ISACo News and Views for October 2, 2023

10/2/2023 Nekya Hall

This week's Illinois State Association of Counties (ISACo) News and Views e-newsletter includes an update on the budget agreement reached by the United States Congress, shares ISACo's 2023-2024 Policy Committee Application Form, informs about Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) webinar opportunities regarding the Paid Leave for All Workers Act, makes county officials aware of the Illinois State Supreme Court's opening of a new interactive learning center, links to a news story about the decline in the number of volunteer firefighters in Illinois, reports on the Illinois Senate Public Health Committee's hearing about the affects of Long Covid, includes a link to an article about attempts by Illinois election officials to tamp down on misinformation, encourages the submission of legislative proposal ideas for ISACo's 2024 legislative agenda, announces upcoming National Association of Counties (NACo) webinar opportunities, highlights new ISACo corporate partner Public Surplus and invites counties to join ISACo.   

Congress Reaches Agreement on Spending Bill

On Saturday, September 30, the United States Congress passed a spending bill that will fund the government through November 17. Later that day, President Joe Biden signed the temporary funding bill into law. The bill includes disaster relief funds but does not include new aid for Ukraine. While a short-term funding agreement avoids deleterious outcomes for federal agencies and programs, particularly those affecting vulnerable populations, ISACo joins the National Association of Counties (NACo) in calling for a sustainable, long-term budget plan. 

House Republican Leader Appoints ISACo President Matthew Prochaska to Illinois Flag Commission

On September 22, 2023, House Republic Leader Tony McCombie (R) announced the appointment of ISACo President, Matthew Prochaska to the Illinois Flag Commission. The purposes of the Illinois Flag Commission are to create new State flag designs and to also make suggestions to the General Assembly concerning whether the current State flag should be replaced with a redesigned State flag. President Prochaska’s term will last three years and takes effect immediately.

ISACo's 2023-2024 Policy Committee Application Form Now Available

Join an ISACo Policy Committee and help shape the Association's legislative advocacy efforts. Meetings are held virtually and committees will meet four times per year unless committee members desire to meet more frequently. Service on an ISACo Policy Committee is contingent upon the county being a member of ISACo or the applicant being a member of an affiliated association. 

We encourage your participation and look forward to your contribution toward the betterment of county government in Illinois. To fill out the form, click here.

IDOL Offering Webinars About Paid Leave for All Workers Act

The Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) is hosting several webinars about the Paid Leave for All Workers Act, which will take effect January 1, 2024. On Tuesday, October 3, IDOL will host a webinar at 2:00 p.m. CST. The webinar will provide an overview of the new law and answer compliance questions. IDOL will host an additional webinar on Thursday, October 19, at 10:00 a.m. CST. More information, including registration and upcoming webinars occurring in November, is available via this link.

State’s High Court Opens New Interactive Learning Center

On September 20, 2023, Supreme Court Justices and other officials gathered to celebrate the opening of the new Learning Center that's located in the Supreme Court building. The Learning Center educates visitors of all ages on what the judicial branch does and how it operates. The new center also highlights significant court cases that have happened in Illinois and how cases are chosen by the Court. The Learning Center is located at the Illinois Supreme Court Building and is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4 pm. 

Additional information is available via this link. 

Illinois is Running Out of Volunteer Firefighters: 'It's Going to Become Very Critical, Very Shortly'

Many Illinois counties rely on volunteers for fire protection in local communities. The Chicago Tribune recently published an article discussing how the number of volunteer firefighters is declining. Local communities may need to begin discussions to either reverse this trend or find alternative solutions. 

The full Chicago Tribune article is available via this link.

Illinois Senate Public Health Committee Hears about Long Covid

Covid commands your attention. That’s what state senators on the Public Health Committee heard Tuesday.

Everyone seems to have moved on. Wrongly, said Chicago ob-gyn Dr. Melissa Simon.

“From the public’s eye, it doesn’t seem to be important,” Simon said. “And with the dismissal of (Chicago public health commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady) abruptly, and with people being not as attentive to covid, I find it … challenging … to say that people care about covid right now.”

The full WJBC article is available via this link.

