News and Views for Monday, July 19, 2021

7/19/2021 Joe McCoy

This week's Illinois State Association of Counties (ISACo) News and Views e-newsletter includes a list of new public acts of interest to counties, reports about the cannabis social equity and diversity legislation signed into law, offers information on broadband READY grants awarded by the Pritzker administration, congratulates ISACo board member Denise Winfrey on becoming National Association of Counties (NACo) First Vice President and provides a link to ISACo's pictures from the 2021 NACo Annual Conference, provides a reminder about ISACo's State and Local Fiscal and Recovery Funds Resource Page, links to ISACo's July County Quarterly Newsletter, announces an upcoming NACo webinar, spotlights ISACo's corporate partner Nationwide and invites counties to join ISACo.

New Public Acts Signed into Law by the Governor 

HB 53 - Video Interview Demographic (PA 102-0047)

HB 56 - Counties - Officer Stipends (PA 102-0048)

HB 118 - Wage Theft - Damages Amount (PA 102-0050)

HB 282 - State's Attorney - Legal Opinion (PA 102-0056)

SB 215 - Opioid Litigation Restrictions (PA 102-0085)

SB 337 - Court Security Officers (PA 102-0094)

HB 1443 - Cannabis - Social Equity/Diversity (PA 102-0098) Additional information below.

HB 3587 - State Resentencing Motion (PA 102-0099)

SB 2122 - Juvenile Court and Code of Criminal Procedure - Minors Statement (PA 102-0101)

SB 2129 - State Resentencing Motion (PA 102-0102)

ISACo's updated Bills Approved by Both Chambers report is available via this link.

Governor Pritzker Signs Cannabis Social Equity and Diversity Legislation into Law

Public Act 102-0098 establishes additional avenues to include more eligible social equity applicants in the new cannabis industry. The new law, enacted on July 15, 2021, builds on the administration's efforts to provide Illinois residents from diverse backgrounds with equitable access to the newly established cannabis industry.

Governor JB Pritzker has announced that three lotteries to distribute 185 licenses to operate adult-use cannabis dispensaries will be held in July and August. Additionally, over 200 people across the state have qualified to receive Craft Grow, Infuser and Transporter licenses, the first set of licenses to be awarded under the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (CRTA). Of those eligible to receive the licenses for craft grow, infuser and transportation, 67 percent identify as non-white and 100 percent are qualified social equity applicants.

Click on this link to read the full press release.

Pritzker Administration Awards $200,000 in Broadband Ready Grants to Strengthen Regional Broadband Engagement

On July 14, 2021, Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) have announced the first cohort of grant recipients as part of the Office of Broadband Regional Engagement for Adoption + Digital Equity (READY) program. Through this program, $200,000 has been awarded to four regional entities to accelerate progress toward eliminating the digital divide.

The inaugural READY cohort is fueling local efforts in four major regions throughout Illinois, including East Central, Northern Stateline, Southeastern and Southern Illinois. The program is part of the Digital Equity Package offered by the Illinois Office of Broadband to increase access, adoption and utilization of high-speed internet access.

To further these efforts across all ten economic development regions of the state, the Office of Broadband is launching the next READY notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) today, with another $250,000 available for grants.

Click on this link to read the full press release.

ISACo Board Member Winfrey Becomes NACo First Vice President

On July 12, 2021, Will County Board Member (and ISACo Board Member) Denise Winfrey was elevated to the position of First Vice President of NACo. Winfrey was elected Second Vice President during the summer of 2020 and will become NACo President during the NACo Annual Conference next summer. This will be a tremendous opportunity to showcase Illinois' counties when NACo events are held in our state. Congratulations First Vice President Winfrey!

Additional pictures from the 2021 NACo Annual Conference are available on ISACo's Facebook Page. 

State and Local Fiscal and Recovery Funds Resource Page

ISACo continues to update our resource page dedicated to aggregating information concerning the rules and processes for expending federal State and Local Fiscal and Recovery Funds dollars. The resource page includes a lost revenue calculator to aid counties in determining how much lost revenue they incurred for which federal funds can be appropriately utilized.

ISACo Publishes July County Quarterly Newsletter

In case you missed it in the mail, ISACo's July County Quarterly Newsletter is available via this link.

Upcoming NACo Webinar

NACo has announced the following upcoming webinar opportunity:

Supreme Court in Review: First Amendment Cases

(Thursday, July 22, 2021, 12:00pm-2:00pm CST)

The Supreme Court’s First Amendment docket didn’t disappoint in 2000-2021. The Court heard cases involving the speech and association rights in Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Bonta, involving a challenge to California’s charitable donor-disclosure requirement; the speech right in Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L., involving a challenge to a school’s suspension of a student for off-campus speech; and the free exercise right in Fulton v. Philadelphia involving a challenge to the city’s non-discrimination requirement for its government contractors. Kirti Datla, Director of Strategic Legal Advocacy at Earthjustice, will discuss general trends in the Court’s First Amendment jurisprudence, these cases, and the religious liberty cases related to COVID-19 restrictions that the Court decided on its “shadow docket.”  Ms. Datla authored an amicus brief for the State and Local Legal Center in Carney v. Adams, a challenge to Delaware’s partisan-balance requirements for its judiciary.

Click on this link to register for this event.

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.