ISACo News and Views for November 6, 2023

11/6/2023 Tiffani Homer

This week's Illinois State Association of Counties (ISACo) News and Views e-newsletter includes an update on the fall Veto Session, links to several newly tracked ISACo bills, reports on a federal appeals court decision upholding Illinois’ assault weapons ban, announces the next round of funding for the Illinois Electric Vehicle (EV) Rebate Program, highlights the expansion of the Utility Assistance Program, announces new appointments to the Illinois Forensic Science Commission and Illinois Housing Development Authority, shares information on Open Enrollment and Release Rates for the 2024 Plan Year for Affordable Care Act (ACA) Health Insurance, highlights the Kane County Judicial Center's Courthouse Service Dog, Forrest, reports on the Freshmen Enrollment Increase at Illinois Public Universities, shares information on Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois being Fined for Failing to Properly Update Provider Directories, includes recommended news content, announces upcoming National Association of Counties (NACo) and Public Surplus webinar opportunities, highlights ISACo corporate partner Illinois Public Reserves Investment Management Trust™ (IPRIME™) and invites counties to join ISACo. 

Veto Session

The General Assembly will convene on November 7-9 for the second week of the fall Veto Session. The vetoes and amendatory vetoes are likely be considered during this time.

The legislation of most interest to counties that received vetoes and amendatory vetoes is available via this link

List of Newly-Tracked Bills

The following bills have recently been added to ISACo's tracked bill list. If there is no position listed then the bill is still under review by staff. A complete list of ISACo tracked bills is available via this link.

HB 4202 - Property Tax-Senior Freeze (No Position)

HB 4208 - Paid Leave for All Workers (Support)

HB 4210 - Low-Carbon Delivery Act

HB 4213 - Local-Accessory Dwelling Units (Oppose)

*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." ISACo positions of "support" or "oppose" are usually reserved for bills that directly or tangentially impact county finances and operations. ISACo also supports member county initiatives that are consistent with ISACo's County Platform

Federal Appeals Court Upholds Illinois Assault Weapons Ban

On Friday, November 3, 2023, a federal appeals court ruled that Illinois’ assault weapons ban does not violate the Second Amendment of the United State Constitution. The law previously survived a challenge before the Illinois Supreme Court.

Additional information about the federal appeals court ruling is available via this link

The court ruling is available via this link.

Electric Vehicle Rebate Program for Illinois Residents

Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Director John J. Kim announced on November 1, 2023, the opening of the next round of funding for the Illinois Electric Vehicle (EV) Rebate Program. Applications are currently being accepted. Individuals can access and complete an application for a rebate under Illinois’ EV Rebate Program here.

The press release is available via this link.

Utility Assistance Program Applications Available

Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) are encouraging additional income-eligible families to apply for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to support utility bill assistance for natural gas, propane and electricity. Applications expanded on November 1, 2023, to include income-eligible households that are disconnected or facing imminent disconnection.

“With temperatures dropping and the winter season just weeks away, my administration is ensuring that every family has the assistance they need to keep the lights and the heat on,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “With DCEO’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, we are providing utility bill support to thousands of income-eligible families—and I urge those who are disconnected or facing imminent disconnection to apply. Here in Illinois, we look out for our neighbors, and that’s exactly what LIHEAP is all about.”

The press release is available here and application to apply is available here. 

Shenonda Tisdale and Erika Poethig Appointed to Boards and Commissions

Shenonda Tisdale will serve as a Member of the Illinois Forensic Science Commission. Tisdale currently serves as an Assistant Public Defender in the Will County Public Defender's Office and brings over twenty years of legal experience to the Commission. In this role, she represents clients charged with felony offenses in all stages of the proceedings, from arraignment and pre-trial motions through trial and sentencing.

Erika Poethig will serve as a Member of the Illinois Housing Development Authority. Poethig is the Executive Vice President for Strategy and Planning at the Civic Committee and Commercial Club of Chicago. Previously, Poethig was the Special Assistant to the President for Housing and Urban Policy on the White House Domestic Policy Council.She received her Bachelor of Arts from the College of Wooster, where she was a Phi Beta Kappa member, and she was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Vienna. Her Master of Arts with honors is in public policy from the University of Chicago. 

