This week's Illinois State Association of Counties (ISACo) News and Views e-newsletter includes a legislative calendar update, provides information about bill filings and ISACo-tracked bills approved by House Committees last week, links to the Governor’s disaster declaration extending the COVID-19 emergency for an additional 30 days, an Executive Order (EO) renewing previous EOs related to COVID-19 and a new disaster declaration concerning asylum seekers, reports on the creation of a cannabis working group by House Democrats, provides information about state grant awards for local park projects, invites County Treasurers to attend a lunch and learn organized by ISACo corporate partner PMA/IPRIME, shares an upcoming National Association of Counties (NACo) webinar opportunity, highlights ISACo corporate partner Nationwide and invites counties to join ISACo.
Session Schedule and Deadlines
The Illinois House spent Tuesday through Thursday in session last week. The Senate was out last week but reconvenes along with the House on March 7. March 10 is the deadline to pass substantive legislation out of committee in its chamber of origin. To date there has not been any indication that the deadlines will be extended.
Introduced Legislation and ISACo-Tracked Bills
In total, 3,974 House Bills and 2,442 Senate Bills were filed by the House and Senate deadlines for a total of 6,416 bills.
After reviewing the bill summaries, ISACo tagged 849 for inclusion within our bill tracking system as of February 28. This is slightly more than 13% of all bills introduced and consists of bills that either affect or are of interest to counties. They include bills that are beneficial for counties, bills that are problematic for counties, bills needing closer scrutiny and bills included “for your information.”
Based upon our 2023 County Platform, of these 849 ISACo tracked bills, ISACo supports 116 and opposes 100. We either have “no position” on the remaining bills, or they remain “under review.” Bills “under review” typically require further analysis before we are comfortable deciding what, if any, position is warranted. If a bill tagged as “under review” doesn’t appear as if it will advance at all, we don’t allocate time or resources to dig further into the details. We will certainly be adding more bills to our list during the amendment process.
Each of our tracked bills are viewable in the bill tracking system on our website. They are searchable by bill number, key word, policy category, and whether a bill would impose a new mandate, preempt local authority or reduce local revenues. They are also searchable using a cross section of criteria (e.g, all tracked bills opposed by ISACo that would impose a mandate and reduce local revenues). We are still working on refining some of the digital bill pages with the appropriate tags (mandate, preemption and revenue loss).
Please contact us at email@example.com if we can answer any questions about how to navigate our bill tracking system.
Bills Approved by Committee Last Week
The following ISACo-tracked bills were approved by House Committees during the week of February 27-March 3. These bills will next be considered by the full House.
HB 1066 - Open Meetings Act - Childcare (No Position)
HB 1084 - Juvenile Detention - Limit Isolation (No Position)
HB 1236 - Counties Code - Competitive Bidding (No Position)
HB 1346 - GATA - Grant Limitations (Support)
HB 2033 - Local Government Bonds - Ordinance (No Position)
HB 2100 - Criminal Code - Elder Abuse (No Position)
HB 2223 - Juvenile Court - Jurisdiction and Venue (No Position)
HB 2278 - Environmental Response Project (No Position)
HB 2526 - Opiate Antagonist Fund (Support)
HB 2845 - Prevailing Wage Act - Biosolids (Oppose)
HB 3053 - Counties Code - Procurement Goals (Support)
Disaster Proclamations Extended
On March 3, Governor JB Pritzker signed a new Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation that extends the state's COVID-19 disaster declaration through April 1, 2023. As we reported in our February 6 News and Views e-newsletter, Governor Pritkzer announced that the COVID-19 public health emergency will expire on May 11, 2023. This coincides with when the federal public health emergency will end.
The Governor also issued COVID-19 Executive Order (EO) 2023-05. 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.
On March 3, Governor Pritzker also extended the state's disaster proclamation concerning asylum seekers for an additional 30 days.
Cannabis Working Group Created
House Democrats formed a cannabis working group to address the expansion of the industry in a business-friendly manner while still satisfying the statutorily required equity goals. Representative LaShawn Ford will lead the group. Other members include the following: Assistant Majority Leader Marcus Evans, Assistant Majority Leader Barbara Hernandez, Assistant Majority Leader Bob Rita, Representative Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, Representative Sonya Harper and Representative Bob Morgan.
According to Representative Ford, the main priority of the working group is to ensure individuals who have invested in the newly created industry are successful. This includes addressing the disproportionate impact the war on drugs had on communities of color, particularly with respect to cannabis-related arrests. The working group will collaborate with stakeholders including lawmakers, state agencies, businesses and associations that work directly with the cannabis industry.
State Grant Awards Announced for Local Park Projects
On March 1, Governor Pritzker along with state and local leaders and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) announced nearly $60 million in state grants are being awarded for 118 local park projects throughout Illinois to help communities acquire land and develop recreational opportunities. The grants represent the largest round of Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) grants in the 36-year history of the program, which was designed to help communities fund land acquisition and development for parks and outdoor recreation projects
In addition, for the first time in the history of the program, funding will cover 100% of eligible projects located in economically distressed communities, resulting in 22 underserved locations receiving OSLAD grants.
The grants are listed by county in the press release available via this link.
PMA/IPRIME Lunch and Learn Events for County Treasurers
Join the PMA and IPRIME team for lunch, learning and networking with Illinois County Treasurers on March 22 in Champaign and March 23 in Springfield! During these two-hour events, PMA/IPRIME will provide a 30 minute presentation to enhance knowledge about the Illinois Public Funds Investment Act (30 ILCS 235). Additional information and registration information is available via this link.
Upcoming NACo Webinar
NACo has announced the following upcoming webinar opportunity. ISACo is a proud partner with NACo and encourages counties to participate in NACo membership and activities.
Whole-of-State 2.0: A Tale of Two States and Counties
(Thursday, March 9, 2023, 12:00pm-1:00pm CDT)
No matter where you are in your cybersecurity journey - you've probably heard of Whole-of-State. What does this mean for your jurisdiction?
A Whole-of-State cybersecurity strategy is a collaborative effort between State, Local, and Education to protect the state as a whole, from cybersecurity threats. Pillars of Whole-of-State include: Information Sharing, Incident Response, Workforce Development, & Standardized Tool Sets. Given that these entities are facing an expanding landscape of common threats, it makes sense for them to pool resources, share information, and work together to strengthen their digital defense.
Join this NACo webinar to get a refresher on Whole-of-State and hear from State and County CISOs experts who are navigating different phases in their Whole-of-State journey.
Click on this link to register for the webinar.
CORPORATE PARTNER SPOTLIGHT
This week's corporate partner spotlight highlights ISACo's partnership with Nationwide.
Over the past 85 years, focusing on customers and valuing people have helped Nationwide become one of the largest insurance and financial services companies in the world.
Even though Nationwide has dozens of affiliated companies, people are its biggest resource – and its greatest asset in providing excellent customer service to its customers. That's why its Supply Management Services group makes sure agents and associates get the best quality products and services, at the best possible cost. It's also why Nationwide has an Office of Customer Advocacy.
More information about the services provided by Nationwide 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. ISACo member counties are listed here. Thank you for your consideration.