ISACo News and Views for January 4, 2024

1/4/2024 Nekya Hall

Happy New Year on behalf of the ISACo Board of Directors and staff!

This week's Illinois State Association of Counties (ISACo) News and Views e-newsletter includes a link to ISACo's updated 2023 Public Acts Report as well as a list of new laws that took effect on January 1, 2024, links to ISACo's December County Quarterly, includes a link to ISACo's 2024 Legislative Agenda and County Platform, announces the 2024 Spring Session dates for the Illinois General Assembly including key dates and deadlines, shares registration information for the 2024 NACo Legislative Conference, reports on the minimum wage increase for the start of the new year, makes county officials aware of the first round of funding for energy efficiency upgrades at public water supply facilities, shares information about the new ban of e-cigarettes in indoor public spaces, highlights the Paid Leave for All Workers Act that went into effect at the start of the year, announces upcoming National Association of Counties (NACo) webinar opportunities, highlights ISACo corporate partner Nationwide and invites counties to join ISACo.

ISACo 2023 Public Acts Report and New Laws Effective January 1, 2024

The new year brings new laws and ISACo has updated our Public Acts Report: Legislation of Interest to Counties in 2023. County officials and staff are encouraged to review the report to ensure awareness of and compliance with those new laws that directly impact counties. The report is available by clicking on the image below:

Additionally, ISACo has created a report summarizing the new laws that became effective on January 1, 2024. That report is available by clicking on the image below:

ISACo County Quarterly 

ISACo's County Quarterly for December 2023 is available here! Content includes a 2023 Veto Session update, ISACo's Annual Report for 2023 and a 2024 spring legislative session calendar. The County Quarterly will be mailed to recipients, but is also available by clicking on the image below:

ISACo Announces Legislative Agenda for 2024

On December 14, 2023, ISACo's Board of Directors approved the Association's 2024 Legislative Agenda, also referred to as ISACo's Illinois County Action Program (ICAP). The Board also approved the 2024 County Platform.

The ICAP includes several proactive proposals that ISACo staff will actively pursue in 2024. These proposals can be viewed by clicking on the image below:

The County Platform includes the core tenants of the Association as well as several policy statements that will guide ISACo staff when analyzing and taking positions on legislation introduced by other organizations and interest groups in 2024. The County Platform can be read by clicking on the image below:

Please click on this link to visit the webpage with information about ISACo's 2024 Legislative Agenda that includes the County Platform, position statements on proactive ISACo legislation and the document that summarizes each ISACo initiative. 

2024 Spring Session

Both chambers will convene for the 2024 Spring Legislative Session on Tuesday, January 16.

The House calendar is available via this link.

The Senate calendar is available via this link.  

Adjournment is scheduled for May 24, although legislators blocked off the remainder of May in the event additional work is required for the State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2025 budget. The House is scheduled to be in session 51 days while the Senate is scheduled to be in session 46 days. 

2024 Key Dates and Session Deadlines:

January 19: House and Senate LRB Bill Drafting Request Deadline

February 9: Senate and House Bill Filing Deadline and LRB Amendment Drafting Begins

February 21: Governor’s Budget and State of the State Address

March 15: Senate Committee Deadline for Consideration of Senate Bills

March 19: Primary Election

April 5: House Committee Deadline for Consideration of House Bills

April 12: Senate Third Reading Deadline for Consideration of Senate Bills

April 19: House Third Reading Deadline for Consideration of House Bills

May 3: Committee Deadline for Consideration of Bills in the Opposite Chamber

May 17: House and Senate Third Reading Deadline for Consideration of Bills in the Opposite Chamber

May 24: Adjournment

May 25–31: Contingent Session Days (If Needed)

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 Minimum Wage Increases January 1

The minimum wage in Illinois is increasing on January 1, 2024.

Workers will see an increase of $1 per hour from $13 to $14. The minimum wage for tipped workers will rise to $8.40 per hour and youth workers (under 18) working fewer than 650 hours per calendar year will see their hourly wage increase to $12 per hour.

The press release is available via this link. 

Funding for Energy Efficiency Upgrades at Public Water Supply Facilities

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) has announced $750,000 of grant funding available for the development and completion of energy efficiency projects at public water supply (PWS) facilities, commonly referred to as drinking water treatment plants (DWTP).

The grant program seeks to invest U.S. Department of Energy Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) funds in publicly owned PWS in the State of Illinois. The grants will enable units of local government to make energy efficiency upgrades to water equipment identified by previous energy audits, in some cases from audits provided at no-cost by the Illinois EPA Office of Energy. The funded projects will reduce the amount of energy consumed by water treatment operations, thereby reducing energy costs.

