News and Views for Monday, February 22, 2021

2/22/2021 Joe McCoy

This week's Illinois State Association of Counties (ISACo) "News and Views" e-newsletter includes information about Governor Pritzker's State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2022 budget address that proposes an ISACo-opposed cut to local revenue, reports on the enactment of criminal justice reform legislation, spotlights introduced legislation of interest to counties, announces upcoming National Association of Counties (NACo) webinar events, offers information on NACo's online leadership program led by General Colin Powell and highlights ISACo's corporate partner Wight & Company.

Governor Pritzker Delivers State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2022 Budget Address 

On February 17, Governor Pritzker delivered his State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2022 budget address. 

The Governor is proposing a $95.5 billion budget that holds spending at SFY 2021 levels, avoids increasing taxes on families, closes several corporate tax loopholes, shifts cigarette tax revenue to the State’s General Revenue Fund (GRF) and eliminates an interfund borrowing repayment deadline to allow for more flexibility with cash management. The proposed budget will also hold state spending for K-12 and higher education flat. 

The Governor is proposing a 10% reduction in Local Government Distributive Fund (LGDF) allocations to municipalities and counties compared to the SFY 2021 distribution level. As you are probably aware, LGDF is the mechanism through which state income tax dollars are shared with counties and municipalities.

The Governor’s plan calls for the closure of nine corporate tax loopholes to generate additional tax revenue. If these loopholes are closed, counties and municipalities are projected to receive an additional $228 million on a statewide basis. A list of the loopholes is available via this link and the amount of additional tax revenue from the closure of each individual tax loophole is available here.

The Illinois State Association of Counties (ISACo) opposes cuts to revenues the state shares with local governments and will engage aggressively and constructively with legislators and the Governor in an effort to prevent any reduction to LGDF distributions. But we need your help! To this end, we have launched a “Protect County LGDF Revenue” page on our website with additional information about LGDF and tools for use in communicating your opposition to the reduction with your state legislators and the Governor.

The Governor’s Office has made the following resources available for more information about the proposed SFY 2022 State Budget:

Text of the Governor’s Speech

SFY 2022 Budget in Brief

SFY 2022 State Budget Book

SFY 2022 Capitol Budget

Please contact your state legislators and let them know of your opposition to LGDF cuts.

Criminal Justice Reform Legislation Signed into Law

Governor JB Pritzker signed the criminal justice reform legislation into law on Monday, February 22. The bill (HB 3653 - linked here) was approved by the General Assembly in January 2021. ISACo's analysis of the legislation is available via this link.

County Legislation Spotlight

ISACo will frequently highlight legislation of interest to counties. This week's highlighted bills are below. In some cases, ISACo has a position. In other cases, ISACo does not have a position or the position has not yet been determined. ISACo positions on legislation are informed by our County Platform and member input.

HB 367 - Community Improvement Land Bank Act (Support)

HB 397 - Permits Heavier Trucks on Local Roads (Oppose)

HB 454 - Eliminate Local Government Liability Protection - Diagnosing Mental or Physical Illness (Oppose)

HB 546 - State Reimbursement of County Jails When Court Order Not Followed (Support)

SB 52 - Video Gaming Fee Increase (Support)

SB 95 - Codification of Public Duty Rule (Support)

Upcoming NACo Webinars

The National Association of Counties (NACo) has announced the following upcoming webinar opportunities:

NACo and CVS Sponsored COVID-19 Testing Solution: Return Ready

(Wednesday, February 24, 2021, from 10am-11am CST)

NACo and CVS Health are proud to introduce a new cutting edge COVID-19 testing solution for local government employers and employees called Return Ready. Return Ready is designed to get county employees back to work with a new level of safety, help manage the spread of the virus and provide detailed testing metrics. 

Click on this link to register for this event.

COVID-19 Cost Recovery: Ways to Maximize Federal Funding 

(Thursday, February 25, 2021, from 12pm-1pm CST)

Cost recovery for COVID-19 is a complex puzzle with many different pieces. Current challenges are magnified as the virus continues to spread, the response continues, vaccine distribution ramps up and federal funding opportunities and rules change almost daily. While the maze of federal funding can be difficult to navigate, planning your cost recovery now will help maximize federal reimbursement opportunities in the future.

The Hagerty Consulting team will discuss ongoing response and recovery challenges and offer potential solutions by outlining recent federal policy changes, current federal funding opportunities and tangible ways to jumpstart your community’s financial recovery process. Highlights include: 

  • An overview of the changing federal strategy for COVID-19 response and recovery, including the recent increase of the FEMA Public Assistance federal cost-share for COVID-19 associated and eligible costs and federally supported community vaccination programs;
  • A discussion of changes to the Coronavirus Relief Fund following the program extension through December 31, 2021, and how to flexibly utilize funds by the deadline in coordination with other federal funding streams; and
  • A preview of eligibility and implementation requirements associated with the U.S. Department of Treasury’s COVID Emergency Rental Assistance Program and the U.S. Department of Education’s Education Stabilization Fund.

Click on this link to register for this event.

NACo High Performance Leadership Academy 

As a county leader, you manage several priority-1 decisions, activities and initiatives every day. Perhaps one of the most important is personnel development – working hard to make existing leaders better and emerging leaders ready. As you conduct this work with existing and emerging leaders to make your county stronger, you deserve to have a program that is easily scalable to accommodate your workforce, a program that is non-disruptive to busy schedules and cost effective so that you have an immediate return on investment. NACo offers the NACo High Performance Leadership Academy, a 12-week online leadership program led by General Colin Powell to meet this need.

Corporate Sponsor Spotlight 

This week's corporate partner spotlight highlights ISACo's partnership with Wight & Company.

For more than 80 years, Wight & Company has helped clients create exceptional, enduring buildings and spaces that enrich people's lives. Wight also specializes in providing professional services for transportation and infrastructure projects for counties, municipalities, state agencies and private landowners.

More information about the services by Wight & Company is available via this link.

Click on this link to learn more about the benefits and opportunities available through ISACo's Corporate Partner Program.