ISACo News and Views for August 17, 2023

8/17/2023 Nekya Hall

This week's Illinois State Association of Counties (ISACo) News and Views e-newsletter includes an overview of the new U.S. Treasury guidance for American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) flexibility, Governor Pritzker's veto and amendatory vetoes, the Illinois Supreme Court decision concerning the assault weapons ban law and upcoming National Association of Counties (NACo) webinar opportunities. Additionally ISACo highlights corporate partner Illinois Public Reserves Investment Management Trust™ (IPRIME™) and invites counties to join ISACo. 

Overview of New Treasury Guidance for ARPA Flexibility Legislation 

On August 10, the U.S. Department of Treasury (Treasury) released an Interim Final Rule (IFR) for the bipartisan State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Fiscal Recovery, Infrastructure, and Disaster Relief Flexibility Act (i.e. Cornyn/Padilla Amendment), which provides counties with the flexibility to invest the $65.1 billion that was allocated under the American Rescue Plan Act’s (ARPA) State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF) in transportation and infrastructure, disaster relief and community development.

The National Association of Counties (NACo) successfully advocated for the inclusion of the Cornyn/Padilla amendment in the Fiscal Year 2023 Omnibus Package. NACo has published an overview of the newly eligible uses under the IFR and how counties can use this new flexibility to support our residents and communities.

Additionally, NACo has scheduled a National Membership Call for Tuesday, August 15 from 2pm-3pm (CST) to discuss the new IFR. NACo member counties can register for the call via this link.

Governor Bill Actions

Governor JB Pritzker has signed several more ISACo-tracked bills* into law. The bills are linked below:

HB 218 (P.A. 103-0559) - Litigation Against Firearm Industry

HB 1076 (P.A. 103-0415) – Counties Code-Lease of Farmland

HB 1131 (P.A. 103-0517) - SW IL Development Authority

HB 1286 (P.A. 103-0518) - Equitable Restrooms-All Gender

HB 1496 (P.A. 103-0018) – Code of Corrections-Demographic Data

HB 1571 (P.A. 103-0421) – Cemeteries-Disinterment

HB 1595 (P.A. 103-0521) – EMS Systems-Dispute Resolution

HB 2039 (P.A. 103-0423) – Access to Public Health Data

HB 2102 (P.A. 103-0428) – Health Care Worker-Background Check

HB 2352 (P.A. 103-0529) – Cook County Pension Funding

HB 2443 (P.A. 103-0530) – Insurance-Hearing Aid Coverage

HB 2500 (P.A. 103-0434) – Animal Adoption-Fee Waiver

HB 2847 (P.A. 103-0535) – Insurance-Mental Health Care Access

HB 2954 (P.A. 103-0439) – Civil Liability for Doxing Act

HB 3026 (P.A. 103-0330) – Code of Corrections-Sentence Credit-Jail

HB 3129 (P.A. 103-0539) – Equal Pay Act-Pay Scale

HB 3202 (P.A. 103-0445) – Insurance-Cancer Test

HB 3326 (P.A. 103-0540) – Vehicle Code-License Plate Reader

HB 3396 (P.A. 103-0045) – Labor Dispute-Violations

HB 3516 (P.A. 103-0450) – Employee Organ Donations

HB 3631 (P.A. 103-0453) – Pharmacist Retaliation-Law Enforcement Agencies

HB 3809 (P.A. 103-0458) – Insurance-Health Impaired Children

SB 101 (P.A. 103-0059) – Insurance-Pediatric Autoimmune Coverage

SB 188 (P.A. 103-0474) – Medical Records-Consent

SB 684 (P.A. 103-0480) – Central Illinois Regional Airport Authority

SB 724 (P.A. 103-0546) - Children Behavioral Health Services

SB 849 (P.A. 103-0461) – Blue Ribbon Commission on Transportation Infrastructure and Policy

SB 850 (P.A. 103-0561) - Grocery Initiative Act

SB 851 (P.A. 103-0483) – Broadband Advisory Council Act

SB 1072 (P.A. 103-0409) – Honor and Remember Flag

SB 1282 (P.A. 103-0084) – Health Insurance Benefits Coverage

SB 1291 (P.A. 103-0485) – Limits-Debt Collect-St Agency

SB 1344 (P.A. 103-0462) – Insurance-Abort/Hormone/HIV

SB 1476 (P.A. 103-0487) – Affordable Housing Plans

SB 1497 (P.A. 103-0489) – Nursing Homes-Resident Consent

SB 1499 (P.A. 103-0490) – Companion Animal-Forfeiture

SB 1646 (P.A. 103-0552) – Pension Code-Cook County Retiree Re-entering Service As Election Worker

SB 1665 (P.A. 103-0492) – Guaranteed Income Exemption-Cook County

SB 1670 (P.A. 103-0554) – FOIA-Medical Records

SB 1675 (P.A. 103-0555) – Property Tax Sales

SB 1824 (P.A. 103-0464) – Pension Code-IMRF Various

SB 1924 (P.A. 103-0110) – School Code and Pension Code-Superintendents

SB 1999 (P.A. 103-0501) – Abandoned Infants

SB 2034 (P.A. 103-0466) – Child Extended Bereavement

SB 2037 (P.A. 103-0250) – Community Land Trust Task Force Act

SB 2123 (P.A. 103-0467) – Omnibus Elections

SB 2175 (P.A. 103-0254) – Criminal Proceeding Costs

SB 2195 (P.A. 103-0512) – Insurance-Prosthetic Device Coverage

SB 2368 (P.A. 103-0510) – Building and Residential Codes

*An ISACo tracked bill includes bills that directly or tangentially impact county finances and operations, bills that may be of interest to county officials for the performance of their duties and legislation presented "for your information." 

