ISACo News and Views for January 10, 2023

1/10/2023 Joe McCoy

This week's Illinois State Association of Counties (ISACo) News and Views e-newsletter shares the remarks made by Governor JB Pritzker during his inauguration, provides updates on legislation restricting county zoning authority, a trailer bill to a previously enacted law concerning Veterans Assistance Commissions (VACs), a bill concerning transfers of certain criminal defendants from county jails to the State, legislation banning assault weapons, shares information about the extension of Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamations, provides a link to ISACo's December County Quarterly Newsletter, provides registration information for the National Association of Counties (NACo) upcoming Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C, makes counties aware of an expansion to employee bereavement leave rights, includes a link to the Illinois Department of Revenue's (IDOR) Local Government Newsletter for January, shares upcoming NACo webinar opportunities, highlights ISACo corporate partner Mahoney, Silverman and Cross, LLC and invites counties to join ISACo.

Governor Pritzker Takes Oath of Office for Second Term

On January 9, 2023, Governor JB Pritzker was inaugurated for a second term as Illinois Governor. His inaugural remarks are available via this link.

General Assembly Approves Legislation Restricting County Zoning Authority

The House and Senate approved legislation that would impose limitations on county authority to site wind and solar facilities. HB 4412 (Rep. Gabel, D-Evanston/Sen. Cunningham, D-Chicago) includes statewide standards for siting the facilities as well as unrealistic timetables for public hearings (45 days) and rendering a final siting decision following the public hearing (30 days). 

ISACo opposed the legislation based upon the preemption of county zoning authority. The bill is an initiative of the Illinois Environmental Council. Bill proponents believe county zoning policies are an impediment to the development of wind and solar energy in Illinois.

The bill will next be considered by the Governor. ISACo Opposes

Veterans Assistance Commission Trailer Bill Passes Both Chambers

HB 2369 (Sen. Wilcox, R-McHenry/Rep. Kifowit, D-Aurora) is a trailer bill for a new law (P.A. 102-0732) enacted on May 6, 2022, that made changes to the relationship between counties and their Veterans Assistance Commissions (VAC). ISACo's summary of this law is available here.

Over the past several months ISACo has been advocating for sensible changes to the law. Our advocacy requests are included within a letter sent to the Attorney General's Office and the primary sponsors and co-sponsors of the legislation. We are appreciative that some of our recommendations have been incorporated into the bill, which was approved by both chambers and will next be considered by the Governor  

ISACo has no official position on HB 2369, as it improves the underlying law somewhat but falls short of including all of our requested provisions. ISACo has also expressed significant concern about the financial impact on counties created by P.A. 102-0732 and the lack of more meaningful county board oversight for the expenditure of tax dollars in HB 2369. No Position

ISACo has prepared an Issue Brief about SB 2369.

General Assembly Passes Bill Making Criminal Defendant Transfers More Difficult

HB 240 (Rep. Harris, D-Chicago/Sen. Gillespie, D-Arlington Heights) includes a provision that would allow the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) to forego the transfer of criminal defendants with mental health disabilities from counties when DHS has insufficient beds and staff to receive the defendants. Consequently, these criminal defendants would remain the responsibility of the county despite county jails not being equipped to provide the space or mental health services required by the defendants. This provision would only be applicable to individuals committing no more than a misdemeanor offense. The bill was approved by both chambers and will next be considered by the Governor. During debate, it was suggested that the criminal defendant transfer provision may be revisited during the spring in favor of a more sensible solution. ISACo Opposes

Assault Weapon Ban Approved

Both chambers approved legislation imposing restrictions on the acquisition and ownership of assault weapons. HB 5471 (Speaker Welch, D-Westchester/President Harmon, D-Oak Park). The Governor signed the bill into law on the evening of January 10. No Position

Disaster Proclamations Extended

On January 6, Governor JB Pritzker signed a new Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation that extends the state's COVID-19 disaster declaration through February 4, 2023.

The Governor also issued COVID-19 Executive Order (EO) 2023-01. This EO re-issues several previous COVID-19-related EOs. 

Per P.A. 101-0640, remote meetings remain a permissible option for local governments if certain criteria are met. Additional information about this authority is available via this link.