Next Generation Capacity Building Initiative Program

The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) and the Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC) are pleased to share their partnership on a new program, the Next Generation Capacity Building Initiative (Next Gen). Next Gen is designed to expand the talent pipeline and increase diversity within the housing development field and related industries, with a focus on reducing barriers to entry for developers of color in the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program. Cohorts will be provided training and technical assistance with access to pre-development financing for early costs of housing development.

Applications for Next Gen will be accepted through 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 1, 2023.

If you are interested, you can learn more about the program and begin the application process that is available via this link. 

Open Enrollment for Affordable Care Act (ACA) Health Insurance

Illinoisans will once again have an additional month to enroll in a health plan through January 15, 2024. The Illinois Department of Insurance (IDOI) also released health insurance rates for the 2024 Plan Year, announcing that there are now twelve issuers offering ACA Marketplace health plans in Illinois.

 Consumers must enroll by December 15, 2023, to have health insurance coverage start on January 1, 2024. Otherwise, coverage will begin at a later date. After the January 15, 2024, deadline for Open Enrollment, consumers can only purchase insurance coverage on the ACA Marketplace if they have a qualifying life event, including losing job-based coverage, getting married, having a child, adopting a child, or moving.

The 2024 Analysis of the Illinois Exchange Plan is available via this link. 

Information on the ACA Marketplace Open Enrollment period is available via this link. 

The press release is available via this link. 

Furry Friend on the Job at Kane County Judicial Center 

Meet Forrest, the Courthouse Dog at the Kane County Judicial Center. Forrest is an English Labrador Retriever who works in the Kane County Judicial Center in St. Charles. He has worked in the 16th Judicial Circuit Court since 2017 with his main handler, Judge Marmarie Kostelny. Forrest provides comfort to both adults and children in the Circuit’s problem-solving courts and juvenile justice center.

The video is available via this link. 

Freshmen Enrollment Increases at Illinois Public Universities 

On November 3, 2023, the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) released its fall enrollment report for the state’s public universities for the fall semester of the 2023-24 academic year showing Illinois, again, beat national trends. Total fall 2023 undergraduate enrollment at Illinois public universities increased 0.3 percent compared to the previous year, reversing several consecutive years of decreases and freshmen enrollment at Illinois public universities increased by a noteworthy 1.5 percent compared to the fall semester of the 2021-22 academic year. This bucked freshmen enrollment at the national level which decreased 6.1 percent at all public universities. Fall 2023 marked the third consecutive year of growth in freshmen enrollment.

The press release is available via this link. 

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois Fined for Failing to Properly Update Provider Directories

On November 3, 2023, IDOI announced fines totaling $231,900 for Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), the parent company of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, for violations of the Network Adequacy and Transparency Act (NATA) requirements for health insurers to post up-to-date, accurate and complete provider directory information.

Earlier this year, following a targeted market conduct examination of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, the Department fined HCSC for violating NATA and ordered the company to take corrective action, including updating provider directories and making the information clearer to consumers. Market conduct examinations allow the regulatory agency to review insurance companies' compliance with state and federal laws. The health insurer’s delayed compliance with implementing changes to its provider directories to address the NATA violations resulted in the new fine.

The press release is available via this link. 

What We're Reading

Scholarship Tax Credit Program Among Issues Still on the Table with Three Legislative Days Remaining (Capitol News Illinois)

Governments Installing Digital Safeguards that Shield Infrastructure from Cyber Criminals (American City and County)

Illinois Supreme Court Doubles Compensation for Court-Appointed Attorneys (WREX)

Biden Signs Executive Order Regulating Artificial Intelligence (Governing)

Biden’s Elusive AI Whisperer Finally Goes On the Record. Here’s His Warning (Politico)

Illinois Legislators Address Impacts of Artificial Intelligence on Society (The Center Square)

Illinois Student Test Scores Closer to Pre-Pandemic Proficiency Levels, but Absenteeism Remains High (Chalkbeat Chicago) 

How Local Government Can Recruit and Retain the Gen Z Workforce (Governing)

Upcoming Public Surplus Webinar Dates

Public Surplus will be offering 20-minute webinar sessions to interested individuals to learn more about Public Surplus and its online auction site. Participants will also be guided on how to register, or re-register to create a new account.