Illinois Election Authorities Seek to Tamp Down On Misinformation

Six months before the next presidential primary elections in Illinois, county clerks, and other local election authorities are asking for the public’s help in stopping misinformation campaigns before they get started.

Officials from 25 counties scheduled a series of news conferences on September 26 in Tazewell, McLean and LaSalle counties. At the Tazewell event, the election officials said accusations of vote tampering and other misinformation campaigns have proliferated in each of the last two presidential election cycles, and they fear it could get worse in 2024.

The full State-Journal Register article is available via this link. 

ISACo Accepting Legislative Proposals for 2024 - INPUT REQUESTED!

Does your county have a problem in need of a legislative solution? If so, please e-mail it to ISACo at Submitted proposals will be considered by the Legislative Committee. Proposals ultimately approved by the ISACo Board of Directors will be included within our 2024 Illinois County Action Program (ICAP).

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.

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.

Help Eligible Plan Participants Prepare for Their Retirement (1)

(Thursday, October 5, 2023, 3:00pm-4:00pm CST)

Employer-sponsored retirement plans are an essential component of your employees’ benefits package. Join us for a webinar to learn how to help employees save for retirement, helping YOU to improve morale, attract top talent and reduce employee turnover.

Click on this link to register for the webinar.

Transforming Digital Government Experiences

(Thursday, October 5, 2023, 12:00pm-1:00pm CST)

In today's rapidly evolving digital landscape, counties are presented with opportunities to enhance the quality of life for their residents through innovative technologies. This webinar will delve into the modern tech stack supporting a thriving, digital community and is intended to assist county leaders in embracing digital transformation to create seamless, accessible government services.
By attending this webinar, participants will:

• Gain insights into how counties can leverage technological advancements to create enhanced resident experiences and access to services through real-world case studies.
• Learn practical strategies for implementing digital tools such as mobile apps, cloud infrastructure, and data-driven solutions to streamline operations and boost resident satisfaction.
• Understand the importance of maintaining data privacy and security in digital initiatives and explore best practices for safeguarding sensitive resident information.

Join us for this insightful webinar to uncover the potential of government software modernization and learn how to create a vibrant, connected, and resident-centric community. We’ll explore strategies, case studies, and best practices that empower cities to revolutionize the way residents interact with government, access services, and foster a strong sense of community.
Whether you're a county official, urban planner, or technology enthusiast, this session will equip you with the tools and knowledge to propel your county’s digital infrastructure forward

Click on this link to register for the webinar.

Local Regulations, Building Codes and Fees: Improving County Regulation Systems for Efficiency

(Wednesday, October 11, 2023, 12:00pm-1:00pm CST)

Zoning is important to designate how a parcel of land is used within a community, and a community land use plan seeks to properly map out the land within a county jurisdiction. To built, renovate, or provide quality rental housing also requires infrastructure like roads, utilizes, and broadband, some of which counties build, maintain, regulate, or otherwise support. In this session, three former housing task force members will discuss counties land use and zoning plans and how they relate to tacking counties’ housing affordability challenges.

Click on this link to register for the webinar. 


This week's corporate partner spotlight highlights ISACo's newest corporate partner, Public Surplus.

Public Surplus is an online auction platform that offers services to local government agencies. Their system was created with unique capabilities specifically for public agencies, making it much more than an auction site. 

ISACo has partnered with Public Surplus to provide large discounts for our county members when it comes to doing online auctions, specifically real estate sales. 

Through a partnership with ISACo, Illinois counties are eligible to list items with a reduced buyer's premium, which will encourage competitive bidding on surplus items listed. With Public Surplus, buyers are responsible for all service fees, and it costs counties nothing to use the service. 

Public Surplus will also provide a 10 percent rebate to ISACo on each sale so that the Association can continue to offer a high level of service at minimal cost to members. 

To foster this new partnership, Public Surplus will be offering a 20-minute webinar to interested individuals to learn more about Public Surplus. Participants will be guided on how to register, or re-register a new account. 

Stay tuned for available webinar dates. 

More information about the services provided by Public Surplus 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 ISACo member counties are listed here. Thank you for your consideration.