News and Views for Monday, May 3, 2021

5/3/2021 Joe McCoy

This week's Illinois State Association of Counties (ISACo) News and Views e-newsletter provides an update about the General Assembly's spring legislative schedule, shares information about the Governor's comprehensive energy legislation, urges county officials to communicate with their legislators about the need for assistance in reapportioning county board districts despite the delay in receiving federal census data, reminds county officials to assist ISACo in advocating against a cut to state-shared revenue distributed to counties, conveys that the Governor has extended his disaster declaration as well as several executive orders, links to bills of interest to counties that were approved by the Senate last week, identifies amendments filed last week that have relevance for counties, congratulates Illinois county officials and staff who recently graduated from the National Association of Counties (NACo) Leadership Academy, provides information about an upcoming NACo webinar opportunity, spotlights ISACo corporate partner AT&T and invites counties to join ISACo.

General Assembly Begins Final Month of Session

The General Assembly has four weeks of session remaining before the scheduled adjournment date of May 31, 2021. The deadline to advance House bills out of Senate Committees and Senate bills out of House Committees is Friday, May 14.

Lawmakers Introduce 'Consumers and Climate First Act' - Includes Limitations on County Wind and Solar Siting Regulations

ISACo's Tuesday, April 20, News and Views e-newsletter indicated that a comprehensive energy proposal would likely emerge prior to the end of the spring legislative session. This proposal was announced on April 28.

On that day, ISACo participated in a briefing held by the Governor's Office about the Administration's energy proposal. The bill is sponsored by Senator Villanueva and Representative Buckner. The Governor's proposal may differ from other proposals put forward by individual legislators, but the Governor's Office draft intends to lay down markers about what he is willing to support. It is anticipated that some of the provisions may change as the language is further negotiated with stakeholders.

While ISACo does not have a position on most of the content within the bill, the legislation includes provisions establishing state standards for the regulation and siting of commercial wind and solar energy facilities. ISACo is gathering input from our members about these provisions.

The legislation requires at least one public hearing no more than 75 days after the filing of an application for siting approval, during which public comment shall be taken. The final public hearing must conclude no more than 90 days following submission. The county board or its designee must make its siting decision no more than 45 days after the conclusion of the final public hearing. Other local siting and regulatory provisions are as follows:

  • If a county has an existing zoning ordinance in conflict with the new siting provisions, it must amend the ordinance to be in compliance. 
  • Allows a county to require setback distances measured from the center of the base of the wind tower and prescribes suggested setback descriptions and distances. 
  • Prohibits counties from establishing standards that are less restrictive than those included in the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s (IDOA) standard Agricultural Impact Mitigation Agreement (AIMA). 
  • Provides IDOA with the authority to halt the construction or deconstruction of a portion of a project if it does not meet or exceed the terms and conditions included in its AIMA. 
  • The legislation preempts home rule authority.

The wind and solar siting language is available via this link. The language to the AIMA provision that adds commercial wind energy facilities to existing law is available via this link.

Other Links

Full Text of the Consumers and Climate First Act (915 pages)

Press Release about the Consumers and Climate First Act

Full Summary of the Consumers and Climate First Act

Fact Sheet about the Consumers and Climate First Act

ISACo Model Resolution Urging Assistance with County Board Reapportionment 

ISACo has drafted a model resolution for county boards to consider approving to build support among state legislators to assist counties in reapportioning county board districts despite the delay in receiving federal census data. The resolution can be approved as drafted or customized accordingly.

ISACo has shared two versions of draft legislation with the Legislative Leaders and their staffs in our effort to be proactive in advocating that the General Assembly assist counties in light of the delayed federal census data. It is important for county officials to contact their state legislators to urge that they work with counties to facilitate statutory changes necessary to accommodate county board reapportionment.  

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!

Governor Extends Disaster Declaration and Several Executive Orders

On Friday, April 30, 2021, Governor JB Pritzker signed a new Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation extending the disaster declaration through May 29, 2021. Several Executive Orders (EO) were also extended on April 30. Information about these extensions are available in (EO) 2021-09.

