News and Views for Tuesday, April 20, 2021

4/19/2021 Joe McCoy

This week's Illinois State Association of Counties (ISACo) News and Views e-newsletter requests that county officials contact their state legislators to discuss county board reapportionment, shares information about an expected proposal restricting local control over wind and solar facilities, urges county officials to advocate against proposed cuts to an important source of state-shared county revenue and reminds county officials to visit ISACo's "Protect County LGDF Revenue" page, provides a list of bills of interest that passed the Illinois House last week, summarizes new amendments filed last week that are of relevance to counties, announces upcoming NACo webinars, spotlights ISACo corporate partner Comcast and invites counties to join ISACo.

County Board District Reapportionment

In our April 12 News and Views e-newsletter we shared that ISACo has communicated with the four legislative leaders, other legislators and key legislative staff about the statutory requirement for counties to redraw county board districts despite the delay in federal census data necessary for reapportionment. ISACo has shared legislative language proposing that the 2022 General Primary Election be delayed until June to provide sufficient time for counties to redraw county board districts using federal census data. We have also conveyed that, if delaying the General Primary Election is not supported by the General Assembly, then ISACo stands ready to work with legislators on a viable solution that can pass the General Assembly and be enacted into law. As we continue our conversations with legislators about this important issue, we ask that county officials discuss with their state legislators the importance of assisting counties with redrawing county board districts as a consequence of the delayed receipt of federal census data. 

Proposal Restricting Local Control Over Wind and Solar Facilities Expected 

ISACo anticipates that a comprehensive energy proposal will emerge prior to the end of the spring legislative session. Such a proposal is likely to include provisions restricting local control over siting wind turbine and solar energy facilities. Representatives from the wind and solar power industry proposed curbing local siting authority during meetings organized by the Governor's Office held over the past several months. ISACo participated in these meetings and offered feedback about the proposals. ISACo opposes policies that undermine local control over siting authority. We will alert our members about any legislation that emerges with such restrictions.

ISACo Urges County Officials to Advocate Against Proposed Cut to County Revenue

ISACo is advocating against Governor Pritzker's State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2022 budget proposal to reduce Local Government Distributive Fund (LGDF) allocations to municipalities and counties by 10% compared to the SFY 2021 distribution level. LGDF is the mechanism through which state income tax dollars are shared with counties and municipalities.

ISACo 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. ISACo requests that your county take action now to oppose this proposed reduction in county revenue!

Bills of Interest that Passed the House Last Week

HB 58 - Filing Restrictive Covenant Modifications (No Position)

HB 111 - Juvenile Court - Delinquent Minors (No Position)

HB 121 - Human Rights - Work Authorization (No Position)

HB 231 - Definition of "Population" in County and Municipal Codes (No Position)

HB 427- Office of Chief County Assessment Officer - Lake County (Oppose)

HB 2449 - Special Meeting Authority for Counties (Support)

HB 2568 - PSEBA Health Plans - Collective Bargaining (Oppose)

HB 2807 - Local Accumulation of Funds (Oppose)

HB 2950 - Use of MFT for Sidewalks and Bike Paths in Certain Counties (Support)

HB 3418 - Sexual Harassment - Settlements (No Position)

New Amendments Relevant to Counties Filed Last Week

To view amendments after opening the provided link, please click on "full text." Links to amendments are found at the top of the webpage that opens after clicking on "full text." 

House Bills

HB 109 (HFA 0001) modifies the allocation of moneys from the Cannabis Regulation Fund to restore provision specifying that 8% (rather than 4%) of specified moneys shall be transferred to the Local Government Distributive Fund to be used for specified purposes. Reallocates the use of the 8% of moneys for specified purposes. Restores provision specifying that 20% (rather than 24%) of specified moneys shall be transferred to the Department of Human Services Community Services Fund to be used for specified purposes. 

HB 1429 (HFA 0001) amends the Counties Code to provide that if an employee who is covered under a retirement system or pension fund created under the Illinois Pension Code is convicted of a disqualifying offense as that term is defined in the Illinois Pension Code, the State's Attorney must notify the board of trustees for that retirement system or pension fund. Amends the Downstate Police, Chicago Police, Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF), Chicago Municipal, Cook County, Cook County Forest Preserve, State Employee, and State Universities Articles of the Illinois Pension Code. Provides that upon petition by the Board or on its own motion, a circuit court may order that none of the benefits provided under the Article be paid to a person who first becomes a police officer on or after the effective date of the amendatory Act and who has been convicted of a disqualifying offense upon certain findings. Provides that upon petition by the Board or on its own motion, a court may order that none of the benefits provided for in the Article be paid to any person who otherwise would receive a survivor benefit if the benefit results from the service of a police officer who first became a police officer on or after the effective date of the amendatory Act and who was convicted of a disqualifying offense upon certain findings. 

