Are Expanded Special Education Services Coming to Illinois ?

HB 3897 is currently making its way through the Illinois legislative process.

This HB 3897 has been assigned to the Human Services Committee of the Illinois House on February 4, 2020.

This bill would expand special education eligibility to students through the school year in which they turn 22.

Currently, students who have not yet received a diploma are eligible for services through the day before their 22nd birthday. Note that federal funding does not cover students beyond the age of 21.

House Sponsors are:
Rep. Frances Ann Hurley – Terra Costa Howard – Rita Mayfield, Maurice A. West, II, Kelly M. Burke, Bob Morgan and Lindsey LaPointe
I have  wondered, how many students would this impact and what are other states doing?
How many students would receive additional services?

According to ISBE data, 306 students aged out during the 2018-2019 school year. If this bill were in effect last year, those students would have been entitled to continue to receive transition services and complete the school year.

What are other states doing?

I  found a 2007 OSEP memo that detailed the ages of eligibility for all 50 states. As of 2007, six states and the District of Columbia provided for students to continue to receive FAPE after their 22nd birthdays, some through the end of that semester and some through the end of that school year or beyond.

I also identified exit data from the Department of Education for the 2016-2017 school year. Based on the eligibility ages each state reported there, six additional states provided FAPE to students during the semester or school year of their 22nd birthdays.

Accordingly, extending eligibility beyond the age of 21 is becoming more common but continues to be the law in a minority of states.
The bill did not move during the veto session but likely will move forward in the spring.

You can reach out to your state representative to voice your opinion with respect to this proposed law.

The Full Text of the Law is below:

State of Illinois
2019 and 2020

Introduced , by Rep. Frances Ann Hurley


105 ILCS 5/14-1.02
from Ch. 122, par. 14-1.02

Amends the Children with Disabilities Article of the School Code. Provides that a student whose 22nd birthday occurs during the school year is eligible for special education services through the end of the school year (rather than being eligible for services only until the day before his or her 22nd birthday). Effective immediately.

LRB101 14254 NHT 63126 b




LRB101 14254 NHT 63126 b


AN ACT concerning education.


Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,

represented in the General Assembly:


Section 5. The School Code is amended by changing Section

14-1.02 as follows:


(105 ILCS 5/14-1.02) (from Ch. 122, par. 14-1.02)

Sec. 14-1.02. Children with disabilities. “Children with

disabilities” means children between the ages of 3 and 21 for

whom it is determined, through definitions and procedures

described in the Illinois Rules and Regulations to Govern the

Organization and Administration of Special Education, that

special education services are needed. An eligible student who

requires continued public school educational experience to

facilitate his or her successful transition and integration

into adult life is eligible for such services through age 21,

inclusive, which, for purposes of this Article, means the day

before the student’s 22nd birthday, unless his or her 22nd

birthday occurs during the school year, in which case he or she

is eligible for such services through the end of the school

year. An individualized education program must be written and

agreed upon by appropriate school personnel and parents or

their representatives for any child receiving special


– 2 –
LRB101 14254 NHT 63126 b


(Source: P.A. 95-14, eff. 7-16-07.)


Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon

becoming law.

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Referendum Campaigns Can Be Savagely Divisive, Even At a State Level in a School Board Referendum

The referendum, as an instrument of political decision-making, has been the source of much consternation in 2016. First, June saw an unexpected British vote to leave the European Union (EU). Then, in October, Colombians shocked the world as the narrowest of majorities, 50.2% on a 38% turnout, voted to reject a peace deal negotiated between the government and the leftist guerrillas of the FARC to end its 52-year civil conflict.

