2021 SPRING LEGISLATIVE SESSION SUMMARY
Updated on June 24, 2021
The Illinois House adjourned to the call of the chair in the early morning hours of June 1, 2021, while the Senate remained in session on June 1 to continue working on issues in that chamber before adjourning later that evening.
Both chambers may return to Springfield prior to the fall Veto Session to take up energy legislation.
During the 2021 spring legislative session, 7,003 bills were filed by state legislators and 653 were ultimately approved by both chambers for a passage rate of just over 9 percent. This excludes resolutions and proposed constitutional amendments.
This report provides a general overview of the more consequential and relevant legislation approved during the first year of the 102nd General Assembly. Please review the full text of the legislation included herein for additional details about each issue.
SFY 2022 STATE BUDGET
The House and Senate approved the State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2022 budget prior to adjournment. The bills are as follows:
SB 2800 (President Harmon, D-Oak Park/Speaker Welch, D-Westchester) is the appropriation bill. (P.A. 102-0017)
SB 2017 (Representative Harris, D-Chicago/President Harmon, D-Oak Park) is the Budget Implementation (BIMP) bill. (P.A. 102-0016)
The SFY 2022 state budget appropriates $42.2 billion in spending and anticipates revenue collections of $42.3 billion. The budget legislation was enacted into law by the Governor.
STATE SHARED REVENUES
The SFY 2022 state budget includes several funding sources collected by the state and shared with local governments. The following funding sources are relevant to counties:
Local Government Distributive Fund – ISACo Priority Issue!!!
The county share of Local Government Distributive Fund (LGDF) revenue as a percentage of state income tax collections remains the same as it was in SFY 2021. In other words, this local revenue share was not cut despite the call for a reduction in the Governor’s proposed budget.
Preventing a cut in LGDF revenue was a top priority for ISACo during the spring session. We are appreciative for our local government strategic partners, those county officials and staff who contacted their legislators on the issue and, of course, the General Assembly for leaving this important local revenue source intact.
The SFY 2022 state budget includes the closure of some tax loopholes intended to increase revenue to the state. This would actually result in an increase in LGDF distributions to counties.
ISACo will continue to advocate for a restoration of a full 10 percent share of LGDF revenue to counties. ISACo has prepared more information about LGDF in a Policy Brief.
Personal Property Replacement Tax
The budget includes $349.5 million in total diversions from Personal Property Replacement Tax (PPRT) revenues that would otherwise be distributed to local governments. PPRT diversions have occurred annually for several years. The SFY 2021 state budget diverted $311.9 million from PPRT. ISACo has prepared more information about PPRT in a Policy Brief.
Local Government Pass-Through Funds
Local government “pass-through” funds [Motor Fuel Tax (MFT), Use Tax, Video/Casino Gaming, Statewide Emergency 9-1-1 funds, etc.] are fully funded within the SFY 2022 budget.
Sales Tax Administrative Fee
The existing 1.5% sales tax administrative fee assessed on local governments by the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) was not altered within the SFY 2022 state budget. ISACo supported legislation introduced in 2021 proposing to reduce this fee to 1%.
HIGHLIGHTED LEGISLATION OF INTEREST
The following noteworthy bills were approved by both chambers and will next be considered by the Governor. A full summary of all legislation of interest to counties approved by both chambers will soon be available in our Bills Approved by Both Chambers report.
County Board Reapportionment Addressed – ISACo Priority Issue!!! (P.A. 102-0015)
ISACo aggressively advocated for a solution to the problem confronting county board reapportionment in light of the delay in receiving federal census data. Two options to resolve the issue were presented by ISACo to state legislators. We also engaged county officials to ask them to call upon the General Assembly to change state law so that county board districts could be reapportioned using updated federal census data.
We are pleased to report that the much needed “fix” to assist counties seeking to reapportion their county board districts using delayed federal census data was included in an omnibus election amendment filed at the very end of May. Included within SB 825 (President Harmon, D-Oak Park/Representative West, D-Chicago) is a provision providing county boards outside of Cook County until December 31, 2021, to reapportion county board districts.
In counties with a county-wide elected chair or executive, the chair or executive may present the reapportionment plan by the third Wednesday in November 2021. The language in the bill appeared ambiguous about whether this provision only affected county-wide elected chairs and ISACo requested clarification during Senate debate that ultimately confirmed this was indeed the intent.
The legislation moves the general primary election to June 28, 2022. This includes changing the beginning of the petition gathering period to January 13, 2022. The petition filing period would be March 7-14, 2022.
Of note, the legislation also allows population to be determined “by any reasonable method” including the use of American Community Survey (ACS) data.
ISACo is pleased that our persistent advocacy on this issue was successful and we appreciate the many county officials who discussed the issue with their legislators.
The bill also includes the following provisions of relevance to counties:
- Permits all county sheriffs to establish ballot booths within their jails.