Bills of Interest that Passed the Senate Last Week

HB 2877 - COVID-19 - Emergency Housing Assistance (No Position)

SB 317 - Illinois Promotion - Local Government (No Position)

SB 1138 - Local Government Revenue Recapture (No Position)

SB 1231 - Recreational Trails - Off Highway Vehicles (No Position)

SB 2122 - Juvenile Court and Criminal Prosecution - Minors Statement (No Position)

SB 2137 - Nursing Homes - Social Isolation (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 0350 (SCA 1) Replaces everything after the enacting clause. Amends the Criminal and Traffic Assessment Act. Provides that if the defendant's income is less than 200% of the poverty level, before the court orders an assessment, the court shall make a determination of the defendant's ability to pay the assessment. Provides that if the court determines the defendant is unable to pay the assessment, the court may reduce the assessment or waive the assessment in the court's discretion. Provides that one hour of public or community service shall be equivalent to $10 (rather than $4) of assessment.

Senate Bills

SB 48 (SCA 1) Amends the Environmental Protection Act. Requires all water mains to be included in the Environmental Protection Agency's written approval of a proposed water main installation project. Provides that the review and permitting of water main design shall be the sole responsibility of the Agency and a water main shall be installed in accordance with the Agency's written permit. Defines "water main."

SB 767 (SFA 2) Amends the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963. In a provision concerning the issuance of search warrants, provides that a no-knock search warrant may not be issued unless based upon a showing of specific facts, there is a reasonable suspicion that knocking and announcing would subject the officer serving the warrant or another person to death or great bodily harm and the no-knock search warrant has been personally reviewed and approved by the chief of the law enforcement agency requesting the warrant and not by a designee. Makes a conforming change in a provision concerning the use of force in the execution of a search warrant and provides that prior to serving a warrant under this provision, the supervisor of the officers serving the search warrant shall ensure that a Special Weapons and Tactics or other tactical team supervisor has been notified that a no-knock search warrant has been issued. Provides that the court may only grant authorization under a provision concerning the use of force in the execution of a search warrant if the law enforcement agency seeking the authorization provides to the court evidence that the request for such authorization has been personally reviewed and approved by the chief of the law enforcement agency requesting the warrant and not by a designee. Provides that a law enforcement agency must conduct a critical incident after-action review for search warrants identified as wrong raids or in other circumstances identified by the chief. Defines "wrong raid."

SB 1089 (SFA 3) Amends the Environmental Protection Act. Defines "general construction or demolition debris recovery facility". Provides that for the disposal of solid waste from general construction or demolition debris recovery facilities, the total fee, tax, or surcharge imposed by all units of local government upon the solid waste disposal facility shall not exceed 50% of the applicable amount. Changes a provision concerning facilities accepting exclusively general construction or demolition debris for transfer, storage, or treatment to apply to general construction or demolition recovery facilities. Includes additional requirements for a general construction or demolition debris recovery facility. Changes or deletes certain requirements for a general construction or demolition debris recovery facility. In the provision regarding general construction or demolition debris recovery facility, removes or changes provisions regarding the use of the following terms: "treatment"; "recovered wood that is processed for use as fuel"; "non-recyclable general construction or demolition debris"; and "general construction or demolition debris that is process for use at a landfill". Provides that no person shall: cause or allow the acceptance of any waste at a general construction or demolition debris recovery facility, other than general construction or demolition debris; cause or allow the deposit or other placement of general construction or demolition debris that is received at a general construction or demolition debris recovery facility into or on any land or water; beginning one year after the effective date of rules adopted by the Pollution Control Board, own or operate a general construction or demolition debris recovery facility without a permit issued by the Environmental Protection Agency; and cause or allow the storage or treatment of general construction or demolition debris in violation of the Act, any regulations or standards adopted under the Act, or any condition of a permit issued under the Act. Requires the Agency to propose, and the Board to adopt, rules for permitting the operation of general construction or demolition debris recovery facilities. Provides for administrative citations and civil penalties regarding violations of the provision regarding general construction or demolition debris recovery facilities, including a civil penalty of $1,500 for each violation, plus any hearing costs incurred by the Board and the Agency, and a civil penalty of $3,000 for a second or subsequent violation. Makes other changes. Makes conforming changes. Repeals a provision regarding the limitation on fees assessed by local government on facilities accepting exclusively general construction and demolition debris. 