Included among those shocked was, apparently, the Nobel Peace Prize committee, which had prematurely rewarded president Santos with its 2016 prize. The same day, a referendum in Hungary produced a 98% vote to reject the authority of the EU to mandate settlement of refugees in the country. The turnout was below that required to make the result legally valid, but the government made it clear it would be taking the result as a mandate for action nevertheless.
Such episodes served to highlight both the seductive attraction and grave perils of referendums for those who decide to hold them. There are three primary reasons why one might consider referendums a good idea. First is their intrinsic worth as an exercise in direct democracy. Referendum campaigns engage national publics, often passive and sometimes actively excluded, in the business of political debate and decision-making. Those who see virtue in the idea of a more direct link between the popular will and the levers of power therefore admire them as an instrument of empowerment for the too-often neglected people.
Second, in the cases of difficult negotiations over a peace settlement in societies afflicted by years of civil conflict, the prospect of a popular vote on the final deal concentrates the minds of those negotiating on coming up proposals that can be politically sustained. The ultimate role of the whole population in deciding whether the deal sticks can be important in prodding elites, otherwise comfortable and secure in their factional power, to do the harder work of engaging with the bigger political picture.
Third, a referendum may be useful to ensure a broad base of political support for a controversial decision, and ‘lock in’ a choice that will necessitate riding out unpopular consequences during the implementation. If concessions need to be made to those who committed crimes during a conflict, or if a course will impose severe economic costs, or if a divisive point principle is at issue, endorsement by direct popular vote will likely aid political stability, and also bind not just the present government, but those that follow it.
On the other hand, there are two very stark downsides to choosing a referendum as the way to resolve an issue. The first is that a referendum campaign opens the space for actors on either side to portray the choice between the status quo and the proposed change as a false one, and to seduce voters with false promises based on fantasies of what ideal outcome might be delivered as an alternative if voters reject the course elites like party leaders have recommended. A core purpose of referendums is to engage those with relatively low information about the issues, which is to say the general population, in the choice. This makes them especially vulnerable to producing decisions based on false information and/or unrealistic beliefs about what alternatives are possible – often stoked by opportunistic actors within the political system.
The second downside is that referendum campaigns themselves can be savagely divisive, especially when the prospect of a narrow victory tempts campaigners to use every argument at their disposal. Political division in both the UK and Colombia has been markedly intensified by the 2016 campaigns there. The Australian government is presently considering a ‘plebiscite’ on the issue of marriage equality even though a clear majority in favour exists in parliament; many are strongly opposed on the grounds that such a campaign would be socially divisive, and might even provide a platform that legitimises hate speech.
Above all, the key principle of referendums for any government is this: if you call one, you had better be certain you are going to win. Because if you don’t, the political costs for both the leaders responsible and the political subdivision at large are often vast.

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Taxpayers need to do their homework on school referendums

Voters in many areas across Illinois will go to the polls in the Primary in March  to elect politicians.

Some will also make choices about school spending that will have a more direct impact on household budgets.
Before Election Day, citizens will need to do their homework to better inform their all-important votes. Circumstances in each school district vary, making it critical that voters examine the issues carefully and balance district and student wants and needs with what taxpayers can afford.
In general, districts are asking voters for more money to fund school operations, new buildings, and building improvements and technology. Numerous requests will be on ballots on March 17, 2020. Many districts are taking capital bond requests to voters, and many others  are seeking support for general operations. Some have more than one request on the ballot.

The requests could add $340 to $400 per year to the property tax bill for a $250,000 home, and thousands of dollars to small businesses in your communities;  possibly so negatively impacting them which will resulted in them being closed and the properties becoming financially incapable of being reutilized for business.

This blog post is not taking a position on any of the referendums. We urge voters to do their research and consider the arguments for and against the requests.
The school district websites that have bond and levy referendums, should depict the  amounts and purposes. Voters should  visit district websites, some of which have calculators to help them determine how much their tax bills would increase if requests are approved.  But you must remember that most Districts will not furnish calculations for industrial and commercial properties because those increases will clearly be astounding.

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Illinois’ school debt is higher than national average and most neighboring states

Illinoisans are struggling under the highest property tax burdens in the country.

Many of the reasons for those high taxes are known ­– too many local governments,  and rising pension costs.
What taxpayers don’t always recognize that local school districts have billions in debt, which drives up property taxes even further.



School districts across Illinois owe nearly $21 billion in long-term debt.

That’s an increase of over 67 percent since 2002, when debt equaled $12.3 billion. School debt grew at nearly double the rate of inflation over the 2002-2015 period.
Illinoisans have had to shoulder this debt growth through higher property tax bills.
Not all these school districts are issuing debt to accommodate masses of new students.

