or harass me into behaving—she’d be paying lots of fines under this bill. Yet, my siblings and I somehow survived and have done quite well.

  17. - Twirling Towards Freedom - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 2:25 pm:

    I hope I’m missing something about the parental bullying bill. If I say to my son “turn off the tv right now and get ready for bed or no video games for a week” I have transmitted a verbal message intended to alter his behavior through coercion. Could I be fined for that under this bill?

  18. - NeverPoliticallyCorrect - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 2:25 pm:

    Parental Bullying is just another reason to have term limits. Seriously, with all the problems in this state a bill like this is what Ford spends time working on? Maybe he would like parents maintain video records of all their parenting interactions. As to the minimum school starting salary for teachers. Once the state starts providing the majority of the funding for schools I’ll take them seriously. Why don’t they focus more on staff working with the disabled population, with college degrees who don’t earn anywhere near the amount most teachers make.

  19. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 2:55 pm:

    ==term limits==

    We have them. Governor Rauner found that out recently.

  20. - Occam - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 3:19 pm:

    The new $40k teacher minimum will primarily affect mostly rural districts.

    The rural districts will suffer a double-hit with the new minimum. First their salary expenses will rise, perhaps to the point of impacting staffing levels. And, secondly, this increased payroll expense pushes these districts’ spending levels higher toward their Adequacy Targets under the new Evidence Based Funding formula. It will push districts out of Tier 1 into Tier 2 or Tier 2 into Tier 3, etc. The net result is they will continue to lose State funding as they have to meet the new minimum wage level.

    Bottom line: They’ll be spending more money while simultaneously losing State revenue.

    You could not come up with a more effective way to torpedo rural districts than Manar’s plan.

  21. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 3:21 pm:

    Most of these vacancies have been posted since last summer. I support this legislation but we need to address the fact that teachers in subjects like science and special education are usually paid the same as gym teachers. If you want to address shortages, address the areas that are short.

  22. - Juvenal - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 4:05 pm:

    One man, you misread the bill.

    Strangers, coaches, teachers are free to embarrass the kid all they want.

    Parents and legal guardians become criminals.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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