CSG Committee on Suggested State Legislation

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Illinois SB 7 (Public Act 097-0008) establishes new standards for teacher tenure, empowers school districts to remove poor performing teachers from the classroom, and updates regulations about teacher strikes. For example, the law states tenure can only be obtained after four years of service and a series of proficiency reviews. However, it allows for the top rated educators to be put into a fast-track for tenure after three years without having to wait for the fourth year. The Act directs the state board of education to administer a survey of learning conditions to schools statewide and to publically report about selected indicators of learning conditions resulting from the survey. 

 

This Act directs insurers that use credit information to underwrite or rate risks for personal insurance policies to provide reasonable exceptions to those rates for consumers who experience certain events that negatively impact their credit information. These include becoming seriously ill or losing a job. 

This Act prohibits minors from using an electronic communication device, such as a cell phone, to possess, transmit or distribute a sexual image of themselves or of another minor. It includes in the definition of “cyberbullying” the use of electronic communication to transmit or distribute a sexual image of a minor. 

This Act authorizes a general academic teaching institution to develop a fixed tuition rate program for qualified students who agree to transfer to the institution within 12 months after successfully earning an associate degree from a lower-division institution of higher education. The legislation establishes parameters for the tuition to be charged to a participating student in such a program during a period of at least 24 months after the student's initial enrollment in the general academic institution and requires an institution that develops such a program to prescribe eligibility requirements for participation and to notify applicants for transfer admission from lower-division institutions of higher education regarding the program. 

This Act requires the state personnel director to create and make available to all state employees a process and an application to allow state workers to suggest ideas to improve state agency operations. The application must be posted on the department of personnel’s website and the process must be advertised on state employee payroll statements. The Act directs the state personnel director to develop a method to evaluate employee suggestions. 

This Act directs the state insurance commissioner to enter into a consortium with at least five other states for the reciprocal interstate sale of health insurance policies. It requires one of the consortium states be designated as the primary state for purposes of regulation under that state’s laws and regulations. It provides that a consortium state insurer is exempt from a secondary state's laws and regulations, except for premium taxes and assessments, registration requirements, unfair claims practices and judicial process. The bill also identifies matters to be considered by the commissioner in establishing rules of reciprocity, the types of policies eligible to be sold and the effect of interstate sales on regulation of domestic insurers.

In July 2010 President Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. As part of the agreement, Congress incorporated the Nonadmitted Insurance and Reinsurance Reform Act (NRRA) as Title V, Subtitle B, Part I. In NRRA Congress insisted that states adopt uniform requirements, forms, and procedures to facilitate the reporting, payment, collection, and allocation of premium taxes for the surplus lines insurance industry. bCurrently, there are two competing models states can consider to do this. One is the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC) Non-Admitted Insurance Multi-state Agreement (NIMA). The other is the Surplus Lines Insurance Multi-State Compliance Compact (SLIMPACT), which was developed by The Council of State Governments (CSG) National Center for Interstate Compacts (NCIC), the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL), and a variety of industry stakeholders.

This Act authorizes creating special zones where schools are granted the flexibility to try innovative strategies to improve school performance. The Act establishes a process to create such zones. 

Given the dire situation of many government budgets, governments at all levels are looking for innovative alternatives to provide services, maintain existing infrastructure, and finance new public works. Puerto Rico’s Public-Partnerships Act of 2009 offers a recent framework to do that. This Act authorizes all departments, agencies, public corporations, and instrumentalities, and the legislative and judicial branches of the Government of Puerto Rico to establish Public-Private Partnerships. Such partnerships couple the resources and efforts of the public sector with resources of the private sector by means of a joint investment that results in the benefit of both parties. 
This Act generally defines Public-Private Partnerships as contracts between a government entity and one or more people to delegate operations, functions, services, or responsibilities of any government entity, or to design, develop, finance, maintain or operate one or more facilities, or any combination thereof. It spells out the criteria to set up Public-Private Partnerships and defines the terms of Public-Private Partnership contracts. For example, the Act sanctions the following contract arrangements: design / build, design / build / operate, design / build / finance / operate, design / build / transfer / operate, design / build / operate / transfer, turnkey contract, long-term lease contract, surface right contract, administrative grant contract, joint venture contract, long-term administration and operation contract, and any other kind of contract that separates or combines the design, building, financing, operation or maintenance phases of a project.
 

This Act establishes a process to enable a mutual insurer to convert to a stock insurer in a manner consistent with the manner in which a mutual savings institution converts from mutual to a stock form under federal law and regulation. The purpose of the Act is to help facilitate the recapitalization of insurance industry by establishing a method of capital formation for insurers that elect to domicile in the state. 

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