SB 1204 (SFA 1) Amends the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act. With regard to the right to organize and bargain collectively, provides that employees covered under the Act have the right to engage in activities not otherwise prohibited by law for health and safety reasons. In provisions concerning prohibitions, provides that the good faith concerted cessation or suspension of labor by employees (rather than the quitting of labor by an employee or employees in good faith) because of abnormally dangerous conditions for work at the place of employment shall not be deemed a strike or an abandonment of employment (rather than shall not be deemed a strike) under the Act. Amends the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act. With regard to employee rights, provides that it is lawful for educational employees to engage in lawful concerted activities for health and safety reasons. In provisions concerning strikes, provides that a good faith concerted cessation or suspension of labor by educational employees because of abnormally dangerous conditions for work at the place of employment shall not be deemed a strike or an abandonment of employment under the Act.

Congratulations Illinois NACo Leadership Academy Graduates!

Nineteen Illinois county officials and staff members participated in the NACo Leadership Academy, a 12-week online program that empowers front-line county government employees with fundamental leadership skills. Across the country, 812 county employees participated.

Illinois County officials and staff who recently completed the Academy among the cohort that began in January 2021 are as follows:

  • Dennis Deer, Commissioner, Cook County
  • Christopher Smith, Building and Grounds Manager, Champaign County
  • Edward Olivieri, Director, Cook County
  • Elizabeth Granato, Deputy Bureau Chief, Cook County
  • Ingrid Sanders, Business Manager, Cook County
  • Joy Glover, Administrative Assistant, Cook County
  • Kari Harris, Deputy Clerk, DeWitt County
  • Connie Brookes, Director Emergency Management, LaSalle County
  • Jennifer Boyd, CAMA Specialist, Lee County
  • Jessie Smalley, Human Resources Director, Macon County
  • Ian Fischer, Criminal Supervisor of Circuit Court, McDonough County
  • Ana Schueller, Assistant to the County Administrator, McHenry County
  • Jennifer Bryant, Supervisor of Assessments, Piatt County
  • Cody Mileur, Director of Land Resource Management, Randolph County
  • Jessica Fox, County Clerk and Recorder, Shelby County
  • Frank Bergman, Director of Human Resources, St. Clair County
  • Julie Berkowicz, County Board Member, Will County
  • Margaret Tyson, County Board Member, Will County
  • Nick Palmer, Chief of Staff, Will County Board

Congratulations to all of these individuals who completed the program. To learn more about the Academy, visit the NACo website here.

Upcoming NACo Webinar

NACo has announced the following upcoming webinar opportunity:

NACo Tech Xchange Presents: Public Records Requests - 150% Growth in Complexity and the 8 Reasons CIOs Choose to Modernize

(Thursday, May 6, 2021, 1pm-2pm CST)

This webinar will discuss the PiPRIndex, a historic marker that reflects a 150% growth in the complexity of managing public records requests over the past three years. Also discussed will be each of the seven figures that compose the PiPRIndex and how these figures represent a broader trend felt by most state and local governments.

Attendees will also learn the top eight reasons that CIOs are modernizing public records request processing with cloud technology as a result of this growing complexity.

This webinar will cover:

  • Growing volume and the seven metrics that make up the PiPRIndex: file quantity, file size, video files, file type, interactions, clarification emails and time spent;
  • How to use this data to support technology investment decisions that address increases in public records complexity;
  • How to compare your agency’s own complexity figures with those of your peers; and
  • 8 reasons that CIOs are modernizing public records request processing with cloud technology.

Click on this link to register for this event.

NACo National Membership Call Next Week

Please note that the next NACo Membership Call is scheduled for Thursday, May 13, 2021, from 1pm-1:30pm (CST). Registration is available here.


Corporate Sponsor Spotlight

 

This week's corporate partner spotlight highlights ISACo's partnership with AT&T.

AT&T Inc. is a modern media company whose mission is to inspire human progress through the power of communication and entertainment.

The company brings together premium video content, a large base of direct-to-consumer relationships, high-speed networks optimized for video and advertising technology to lead the next revolution in technology, media and telecommunications.

More information about the services provided by AT&T 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 Executive Director Joe McCoy at (217) 679-3368 or jmccoy@isacoil.org. ISACo member counties are listed here. Thank you for your consideration.