ISACo News and Views for September 18, 2023

9/18/2023 Nekya Hall

This week's Illinois State Association of Counties (ISACo) News and Views e-newsletter includes an announcement about new ISACo staff members, shares information about the latest COVID-19 shot approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and endorsed by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), makes counties aware of a Lead Service Line Inventory grant opportunity, provides an update about Illinois' unemployment rate, links to upcoming National Association of Counties (NACo) webinar opportunities, highlights ISACo corporate partner Illinois Public Reserves Investment Management Trust™ (IPRIME™) and invites counties to join ISACo. 

Staff Announcement 

To enhance service to our members as we continue to grow and expand, ISACo is pleased to announce the additions of Nekya Hall and Tiffani Homer to our team. Each was hired to fill newly created positions with ISACo. Meet Nekya and Tiffani below:

Nekya Hall - Legislative Advocacy and Research Manager

Nekya has years of legislative experience working alongside the state legislature. Nekya is from Posen, Illinois, and a former resident of Cook County. Nekya now resides in Sangamon County. She attended Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and earned a degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice with a double minor in forensic science and psychology. During her matriculation she interned with the Illinois House of Representatives which catapulted her career in public policy.

Nekya has extensive experience in public policy, budget, legislation, and engagement with key legislators and staff. During her tenure with the Office of the Speaker and the Illinois Secretary of State, she gained a comprehensive understanding of research and policy. Nekya has spent the past couple of years working with the State of Illinois and is excited to use her expertise to serve counties. In her free time, Nekya enjoys spending time with her friends and family, creating balloon art and reading.

“I am very excited to join the ISACo team and look forward to the knowledge I will gain from working with counties and officials.”

What’s a fun fact about your county that you would like to share with readers?

A scene from the blockbuster movie, Legally Blonde 2 was filmed at the Illinois State Capitol in 2003. The Illinois State Capitol was chosen for this scene, due to the Springfield House chambers resembling the US Capitol’s the most at the time.

Nekya can be contacted at

Tiffani Homer - Member Services and Communications Manager

Tiffani is originally from Ashland, Illinois and is a proud resident of Cass County. Tiffani attended Illinois College and earned a bachelor’s degree in Communication and Rhetorical Studies with a minor in history. During that time, she interned at a local radio station where she was introduced to the world of breaking news. After graduating from Illinois College in 2018, she pursued a master’s degree in the Public Affairs Reporting Program at the University of Illinois-Springfield. The Public Affairs Reporting Program (PAR) is a one-year, professionally oriented master’s degree program that trains students to become journalists who produce news coverage about government, politics and other public affairs. She later interned at ABC NewsChannel 20 in Springfield, Illinois, and gained experience reporting statehouse news. In her free time, Tiffani enjoys spending time outdoors, collecting vinyl records and listening to podcasts.

“I’m thrilled to return to Springfield and be able to have the opportunity to help empower county members and officials through my communication skills.”

What’s a fun fact about your county that you’d like to share with readers?

Cass County is home to the Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area. The state park has over 16,000 acres of land for hiking, fishing, hunting, camping -- you name it. I look forward to spending my time there this fall whenever the leaves change!

Tiffani can be contacted at

Cash Bail Ends Today

The Pretrial Fairness Act, which abolishes cash bail as a condition of pretrial release, takes effect today (September 18). Illinois is the first state to end cash bail. ISACo maintains a resource page with information and articles about the SAFE-T Act. This page will continue to receive updates as a resource for counties.

The Illinois Department of Public Health Endorses the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Recommendation for COVID-19 Shots that Target Current Strains

On September 13, The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) endorsed the recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for the newly FDA-approved COVID-19 shots for everyone over the age of 6 months. The federal agencies have given the green light for updated mRNA vaccines developed by Moderna and Pfizer that target the currently circulating strains of the COVID-19 virus. Additional information is available via this link.

