State Senator Julie Morrison (D - Deerfield) released the following update this afternoon on the passage of school funding reform:

Yesterday afternoon, the Senate passed a plan that fundamentally changes the way Illinois funds its public schools. I acknowledge that this multifaceted proposal has elements I do not support, including the inclusion of a pilot tax credit program which will use public funds for private schooling. The underlying changes that were carried over from Senate Bill 1 into this bill, however, will move Illinois out of last place when it comes to our education funding system.

Specifically, Senate Bill 1947 does the following:

  • Increases state funding to economically challenged districts while ensuring no district loses funding;
  • Creates a bipartisan TIF task force to study the relationship between these districts and school funding;
  • Creates a method for communities to reduce property taxes via referendum. This will create a vigorous discussion of local property taxes and the quality of our schools;
  • Protects collective bargaining rights for teachers; and
  • Maintains local control for drivers education and physical education classes.

This proposal will support struggling school districts like North Chicago School District 187, provide the opportunity for property tax relief for suburban homeowners and give school districts the stability and certainty they need.

Category: Latest News

Senate FloorSPRINGFIELD – A plan passed by State Senator Julie Morrison (D – Deerfield) that would end the practice of local government officials using vehicle allowances to boost their future pension payments was signed into law on Friday by the governor.

“Taxpayers should not be expected to pay for an inflated pension for a mayor because they received a vehicle allowance,” Morrison said. “The practice of endlessly adding sweeteners to pension plans is one of the reasons so many pension funds are in poor fiscal health.”

While is it is not uncommon for local governmental officials to have access to taxpayer-purchased vehicles or receive vehicle allowances for use in conducting city business, several suburban officials have the ability of using their vehicle allowance perk to boost their pension payments when they retire.

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Category: Latest News

Morrison's plan to eliminate SAT transcript requirement signed into lawSPRINGFIELD – A proposal by State Senator Julie Morrison (D – Deerfield) to no longer require SAT scores automatically be entered on a student’s transcript was signed into law over the weekend by the governor.

“For many students, the stress of taking a college entrance exam can be overwhelming and affect a score outcome,” Morrison said. “For students who may wish to retake a SAT exam, it’s important they have the flexibility to get their best results published in their transcript.”

The new law, which was contained in Senate Bill 757, eliminates the state requirement that SAT scores be automatically included in a student’s official transcript. The law allows school districts to determine whether to enter SAT scores on student transcripts automatically, at the request of parents or not at all. 

Senate Bill 757 passed the Senate without opposition on May 3 and takes effect immediately.

Category: Latest News

Morrison's plan to simplify property tax appeals becomes lawSPRINGFIELD – A plan by State Senator Julie Morrison (D – Deerfield) to streamline the property tax assessment appeal process was signed into law today by the governor.

“The property tax assessment appeal process is often difficult to navigate for many homeowners,” Morrison said. “With property taxes continuing to be a financial burden for families, it is important we do everything we can to continue to make the appeals process more efficient.”

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Category: Latest News

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