Student enrollment across the state has remained essentially flat over the past decade and a half, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Current debt approval processes have made it too easy for districts to spend beyond their means to upgrade facilities and fund daily operations.
The school debt approval process has many flaws. Referendums to approve debt do not provide essential information to voters. And these referendums occur on elections known for low voter turnout.

These flaws must be addressed in order to rein in school spending.

According to U.S. Census data, Illinois’ school district debt has risen dramatically over the past decade and a half.
Average debt per student was just $6,000 in 2002. By 2015, it had grown to more than $10,000 per student, a 68 percent increase ­– again, double the rate of inflation.

Illinois’ debt per student is the 11th highest of any state in the nation. It is almost 15 percent higher than the national average of $8,764.
And it’s far higher compared to most of Illinois’ neighboring states.
Illinois school districts out-borrow their neighbors by a significant margin, with the exception of Indiana. Illinois’ per student debt is 76 percent higher than Wisconsin, almost 40 percent higher than Iowa, almost 30 percent higher than Missouri and 23 percent higher than Kentucky.

School districts issue debt to build new schools, fund daily operations, much more
Some of the largest debt issuances are to build new schools or update existing ones. For example, Hall HSD 502, in Spring Valley, took out $32 million in bonds to build a new high school in 2013.
Others have issued debt to access cash for daily operations. In 2008, Aurora East USD 131 took out $32 million with a promise to “cover operational costs and balance the budget by 2010.”
That new debt ended up costing local taxpayers. Aurora residents with homes valued at $100,000 ended up paying an extra $117 in property taxes each year.
Debt is necessary for major projects, and most school district debt issuances to build a new school or improve existing facilities are authorized through local referendums, meaning voters have to approve these measures.
Low voter turnout, vague referendum wording make debt approval easy to manipulate
Nearly 40 percent of school district debt or tax referendums in Illinois were placed on the ballots of local elections between 2006 and 2015.
Local elections are known for low turnout. The statewide April 7, 2015 local elections – for municipal mayors, village presidents, councilmen, aldermen and many other important local positions – saw roughly 81 percent of registered voters stay home, for example.

Low voter turnout makes it easier for special interest groups to dominate elections.
These referendums only require a simple majority vote to pass. The referendum Hall HSD 502 pushed for a new school passed by mere three votes – 1,717 to 1,714 – compared to their population of over 9,500.
In addition, local taxpayers sometimes know little about what they’re voting for because the language used in referendums can be vague. Usually only the amount of the original bond amount is cited – not the total cost, which would include interest payments and issuance costs too.
The description of why the bond is being issued is often vague as well. For example, Ford Heights SD 469 issued a referendum for an $11 million bond with the cryptic description of “for the purpose of paying claims.”
Illinois shouldn’t allow proponents of additional spending and debt to take advantage of low voter turnout in local elections, especially when many districts already have debt several times higher than the state average.
New debt is too important and costly an issue for such a limited number of taxpayers to authorize, especially when they are often not provided with enough information to make a fully informed decision.

Some districts borrow more than others across the State of Illinois.
According to Freedom of Information Act data from the Illinois State Board of Education, the district with the highest debt per student is Hall HSD 502, in Spring Valley, with $95,666 per student – almost 10 times the state average.
The district’s debt is the result of building a new $32 million, 134,000-square-foot campus for the area’s 371 students to replace the district’s 100-year-old high school building.
In addition, the Hall High School board of education approved another $1 million in bonds earlier this year. This additional debt will raise the property taxes of a $100,000 home by another $120.
Ford Heights SD 169 also makes the list of the districts with the highest debt per student. The district has over $20 million in debt for its 387 students. That’s $51,000 of debt per student. Ford Heights also has the highest property taxes in Cook County.
Ford Heights has a history of fiscal mismanagement, which has resulted in a debate over district consolidation and legislative action to do just that.