The application and press release is available via this link. 

E-Cigarette Use Ban 

E-cigarette use will no longer be permitted in indoor public spaces in Illinois beginning January 1, 2024, under a new state law signed earlier this year by Governor JB Pritzker. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) supports the intent of the new law, one of several taking effect in the New Year intended to improve public health across the state.

The press release are available via this link.

Paid Leave for All Workers Act

Workers in Illinois will begin earning paid time off on January 1, 2024. The new law allows workers to earn up to 40 hours of paid leave in a 12-month period. Workers will accrue one hour of leave for every 40 hours worked. Governor JB Pritzker signed the legislation in March, making Illinois the third state in the nation and first in the Midwest to mandate paid leave for any reason.

The press release is available via this link. 

ISACo has created a resource page (linked here) with information about the Paid Leave for All Workers Act. 

What We're Reading

2024 State and Local IT Forecast: AI, Sustainability and Cloud (American City and County)

Bond Reform Has Reduced Jail Population, but State Data on Pretrial Detention is 18 Months Late (Block Club Chicago)

Federal Highway Administration Updates Traffic Safety Standards for the First Time in a Decade (American City and County)

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. 

Supercharge Documentation & Efficiency With AI

(Wednesday, January 10, 2024, 1:00pm-2:00pm CST)

To be competitive, organizations must invest in staff and give them the tools to be effective. Counties are embracing advanced automation and emerging technology to support their workforce, resulting in lower turnover, increased revenue and better outcomes. In particular, the Bells AI documentation assistant can cut documentation by around 50%, reducing the burden on staff and supervisors. Join us for a webinar with Grace White, Chief Quality Officer, MHMR of Tarrant County, TX and Chris Yakscoe, Director, Bells AI, Netsmart for a focused conversation on Bells and advanced automation technology.

In this webinar, you’ll learn how:

1. AI technology can address workforce challenges including staff satisfaction, training, quality improvements, and more!
2. Automation leads to sustainability, including faster and more accurate claims and maximized reimbursements.
3. Counties have harnessed emerging technology to target barriers to care, while improving compliance and the bottom line––and creating a positive workplace culture for staff.

Click on this link to register for the webinar.

Building a Behavioral Health Continuum of Care: The Role of Elected Officials and I/DD Directors

(Thursday, January 11, 2024, 1:00pm-2:00pm CST)

Counties play a critical role in supporting community members living with behavioral health conditions or experiencing a behavioral health crisis. To build an effective and robust behavioral health system, counties need strong leadership to promote dialogue in the community and implement programs and policies that benefit all residents. This webinar will highlight two local leadership roles: county elected officials and intellectual and developmental disability (I/DD) directors. Attendees will engage in a panel discussion with representatives of these roles to learn about how elected officials and I/DD directors can identify solutions and cultivate support for sustainable, accessible behavioral health care.

This webinar is hosted by the National Association of Counties (NACo) in partnership with the National Association of County Behavioral Health and Development Disability Directors (NACBHDD). It is the first in a series of three webinars that will spotlight specific kinds of local leaders and how they can leverage their unique roles to advance behavioral health care.

Click on this link to register for the webinar.

Boosting Career Opportunities in Coal and Manufacturing Communities

(Wednesday, January 18, 2024, 2:00pm-3:00pm CST)

The flexibility of a county’s workforce is crucial for success. Learn how county initiatives promote professional growth and career transitions to strengthen the local job market. Join NACo’s Building Resilient Economies in Coal Communities (BRECC) National Network and Counties for Career Success (C4CS) initiatives for this collaborative webinar that showcases successful programs in coal and manufacturing communities.

Click on this link to register for the webinar.

Transforming Communities: County-Level Solutions for Mental Health and System Challenges

(Monday, January 22, 2024, 1:00pm-2:00pm CST)

Falcon is a behavioral health consulting and management firm that works to provide solutions for counties in the intersection between justice system and community care. Falcon provides expertise to counties to assess their systems of care and transform them to achieve better justice, public health, and safety outcomes.

This presentation will focus on the following topics:

The Sequential Intercept Model to include the continuum of care in the community
Necessary components of and process through the continuum of care
Identifying and addressing the areas of vulnerability in your system of care
Wellness for staff and clients across the continuum of care.

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.

Coal Countries: Transition Strategies from Coal Communities Across the Globe

(Thursday, February 1, 2024, 1:00pm-2:00pm CST)

Coal communities across the world share challenges. Learn transition strategies from local governments in England, India and Canada for how localities are navigating clean energy infrastructure, strengthening their economies and supporting the local workforce. Join NACo’s Building Resilient Economies in Coal Communities (BRECC) National Network for this collaborate webinar with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

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