HB 2054 (HFA 0001) amends the Counties Code to provide that 1% of the school facility occupation taxes collected shall be distributed to the regional superintendent of schools (currently, these moneys are deposited into the Tax Compliance and Administration Fund) to cover the costs in administering and enforcing the provisions of the school facility occupation taxes Section of the Code. Effective July 1, 2021.

HB 2433 (HFA 0001) amends the Nursing Home Care Act to create the Nursing Home Complaint Working Group to provide the Department of Public Health, local health departments, and nursing homes the ability to resolve nursing home complaints. Requires the Working Group to produce a quarterly and annual progress report to be submitted to the Office of the Governor and the General Assembly. Requires the Department of Public Health to provide administrative and other support to the Working Group. Contains other provisions. 

HB 2553 (HFA 0001) creates the Protecting Household Privacy Act. Changes the exceptions in which law enforcement agency may obtain household electronic data. Provides that nothing in the Act shall be construed to apply to the interception, recording, wiretap, or other acquisition of electronic communications as they are transmitted in real time. 

HB 2863 (HFA 0001) amends the Illinois Highway Code to provide that, in the case of township roads, the county superintendent of highways may either grant consent for construction or deny the application. Provides that the county superintendent of highways shall provide written confirmation, citing the basis of the decision, to both the highway commissioner and the applicant.

HB 2994 (HFA 0003) amends the Counties Code to provide that, in addition to any other procedure available by law to discontinue a township, upon resolutions of the board of trustees of Capital Township in Sangamon County and the Sangamon County Board, and after referendum approval by the voters of the Township and County: (1) Capital Township in Sangamon County is discontinued; and (2) all the rights, powers, duties, assets, property, liabilities, obligations, and responsibilities of the Township are transferred to Sangamon County, including, but not limited to, the administration of the Capital Township's general assistance program. Provides that Capital Township and Sangamon County shall follow the same procedures that townships and municipalities must follow under Article 29 of the Township Code in order to dissolve the Township and transfer all the rights, powers, duties, assets, property, liabilities, obligations, and responsibilities of the Township to the County. 

HB 3160 (HFA 0001) provides that the total project cost criteria weighing factor shall not exceed 30% (rather than 60%) of the forest preserve district's or conservation district's Phase II cost evaluation.

HB 3195 (HFA 0001) makes changes in the definition of "multiple-occupancy restroom." Removes language requiring that inclusive signage must not indicate any specific ability. Provides that specified all-gender multiple-occupancy restrooms must satisfy all accessibility requirements set forth by the Illinois Accessibility Code. Provides that when plumbing fixtures in a facility (rather than a person or entity) are required to meet female-to-male ratio requirements, each individual fixture (rather than toilet stall) in an all-gender multiple-occupancy restroom may be counted toward the required number of either female or male fixtures until the minimum requirement is met. Provides that if a fixture is counted towards the minimum required fixtures for females, that same fixture shall not also be counted towards the minimum required fixtures for males, and if a fixture is counted towards the minimum required fixtures for males, that same fixture shall not also be counted towards the minimum required fixtures for females. Makes other changes.

HB 4015 (HFA 0001) amends the Election Code to authorize binding initiatives relating to a healthful environment to be placed on the ballot by electors of units of local government.

Senate Bills

SB 139 (SFA 0001) amends the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. With respect to gender specification on marriage certificates, provides that affidavits shall be created by the county clerk, may appear on a combined form and shall be in a specified format.

SB 767 (SFA 0001) amends the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 to provide that a court may not issue a no-knock search warrant unless (i) there is a reasonable suspicion that knocking and announcing would be dangerous to the life or safety of the officers serving the warrant or another person and (ii) the search warrant is personally reviewed and approved by the chief of the law enforcement agency requesting the warrant and not by a designee. Provides that prior to serving a no-knock search warrant, the supervisor of the officers serving the search warrant will ensure that each participating officer is assigned a functioning body worn camera, is following appropriate policies and procedures, and that a Special Weapons and Tactics supervisor or other tactical team supervisor has been notified that a no-knock search warrant has been issued. Makes conforming changes to a provision concerning the use of force in search warrant execution. Provides that a law enforcement agency must conduct a critical incident after-action review for search warrants identified as wrong raids. Provides that the results of each such review will be presented to the chief for a personal, secondary review and determination of any required actions, including modifications to agency policies, tactics, equipment, or training. Defines "no-knock search warrant" and "wrong raid".

