ISACo News and Views for September 25, 2023

9/25/2023 Nekya Hall

This week's Illinois State Association of Counties (ISACo) News and Views e-newsletter includes information about the SAFE-T Act resource page available on our website, includes an announcement from the Illinois State Police (ISP) regarding an emergency rule for the Protect Illinois Communities Act, makes counties aware of The Strong Communities Program opportunity, provides a link to an upcoming Government Excellence Network Summit opportunity, shares an inspirational update on the successful double lung transplant for Cook County Commissioner and ISACo Vice President Dennis Deer, links to upcoming National Association of Counties (NACo) webinar opportunities, highlights corporate partner Nationwide and invites counties to join ISACo.

Pretrial Fairness Act Resource Page

The Pretrial Fairness Act, which abolishes cash bail as a condition of pretrial release, took effect on September 18, 2023. 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 be continuously updated as a resource for counties.

Protect Illinois Communities Act Emergency Rule Filed

It was announced on September 15 that the Illinois State Police (ISP) filed an emergency rule with the Illinois Secretary of State (SOS) to implement the Protect Illinois Communities Act (Act). On January 10, 2023, Governor JB Pritzker signed P.A. 102-1116 into law to regulate the sale and distribution of assault weapons, high-capacity magazines and switches in Illinois. The Act went into effect immediately upon his signing the bill. Individuals who possessed an assault weapon, assault weapon attachment,.50 caliber rifle or .50 caliber cartridge before the Act took effect are required to submit an endorsement affidavit through their Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) Card account prior to January 1, 2024. Additional information is available via this link.

Pritzker Administration Provides $19 Million for Community Revitalization

The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) Board approved $19 million to support affordable housing and community revitalization efforts across Illinois. Awarded under the Strong Communities Program (SCP), the initiative will provide funding to 68 units of local governments and land bank authorities for the acquisition, maintenance, rehabilitation and demolition of abandoned residential properties in their communities. The program is designed to support local revitalization efforts and attract further investment in communities that may lack the resources needed to tackle vacant, abandoned and deteriorated properties. Additional information is available via this link.

Upcoming Government Excellence Network Summit Opportunity

UIS College of Public Affairs and Education (CPAE) and Center for State Policy and Leadership (CSPL) are partnering with Win Together on an upcoming Government Excellence Network Summit on October 25, 2023. Additional details about the event can be found via this link. 

ISACo Vice President Dennis Deer Recovering after Successful Double Lung Transplant 

Cook County Commissioner and ISACo Vice President Dennis Deer has made a remarkable recovery from a rare inflammatory condition known as polymyositis. His tenacity in the face of this condition is inspirational and worth sharing. His story was covered by CNN in August:

Fifty-year-old psychologist Dennis Deer’s lungs were failing, scarred by a rare inflammatory condition called polymyositis. Despite carrying supplemental oxygen, the Cook County Commissioner for the 2nd district in Illinois was finding it harder and harder to perform his job.

“It was terrible. I would walk 10 steps and I was gasping for air,” Deer said in a news conference Monday.

Deer was added to the lung transplant list, but he faced an additional hurdle. All of the organs in his chest and abdomen — including his lungs — were flip-flopped in his body, with organs that should be on the right existing on the left and vice versa.

The genetic condition, called situs inversus, affects about 1 in every 10,000 people, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Occurring during fetal development, the disorder has been linked to some 100 different genes.

Commissioner Deer's story 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.

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.

How Overloaded County IT Organizations Can Address Traditional and New AI-Generated Cyber Threats

(Thursday, September 28, 2023, 12:00pm-1:00pm CST)

County IT organizations are already overloaded dealing with cyber threats that could result in data breaches, loss of system access resulting in the unavailability of critical services, and more. New cyber threats generated by AI or chat add additional complexity on top of everything else. Celerium just completed a successful four-month pilot project with NACo that explored new ways of automatically defending counties against cyber threats. This webinar will provide important information to help counties understand the emerging threats they face and how to address them:

  • The evolution from traditional to new emerging threats.
  • How IT organizations can address or even reduce the average time to detect a data breach (IBM research found an average of 207 days (6.9 months) to detect a breach).
  • The need for county executive visibility into cyber compromise activity, which could result in a lack of trust with county residents as well as larger legal impacts

Click on this link to register for the webinar.

BRECC National Network Learning Series: The Nuts and Bolts of Community Benefits Plans

(Thursday, September 28, 2023, 2:00pm-3:30pm CST)

Is your coal community navigating clean energy investments? Join BRECC’s National Network Session and learn how Community Benefits Plans can help ensure new energy projects contribute to local and equitable prosperity. This session will cover the key components and local levers to create meaningful Community Benefits Plans between private developers and community residents. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) requires Community Benefits Plans as part of all BIL and IRA funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) and loan applications.

Click on this link to register for the webinar.

BRECC Action Challenge Application Information Session

(Wednesday, October 4, 2023, 2:00pm-3:00pm CST)

Join NACo for an informational webinar on the application process for the Building Resilient Economies in Coal Communities (BRECC) Action Challenge. The BRECC Action Challenge is a team-based technical assistance and capacity-building program resulting in a strategic economic diversification plan. Find out if your community is a good fit as BRECC program specialists walk you through the application process. Attendees will learn program services, eligibility criteria and how to apply for the BRECC Action Challenge. All coal-impacted communities are encouraged to apply!

Click on this link to register for the webinar.


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 Member Services and Communications Manager Tiffani Homer at (217) 679-3368 or ISACo member counties are listed here. Thank you for your consideration.