This week's Illinois State Association of Counties (ISACo) News and Views e-newsletter shares the publication of ISACo's Bills Approved by Both Chambers report in 2021 and links to a new section on our website where reports from previous years are available, announces the return of the General Assembly next week to take up energy legislation and a bill to phase in an elected Chicago school board, provides a list of legislation Governor Pritzker has recently enacted into law, reports on a lawsuit filed in federal court by Republican leaders challenging state legislative maps, offers updated information released by the Treasury about the use of State and Local Fiscal and Recovery Funds, discusses the Governor's June 11 re-opening guidelines, announces a National Association of Counties (NACo) webinar event taking place June 10, 2021, at 11:30 am (CST) regarding eligible uses of the Fiscal Recovery Fund, spotlights ISACo corporate partner Comcast and invites counties to join ISACo.
ISACo welcomes Montgomery County as our newest member!
ISACo Publishes Bills Approved by Both Chambers Report for 2021
As a service to Illinois counties, ISACo has published our annual Bills Approved by Both Chambers: Legislation of Interest to Counties Approved in 2021 report. This 40-page report contains summaries of each bill of relevance to counties that was passed by the General Assembly. This document, available on ISACo's website, will be continuously updated to reflect actions taken by the Governor on each bill. Bills enacted into law will include public act numbers. Reports from previous years are available in a new section on our website entitled, "ISACo Reports."
It should be noted that the General Assembly has 30 days to transmit an approved bill to the Governor and the Governor has 60 days to take action on the legislation following receipt.
General Assembly Returning Next Week
The Illinois House and Senate intend to return to Springfield next week to take up energy legislation and a bill to phase-in an elected Chicago school board. The Senate will convene on Tuesday, June 15 and the House is expected to convene on Wednesday, June 16.
As previously reported, the initial version of the energy bill, referred to as the "Consumers and Climate First Act" was filed by legislators on behalf of the Governor and included restrictions on local control over the siting of wind and solar facilities. ISACo opposes these provisions.
On Friday, May 21, 2021, ISACo Executive Director Joe McCoy sent a letter to the House and Senate sponsors of the "Consumers and Climate First Act" to oppose provisions restricting county authority to regulate the siting of wind and solar facilities. The bills included HB 4074 (Representative Buckner, D-Chicago/Representative Ramirez, D-Chicago) and SB 2896 (Senator Villanueva, D-Summit).
At the time of this writing, it remains uncertain if these local restrictions will be included in the energy bill being drafted for consideration by the General Assembly next week. We ask that county officials contact their legislators and urge that they oppose restrictions to local control over the siting of wind and solar facilities.
Governor Enacts Legislation into Law
Governor Pritzker signed the following bills into law:
HB 2777 - General Assembly Redistricting Act of 2021 (P.A. 102-0010)
HB 3743 - Telecommunications Legislation - Includes Small Cell Wireless Extension (P.A. 102-0009)
SB 2661 - Cook County Board of Review Redistricting Act of 2021 (P.A. 102-0012)
Republican Leaders File Federal Suit Challenging State Legislative Maps
On June 9, 2021, Senate Republican Leader Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods) and House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois challenging the constitutionality of the state legislative maps enacted within SB 2777. The suit was filed on the basis that the use of American Community Survey (ACS) data will not satisfy the constitutional mandate to establish substantially equal populations within legislative districts. The lawsuit filing can be viewed via this link.
Treasury Releases Updated Information about State and Local Fiscal and Recovery Funds
The United States Treasury Department released additional "FAQs" concerning the expenditure of funds available through the "State and Local Fiscal and Recovery Funds." These FAQs were released as of June 7 (linked here) and June 8 (linked here).
Information about the State and Local Fiscal and Recovery Funds from the Treasury and the National Association of Counties (NACo) is aggregated within the State and Local Fiscal and Recovery Funds section of our website. If your county has a question for which guidance has yet to be offered, please contact Executive Director Joe McCoy at firstname.lastname@example.org and ISACo will seek an answer to your question.
Governor Pritzker Issues June 11 Re-Opening Guidelines
Governor JB Pritzker released guidelines for Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois plan, which will go into effect on June 11, 2021, and marks a full reopening of all businesses and activities. This guidance will mean businesses, large-scale events, conventions, amusement parks and seated-spectator venues, among others, will be able to operate at full capacity for the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The State is also lifting the outdoor mask requirement in schools in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Additional information is available via this link.
Upcoming NACo Webinar
NACo has announced the following upcoming webinar opportunity:
Understanding Eligible Uses of the Fiscal Recovery Fund: Supporting Underserved Communities
(Thursday, June 10, 2021, 11:30am-12:30pm CST)
As counties determine how to invest their ARP State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, NACo is hosting a series of information sessions digging into the various eligible uses outlined in Treasury’s Interim Final Rule (IFR) for the program. This session will focus on how counties can use their allocations to address the pandemic’s negative economic impact on children, families and individuals in underserved communities. NACo members will also have the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback on Treasury’s IFR.
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.
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 email@example.com. ISACo member counties are listed here. Thank you for your consideration.