SB 825 (SFA 0001) amends the Election Code to provide that in a county with a population of less than 3,000,000, the sheriff may establish a temporary branch polling place at the county jail. Limits eligibility to a resident of a county who is in custody at the county jail and who has not been convicted of the offense for which the resident is in custody.

SB 918 (SFA 0001) creates the Citizens Empowerment Act and provides that electors may petition for a referendum at the next general election to dissolve a unit of local government. Provides for the transfer of all real and personal property and any other assets, together with all personnel, contractual obligations, and liabilities of the dissolving unit of local government to the receiving unit of local government. 

SB 1140 (SFA 0001) amends the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law in the Property Tax Code to provide that, for levy year 2022 and thereafter, the limiting rate shall include 50% of the value of new property (currently, 100% of the value of new property is excluded). Makes changes to the definition of "aggregate extension base". Amends the Tax Increment Allocation Redevelopment Act of the Illinois Municipal Code. Adds two factors to the determination of a "blighted area" for improved, industrial, commercial, and residential buildings or improvements related to poverty and unemployment. Removes or modifies various factors from the definitions of "blighted area" and "conservation area" for improved and vacant areas. Provides that a new redevelopment project shall have a completion date no later than December 31st of the 10th year after the ordinance was adopted (rather than the 23rd year) and may be extended to 15 years (rather than 35 years). Provides that the joint review board and municipality shall approve surplus funds and extensions of redevelopment project area completion dates. Provides that surplus funds shall be distributed annually within 90 days (currently, 180 days) after the close of a municipality's fiscal year. Provides that a new or modified redevelopment project area that overlaps with any existing redevelopment project area shall not be approved. Effective immediately, except that provisions amending the Illinois Municipal Code take effect on January 1, 2022.

SB 1276 (SFA 0001) amends the Law Enforcement Camera Grant Act to provide that subject to appropriations and only after all law enforcement agencies have received sufficient funding through grants allowing compliance with the mandates of the Law Enforcement Officer-Worn Body Camera Act, shall any remaining funds be used for data and storage fees and additional personnel on a pro-rata basis.

SB 1326 (SFA 0001) amends the Election Code. In provisions requiring election authorities to automatically register a voter, requires the election authority to act within 90 days of receipt of information from the National Change of Address database. Requires county clerks and the Board of Election Commissioners to complete verifications of voter registrations after a consolidated election in an odd numbered year but before the first day of candidate circulation for candidate filing for the following primary election in an even numbered year (rather than at least once in every 2 years). Requires the county clerks and the Board of Election Commissioners to certify to the State Board of Elections that the verification has been conducted and completed within 30 days of completion of the verification. Requires the State Board of Elections to establish training materials and guidelines for judges of elections to be incorporated into the training course established by an election authority. Requires an election authority with a public-facing website to ensure that its vote by mail processing procedures are published on its public-facing website and accessible to the public no less than 120 days before a general election, a general primary election, or a consolidated election. Provides that vote by mail ballots received after the election are subject to audit by the State Board of Elections and provides the auditing guidelines. Provides that the State central committee chair of each established political party shall be given prior written notice of the time and place of the random selection procedure and may be represented at the procedure. Provides that if tally sheets to be delivered to the office of county clerk by judges of elections are delayed more than 5 hours after the closing of the polls, the designated judges from each of the 2 major political parties shall subscribe to a written affidavit explaining the delay. Requires the county clerk to keep any affidavits for one year and allows certified copies to be used as evidence in all courts, proceedings, and election contests. Requires the affidavits to also appear on an election authority's post on its website along with the number of uncounted votes.

SB 1455 (SFA 0001) amends the Property Tax Code to create an abatement for property located in a blighted area if the owner of the property enters into an agreement with the corporate authorities of the municipality in which the property is located for the renovation, demolition, or improvement of the property. Provides that the abatement shall apply for a period of 10 years and may be extended for an additional 10 years if the chief county assessment officer finds that the property owner has made a good faith effort to renovate, demolish or improve the property. 

