ISACo News and Views for December 4, 2023

12/4/2023 Tiffani Homer

This week's Illinois State Association of Counties (ISACo) News and Views e-newsletter includes links to newly tracked bills, provides an update about ISACo's Wind and Solar Facility Task Force, congratulates McHenry County for being recognized for its participation in Operation Greenlight for Veterans, provides a link to register for the upcoming NACo Legislative Conference, makes county officials aware of a funding opportunity from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program, reports on the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) investigation of the United States Steel Corporation concerning the Illinois Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), shares information about the construction of two new shelter sites for migrants, announces $25.5 million in funding for the Equitable Energy Future Grants Program, congratulates the small businesses inducted into the Illinois Made Program, includes information on a crop incentive program returning to Illinois, announces upcoming NACo webinar opportunities, highlights ISACo corporate partner UnitedHealthcare and invites counties to join ISACo.  

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 4231 - OMA-Tourism/Convention Boards (No Position)

HB 4202 - Criminal Procedure-Revoke Pretrial Release (No Position)

HR 0501 - Recognizes-McHenry County (Support)

*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

ISACo Wind and Solar Facility Task Force Update

ISACo convened the first meeting of the Wind and Solar Facility Task Force on Wednesday, November 29. The Task Force, chaired by McHenry County Board Member Pam Althoff, heard a presentation about P.A. 102-1123 and established the mission of the Task Force. The Task Force will not propose a repeal of the law, but will seek to address challenges and unresolved issues resulting from the law with the intent of easing compliance for counties. For information about the Task Force, please contact Legislative Advocacy and Research Manager Nekya Hall at

ISACo's Wind and Solar Facility Law resource page is available via this link.

McHenry County Recognized for Operation Greenlight

The Illinois House of Representatives recognizes McHenry County in a resolution (HR 0501) for the County's participation in Operation Green Light for Veterans and their continued support for veterans and their families. Congratulations to McHenry County!

The resolution is available via this link.

Registration Open for NACo Legislative Conference

The National Association of Counties (NACo) Legislative Conference will be held from February 10-13, 2024, in Washington, D.C. The conference brings together nearly 2,000 elected and appointed county officials to focus on federal policy issues that impact counties and our residents.

Attendees have the opportunity to engage in second-to-none policy sessions, meet the members of Congress and interact with federal agency officials.

This is a one-of-a-kind advocacy opportunity to strengthen our intergovernmental partnerships for years to come.

Registration information is available via this link.

ISACo and the United Counties Council of Illinois (UCCI) will host a reception and dinner for conference attendees from Illinois. The dinner will be on the evening of Saturday, February 10 at the National Press Club. Additional information will be provided at a later date.

Illinois EPA Funding for Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program

On December 1, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s (IEPA) Office of Energy has announced $2,909,890 of grant funding available for the development of local strategic energy plans as well as energy efficiency audits and local government building upgrades. Under the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program (EECBG), grant awards ranging from $200,000 to $249,900 will aim to create long-term sustainability and energy reduction roadmaps and reduce energy usage for Illinois municipalities and counties.

Additional information is available via this link.

IDOL Subpoenas United States Steel Corporation

The Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) has issued a subpoena to the United States Steel Corporation (US Steel) to investigate its compliance with the Illinois Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN).

The Illinois WARN Act requires employers with 75 or more full-time employees to give workers and state and local government officials 60 days advance notice of mass layoffs of a plant closure.

IDOL was informed Tuesday, November 28, 2023, of a mass impending layoff at Granite City Works in Granite City. This follows layoffs that were announced in September, although US Steel characterized those as temporary at the time. More than 1,000 workers will have lost their jobs at the conclusion of the layoffs.

Additional information is available via this link.

Work on Two New Shelter Sites for Migrants Begins

Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) announced that the construction of two new shelters sites will launch the week of November 27, 2023. The sites, a base camp in Brighton Park and a brick-and-mortar site in Little Village, will house up to 2,200 migrants in total. The locations of the shelters were identified by the City of Chicago and both shelters will operate as part of the existing City of Chicago shelter system. Work to construct and operate the shelters is being funded by the State through Governor Pritzker’s recently announced $160 million investment to improve the migrant pipeline as well as the $478 million in State funding that has been provided or committed to the migrant response over state fiscal year 2023 and 2024.

