Mr. Sevener said, “SB1827 passed the Senate unanimously, but that was a year ago. It emerged recently from the House Rules Committee and has been the subject of negotiation. I think that we are close.”
Chairman Kaplan said, “The general contractors are in opposition?”
Mr. Sevener said, “They are among the opponents of the bill presently. Although Ed Duffy, myself, and others have been working to satisfy with amendatory language the concerns that others have expressed, most notably that the energy conservation performance contract law that is presently in existence, does not circumvent any other state statutes relating to prevailing wage and minority and female business enterprises.”
Chairman Kaplan said, “It is a key issue for us as well, especially now. On January 1, the utility costs are going to skyrocket. We know that to be a fact. Maybe that will give a little more impetus to the folks involved to start looking at this more seriously.”
Dr. Rutman said, “I am afraid that the universities will be encouraged to pass on some of these high utility bills to the students.”
Chairman Kaplan said, “I would assume that is going to happen. That is why we are looking at this so earnestly. There are other items that we have been looking at for years, too. Maybe this will get some more interest.”
13. Report of the Disability Committee
Chairman Kaplan introduced Mr. Brad Hedrick and said, “Could you tell us a little about your background?”
Mr. Hedrick said, “I obtained my baccalaureate, my master’s work at North Carolina. I moved to Illinois because of the program that I currently have the pleasure of directing at University of Illinois that provides services to students with disabilities. I have served as director of that program since 1995. Prior to that time, I was a coach of our wheelchair sports teams at the University of Illinois, and at present, in my capacity with this committee, we are working to identify concerns, problems, and issues related to post-secondary disability access. Since this is our inaugural occasion of our involvement with the Board and in that our elected chair was unavailable, I would like to take the opportunity on behalf of myself and my colleagues to thank you for affording us the opportunity to participate through this committee with you and endeavoring to elevate awareness within the higher education community of the problems, concerns, and issues related to disability access in higher education and look forward to working with you collaboratively in the years ahead on strategies to improve postsecondary access and opportunities for persons with disabilities.
“I have provided you with the notes of our most recent meeting that summarizes the issues that we have been considering and the actions thus far that have been taken by the committee. I have included a PowerPoint presentation with information on the metrics program and a white paper completed by the committee related to postsecondary disability funding needs. That is arising out of the fact that students with disabilities are a growing population on our campuses, and they have been for some time now. More recently with the budget difficulties of higher education, these are being exacerbated by the decisions of our state agencies, both in Illinois and other states rehab service agencies, to begin to withdraw funding for auxiliary aides. At some future occasion, there is going to be a great need for us to come back and
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