Governor Pritzker also extended a statewide Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation concerning asylum seekers. The proclamation authorizes IDHS to coordinate with the Governor, other state agencies and local authorities to develop and implement strategies and plans to respond to the impact of asylum seekers.

ISACo County Quarterly 

ISACo's County Quarterly for December 2022 is available here! Some of the content included within the County Quarterly is a 2022 Veto Session update, ISACo's Annual Report for 2022, seven questions with former ISACo President Deborah Sims, a market update from ISACo corporate partner PMA-IPRIME and key dates for the 2023 spring legislative session.

Registration Open for NACo Legislative Conference

The National Association of Counties (NACo) Legislative Conference will be held from February 11-14, 2023, in Washington, D.C. The conference brings together nearly 2,000 elected and appointed county officials to focus on federal policy issues that impact counties and our residents.

Attendees have the opportunity to engage in second-to-none policy sessions, meet the members of the 118th Congress and interact with federal agency officials.

This is a one-of-a-kind advocacy opportunity to strengthen our intergovernmental partnerships for years to come.

Registration information is available via this link.

Expansion of Bereavement Leave Rights

On January 1, changes to the Family Bereavement Leave Act (FBLA) became effective. This expands unpaid leave right for employees statewide. Additional information is available via this link.

IDOR Local Government Newsletter for January

The Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) Local Tax Allocation Division published its January 2023 Quarterly Newsletter. Included within the newsletter is information regarding jurisdictional boundaries, the grocery tax suspension and back-to-school state sales tax holiday, important dates for 2023 and more.

Upcoming NACo Webinars

NACo has announced the following upcoming webinar opportunities. ISACo is a proud partner with NACo and encourages counties to participate in NACo membership and activities.

Creating Local Impact: County Roles in Shaping the Future of Digital Equity

(Wednesday, January 11, 2023, 12:00pm-1:00pm CDT)

County leaders have a critical role to play as an unprecedented level of federal investment in broadband makes billions available to close the digital divide. Expanded opportunity to access healthcare, employment, and government services through affordable high-speed internet requires county leaders to build effective partnerships, rely on data-driven results, and create a roadmap for digital equity at the local level. County leaders will walk away ready to take ownership of their role in creating digital equity plans alongside state broadband offices, an understanding of the federal funding cycle and available resources to support broadband deployment and an outline of the non-deployment funding opportunities that can help close the adoption gap and advance digital equity.

Click on this link to register for the webinar.

OnBase as the Enabler to Integrate All Lines of Business

(Thursday, January 12, 2023, 1:00pm-2:00pm CDT)

See how Horry County has successfully integrated multiple lines of business using OnBase as the foundation. From sharing documents across different lines of business, to automating workflows between departments and using RPA as a tool to increase efficiencies. OnBase has been the key to the quick and easy deployment of a number of solutions, all of which can streamline processes in County Government.

Click on this link to register for the webinar.

CORPORATE SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT

This week's corporate partner spotlight highlights ISACo's partnership with Mahoney, Silverman and Cross, LLC. 

The Law Firm of Mahoney, Silverman and Cross, LLC strives to provide superior legal representation with the objective of exceeding their clients’ expectations. Each member of the firm is committed to utilizing critical analysis and innovative approaches to achieve timely resolutions with the best possible results for their clients.

More information about the services provided by Mahoney, Silverman and Cross, LLC is available via this link.

Click on this link to learn more about the benefits and opportunities available through ISACo's Corporate Partner Program.

Become an ISACo Member!

Is your county a member of ISACo? If not, why not?

ISACo is a statewide association whose mission is to empower county officials to provide excellent service to their residents.

ISACo member counties are comprised of forward-thinking public servants who recognize that the challenges confronting county governments require new and innovative ideas, collaborative solutions and collective advocacy at the state and federal levels of government.

Members of the association will benefit from education and training opportunities, peer-to-peer networking, shared resources and robust representation before policymakers at various levels of government. ISACo creates and connects county officials to these opportunities and successfully equips them to make counties ideal places to live, work and play.

If your county is interested in discussing membership in ISACo, please contact Executive Director Joe McCoy at (217) 679-3368 or jmccoy@isacoil.org. ISACo member counties are listed here. Thank you for your consideration.