The press release is available via this link. 

$25.5 Million for CEJA Equitable Energy Future Grants

Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) launched $25.5 million in funding for the Equitable Energy Future Grants Program as part of a larger strategy to equitably grow the clean energy workforce in Illinois through the landmark Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA). The program supports renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in low-income and historically disadvantaged communities to grow and diversify the clean energy ecosystem across Illinois. Grantees will be selected through a competitive Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) process.

Through the (NOFO) process, qualified entities can apply for grants, with awards ranging from $250,000 to $1 million. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until funds are exhausted. To view the NOFO and apply for the grant, please visit the DCEO website via this link.

Interested parties are encouraged to email for application assistance. To help applicants prepare to apply for funding, DCEO will be holding technical assistance webinars from 12-1 p.m. Starting on November 30 and December 14.

The press release is available via this link.

Small Businesses Inducted into the Illinois Made Program

Governor JB Pritzker joined DCEO, elected officials and industry leaders at Koval Distillery to announce that 48 small businesses or ‘Makers' have been inducted into the Illinois Made program—the largest class of businesses since the program's inception in 2016. Each year, the Illinois Office of Tourism selects a group of local businesses that exemplify the authentic experiences and innovative products that make Illinois an incredible destination to explore for residents and visitors alike.

The full list of businesses and press release is available via this link. 

Crop Incentive Program Returns

The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) is implementing its fifth year of the Fall Covers for Spring Savings Program.

The program is applicable for acreage in Illinois seeded to cover crops in the fall of 2023 that will be planted to an insurable crop in 2024. Eligible applicants will receive a premium discount up to $5 per acre on the following year's crop insurance, depending on individual crop insurance policies, for every cover crop acre enrolled and verified in the program.

Pre-enrollment, applications and the full press release are available via this link. 

What We're Reading

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker Addresses Homelessness in Remarks to Organization (WICS)

Illinois' Cannabis Industry Seeking Changes to Increase Licensing (The Center Square)

Temporary Staffing Agencies Seek to Block New State Labor Law (Capitol News Illinois)

CISA Publishes AI Roadmap to Support Security, Competitiveness of American Cities and Counties (Governing)

As They Plan to Buy New IT Systems, Agencies Need to Listen to Their Technology Users (American City and County)

Iowa-Illinois Carbon Dioxide Pipeline Application Withdrawn (Capitol News Illinois)

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. 

Fostering Healthy Dialogues and Collaborations with Community Organizations and Neighboring Counties

(Monday, December 4, 2023, 12:00pm-1:00pm CST)

Housing is a foundational element to community prosperity, contributing to health, economic mobility, safety, and resilience. Sometimes the conversation around housing can be limited to finances, but engaging with the community to reframe the conversation to one about community property can gather support for housing projects. In this session, three former housing task force members will discuss how counties engage with the community and how counties foster collaborations with organizations and neighboring counties.

Click on this link to register for the webinar.

Increasing SNAP and WIC Enrollment via County-Led Systems Change

(Tuesday, December 5, 2023, 1:00pm-2:00pm CST)

Hear from Coordinating SNAP & Nutrition Supports (CSNS) cohort members on how they are transforming the delivery of human services in their counties and beyond. The CSNS program is a systems change initiative that supports key process changes related to technology, outreach and enrollment assistance, cross-departmental collaboration, and creating more equitable processes and practices embedded in the decision-making process and administration of nutrition programs. CSNS is funded by Share Our Strength and administered by the American Public Human Services Association.

Click on this link to register for the webinar.

Counties Supporting Veterans: Operation Green Light and Beyond

(Friday, December 8, 2023, 12:00pm-1:00pm CST)

Operation Green Light for Veterans attracted participation from many of America’s counties this year. Join this webinar to hear how county leaders advocated for veterans and learn how purchasing supplies from veteran-owned businesses can be part of your year-round smart buying strategy.

Click on this link to register for the webinar.

