This week's Illinois State Association of Counties (ISACo) News and Views e-newsletter includes guidance from the U.S. Treasury Department for expenditures of State and Local Fiscal and Recovery Funds, requests that county officials contact their state legislators about county board reapportionment and proposed cuts to county revenues, highlights a new amendment intended to require community water suppliers to replace lead service lines, announces the distribution of additional dollars in Rebuild Illinois Grants for local infrastructure projects, shares information about Illinois entering the "Bridge Phase" with respect to COVID-19 mitigations, includes a link to information about the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) revised guidance concerning COVID-19 safety measures, links to bills of interest to counties approved by House and Senate Committees last week, includes a list of relevant amendments filed last week, provides a link to register for the National Association of Counties (NACo) 2021 Annual Conference in July, shares information about an upcoming NACo webinar, spotlights corporate partner Wight & Company and invites counties to join ISACo.
Treasury Guidance for State and Local Fiscal and Recovery Funds
On Monday, May 10, 2021, the U.S. Treasury Department released guidance for the State and Local Fiscal and Recovery Funds. ISACo has included this information on our “State and Local Fiscal and Recovery Funds” resource page. We will continue to provide up-to-date information to assist counties seeking to understand the federal guidelines.
ISACo Continues to Request that County Officials Contact Legislators about County Board Reapportionment
ISACo has shared two different proposals with legislators that would accommodate counties seeking to use updated federal census data to reapportion county board districts in light of the data being delayed. 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 current and 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 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!
Amendment Filed to Create Lead Service Line Replacement Act
On May 13, 2021, State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) filed Senate Amendment 1 to HB 3739 to create the Lead Service Line Replacement and Notification Act.
The amendment would require the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) to establish procedures for a lead in drinking water protection fee to be collected by all community water suppliers. The amendment requires the owner or operator of each community water supply to perform specified activities. It also creates the Lead Service Line Replacement Advisory Board within the Agency to perform specified duties as well as creates the Lead Service Line Replacement Fund to be used to finance and administer programs and activities specified under the amendatory provisions. The amendment provides that, within one year after the amendment's effective date, IEPA shall design rules for a program for the purpose of administering lead service line replacement funds. The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Law of the Civil Administrative Code of Illinois is amended to require the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) to establish a comprehensive low-income water assistance policy and program.
Governor Pritzker Announces $1 Billion in Rebuild Illinois Grants Distributed for Local Infrastructure Projects
Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) announced that a fourth round of $250 million in Rebuild Illinois funded grants is available to advance municipal, township and county projects across the state. With the latest round of grants, $1 billion in funding has been distributed to address local transportation needs.
This revenue is part of a total of $1.5 billion spread out in six installments being invested over three years. Projects include road and bridge improvements, traffic signal upgrades, new storm sewers, bike paths, sidewalk replacements and other long-term maintenance needs.
The funding is in addition to the regular contributions through the state's motor fuel tax formula, which have increased due to Rebuild Illinois and already account for $706.5 million to local governments in this fiscal year alone.
A complete list of local agencies and awards is available via this link.
As part of its current FY2021-26 Proposed Highway Improvement Program, IDOT is investing a total of $21.3 billion to improve roads and bridges. Of that, $4.7 billion is identified for the local transportation system. A summary of the Proposed Highway Improvement Program is available via this link.
Click on this link for the press release about the most recent distribution of Rebuild Illinois funds.
Illinois Enters "Bridge Phase" in Covid Response
On Friday, May 14, 2021, the entire state moved into the "Bridge Phase" of the Restore Illinois reopening plan. This is the final step before the full reopening of Phase 5. More information about the "Bridge Phase" is available here.
CDC Revises Guidance for Vaccinated Individuals
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has updated it's guidance to ease restrictions on those who have been vaccinated from COVID-19. This includes easing the Agency's guidance on wearing masks. Additional information is available via this link.
Governor Pritzker has indicated he intends to revise his executive orders to reflect this policy change.