Debt limits are established by Illinois, but that does not hamper school districts in borrowing over the limits by using a combination of referendums and special legislation.
School districts are limited in how much debt they can accumulate. Their limits are calculated as a percentage of the equalized assessed value (basically, the property amount used to calculate local property taxes) in the district – 6.9 percent in elementary school and high school districts and 13.8 percent in full K-12 districts.
Across the state, 72 districts have exceeded their allowed debt limit. Collectively, they owe nearly $1 billion more than the school code originally allows them.Some school districts have used referendums to go into debt over the allowed limit. Others, such as Oswego CUSD 308, use special legislative measures in addition to a referendum to take out debt that exceeds their limit.
Legislation passed in 2007 allowed CUSD 308 to issue up to $450 million in bonds. The district now has almost $370 million in debt, or $21,600 per student. That’s $137 million over its original limit. This legislation allowed other districts to increase their debt by various amounts as well.
In all, nearly 5 percent of the state’s total school debt has been issued above prescribed limits.
Improving school debt transparency and accountability is absolutely necessary to protect the interests of the taxpayers.
The current rules that govern school district debt do not provide enough limitations, transparency or taxpayer involvement.
School districts should be required to pay back debt within 20 years instead of the 25 or even 30 years allowed now. Spreading debt out across more than 20 years impacts multiple generations and artificially hides the true cost of borrowing from taxpayers.
In addition, districts that exceed their debt limit should be restricted from issuing additional debt until they fall below their original limit.
Debt transparency should be improved by providing more information to taxpayers before they vote to authorize a bond.
Referendum language should include a detailed description of the project for which debt is being issued.
In addition, the total debt service proposed in a referendum should include all costs associated with the debt – the principal, interest and debt issuance costs. An estimate of the average annual property tax increase needed to pay the total debt service of the bond should be provided as well
Those requirements would give local taxpayers a far better idea a proposed bond’s full impact on their wallets.
Lawmakers such as state Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, and state Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, have recently introduced different bills that include the above reforms.
In addition, referendum rules should be changed so special interest groups cannot dominate votes as easily.
Large bond issuances should only be allowed on the ballot during general elections – when participation is higher and special interests cannot easily influence the vote.
And any referendums issuing new debt that exceed a district’s debt limit should require a three-fifths majority to pass instead of a simple majority of votes.
Debt is a necessary tool for schools to pay for major projects. But the mountain of debt school districts have managed to amass over the past decade and a half is neither necessary nor healthy.
Enacting the above reforms would be a good start to getting Illinois’ school district debt under control.
And it would help reduce the burden on Illinoisans paying the nation’s highest property taxes.



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Facts About Gun Rights and Legal Weed

Cannabis and Your Second Amendment Rights – December 31, 2019

In the New Year there will be a bevy of new laws facing Illinois Citizens. One new law that Gun Owners should pay close attention to is PA 101-0027, the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act. This new law allows Illinois citizens over twenty-one the ability to purchase and consume cannabis recreationally. Illinois citizens have had the ability to purchase and consume cannabis for medical reasons for five years. There is a difference between the purchase and use of Medical Cannabis and Recreational Cannabis as it relates to your lawful rights to own and possess a firearm in Illinois.

The following information is an attempt to dispel any myths or bad information that we have seen shared on various social media platforms as it relates to the cannabis law in Illinois. This article is to help you navigate laws that could have an adverse effect on your 2nd amendment rights. This information should not be used as legal advice. I do not take an opinion for or against this new cannabis law. If you want to smoke cannabis recreationally (marijuana, weed, reefer) come January 1, 2020 that is your right. If you don’t want to smoke cannabis, that is your right as well. We live in the United States of America which gives you a 1st amendment right to your opinion either way. Our mission here at ISRA is to protect your 2nd Amendment Rights.

Let’s start at the beginning. When you purchase a firearm, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) requires you to fill out an ATF E-Form 4473, the Firearm Transactions Record. Specifically, you must attest to the following:

e. Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance? Warning: The use or possession of marijuana remains unlawful under Federal law regardless of whether it has been legalized or decriminalized for medicinal or recreational purposes in the state where you reside.