Public Surplus is an online auction platform that offers services to local government agencies.  

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.

The webinar will take place on the following dates: 

  • November 16, 2023, at 1pm CST (Link Available Later)
  • November 30, 2023, at 10am CST (Link Available Later)

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 Programs Aimed at Supporting Residents and the Construction of Housing Units

(Monday, November 6, 2023, 12:00pm-1:00pm CST)

Investment – often a blend of financing, lending, and county tax policy – is required to successfully develop new housing, maintain existing housing stock, and navigate housing support systems. Looking holistically at county financing, tax and policy touchpoints can help foster housing affordability. County leaders can make housing projects more attractive through tax incentives and can use revenues to administer supportive programs for low-income individuals. In this session, three former housing task force members will discuss programs counties have enacted that are aimed at supporting the construction of housing units and supporting renters and homeowners.

Click on this link to register for the webinar.

NACo EDGE's PPP Announces Newest Cooperative Contract for Elevators, Walkways and Lifts

(Tuesday, November 7, 2023, 2:00pm-3:00pm CST)

NACo’s new purchasing cooperative, Public Promise Procurement, has partnered with Maricopa County, Arizona to solicit and award a national cooperative contract to KONE Corporation for elevator, escalator, walkway and lift new construction, modernization, maintenance and repair services. Join NACo for a 30-minute webinar where you’ll hear from Maricopa County’s procurement team regarding the sourcing and selection process and from KONE about their newest solutions available to all public agencies through the contract.

Click on this link to register for the webinar.

Making the Most of Elective Pay: How Counties Can Access and Use Clean Energy Tax Credits

(Tuesday, November 14, 2023, 2:00pm-3:00pm CST)

Established in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), elective pay (otherwise known as direct pay) provides tax-exempt entities, including county governments, with the ability to monetize certain clean energy tax credits that they have previously been unable to access due to their lack of tax liability. Now, counties can elect this new “direct pay” option that will allow them to receive a refund from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of between 6 and 70 percent of the cost of capital expenditures for certain renewable energy projects, alternative fuel vehicles and alternative fuel charging stations.

During this webinar, experts from KPMG will provide an overview of what types of investments qualify for the new “direct pay” option, as well as how to apply for and receive the clean energy credit refunds.

Click on this link to register for the webinar.

TechKnow Series: November and December Sessions

(Thursday, November 20 and December 13, 2023, 12:00pm-1:00pm CST)

November 20, 2023 | 12:00pm CST - Charting Your AI Growth: Practical Generative AI - An Introduction to Use Cases

December 13, 2023 | 12:00pm CST - Charting Your AI Growth: Practical Generative AI - Steps for Productivity Improvements

The dates above are for the TechKnow Webinar Series following the Tech Xchange Overview where there will be a discussion regarding the developments of Generative AI as a tool, its use cases and the potential in productivity improvements.

Click on this link to register for the webinar. 

Strategies for Connecting County Residents with Free Tax Assistance

(Thursday, November 23, 2023, 12:00pm-1:00pm CST)

With refundable tax credits serving as the largest federal anti-poverty program, tax time is an important opportunity for county leaders to connect low-income residents with vital income supports. Join NACo and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for a webinar focused on strategies for supporting and promoting Free IRS-certified tax preparation so that county residents can keep more of their money at tax time..

Click on this link to register for the webinar. 



Founded in 2019, the Illinois Public Reserves Investment Management Trust™ (IPRIME™) referred to as “the Fund” 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 here to learn more about the PMA-ISACo partnership.

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.