GIVING PUBLIC MORE INFORMATION ABOUT EDUCATION COSTS
Also signed on August 11, House Bill 2235 (PA 96-0266) seeks to give the public more access to information about school administrator and educator salaries.
Currently, school districts aren’t required to delineate specific teacher or administrator salaries, making it difficult to know when or how increases are made. A Chicago Sun-Times editorial highlighted the issue, and advocated for greater public insight into these salaries.
The new law will require elementary and secondary school boards to submit an annual report to the Illinois State Board of Education about the base salaries and benefits of the district superintendent, administrators and teachers.
Public universities and community colleges will similarly be required to submit an annual report to the Illinois Board of Higher Education that includes the base salaries and benefits of the university president, administrators, faculty members and instructors.
KEEPING SEX OFFENDERS OFF SOCIAL NETWORKING WEB SITES
Protecting children is the aim of legislation signed this week to prohibit convicted sex offenders on parole, mandatory supervised release, probation, or supervision from accessing social networking Web sites like Facebook or MySpace.
With hundreds of millions of users, many of whom are children and teens, social networking sites have been identified as another way that sexual predators can target potential victims.
House Bill 1314 (PA 96-0262) will remove that opportunity for contact, and keep sexual offenders out of forums that not only have the potential to be abused, but are impossible for law enforcement to completely supervise.
NO MORE PADDING PENSIONS
The Governor also approved a measure that will prevent lawmakers and judges from “padding” their pensions at the end of their careers.
For years, the rules regulating legislative and judicial retirement benefits have been criticized for allowing officials to end their careers at a significantly higher salary—thus ensuring a hefty long-term “boost” to their pensions.
Senate Bill 369 (PA 96-0207) changes the way pension benefits will be calculated so they will no longer rely on the legislator’s or judge’s last day of pay. The benefits will now be calculated by taking the average of the four highest consecutive salary years in the past 10 years.