Wheeler Signs on as Chief Co-Sponsor of Bill to Help Protect School Districts against Unfunded Mandates

State Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) is working with neighboring lawmaker Mike Tryon (R-Crystal Lake) on a bill that would provide school districts with additional protections against unfunded mandates.

HB6315 was filed in Springfield on November 5 and Wheeler quickly signed on as a Chief Co-Sponsor of the bill. “As a former school teacher, I am very aware of the hardship unfunded mandates place on school district budgets,” said Wheeler. “We need to recognize that our schools are already dealing with the State’s decisions to prorate their funding of schools, and we must stop passing along new mandates without providing funding sources.”

The bill specifically addresses a current practice in Springfield of the State Board of Education (ISBE) bringing mandates in the form of rules before the State’s Joint Commission on Administrative Rules (JCAR) for review and approval. By receiving approval by JCAR, the General Assembly is completely removed from the process. “I represent the voices of 108,000 Illinois residents who live in McHenry and Lake Counties, and when these regulations sidestep the General Assembly, I lose my opportunity to represent my constituents on an issue that often impacts their tax bills,” said Wheeler. “Every member of the Illinois House and Senate deserves to weigh in on these mandates and I will be a vocal advocate for the passage of this bill.”

HB6315 seeks to amend the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act by providing that for any rule that would impact the operations of school districts in Illinois, any interested person may request that JCAR determine whether the rule can be classified as an unfunded mandate. If JCAR makes that determination, their consideration of the rule must halt until the rule has been approved and acknowledged as an unfunded mandate through a joint resolution of the General Assembly.

“This is a common sense bill that would add transparency and accountability to the rule-making process for our schools,” said Wheeler. “I hope to see widespread, bipartisan support of this initiative.”

No comments :