SB 1676 (SFA 0001) amends the Solid Waste Planning and Recycling Act to provide that each county waste management plan shall be reviewed and updated as necessary or appropriate, and at least every 5 years or within 6 months after a change to the required contents of the plan as set forth in the Act, whichever occurs first (rather than shall be updated every 5 years, and any necessary or appropriate revisions shall be submitted to the Agency for review and comment). Requires each county to maintain a copy of its waste management plan on its website for public viewing. Requires updated or amended plans to be posted within 60 days after the update or amendment. Provides that each county waste management plan's recycling program shall ensure that owners of apartment buildings containing 4 or more rental units ensure that recycling receptacles are available to tenants and that recyclables are collected for recycling in accordance with the local recycling program. Provides that the recycling program may subject building owners to penalties for noncompliance with the requirements of the recycling program.

SB 1747 (SFA 0002) amends the Illinois Enterprise Zone Act to provide for the decertification of Enterprise Zones if 80% or more of the businesses receiving tax incentives within that Enterprise Zone fail to submit certain required information. Includes other provisions.

SB 2066 (SFA 0002) amends the Retailers' Occupation Tax Act to provide that, beginning January 1, 2020 and through December 31, 2020, sales of tangible personal property made by a marketplace seller over a marketplace for which tax is due but for which use tax has been collected and remitted to the Department of Revenue by a marketplace facilitator are exempt. Provides that the term "marketplace facilitator" does not include any person licensed under the Auction License Act, other than any person who is an Internet auction listing service. Amends the Leveling the Playing Field for Illinois Retail Act. Provides that certified service providers who collect and remit taxes on behalf of retailers may claim the retailers' discount with respect to those taxes. Provides that the retailer is not entitled to the discount with respect to those taxes. 

SB 2278 (SFA 0002) amends the Counties Code to provide that a county that is authorized to impose a Special County Retailers' Occupation Tax For Public Safety, Public Facilities, Mental Health, Substance Abuse, or Transportation shall establish a 7-member mental health board, which shall have the same powers and duties and be constituted in the same manner as a community mental health board established under the Community Mental Health Act. Provides that moneys from the special county retailers' occupation tax that are earmarked for mental health or substance abuse purposes shall be deposited into a special county occupation tax fund for mental health and substance abuse. Provides that that fund shall be administered by the 7-member mental health board. (Oppose)

SB 2520 (SCA 0002) amends the Counties Code to reinsert the provisions of the introduced bill with the following changes: provides that the county board must petition the circuit court to authorize the hiring of outside legal counsel to represent the county board while the conflict of interest remains with the State's Attorney; and removes provisions allowing the Attorney General to represent the county board while the conflict of interest remains. 

SB 2553 (SFA 0001) provides that a unit of local government shall post every elected official vacancy on its website, if the website is maintained by the unit of local government's full-time staff (rather than if it has a website).

Upcoming NACo Webinars

NACo has announced the following upcoming webinar opportunities:

Monitoring the Spread of COVID-19 Through Environmental Scanning

(Tuesday, April 20, 2021, 12pm-1pm CST)

In this webinar counties will hear from Biobot Analytics on how it uses technology to monitor the spread of COVID-19 in communities through wastewater sampling, which can be used to inform planning for mobile test centers and vaccination sites. Tune in to learn more about how you can use wastewater testing data as part of your long-term COVID-19 mitigation and response strategy.

Click on this link to register for this event.

Public Engagement in Policy and Budgeting

(Tuesday, April 20, 2021, 1pm-2pm CST)

Counties are facing multiple complex challenges where community participation is needed to find promising solutions with limited resources. This workshop will help county leaders develop and leverage tools to address community priorities within their budget. Counties will learn how to establish a participatory budgeting process using an equity lens that identifies and addresses community needs.

Click on this link to register for this event.

When Virtual is the Reality

(Wednesday, April 21, 2021, 1pm-2pm CST)

Feeling disconnected? What worked in face-to-face collaboration has changed radically in our virtual-and-hybrid ‘new normal.’ Join consultant Brad Weaber for easy, instant tips and tricks that anyone can use to hold more successful, smoother and engaging virtual meetings. From lighting, backgrounds, and simple but surprisingly effective tweaks, novices and Zoom experts alike will leave feeling excited to take on yet another virtual meeting.

Click on this link to register for this event.