Please click on the image below for our most updated comprehensive report on bills approved by both chambers of interest to counties.

Governor's Vetoes

SB 1515 amends the “Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act” and was intended to increase protections for workers but due to "irreconcilable drafting errors," Governor Pritzker vetoed the bill. In his veto message the Governor stated his belief that the bill will have an adverse effect on the workers it seeks to protect.” Read the veto message here.

SB 76 is intended to remove the moratorium on new construction of nuclear power plants to allow for the construction of nuclear reactors in Illinois. In the Governor's veto message he opined that vague definitions in the bill will open the door to the rapid increase of large-scale nuclear reactors that are expensive to build will cause excessively high ratepayer-funded bailouts. Additionally, the Governor pointed that the bill provides no regulatory protections to address the health and safety of Illinois residents who live and work in close proximity to these new reactors. Read the veto message via this link.

Amendatory Vetoes

HB 2507 address issues surrounding property taxes, including important property tax relief for surviving spouses of first responders. The Governor issued an Amendatory Veto due to a change added to give private nursing home owners in Cook County a property tax break. That break is intended to pass the tax burden to Suburban Cook County homeowners and small businesses, with the most impact felt in the South Suburbs. The Governor is concerned that changes to property taxes on homeowners may increase costs for residents and put local school funding at risk. Read more about amendatory vetoes via this link.

HB 2878 address procurement issues that allow for the creation of public private partnerships (P3s) with counties, municipalities and any other unit of local government without proper oversight in place. Governor Pritzker believes a lack of oversight puts the state at a greater risk of project failure by decreasing competition and reducing the opportunity for public input currently required under state law during the P3 project planning and implementation process.

HB 3445 is an omnibus energy bill changing the Adjustable Block Grant program making it more available to public schools, requires Illinois Power Agency (IPA) to conduct a study evaluating several policy proposals, amends the law regarding siting for renewable energy projects, requires the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) to conduct a thermal energy network workshop, and gives existing utility providers the right of first refusal over new transmission projects in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) region. Governor Pritzker issued an Amendatory Veto due to the right of first refusal language inserted by Senate Amendment 4 that will increase costs for ratepayers by giving current utility providers in the MISO region a monopoly over new transmission lines. The Governor believes that eliminating the competition will cause rates to increase in the MISO region, where there is currently over $3.6 billion in planned transmission construction in the Ameren service territory. 

State Supreme Court Issues Decision on State’s Assault Weapons Ban 

The Illinois Supreme Court issued a decision upholding the state assault weapon’s ban law. In a 4-3 decision released on August 11, the high court found that the Protect Our Communities Act does not violate the federal Constitution's guarantee of equal protection of the law nor the state constitution's prohibition on special legislation. The Court did rule that Firearm Owner Identification Card (FOID) holders “are not similar in all relevant respects to the trained professionals” who were exempted from the ban, so it was found that the law was not special legislation and did not violate equal protection standards. The Court ruling is available via this link.

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.

Strategies to Help County Employees Build Financial Resiliency and Why It Matters

(Tuesday, August 15, 2023, 12:00pm-1:00pm CST)

Battered by inflation and rising costs, employees are asking for more financial support. Higher wages and richer rewards and benefits aren’t always feasible, but there are still steps counties can take to help their workforce manage debt and develop sound financial strategies. We’ll discuss the steps you can take to support employee financial wellbeing, reduce financial stress, and improve retention.

Click on this link to register for the webinar.

National Membership Call: Overview of U.S. Treasury New Guidance for ARPA Flexibility

(Tuesday, August 15, 2023, 2:00pm-3:00pm CST)

On August 10, the U.S. Department of Treasury (Treasury) released their Interim Final Rule (IFR) for the bipartisan State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Fiscal Recovery, Infrastructure, and Disaster Relief Flexibility Act (i.e. Cornyn/Padilla Amendment) that allows counties to invest American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF) dollars more flexibly towards new transportation and infrastructure projects, relief from natural disasters and eligible projects under the Community, Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. Join NACo for an overview of Treasury’s IFR and new eligible uses for SLFRF.

Click on this link to register for the webinar.



This week's corporate partner spotlight highlights ISACo's partnership with Illinois Public Reserves Investment Management Trust™ (IPRIME™), is an investment pool for Municipal Treasurers acting on behalf of counties, townships, cities, towns, villages, libraries, park districts, water supply districts, fire protection districts, sanitary districts, housing authorities and other subdivisions of the State of Illinois.

The IPRIME Investment Shares Series is rated AAAm by Standard & Poor’s.

The Investment Shares Series is comprised of money market instruments having a maximum remaining maturity of one year (except U.S. government obligations that may have remaining maturities of up to two years).

The primary objectives of the Investment Shares Series are to offer the highest possible investment yield, protect principal, preserve liquidity and maintain Standard & Poor’s highest local government investment pool rating of AAAm. In addition, the Fund offers access to PMA Financial Network, LLC’s Fixed Income and Deposit Programs. With the experience and expertise of PMA, the Investment Shares Series grants investors access to a powerful investment management team that functions with a high standard of vision, synergy, and quality.

Click here to visit their website.

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 ISACo member counties are listed here. Thank you for your consideration.