CSG Committee on Suggested State Legislation

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This Act generally makes it unlawful for employers to refuse to hire or fire people, or otherwise discriminate against employees, because of race, sex, sexual orientation, age, religion, color, ancestry, disability, marital status, arrest and court record, or domestic or sexual violence victim status. It requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for employees who are victims of domestic or sexual violence if those do not cause undue hardship to the operations of the employer. It allows employers to request verification of employees’ continued status within specified time frames. The Act creates a civil remedy for employee-victims denied reasonable accommodations.

This Act requires the state department for Medicaid services, the state department for public health, the state office of health policy, and the personnel cabinet to collaborate to biennially develop plans to reduce the incidence of diabetes in the state and to improve diabetes care. It requires these agencies to develop benchmarks, blueprints, and budgets to implement the plans. It directs the agencies to offer a range of action items within the plans to combat diabetes and to submit the plans to the legislature. This Act requires these agencies to report biennially to the legislature about the impact of diabetes on people and public programs in the state. This includes the number of people who have the disease, the financial impact of the disease on them and their families, the financial impact on state and local agencies serving such people, and the financial impact of diabetes compared with other chronic diseases and conditions. The Act also requires these agencies to assess, document, and report to the legislature about the funding and benefits of existing programs aimed at preventing and controlling diabetes, and the level of cooperation between such programs.

This SSL draft is based on Texas law. According to a Texas legislative bill analysis, hydraulic fracturing, commonly called “fracking,” is a natural gas drilling method in which a well is drilled vertically more than a mile deep and then extended horizontally into a targeted rock formation Fracturing fluids, consisting of water, sand, and chemical additives, are pumped at extremely high pressure down the wellbore. The fracturing fluids flow through perforated sections of the wellbore and into the surrounding formation, fracturing the rock and injecting sand into the cracks to hold them open. This process is repeated multiple times to reach maximum areas of the wellbore. The water pressure then is reduced and fluids are returned up the wellbore for disposal or for treatment and reuse, leaving the sand in place to prop open the cracks and allow the gas to flow and be collected at the surface. 

This Act requires operators of wells undergoing hydraulic fracturing treatment to complete  and post a form on a Hydraulic Fracturing Chemical Registry website of the Ground Water Protection Council and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission disclosing the total volume of water used in the hydraulic fracturing treatment and each chemical ingredient used in it. The Act addresses how some of that information can be protected from disclosure as trade secrets, and how people can challenge designating such information as trade secrets. 

Whether and how to collect taxes on items sold over the Internet remains controversial as states look for new revenue, small brick and mortar businesses battle to compete against e-sellers, and businesses of all sizes and types sell more on the Internet. Issues include determining who is responsible for collecting such a tax and the nexus of businesses that sell on the Internet.

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 defines a religious organization and authorizes such organizations to host temporary encampments for homeless people on property owned or controlled by such organizations. It restricts counties, cities, and or towns from enacting ordinances or regulations that unreasonably interfere with the actions of a religious organization to shelter or house homeless people on property the organization owns or controls. 

This Act defines a college partnership laboratory school as a public, nonsectarian, nonreligious school established by a public institution of higher education that operates a teacher education program approved by the state board of education. The Act authorizes college partnership laboratory schools to stimulate the development of innovative programs for preschool through grade 12 students and provide opportunities for innovative instruction and assessment. 

This Act creates an evidentiary privilege against disclosing confidential communications between veterans or members of the military and veteran mentors. The privilege may be claimed by veterans or members of the military who make the communications, their representatives under certain circumstances, or by veteran mentors. 
The Act defines veteran mentor as an individual who is a veteran, is authorized by a circuit court judge to provide assistance and advice in a veterans mentoring program, has successfully completed judicially approved training, and has completed a background information form approved by a circuit court judge. Veterans mentoring programs are programs approved by a circuit court judge to provide assistance and advice about court related matters to veterans and current members of the Armed Forces. 
 

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