Bills Approved by Committees Last Week
HB 34 - Enterprise Zone Eligibility (Support)
HB 2790 - Public Defender - Immigration (No Position)
HB 2864 - EMS Systems - Rural Population (Support)
SB 583 - FOIA - Clerk of Court (No Position)
SB 626 - Criminal and Traffic Assessment - Credit (Oppose)
SB 1138 - Local Government Revenue Recapture (No Position)
SB 1552 - Juvenile Court - Information (No Position)
SB 1721 - Property Tax - Delinquent Property (Support)
SB 1845 - Property Tax Notice (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."
SB 84 (HFA 1) Amends Public Act 86-729, which transferred specified property to Kane County for criminal courts complex use. Provides that the property may also be used for a private drug addiction treatment center. Amends the Counties Code. Allows the operation of a private drug addiction treatment center on the property transferred to Kane County in Public Act 86-729. Provides that Kane County may lease portions of the property transferred to Kane County to a not-for-profit or for-profit company for a drug addiction treatment center and share in the drug addiction treatment center revenue. Provides that Kane County may authorize the expenditure of funds for a private drug addiction treatment center on the property transferred to the County.
SB 555 (HFA 2) Replaces everything after the enacting clause. Amends the Substance Use Disorder Act. Permits the Department of Human Services to conduct compliance checks of retailers as defined in the Tobacco Products Tax Act of 1995 to investigate whether such retailers are selling tobacco products, alternative nicotine products, or e-cigarettes to persons under 21 years of age in violation of the Prevention of Tobacco Use by Persons under 21 Years of Age and Sale and Distribution of Tobacco Products Act. Provides that compliance checks may be conducted by underage individuals under the supervision of local law enforcement and the Illinois State Police. Provides that underage individuals who purchase tobacco products, alternative nicotine products, or e-cigarettes while conducting supervised compliance checks shall not be in violation of any local or State laws pertaining to underage tobacco purchase or possession.
SB 583 (HCA 1) Replaces everything after the enacting clause with the provisions of the engrossed bill, and further amends the Clerks of Courts Act to allow the clerk of court to accept payment of fines, penalties, or costs by certified check.
SB 1697 (HFA 1) Replaces everything after the enacting clause. Reinserts the provisions of the engrossed bill with changes. Provides that the requirements established under the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act do not apply to allocations of State revenues paid over by the Comptroller to units of local government and other taxing districts pursuant to the State Revenue Sharing Act from the Local Government Distributive Fund or the Personal Property Tax Replacement Fund, or to allotments of State motor fuel tax revenues distributed by the Department of Transportation to units of local government pursuant to the Motor Fuel Tax Law from the Motor Fuel Tax Fund or the Transportation Renewal Fund. Amends the Downstate Public Transportation Act. Provides that commencing with State fiscal year 2022 programs, and for each fiscal year thereafter, all appropriations made under the provisions of the Act are direct appropriations and shall not constitute a grant program. Provides that the Department of Transportation shall approve programs of proposed expenditures and services submitted by participants under specified provisions. Provides for the adoption of rules to govern participants. Provides requirements for participant applications for funding concerning a program of proposed expenditures and services. Provides additional requirements for specified units of local government when applying for the approval of the program of proposed expenditures and services. Provides that any program of proposed expenditures and services submitted by a participant that is not expressly approved or disapproved by the Department within 45 days after receipt shall be deemed approved, and the Department shall obligate the appropriation for the funding thereof with and to the Comptroller no later than the commencement of the applicable State fiscal year. Makes conforming changes.
SB 1552 (HCA 1) Replaces everything after the enacting clause. Amends the Juvenile Court Act of 1987. In a provision concerning court files, provides that relevant information, reports and records, held by the Department of Juvenile Justice, including social investigation, psychological and medical records, of any juvenile offender, shall be made available to any county juvenile detention facility upon written request by the Superintendent or Director of that juvenile detention facility, to the Chief Records Officer of the Department of Juvenile Justice where the subject youth is or was in the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice and is subsequently ordered to be held in a county juvenile detention facility. Provides legislative findings.
SB 1721 (HCA 1) In the Property Tax Code: reduces the maximum penalty bids for the annual tax sale from 12% to 9%; and, in provisions about redemption of property, removes changes relating to assessment of penalties.