Ok, so this seems pretty straight forward. According to Federal Law if you smoke cannabis you are an “unlawful user” of a controlled substance. Is this the end of the conversation? No. The new Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act in Illinois specifically states in law that a person who uses recreational cannabis is NOT an “unlawful user” of a controlled substance. From Public Act 101-0593 (Trailer to Cannabis Act):

(410 ILCS 705/1-7 new) Sec. 1-7. Lawful user and lawful products. For the purposes of this Act and to clarify the legislative findings on the lawful use of cannabis, a person shall not be considered an unlawful user or addicted to narcotics solely as a result of his or her possession or use of cannabis or cannabis paraphernalia in accordance with this Act.

If you believe in State’s rights, then according to Illinois law, you are not considered an unlawful user if you use or possess cannabis. As we all know in Illinois, we have a real special hoop to jump through to exercise the right to own and possess a firearm called the Firearm Owners Identification Card (FOID).

The FOID Card is administered by the Illinois State Police (ISP). We at ISRA have confirmed that the Illinois State Police will “not revoke Firearm Owners’ Identification cards based solely on a person’s legal use of adult-use cannabis.”

Another tidbit we have seen on certain social media platforms is that cannabis dispensaries will capture your personal information when you purchase their product and in turn that information will be made available to ISP. The fear that once this information is available to ISP then it can be used by the Federal Government to deny you the purchase of a firearm. From PA 101-0027, the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act:

Section 10-20. Identification; false identification; penalty. (a) To protect personal privacy, the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation shall not require a purchaser to provide a dispensing organization with personal information other than government-issued identification to determine the purchaser’s age, and a dispensing organization shall not obtain and record personal information about a purchaser without the purchaser’s consent. A dispensing organization shall use an electronic reader or electronic scanning device to scan a purchaser’s government-issued identification, if applicable, to determine the purchaser’s age and the validity of the identification. Any identifying or personal information of a purchaser obtained or received in accordance with this Section shall not be retained, used, shared or disclosed for any purpose except as authorized by this Act.

Clearly under Illinois law, no cannabis dispensary can share your personal information, unless you authorize them, to anyone or any entity. This includes the Illinois State Police (ISP) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF).

Lastly, we should make you aware of the differences between the purchase/use of recreational cannabis versus the purchase/use of medical cannabis as it relates to your 2nd Amendment rights. To use medical cannabis there are procedures and forms that must be filled out to get a Medical Cannabis Card that authorizes you to be in the program. While Illinois treats cannabis as a prescribed drug, the Federal Government considers cannabis to be a Schedule I narcotic. As such, the Federal Government could gain access to your records as a Medical Cannabis User and therefore jeopardize your right to purchase a firearm from a Federal Firearm License (FFL). If you intend to use cannabis and own a firearm taking the recreational cannabis route has less potential, detrimental effects on your 2nd Amendment rights than the medical cannabis route.

I realize this has been a long email with lots of information to digest. I hope this helped. Once again, this information is intended to educate you on the cannabis laws and not intended to be used as legal advice. We will be following the roll-out of this new Recreational Cannabis Law for any negative effects on our 2nd Amendment rights.

If you wish to discuss your legal rights call me at 708/878-7957

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One Billion Dollar Increase in Illinois Real Estate Taxes

Property tax collections by local governments in Illinois increased nearly $1 billion between 2017 and 2018 even as the state lost thousands of residents over that year.

Combined, 6,042 local governments received $31.8 billion in property taxes last year, according to Illinois Department of Revenue reports. That was $944 million more than what was collected in 2017 by those agencies.

Meanwhile, the state lost 45,116 residents in 2018, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures. That increased the tax burden on the remaining population to pay for services provided by towns, schools, counties and other local governments.

Statewide, local governments combined to collect $2,496 in property taxes for every resident in 2018, up from $2,413 per person in 2017, according to a Daily Herald analysis. In Cook and the collar counties, the amount of property taxes collected per resident is even higher.

The results of the analysis highlight the number of local governments in Illinois — the most in the nation — as well as how much local governments rely on property taxes, government finance experts said. Local governments that collect property taxes also include townships, park districts and a bevy of smaller specialized agencies that oversee operations of libraries, fire protection districts and other amenities.

