News and Views for Monday, May 10, 2021

5/10/2021 Joe McCoy

This week's Illinois State Association of Counties (ISACo) News and Views e-newsletter announces that Illinois is entering the "Bridge Phase" from Phase 4 to Phase 5 of the state's COVID-19 mitigations, provides information about COVID-19 swimming facility guidelines, requests that county officials contact their state legislators about county board reapportionment and proposed cuts to county revenues, discusses a $94 million allocation from the Rebuild Illinois capital program to revitalize airports, identifies bills of interest approved by committees as well as bills that passed the Senate last week, identifies new House amendments relevant to counties filed last week, provides information about two upcoming National Association of Counties (NACo) National Membership calls, spotlights ISACo corporate partner Nationwide and invites counties to join ISACo.

Illinois to Enter "Bridge Phase" on May 14 

On May 6, 2021, Governor JB Pritzker announced that beginning May 14, 2021, Illinois will move forward with a dial-like approach between the COVID-19 mitigations in Phase 4, which currently apply to the entire state, and the post-pandemic new normal of Phase 5. This Bridge to Phase 5 will allow for higher capacity limits and increased business operations. Click on this link for detailed information about the bridge to Phase 5.

COVID-19 Swimming Facility Guidelines 

Swimming facilities licensed by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) may be opened with the following limits according to mitigations outlined in the Restore Illinois plan. However, ancillary accommodations (e.g., saunas, hot tubs, spas, whirlpools, and steam rooms) should be closed at this time. Facilities should also consider limiting ticket sales to patrons who reside in the same Emergency Medical Services (EMS) as the region as the facility’s location. The composition of each EMS region and its tier status is available via this link.

Click on this link to access the full swimming facility guidelines 

ISACo Requests that County Officials Contact Legislators about County Board 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 two different proposals with legislators that would accommodate counties seeking to use updated federal census data in light of the delay in receiving this data. As we continue our conversations with legislators about this important issue, we ask that county officials contact their state legislators to convey the importance of changing the law to assist counties with their statutory obligation to redraw county board districts using accurate census data.

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

ISACo continues to advocate in opposition to 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 revenues!

$94 Million Allocated from Rebuild Illinois Program to Revitalize Airports

Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) announced that $94 million will be made available to improve public airports throughout the state through the Rebuild Illinois capital program. As part of a competitive grant process, IDOT will seek proposals for the planning, construction, reconstruction, extension, development and improvement of public airports. 

To be eligible, airports must be for public use and included in the Illinois Aviation System Plan.
Applications are due June 14, 2021, to be eligible for some of the $94 million to be released later this year. Individual awards will be capped at $25 million.

The full press release is available via this link.

Application information is available via the Grant Accountability and Transparency website or by visiting IDOT’s Airport Improvement Program page. Awards are anticipated to be announced later in 2021.

Bills of Interest Out of Committee Last Week

House Bills

HB 58 - Recorders - Unlawful Covenants (No Position)

HB 3702 - Emergency Telephone System (No Position)

Senate Bills

SB 337 - Courts - Security Officers (No Position)

SB 501 - Township Code - Same Township Names (ISACo Initiative - Support)

SB 651 - Juvenile Court - Venue - Transfer (No Position)

SB 1650 - Line of Duty Claim Deadline (No Position)

SB 1681 - Line of Duty - Probation Officer (No Position)

SB 1904 - DCFS - Juvenile Court - Abuse Report and Petition (No Position)

SB 2201 - Local - Industrial Residential Buildings (Oppose)

SB 2278 - Counties Code - Mandated Mental Health Board (Oppose)

Bills of Interest that Passed the Senate Last Week

SB 2520 - County - State's Attorney Conflict (Support)

New House 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 3702 (HFA 1) Further amends the Emergency Telephone System Act. Provides that the information registered by an emergency telephone system with the Statewide 9-1-1 Administrator shall include the identification of the System Manager. Provides that an Emergency Telephone System Board has the power to designate a 9-1-1 System Manager, whose duties and responsibilities shall be set forth by the in writing. Defines "System Manager". Changes references from "county 9-1-1 system" or "9-1-1 system" to "county or 9-1-1 Authority". Provides that the installation of or connection to a telephone company's network of any automatic alarm, automatic alerting device, or mechanical dialer that causes the number 9-1-1 to be dialed in order to directly access emergency services and does not provide for 2-way communication is prohibited in a 9-1-1 system. Provides that training for public safety telecommunicators must be completed within one year of the Statewide 9-1-1 Administrator establishing the required guidelines, rules, and standards. Provides that upon completing of training, all public safety telecommunicators must complete specified continuing education training regarding the delivery of 9-1-1 services and professionalism bi-annually. Makes other changes.

Senate Bills 

SB 0294 (HCA 1) Replaces everything after the enacting clause with the provisions of the introduced bill with the following changes. Replaces references to municipalities and counties with references to jurisdictional wastewater authorities. Replaces the labeling requirements of the introduced bill with provisions requiring that, subject to specified exceptions, a covered product manufactured on or after July 1, 2022 shall be labeled clearly and conspicuously in adherence to specified labeling requirements. Provides that a covered entity may include on a covered product words or phrases in addition to those required for label notice if the words or phrases are consistent with the purposes of the provisions. Provides that jurisdictional wastewater authorities shall have the concurrent and exclusive authority (rather than only the authority) to enforce the Act and collect civil penalties for violation of the Act. Removes provisions regarding covered products registered with the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Defines "high contrast" and "jurisdictional wastewater authority". Makes other changes.

SB 1847 (HCA 1) Replaces everything after the enacting clause. Amends the Freedom of Information Act to remove an exemption from disclosure for certain information under the Equal Pay Act of 2003. Amends the Equal Pay Act of 2003. Requires employers with fewer than 100 employees to certify that they are exempt from specified provisions. Provides that a business subject to the equal pay registration certificate requirement on March 23, 2021 shall apply for and obtain an equal pay registration certificate between March 24, 2022 and March 23, 2024, rather than within 3 years after March 23, 2021. Provides that a business subject to the equal pay registration certificate requirement after March 23, 2021 shall apply for the certificate within 3 years of commencing business. Requires recertification every 2 years. Requires disclosure of information by county in which the employee works, beginning date of employment, and any other information the Department deems necessary to access pay equity. Provides that the business must disclose its approach to determining the level of wages and benefits payable to employees and identify differences in approach by title of classification employee. Provides that employees may obtain title and pay data. Permits the Department of Labor to share data with the Department of Human Rights and the Attorney General. With respect to violations of the Act by employers having 100 or more employees, authorizes a penalty of up to $10,000 per employee for violation other than equal pay certificate requirements and a penalty of $10,000 for violation of the equal pay certificate requirements. Effective immediately.

NACo National Membership Calls

NACo National Membership calls are scheduled for Tuesday, May 11 (register here) and Thursday, May 13, 2021 (register here). Both calls will be from 1pm-1:30pm CST

Corporate Partner Spotlight 

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