ISACo News and Views for March 27, 2024

3/27/2024 Nekya Hall

This week's Illinois State Association of Counties (ISACo) News and Views e-newsletter includes a 2024 legislative session schedule update, links to several ISACo-tracked bills approved by committee last week, reports on the Illinois unemployment rate for the month of February, highlights Illinois' status as a pilot state for connecting low-income families to solar energy, references the Illinois Commerce Commission's (ICC) annual five-year Crossing Safety Improvement Program, shares information on a Residential Sharps Collection Program funding opportunity, shares what ISACo staff is reading to stay informed, provides current CD and Treasury Rates via ISACo corporate partner IPRIME, announces upcoming National Association of Counties (NACo) webinar opportunities, highlights ISACo corporate partner PMA "IPRIME" and invites counties to join ISACo.

2024 Legislative Session Update 

The Illinois House and Senate adjourned on March 22, 2024. The House is scheduled to reconvene on April 2 and the Senate is scheduled to reconvene on April 9. The General Assembly is scheduled to be out of session during the week of April 22-26. The House has a total of seven session weeks remaining and the Senate has a total of six remaining session weeks. The General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn the spring session on May 24. Additional potential session days are on the calendar for May 25-31 for the event the extra days are needed to finalize the State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2025 State Budget.   

Tracked Bills Approved by Committees

The following ISACo-tracked bills passed out of committee last week.

HB 3530 - Veh Cd-Change to Speed Limit (No Position)

HB 3765 - Pen Cd-Cook County-Various (Support)

HB 4441 - Local & School Contracting Goals (Support)

HB 4449 - DCFS-Police Assistance (Under Review)

HB 4562 - Ins Cd-Cancer-Genetic Testing (No Position)

HB 4592 - Veh Cd-Mobile ID Cards (No Position)

HB 4621 - Pretrial Services (Under Review)

HB 4636 - Prop Tx-Settlement/Valuation (Under Review)

HB 4665 - Mental Health Professional Grant (Under Review)

HB 4715 - Unmanned Aircraft Regulation (Support)

HB 4722 - Priv Party-Vehicle Relocation (Oppose)

HB 4737 - Joint Purchasing-Ranking (Support)

HB 4883 - DNR Land Transfer-Will County (No Position)

HB 4921 - Home Equity Assurance-Loans (Under Review)

HB 4959 - Creative Economy Task Force (No Position)

HB 5028 - Labor-OSHA-Opioid Guidance (No Position)

HB 5070 - Juv Ct-Speedy Trial-Detention (No Position)

HB 5084 - DHS-Pub Aid Eligibility Review (No Position)

HB 5377 - Community Emergency Services (Under Review)

HB 5421 - Lake Mich Monitoring-Reporting (Under Review)

HB 5431 - Pregnant Prisoners-Restraints (No Position)

HB 5444 - Co-Responder Unit-McHenry County (Under Review)

HB 5507 - Gender Identity-Correct Info (No Position)

HB 5537 - Health Facility-Nursing Home (Under Review)

HB 5572 - Employee Freedom of Speech (No Position)

HB 5643 - Ins Cd-Pregnancy Tests (No Position)

SB 2608 - Law Enforcement Hiring-Credit (No Position)

SB 2876 - Solid Waste-Event Facilities (Oppose)

SB 2911 - Prop Tx-TIF Incentives (Under Review)

SB 3173 - County/Muni-Broadband Projects (Support)

SB 3310 - Human Rights-Remedies (Under Review)

SB 3389 - Regional Planning Act-CMAP (No Position)

SB 3501 - Outdoor Lighting Control Act (Under Review)

Illinois Unemployment Rate for February

On March 21, 2024, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced that the unemployment rate increased +0.1 percentage point to 4.8 percent, while nonfarm payrolls increased +23,100 in February, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES. The January revised unemployment rate was 4.7 percent, unchanged from the preliminary January unemployment rate. The January monthly change in payrolls was revised from the preliminary report, from +1,700 to -900 jobs. The February unemployment rate and payroll jobs estimate reflect activity for the week including the 12th.

The press release is available via this link.

Clean Energy Connector Program Opportunity

The Illinois Power Agency (IPA) announced the soft launch of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (USDOE) Clean Energy Connector, a digital platform that makes community solar with verified savings and strong consumer protections more accessible to households participating in government-run low-income support programs. Illinois is one of the two pilot states, in addition to the District of Columbia, chosen to support the pilot in connecting income-eligible families to solar energy and lowering electricity bills through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

The press release is available via this link. 