HAFNIUM Hack: A Briefing and Analysis of the Microsoft Exchange Server Zero-Day Attacks

(Thursday, April 22, 2021, 10am-11am CST)

Presented by the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC), National Association of Counties (NACo), National Governors Association (NGA) and National League of Cities (NLC)

Tom Burt, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice-President for Customer Security and Trust, will brief attendees on the recent Microsoft Exchange Server attacks, also known as the HAFNIUM hacks. Mr. Burt will provide an inside look at what Microsoft observed, the steps they took to secure and communicate with customers and how they think about security going forward.

This webinar is co-hosted by the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC), National Association of Counties (NACo), National Governors Association (NGA) and National League of Cities (NLC) and includes Mr. Burt's presentation followed by audience Q&A. The conversation will be closed to media and may contain confidential information not to be shared outside of your organization.

Click on this link to register for this event.

Treasures Perspectives: Liquidity vs. Cashflow

(Thursday, April 22, 2021, 12pm-1pm CST)

Join NACo and three+one for a conversation with Bill Cherry, former Schoharie County Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer and three+one CEO Joe Rulison for a treasurer’s perspective on liquidity and cashflow. You’ll learn how to make liquidity data work for you by identifying all cash available to your county and how long it's available, how a future liquidity forecast in conjunction with cash flow forecasts can help prepare your county for upcoming cash needs and using stress testing & peer benchmark data to maximize the value of cash you won’t need.

Click on this link to register for this event.

Strengthening County Partnerships with Post-Secondary Education Systems and Enhancing Local Workforce Opportunities

(Thursday, April 22, 2021, 1pm-2pm CST)

Counties are supporting and leading local innovation to strengthen post-secondary education systems to promote economic mobility, improve outcomes and create career pathways for residents. Local leaders are leveraging the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and other federal programs to drive collaboration among county-based sectors and systems. This session explores the role and authority of counties in post-secondary education systems, including community colleges, and what is needed at the federal and local levels to improve career readiness opportunities.

Click on this link to register for this event.

Federal Funding at the Intersection of Behavioral Health and Criminal Justice

(Friday, April 23, 2021, 1pm-2pm CST)

Federal funding is a key component of implementing critical local justice system efforts. The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply impacted local communities but also provided new opportunities to enhance collaboration, address the root causes of justice-system involvement and deploy innovative programs that reduce incarceration. NACo and NLC are holding a joint webinar to provide a primer on federal funding opportunities that counties and cities can leverage to support local programs at the intersection of criminal justice and behavioral health.

Speakers will share funding opportunities through the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act, the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Following the presentation, attendees are invited to attend virtual breakout sessions to engage with speakers and peers on these funding opportunities.

Breakouts:

  • Join the Criminal Justice Peer Engagement Breakout for an in-depth discussion of BJA grants. 
  • Join the Behavioral Health and Social Services Peer Engagement Breakout for an in-depth discussion of behavioral health grants for this fiscal year. 
  • Join the Planning and Research Peer Engagement Breakout for an in-depth discussion of opportunities for using American Rescue Plan Act funds for criminal justice and behavioral health initiatives. 

Click on this link to register for this event.


CORPORATE SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT

 

This week's corporate partner spotlight highlights ISACo's partnership with Comcast.

Comcast Corporation is a global media and technology company with three primary businesses: Comcast Cable, NBCUniversal, and Sky. Comcast Cable is one of the United States’ largest video, high-speed internet, and phone providers to residential customers under the Xfinity brand, and also provides these services to businesses. It also provides wireless and security and automation services to residential customers under the Xfinity brand. NBCUniversal is global and operates news, entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, television production operations, television station groups, Universal Pictures, and Universal Parks and Resorts.  Sky is one of Europe’s leading media and entertainment companies, connecting customers to a broad range of video content through its pay television services.  It also provides communications services, including residential high-speed internet, phone, and wireless services.  Sky operates the Sky News broadcast network and sports and entertainment networks, produces original content and has exclusive content rights. 

With more than 6,000 local employees, Comcast’s Greater Chicago Region (https://chicago.comcast.com) serves customers in central and northern Illinois, including the Chicago area, northwest Indiana and southwest Michigan.

More information about the services provided by Comcast is available via this link.

This week's corporate partner spotlight highlights ISACo's partnership with

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 Executive Director Joe McCoy at (217) 679-3368 or jmccoy@isacoil.org. ISACo member counties are listed here. Thank you for your consideration.