Lead Service Line Inventory Grant Opportunity

To assist communities in meeting the inventory requirements outlined in the LSLRNA, the IEPA is making $10 million available through the 15% Local Assistance and Other State Program Set-Aside, where no more than 10% of the grant funds may be used on a single program activity. This Set-Aside will be taken from the 2022 BIL-Lead grant to fund this round (Round 3) of the Lead Service Line Inventory Grant Program for the creation of a Complete Lead Service Line Inventory meeting the inventory requirements outlined in 415 ILCS 5/17.12. Additional information is available via this link.

Illinois Payroll Jobs Stable, Unemployment Rate Up Minimally in August

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced on September 14, the unemployment rate increased +0.1 percentage point to 4.1 percent, while nonfarm payrolls were almost unchanged, down -100, in August, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES. August total nonfarm payrolls remained above the pre-pandemic number of total nonfarm payroll jobs. The July revised unemployment rate was 4.0 percent, unchanged from the preliminary July unemployment rate. The July monthly change in payrolls was revised from the preliminary report, from +11,200 to +3,400 jobs. The August unemployment rate and payroll jobs estimate reflect activity for the week including the 12th. Additional information 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.

County Successes- Proven Strategies for Liquidity Management in a Rising Rate Environment

(Tuesday, September 19, 2023, 12:00pm-1:00pm CST)

Visit the event page for the most up-to-date information. Questions? Contact  

Click on this link to register for the webinar.

NACo Information Series on Treasury’s ARPA Flexibility Guidance: Transportation Infrastructure Project

(Wednesday, September 20, 2023, 12:00pm-1:00pm CST)

For more information check out the event page or email  

Click on this link to register for the webinar.

Disaster Mitigation Brief

(Wednesday, September 20, 2023, 2:00pm-3:00pm CST)

Counties and other local governments are at the frontlines of extreme climate-related events, leading the immediate disaster response and recovery, whatever the availability of internal infrastructure and resources. While disaster resilience is an intergovernmental responsibility, the capacity of local governments to prepare, respond and recover is critical to mitigating the loss and damage caused by disasters.    

Click on this link to register for the webinar.

New Options to Combat Summer Hunger: What Counties Need to Know

(Thursday, September 21, 2023, 12:00pm-1:00pm CST)

Summer hunger impacts too many children when they lose access to nutritious school meals. But thanks to bipartisan action by Congress last year, state and local governments have two powerful new tools to fight hunger and better meet the nutritional needs of children during the summer months: “grab and go” meals for eligible children in certain rural areas and, starting in 2024, the permanent nationwide “Summer EBT” program, which will provide benefits for low-income households with children to purchase food over the summer.     

Click on this link to register for the webinar.

Federal Nexus: Using Federal Resources to Support Housing

(Monday, September 25, 2023, 12:00pm-1:00pm CST)

Counties and the federal government work together to support local communities in addressing housing affordability. Federal funding is used by counties to administer housing programs and assist low-income residents. In this session, three former housing task force members will discuss actions that counties have undertaken that exemplify effective use of federal funding to support housing.

Click on this link to register for the webinar.

Responding to Ransomware Attacks

(Tuesday, September 26, 2023, 12:00pm-1:00pm CST)

As cyber extortion, including ransomware, continues to impact virtually every sector, and threat actors increase their extortion demands, the need for an effective incident response (IR) plan becomes more imperative. After over 20 years of incident response, Sylint has developed an IR program that helps counties respond to and recover from cyber extortion incidents. This webinar will cover the 7 crucial steps to address these incidents and provide a framework to minimize downtime, reduce impact, and enable continuity.

Click on this link to register for the webinar.

NACo Information Series on Treasury’s ARPA Flexibility Guidance: Relief from Natural Disasters

(Wednesday, September 27, 2023, 1:00pm-2:00pm CST)

NACo for our second in a series of information sessions where we will walk through key features of Treasury’s Interim Final Rule for the ARPA SLFRF and how counties can effectively take advantage of the new flexibilities and invest these dollars at the local level.

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.