Investment Policy Transformations: Paving the Way for County Financial Prosperity

(Monday, December 11, 2023, 12:00pm-1:00pm CST)

County Officials often change roles, and during these transitions, the knowledge loss can prove costly if strong policies and procedures are not in place. It's time to take control and make a lasting impact on your county's financial future!

Join NACo for an engaging and informative webinar with, Alex DeRosa, MPA  as he unveils the secrets to crafting sound County Investment Policies that protect and maximize taxpayer dollars. 

In this not-to-be-missed session, we'll cover:

  • Best Practices: Stay ahead of the curve by learning the cutting-edge strategies and techniques that will keep your county's financial future on solid ground.
  • Small Adjustments, Big Returns: Discover how minor tweaks to your investment policies can yield generous returns for your community, ensuring the prosperity of your county for years to come.
  • Safeguarding Your Taxpayer Dollars: Learn the critical steps to safeguard your taxpayers' hard-earned money and ensure it's put to work efficiently and responsibly.
  • Building Stronger Communities: Ultimately, it's about building stronger, more resilient communities that thrive economically and provide a better quality of life for all residents.

Don't miss the opportunity to transform your county's financial future! Join for an inspiring discussion that will empower you to make a real difference. Register now and be part of the change that transforms counties for the better!

Click on this link to register for the webinar.

Public Promise Procurement, Announces Newest Cooperative Contract for Elevators, Walkways & Lifts

(Tuesday, December 12, 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.

Charting Your AI Growth: Practical Generative AI - Steps for Productivity Improvements

(Wednesday, December 13, 2023, 12:00pm-1:00pm CST)

The date above is 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. 

ARPA and Beyond: County Perspectives on Using Federal Funds to Address Affordable Housing Challenges

(Thursday, December 14, 2023, 1:00pm-2:00pm CST)

Counties across the U.S. have used their American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to address their affordable and supportive housing goals. Housing is a critical issue in many communities, exacerbated by the pandemic, rising construction costs, and interest rates. Thanks to the guidance from the U.S. Department of Treasury and an Affordable Housing How-To Guide published jointly with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), counties have had more direction in investing their ARPA funds in housing projects successfully. With the ARPA obligation deadline approaching at the end of 2024, counties are thinking about what comes next.

This webinar will examine how two counties leverage their ARPA funds for housing. It will also explore approaches post-ARPA for accessing federal funds from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) for housing, as well as other methods to blending, braiding, and leveraging federal, state, and local funds for affordable housing projects, programs, and planning.

Travis County, TX, invested $110M of ARPA State & Local Fiscal Recovery Funds to build 2,000 units of supportive housing.
Baltimore County, MD, invested $12M of ARPA SLFRF funds to create a new Housing Opportunities Fund.

Guidehouse has supported over 80 state and local clients with their COVID relief efforts, including approaches to use federal funds for housing programs and projects.

Click on this link to register for the webinar. 

First-Time Attendee Orientation

(Wednesday, January 31, 2024, 2:00pm-3:00pm CST)

Learn tips and tricks to maximize the value of your first NACo conference.

Click on this link to register for the webinar.



The mission of UnitedHealthcare is to help people live healthier lives and make the health system work better for everyone. UHC dedicates itself to this every day for our members by being there for what matters in moments big and small — from their earliest days, to their working years and through retirement.

Across the United States, UHC offers health benefit plans for all ages, all lifestyles and all kinds of budgets — including member programs for individuals and families, people with health insurance through work, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries.

They work with more than 1.3 million physicians and care professionals and over 6,700 hospitals and care facilities nationwide. Together, they work to provide more people with access to quality care when and where they need it.


UnitedHealthcare believes that when it comes to your health, everything matters. That’s why they are constantly working to improve the health care experience and make it deliver for the needs of everyone.

They know health care can be complicated, so they work to make it simpler — for patients as well as providers. Streamlining processes and providing answers helps make coverage easier to understand and use.

UHC believes everyone deserves quality health coverage they can afford. So they provide coverage options designed to fit all kinds of budgets, and always look for ways to take costs out of the system to improve affordability and access for all.

They focus on serving the individual, offering access to quality care, personalized solutions and support for every step of the way.

Click here to learn more about UnitedHealthcare.

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