Ralph Martire, executive director of the bipartisan Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, said that while the state’s population decline has been much ballyhooed, it’s not enough to move the needle on local government expenses.

“Public services are labor-intensive,” he said. “The population shifts would have to be much more dramatic to allow local government authorities to significantly reduce head count.”

Property taxes are the primary funding source for schools and many other local government agencies, said Laurence Msall, head of The Civic Federation, a nonpartisan government research organization that specializes in Illinois tax and financial policy. He said that while property tax increases are limited by a state tax cap law, that only applies to local governments in certain parts of the state, it can be overridden by home-rule authority, and the cap affects only certain parts of local governments’ overall property tax levy.

Msall believes consolidation of local governments would reduce administrative and personnel costs, which are the largest drivers of local government expenses.

“Costs are not tied to delivering services to a smaller and stagnant population. They are tied to the historical levels of expense,” he said. “Unless (Illinois) chooses to force consolidation and efficiency, the overhead remains fairly constant.”

While it is true that property tax revenue continues to grow each year, 2018 was the first year since 2014 that the single-year increase fell below $1 billion statewide, according to the IDOR reports.

More than 80% of the new property tax revenue came from Cook and the collar counties, which lost a combined 25,346 residents from 2017 to 2018.

In Cook County, local governments collected $2,899 per resident in 2018. That was $117 per person more than in 2017, according to the analysis. Cook County’s plethora of local governments were responsible for more than half the additional property tax revenue collected last year statewide.

DuPage County’s local governments collected $3,138 in property taxes for every resident in 2018, up $88 from the year before. Local governments in Lake County collected $3,422 in property taxes per resident in 2018, up $75 per person from 2017.

In Kane County, local governments received $2,499 per person in taxes, up $62 from last year’s per-person cost. In McHenry County, it was $2,724 for every resident, up just $20. And in Will County, local governments collected $2,801 per person, up $80 from 2017.

Increasingly, that cost is borne by homeowners rather than businesses. Nearly two-thirds of the property taxes collected in Illinois come from homeowners. In 1999, residential property taxes made up barely half the total property tax collection in the state.

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Public pot consumption will only be allowed at dispensaries and smoke shops — dashing hopes of bars and restaurants

Pot dispensaries and special smoke shops will be the only place you can publicly consume marijuana next year under a change to state law approved by lawmakers Thursday.

After criticism from health advocates, lawmakers moved to curtail provisions in the state’s legalization law — dashing the hopes of some business owners who sought to allow pot use at their restaurants, bars and even beauty shops when adult recreational use becomes legal Jan. 1.

The law signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker in June initially allowed localities to regulate pot use at cannabis businesses and offered an exemption to the Smoke Free Illinois Act to those establishments and other businesses that receive local approval to allow on-site consumption.

The new legislation clarifies that on-site consumption will only be allowed at dispensaries where marijuana is sold and at licensed smoke shops which — similar to cigar shops — will be granted an exemption to the smoke-free law. 

Pritzker praised the changes to the law Thursday.

Heather Steans, a Chicago Democrat who has led the legalization push, credited fellow lawmakers for passing the extensive clean-up bill with bipartisan support.

“We’re really pleased that we could be working that way to stand up a very strong legalization program come January,” Steans told the Sun-Times.

Conflicts of interests addressed

The measure also amends a conflict of interest provision that was added after it was reported that state Sen. Patricia Van Pelt, D-Chicago, was leading a company that intends to enter the industry.

Starting in June 2021, members of the General Assembly and their immediate family members will now be prohibited from holding an ownership stake in any cannabis firm licensed in Illinois within two years of the legislator leaving office. Any member or family member that has an interest in a pot company will also have to divest within a year of the provision’s effective date.

The provision won’t apply to Candace Gingrich — the spouse of state Rep. Kelly Cassidy, another Chicago Democrat who sponsored the legalization law — who was tapped in July as the vice president and head of business development for Revolution Florida, a sister company to the Illinois-based cannabis firm Revolution Enterprises.