SB 1750 (HCA 1) Provides that a veteran who has a combined service connected disability rating of 100% and is deemed to be permanently and totally disabled shall no longer be required to reapply for the homestead exemption for veterans with disabilities (in the introduced bill, a veteran with a service connected disability of 100% is no longer required to reapply).
SB 1750 (HCA 2) Replaces everything after the enacting clause. Reinserts the provisions of the engrossed bill with changes. Provides that taxpayers who have been granted a homestead exemption for veterans with disabilities shall be required to reapply every 10 years (in the engrossed bill, those taxpayers are no longer required to reapply).
SB 2007 (HFA 1) Replaces everything after the enacting clause. Amends the Food Handling Regulation Enforcement Act. Removes specified provisions containing requirements for cottage food operations. Contains requirements for cottage food operations that sell fermented or acidified food and baked goods with cheese. Contains requirements for the preparation and packaging of products by a cottage food operation. Provides that food and drink produced by a cottage food operation shall be sold directly to consumers for their own consumption and not for resale. Provides that only food that is non-potentially hazardous may be shipped. Prohibits a cottage food product from being shipped out of State. Requires each cottage food product that is shipped to be sealed in a manner that reveals tampering. Provides that a local health department shall register any eligible cottage food operation that meets the requirements of the provisions and shall issue a certificate of registration with an identifying registration number to each registered cottage food operation. Provides that a local health department may establish a self-certification program for cottage food operators to affirm compliance with applicable laws, rules, and regulations. Provides that registration shall be completed annually and the local health department may impose a fee not to exceed $50. Provides for inspection, fees, and penalties in the event of a consumer complaint or foodborne illness outbreak, an imminent health hazard, or a product that has been found to be misbranded, adulterated, or not in compliance with the conditions for cottage food operations. Provides that a local health department that receives a consumer complaint or a report of foodborne illness related to a cottage food operator in another jurisdiction shall refer the complaint or report to the local health department where the cottage food operator is registered. Contains an exemption from the requirements for a non-potentially hazardous baked good for sale by a religious, charitable, or nonprofit organization for fundraising purposes. Contains a home rule preemption. Contains other provisions. Effective January 1, 2022.
SB 2153 (HCA 1) In provisions of the bill amending the Hospital Licensing Act, restores provisions of current law providing that fines for failing to initiate certain criminal background checks or failing to report the death of a person known to be a resident of a facility licensed under the ID/DD Community Care Act or the MC/DD Act shall be deposited into the Long Term Care Provider Fund. Reinserts with formatting changes the provisions of the introduced bill concerning fines for failing to implement a written staffing plan for nursing services or failing to substantially comply with a plan of correction. Removes provisions of the bill creating an income tax credit for nurse educators.
SB 2370 (HCA 2) Replaces everything after the enacting clause. Reinserts the provisions of the bill as introduced, with the following changes: Further amends the Juvenile Court Act of 1987. Replaces certain references to juveniles as "wards" with references to juveniles as "youth in care." Adds an effective date provision of January 1, 2023.
SB 667 (SFA 2) Further amends the Illinois TRUST Act. In a provision concerning legislative purpose, provides that the changes made to the definitions of immigration detainer and civil immigration warrant (formerly "non-judicial immigration warrant") by a specified provision of this amendatory Act of the 102nd General Assembly are declarative of existing law. Provides that nothing in this Act shall prevent a law enforcement officer from contacting another law enforcement agency for the purposes of clarifying or confirming the civil or criminal nature of notifications or other records provided by the National Crime Information Center, or the Law Enforcement Agencies Data Administrative System. Adds to definitions of "law enforcement official" and "immigration detainer". Deletes the definition of "non-judicial immigration warrant". Defines "citizenship or immigration status", "civil immigration warrant", "contact information", and "immigration agent."