- Creates a pilot program requiring all election authorities to establish at least one location in 2022 where anyone in that county or municipality can vote on election day.
- Curbside voting becomes permanent.
- Vote by mail option becomes permanent.
The bill was enacted into law by the Governor as P.A 102-0015. ISACo is appreciative that the General Assembly worked with us on the county board redistricting language. ISACo has developed a Policy Brief with more information about the provisions within the new law that affect counties.
General Assembly Redistricting (P.A. 102-0010)
HB 2777 (Representative Hernadez, D-Cicero/President Harmon, D-Oak Park) creates the General Assembly Redistricting Act of 2021. The bill redistricts the legislative districts (for election of Senators) and the Representative Districts (for election of Representatives). The bill was approved by both chambers and will next be considered by the Governor. The proposed maps are available below:
Proposed Illinois House of Representatives District Map
Proposed Illinois Senate District Map
Governor Pritzker signed the bill into law as P.A. 102-0010.
Supreme Court Redistricting (P.A. 102-0011)
SB 642 (President Harmon, D-Oak Park/Representative Tarver, II, D-Chicago) establishes new Illinois State Supreme Court districts. The bill was approved by both chambers and will next be considered by the Governor. The proposed map is available below:
Proposed Map for Illinois State Supreme Court Districts
Governor Pritzker signed the bill into law as P.A. 102-0011.
Judicial Circuit Reorganization
SB 2406 (Senator Belt, D-East St. Louis/Representative Hoffman, D-Swansea) amends the Circuit Courts Act. The bill reorganizes the counties (other than Cook County) into 24 (currently 23) judicial circuits. The bill provides that the General Assembly shall divide the 19th circuit into at least 10 subcircuits. Any judgeship that became vacant after January 1, 2020, and on the effective date of the amendatory Act is held by an individual appointed by the Supreme Court shall also be filled by election at the 2022 general election. Nothing in the provisions shall affect the tenure of any circuit judge serving on the effective date of the amendatory Act. No circuit judge serving on the effective date of the amendatory Act shall be required to change residency in order to continue serving in office or to seek retention or reappointment. Any circuit judge elected to that office prior to the effective date of the amendatory Act who files to run for retention after the effective date of the amendatory Act shall have the right to seek retention in the circuit the judge was elected from or to seek retention in the circuit created by the amendatory Act. The bill was approved by both chambers and will next be considered by the Governor.
SB 1697 (Senator Bennett, D-Champaign/Representative Hoffman, D-Swansea) exempts local government pass-through funding from elements of the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA). In particular, revenue from LGDF, PPRT and MFT would not be exempt from GATA reporting requirements. This is an issue supported by ISACo and identified in our 2021 Spring Legislative Advocacy Toolkit published in early April 2021. The bill was approved by both chambers and will next be considered by the Governor.
Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act Extended (P.A. 102-0009)
HB 3743 (Representative Walsh, D-Elwood/Senator Hastings, D-Frankfort) amends the Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act. The bill provides that the Act is repealed on December 31, 2024 (currently, June 1, 2021). The bill further provides that: (i) a wireless provider may be required to provide in an application a certification from a radio engineer that it operates the small wireless facility within all applicable FCC standards; (ii) an authority may require small wireless facilities to be collocated on an existing utility pole or existing wireless support structure within 200 feet (currently, 100 feet) of the proposed new-pole collocation; (iii) an authority may require that the wireless provider comply with generally applicable acoustic regulations; and (iv) when a wireless provider replaces or adds a new radio transceiver or antennas to an existing small wireless facility, certification may be required by the wireless provider from a radio engineer that the continuing operation of the small wireless facility complies with all applicable FCC standards.
The bill includes extensions to other Acts including the Emergency Telephone System Act to December 31, 2023, and the Telecommunications Article and the Cable and Video Competition Act to December 31, 2026.
Also included in the bill are provisions affecting 9-1-1 call systems that include mandated upgrades, allowable surcharges and sources of funding and new training standards.
The bill amends the Prevailing Wage Act to include within the definition of “public works” construction projects performed by third parties in public rights-of-way and construction projects that exceed 15 aggregate miles of new fiber optic cable. The bill was approved by both chambers and will next be considered by the Governor.
Governor Pritzker signed the bill into law as P.A. 102-0009.
Recreational Cannabis Social Equity Applicants
HB 1443 (Representative Ford, D-Chicago/Senator Lightford, D-Maywood) intends to address the lack of diversity within Illinois’ emerging recreational cannabis industry. The legislation would establish two additional lotteries of 110 total adult-use license dispensaries (55 licenses issued per round). The licenses available through these lotteries would go to social equity applicants. These 110 licenses will be issued on top of 75 licenses that have been delayed as a result of litigation over the state’s application scoring system. The bill was approved by both chambers and Governor Pritzker has indicated he will sign it into law.