State employees that regulate the state’s pot industry and their immediate family members will also be prohibited from holding an ownership interest in any cannabis license within two years of being employed by the state.

More local tax revenue

The trailer bill also notably moves up the start date for local governments to start collecting sales taxes on recreational pot sales. That means Chicago and other cities across the state can start those collections in July, instead of September. 

Last month, Mayor Lori Lightfoot estimated the city would net $3.5 million in the final four months of 2020. The proposal estimated that a local 3% excise tax would bring in $1 million, while increased sales tax revenue would drum up the rest of the cannabis cash.

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Finding the College-payment requirement in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act unconstitutional, Still Being Considered in the DuPage Courts

A case in DuPage County Circuit Court may determine if divorced parents in Illinois have to pay college tuition costs and if so, should they should get a say in their child’s college choice.

In some cases, like the DuPage case of Yakich v. Aulds, a divorced parent can be ordered to pay for college costs despite not having any input in the college-selection process.
The DuPage County case, which was ruled on by the Illinois Supreme Court last week (Oct. 24), advanced to the high court after a DuPage judge last year noted that because married parents are not yoked with the same burden, he was finding the college-payment requirement in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act unconstitutional.
The case stems from the DuPage divorce case of Charles Yakich and Rosemary Aulds. Yakich balked at the court order to pay 40 percent of their daughter’s schooling when he had no say in the school selection and sought to have the college payments portion of the Marriage Act declared unconstitutional.
He said he would have paid all of their daughter’s college costs if she would go to a school offering a degree in her chosen field of marine biology instead of a “party school.”
Dylan Yakich and her mother had determined she would attend Florida Gulf Coast University despite it not offering a degree in marine biology, Charles Yakich said.
He contends that the school-payment requirement in the Marriage Act is not fair because married parents are not held to the same standard. Also, because married parents, in most cases, hold the purse strings for college education, they get a say in where their student goes to school, Charles Yakich contends.
Illinois Supreme Court justices ruled Oct. 24 that DuPage Judge Thomas Else overstepped his bounds in such a ruling and vacated his decision.
Supreme Court Justice Thomas Kilbride said that the lower court committed a “serious error” in not applying the Supreme Court ruling from 40 years ago upholding relevant sections of the Marriage Act.
“Our circuit and appellate courts are bound to apply this court’s precedent to the facts of the case before them,” Kilbride wrote in the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision.
“When this court ‘has declared the law on any point, it alone can override and modify its previous opinion, and the lower tribunals are bound by such decision and it is the duty of such lower tribunals to follow such decisions in similar cases,’” Kilbride said in reiterating a 2016 Supreme Court opinion.
The Supreme Court justices said that “because the trial court may not overrule prior precedents of this court, we are compelled to vacate” the DuPage judge’s 2018 ruling that the college-payment section of the Marriage Act was unconstitutional.
The case now returns to DuPage Circuit Court for reconsideration with the college-payment section included in deliberation.
DuPage Judge Else had ruled that the Supreme Court ruling 40 years ago “presumes that never married or divorced couples are less normal, and less likely to provide post-secondary education for their offspring than couples who are married, or single parents.”

“While this may have been true in 1978, there is no basis for such a conclusion today,” Else said in his ruling.”

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Community Meeting at Washington School to Discuss a Tax Referendum for Schiller Park School Referendum on October 22 at 6:30 pm

At the December, 2019, Board of Education meeting , school board members will vote on placing a facility referendum for Washington School on the March 17, 2020, ballot.

On Tuesday, October 22, 2019, at 6:30 pm at Washington School there will be a community forum to see a presentation on the tax referendum.

The taxpayers and community members are encouraged to attend.

Posted in Dr. Kim Boryszewski, Education, election fraud, Elections, Illinois, illinois politics, Leyden, News, political satire, politics, referendum, Referendums, Roy F. McCampbell, Saint Maria Goretti, Schiller Park, Special Education, vote | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Leyden High Schools To Be Open on Friday, September 27, 2019

September 26, 2019

Dear Leyden Community, 

I would like to take some time and communicate as much information as possible with you about the past few days here at Leyden.  I am writing this message in conjunction with Mike Witz, the Director of Police in Franklin Park. What I will include in this letter is public and can be shared.