Crossing Safety Improvement Plan

The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) approved its annual five-year Crossing Safety Improvement Program (FY 2025-2029) to implement life-saving safety upgrades at highway-rail crossings across Illinois. Over $410 million from the Grade Crossing Protection Fund (GCPF) and Rebuild Illinois (RBI) will help local communities and railroads pay for much-needed safety improvements at 1,310 crossing locations.

The press release is available via this link. 

Funding Opportunity for New Year of Residential Sharps Collection Program

On March 20, 2024, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) Director John J. Kim announced an additional funding opportunity to provide grants to units of local government to conduct household waste collection and disposal of sharps for their residents. Sharps, including needles, syringes and lancets, collected from private citizens are a household waste. Through the grant program, Illinois EPA will reimburse grantees that operate a sharps collection station as defined in Section 3.458 of the Illinois Environmental Protection Act. A Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) has been posted Illinois EPA website.

The press release is available via this link.

What We're Reading

After Being Rebuffed by Regulators, Utilities File Slimmed-Down Spending Plans (Capitol News Illinois)

AI and the Essential Role of Data Classification and Governance (American City and County)

Illinois' Tax Revenues from Legalized Gambling go to Education, Infrastructure Projects (WICS)

Metal Buildings Could Solve Urgent Infrastructure Needs for Cities and Counties (American City and County)

Illinois Supreme Court Makes Changes Amid 'Staggering' Increase in Pretrial Appeals Over Detention (Chicago Tribune) 

LAUSD’s New Student Adviser Is Entirely AI (Governing)

Illinois City Approves New Regs for Cryptocurrency Mines and Data Centers (Governing)

Current CD and Treasury Rates Provided by IPRIME

The following rates provided by ISACo corporate partner IPRIME are current as of March 27, 2024. Please click on the image below to review the rates. 

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. 

Insights from the Reaching Rural Initiative - Navigating Leadership, Innovation and Community Impact

(Thursday, March 27, 2024, 2:00pm-3:00pm CST)

The Reaching Rural Initiative brings together rural practitioners from different professional backgrounds to advance solutions to address the persistent challenges of substance use in their communities. Over the last year, Reaching Rural fellows convened, received coaching and participated in skill-building workshops to help them improve outcomes in their home communities. This webinar will highlight key insights gleaned from county elected officials who joined Reaching Rural and charted their course for continued progress in addressing substance use.

Hear how the lessons learned from 2023 Reaching Rural Fellows can be adapted within other rural communities to more effectively address substance use disorder. This webinar is hosted by NACo and its partners at the Institute for Intergovernmental Research (IIR). The Reaching Rural Initiative is co-sponsored by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the State Justice Institute.

Click on this link to register for the webinar. 

A Bright Future: Preserving Coal Community Assets with Solar Opportunities

(Thursday, March 28, 2024, 12:00pm-1:00pm CST)

Join NACo’s Building Resilient Economies in Coal Communities (BRECC) National Network for a learning session focused on the benefits and challenges of solar energy innovation in coal communities.

Click on this link to register for the webinar.  

What’s In It For Rural? Analyzing The Opportunities for Rural America in IIJA, CHIPS, and IRA

(Monday, April 8, 2024, 12:30pm-1:30pm CST)

Join NACo for a briefing on the findings from the newly published Brookings Institution report, What’s in it for rural? Analyzing the opportunities for rural America in IIJA, CHIPS, and IRA.

This new publication reviews all the provisions in the Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), CHIPS and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) to catalogue those that are exclusively for rural places; those that stipulate rural preferences; and those that will have disproportionate relevance to rural places, identifying $464 billion worth of opportunities for rural community and economic development appropriated in the laws.

This webinar will provide insights from that analysis, which will include an examination of some of the key parameters and requirements that rural counties will have to navigate to access these resources. Presenters will also provide an orientation to the downloadable data posted alongside the report.

Click on this link to register for the webinar. 

Advancing Crisis Communications: Highlighting Models of 911/988 Collaboration

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

Counties are leading the development, modernization and infrastructure of local crisis response systems as communities’ mental and behavioral health needs continue to grow. One critical strategy is implementing the 988 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in coordination with existing 911 emergency response systems. This webinar will highlight models of 988/911 collaboration, including recommendations for planning and implementation. Panelists will discuss progress, challenges and lessons learned from advancing their communities’ crisis response systems.

Hosted by the National Association of Counties (NACo) in partnership with RAND and The Pew Charitable Trusts, this presentation will include representatives featured in NACo’s and RAND’s respective publications on 988/911 collaboration. This event is a follow-up to NACo’s Shaping Crisis Response Spotlight Series briefs.

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 our ISACo's relationship with IPRIME.

Click here for information about our 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.