SB 1350 (SFA 1) Replaces everything after the enacting clause. Amends the Illinois Governmental Ethics Act. Creates a uniform statement of economic interests form that must be completed by all persons who are required to file that form under the Act. Changes the nature of the required disclosures that must be made. Repeals a provision that established a separate form for persons required to file a statement of economic interests with county clerks. Provides limitations concerning lobbying by a member of the General Assembly or his or her spouse or any immediate family member living with that member of the General Assembly. Prohibits an appointee subject to Senate confirmation and a registered lobbyist from serving as an officer of a candidate political committee in which the person is the designated candidate or being a candidate supported by a candidate political committee. Amends the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act. Amends the Criminal Code of 2012. Expands the definition of "predicate activity" to include bribery, official misconduct, solicitation misconduct (State government), solicitation misconduct (local government)), and legislative misconduct. Amends the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963. Expands the authority of the State's Attorney to seek a court order authorizing the interception of a private communication under specified circumstances concerning activity under the Illinois Street Gang and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Law. Amends the Statewide Grand Jury Act. Expands the authority of a Statewide Grand Jury to investigate and indict offenses involving the corruption of a public official, to include theft, fraud, extortion, or a violation of the Official Misconduct and Public Contracts Article of the Criminal Code of 2012. Provides that venue for purposes of trial for any offense involving the corruption of a public official may be in any county in which any portion of the offense occurred. Makes other changes.
SB 1794 (SFA 1) Replaces everything after the enacting clause. Reinserts the provisions of the introduced bill with the following changes. In provisions amending the Local Government Taxpayers' Bill of Rights Act, creates a 7-year statute of limitations for utility taxes (currently, 4 years). In provisions amending the Illinois Municipal Code, provides that a public utility that is an electric utility may not provide customer-specific information. Provides that penalties for failure to respond to requests for information shall be assessed by the municipality, but may be reduced or vacated by the municipality or a court of competent jurisdiction upon demonstration by the public utility that the public utility's failure to provide the requested information resulted from excusable neglect. In provisions concerning a public utility's liability for premises that have been annexed to the municipality, provides that the utility shall only be liable beginning 60 days after the date that the municipality provided the public utility notice of the annexation. Adds provisions amending the Public Utilities Act. Provides that the Illinois Commerce Commission shall not consider: (i) costs associated with a municipal audit; (ii) any court costs, attorney's fees, or other fees incurred under certain provisions of the Illinois Municipal Code; (iii) unpaid utility taxes owed to a municipality; or (iv) any penalties or interest imposed by a municipality under certain provisions of the Illinois Municipal Code to be expenses for the purpose of determining any rate or charge.
HB 1765 (SCA 2) Provides that the provision prohibiting a law enforcement agency or an officer employed by a law enforcement agency from knowingly and intentionally conducting a background check of a person for the sole reason of that person speaking at an open meeting of a public body does not apply whenever the person speaking at an open meeting of the public body is also under consideration for appointment to a government position by that public body. Provides that the Act creates no claims for damages or other relief for violations of the Act.
HB 2658 (SCA 1) Amends the Public Safety Employee Benefits Act. Limits the definition of the term "health insurance plan", when pertaining to recipients of benefits under the Act who are covered under specified Articles of the Illinois Pension Code, to insurance plan options that are codified in the employee's collective bargaining agreement.