Tuesday’s Altercation

At approximately 9:30 am on Tuesday morning, one student was stabbed by another student in our hallway during a passing period.  We now know that the incident can be traced back to an argument that started in class. Several days later, the issue apparently continued to intensify and culminated in this confrontation.  The Franklin Park Police Department’s investigation determined that the origins of this situation were not gang-related.  

The entire confrontation lasted approximately ten seconds.  Following the fight, the injured student received medical care from our school resource officer, dean and Leyden security staff within five seconds.  That student was in the nurse’s office within thirty seconds before being taken to the hospital. Those staff members and first responders should be credited with saving that student’s life through their quick actions.

When the building was placed on lockdown, the student who committed the stabbing was caught by a Leyden security guard and dean in approximately three minutes.  The Franklin ParkPolice Department promptly arrived on the scene and placed that student in custody. He is being charged with attempted murder and remains in custody.  The lockdown remained in place until approximately 11:30 am so that police officers were able to check every area of the building and assess the lack of additional threats.

Social Media

Throughout the day on Wednesday, we became aware of a number of social media posts.  We appreciate all of the students, parents, community members and staff members who came forward to share that information with us.  In reviewing those messages, it was clear that there were multiple gang references in the content. Some of the messages were linked to former Leyden students, while others came from current students or were simply anonymous.  Overnight, we received over one hundred tips from students on our anonymous tip line.

From the timing of our messages, you can see that administrators and local police officers have been up all night working through all of this information.  As we reviewed that information, we need to keep in mind that Leyden students live in seven different communities. So each time we came to a student’s name, we needed to coordinate with a different local police department which adds time to the process.

The need to coordinate with multiple entities in order to fully investigate each concern is what led us to call the E-Learning Day this morning.  We needed to provide our local law enforcement agencies some time and space to investigate the various aspects and social media posts. At 11:00 am today, we held a joint meeting at East Leyden High School with representatives from the following agencies and municipalities:

Cook County Sheriff’s Police Department

Franklin Park Police Department

Melrose Park Police Department

Northlake Police Department

River Grove Police Department

Rosemont Police Department

Schiller Park Police Department

Leyden Township

Village of Franklin Park

City of Northlake

Village of River Grove

Village of Rosemont

Village of Schiller Park

At that meeting, we were able to share information, update one another, and discuss plans for moving forward.

I can report to you that collectively, we have identified and spoken with over forty students/families responsible for the social media posts over the past 24 hours.  Local police and school officials are collaboratively working with students and families to address those issues. Again, I cannot comment on the specific outcomes, but I can say that those issues have been addressed.  Those processes have yielded the conclusions that there is no credible threat from those posts.

Moving Forward

Tomorrow, school will open on a regular schedule.  Our counselors and social workers continue to be be available in Room 217 at East Leyden.  And just like any other day, counselors and social workers are available at West Leyden as well in case any students there need to discuss any of this week’s events.

As a precaution, we will have an increased police presence both inside and outside both Leyden High Schools.  That partnership is merely preventative as we look to move forward from the earlier events of this week.

We will continue to monitor social media, and just as you have done this week, please reach out to the building administration with any concerns or information to share.  Through this process, we learned that some students were aware that the fight on Tuesday was going to happen, but they did not report it. Hopefully moving forward, we can subscribe to the “See Something (or Hear Something), Say Something” approach to report possible issues.

Thank You

Once again, thank you to our students, our faculty and staff, our first responders, our communities, and all of our local law enforcement agencies.  This was a truly collaborative effort on behalf of the entire Leyden community. We all look forward to having students and staff back in the building.  

With #leydenpride,

Nick Polyak                                                           Mike Witz

Superintendent                                                     Director of Police

Leyden High School District 212                          Franklin Park Police Department




6 de septiembre de 2019

Estimada comunidad de Leyden,

Me gustaría tomarme un tiempo y comunicarle información en más detalles sobre los

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