Bipartisan Ethics Legislation
The House and Senate approved an ethics bill on a bipartisan basis. Some of the provisions within SB 539 (Senator Gillespie, D-Arlington Heights/Representative Burke, D-Evergreen Park) of interest to local governments are as follows:
- Prohibits legislators and local officials from engaging in compensated lobbying of the governing body of a local government on behalf of any lobbyist or lobbying entity registered to lobby the General Assembly or executive branch of state government.
- Expands economic interest statements to include spouses and other parties.
- Includes additional reporting requirements for filers of economic interest statements and their spouses.
- Requires persons who undertake to lobby officials of counties, municipalities and townships to register with the Secretary of State and submit expenditure disclosures in the same manner as lobbyists at the State level.
The bill was approved by both chambers and will next be considered by the Governor.
Lead Service Line Replacement Mandate
HB 3739 (Representative Robinson, Jr., D-Chicago/Senator Bush, D-Grayslake) requires 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 bill would require the owner or operator of each community water supply to perform specified activities. It would also create the Lead Service Line Replacement Advisory Board within the Agency to perform specified duties as well as establish the Lead Service Line Replacement Fund to be used to finance and administer programs and activities specified under the amendatory provisions. Within one year after the effective date, IEPA must design rules for a program for the purpose of administering lead service line replacement funds. The bill was approved by both chambers and will next be considered by the Governor.
Obtaining Outside Legal Counsel When State's Attorney Has Conflict of Interest
SB 2520 (Senator Rose, R-Champaign/Representative Caulkins, R-Decatur) permits a court or an interested person to file a petition asserting the state's attorney has a conflict of interest involving a cause, proceeding or other matter (civil or criminal). If the court finds a conflict of interest exists, it may appoint a competent attorney to prosecute or defend the cause, proceeding or other matter. The bill was approved by both chambers and will next be considered by the Governor. ISACo supports the bill.
Opioid Settlement Litigation
SB 215 (Senator Crowe, D-Glen Carbon/Representative Hoffman, D-Swansea) prohibits units of local government or school districts from filing or becoming a party to opioid litigation against an opioid defendant subject to a national multistate opioid settlement unless approved by the Attorney General. Under the bill, if counties representing 60% of the population of the State, including all counties with a population of at least 250,000, have agreed to an intrastate allocation agreement with the Attorney General, then the Attorney General has the authority to appear or intervene in any opioid litigation, and release with prejudice any claims brought by a unit of local government or school district against an opioid defendant that are subject to a national multistate opioid settlement and are pending on a specified date. The bill was approved by both chambers and will next be considered by the Governor.
Reduce County Responsibility to Rename Townships - ISACo Initiative!!!
SB 501 (Senator DeWitte, R-St. Charles/Representative Wheeler, R-North Aurora) amends the statute to require that a county change a duplicate township name only if the duplicate name exists for townships within that county. The existence of a duplicate name for townships not located within the same county has not created any known problems. This legislation is an ISACo initiative to remove county responsibility to rename townships bearing identical names. There are 74 instances of duplicate township names throughout the state. ISACo’s Position Statement is available via this link. The bill was approved by both chambers and will next be considered by the Governor.
Background Checks for Public Meeting Attendees
HB 1765 (Representative Buckner, D-Chicago/Senator Peters, D-Chicago) creates the Empowering Public Participation Act. The bill would provide that a law enforcement agency or an officer employed by a law enforcement agency may not knowingly and intentionally conduct a background check of a person for the sole reason of that person speaking at an open meeting of a public body, including police disciplinary boards. Provides exemptions whenever an agency or officer develops a reasonable suspicion of criminal conduct or a reasonable suspicion of a threat to security for the premises in which the meeting is to occur or for the protection of public officials and other persons attending the meeting. The bill was approved by both chambers and will next be considered by the Governor.
Property Tax Legislation
SB 508 (Senator Hastings, D-Frankfort/Representative Zalewski, D-Riverside) makes several changes to property tax law including amending the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL) to allow taxing districts to recapture the financial impact of property tax refunds caused by post-extension assessment appeals. The bill also includes several provisions concerning tax sales. The bill was approved by both chambers and will next be considered by the Governor.
Criminal Justice Trailer Bill (P.A. 102-0028)
HB 3443 (Representative Slaughter, D-Chicago/Senator Sims, D-Chicago) intends to address concerns voiced by law enforcement with the sweeping criminal justice reform bill enacted earlier this year (HB 3653). HB 3443 makes changes to the law with respect to body cameras, use of force, chokeholds and tasers, training requirements and obstructing and resisting officers.
In an official statement and summary of the legislation, the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police (ILACP) indicated the bill addresses most of their concerns with the underlying law. The bill was enacted into law by the Governor as P.A. 102-0028.
ISACo will continue to publish more detailed information about some of the issues included within this summary. Our complete Bills Approved by Both Chambers report is available via this link. This report includes all bills of interest to counties that were approved by both chambers and will be updated with Public Act numbers as the Governor takes action on legislation. Thank you for your continued support of ISACo.