HB 2784 (SCA 1) Creates the Community Emergency Services and Support Act. Provides that each 9-1-1 call center and provider of emergency services dispatched through a 9-1-1 system must coordinate with the mobile mental and behavioral health services established by the Division of Mental Health of the Department of Human Services so that the following State goals and State prohibitions are met whenever a person interacts with one of these entities for the purpose seeking emergency mental and behavioral health care or when one of these entities recognizes the appropriateness of providing mobile mental or behavioral health care to an individual with whom they have engaged. The Division of Mental Health is also directed to provide guidance regarding whether and how these entities should coordinate with mobile mental and behavioral health services when responding to individuals who appear to be in a mental or behavioral health emergency while engaged in conduct alleged to constitute a non-violent misdemeanor. Provides that 9-1-1 PSAPs, emergency services dispatched through 9-1-1 PSAPs, and the mobile mental and behavioral health service established by the Division of Mental Health must coordinate their services so that the State goals listed in this Section are achieved. Appropriate mobile response service for mental and behavioral health emergencies shall be available regardless of whether the initial contact was with 9-8-8, 9-1-1 or directly with an emergency service dispatched through 9-1-1. Provides that the Division of Mental Health shall establish a Statewide Advisory Committee to review and make recommendations for aspects of coordinating 9-1-1 and the 9-8-8 mobile mental health response system most appropriately addressed on a State level. Provides that the Division of Mental Health shall establish Regional Advisory Committees in each EMS Region to advise on regional issues related to emergency response systems for mental and behavioral health. Provides that the exemptions from civil liability in the Emergency Telephone Systems Act apply to any act or omission in the development, design, installation, operation, maintenance, performance, or provision of service directed by the Act. Provides that the Act applies to persons of all ages, both children and adults. This Act does not limit an individual's right to control his or her own medical care. No provision of this Act shall be interpreted in such a way as to limit an individual's right to choose his or her preferred course of care or to reject care. No provision of this Act shall be interpreted to promote or provide justification for the use of restraints when providing mental or behavioral health care.
HB 3277 (SCA 1) Provides that the court appointed special advocate shall review all court documents that relate to the minor child (rather than all court related documents). Provides that upon presentation of an order of appointment, a court appointed special advocate shall have access to all records and information relevant to the minor's case with regard to the minor child (rather than all records and information relevant to the minor's case).
HB 3886 (SCA 1) Amends the Juvenile Court Act of 1987. Provides that the Department of Children and Family Services and its assigns shall not interfere with the right of any youth in its custody or guardianship to communicate with the news media if the youth chooses to do so. Provides that any time the news media requests to speak with a specific, identified minor under 18 years of age, the Department of Children and Family Services shall immediately provide notice of the news media's request to the minor's attorney and guardian ad litem. Provides that the notice shall include at a minimum the minor's name, the news media name, and the date of the inquiry from the news media. Provides that within one business day of the news media's request, the Department shall determine whether the minor wants to speak with the news media, whether the minor has sufficient maturity to make his or her own decision to communicate with the news media and whether contact with the news media will more likely than not cause the minor serious physical, emotional or mental harm. Provides that the Department shall provide notice of its determination to the minor's attorney and guardian ad litem within one business day of its determination. Provides that the Department shall not take any action to interfere with the right of a minor over 18 to speak with the news media. Provides that the court shall not impose any limitations on the speech of a minor based on viewpoints the minor may express or information the minor may divulge, unless it is confidential information regarding third parties. Provides that any party may file a motion seeking to enforce certain rights relating to access to news media. Defines terms. Makes other changes. Effective immediately.
Registration Open for NACo Annual Conference
NACo has opened registration for its 2021 Annual Conference and Exposition to be held in Prince George’s County, Maryland from July 9-12. Prince George's County borders Washington, D.C. Attendees have the choice to participate in-person or virtually. Register for the conference here!
Upcoming NACo Webinar
NACo has announced the following upcoming webinar opportunity:
Pathway to Recovery: Liquidity Management in 2021
(Thursday, May 20, 2021, 1pm-2pm CST)
Join Alex DeRosa from three+one® and County Administrator Ian Coyle and County Treasurer Amy Davies of Livingston County, New York to discuss the "Pathway to Recovery®" and how liquidity management can position your entity for success managing ARP Funds in 2021 and beyond.
New liquidity management tools are available to improve financial outcomes for your citizens and this conversation will show you how to harness them. The three most important aspects of public finance investing are safety, liquidity and yield. State law and your investment policy provide safety, the most important focus for tax dollars. In this rising rate environment, yield can be hard to find, but what is liquidity, the second most important focus of public investment, and how can it contribute to the safety and maximization of your tax dollars' value in any market cycle?
Click on this link to register for this event.
Participants will learn:
- The difference between liquidity and cash flow
- How to use liquidity data to identify all cash available to your entity and how long it is available
- How a future liquidity forecast, in conjunction with cash flow forecasts, can help prepare your entity for upcoming cash needs
- Knowing your cash needs and maximizing the value of cash you won’t need using stress testing and peer benchmark data
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.