News and Views for Monday, August 2, 2021

8/2/2021 Joe McCoy

This week's Illinois State Association of Counties (ISACo) News and Views e-newsletter includes a list of new public acts relevant to counties, provides information on the emerging federal infrastructure bill, conveys the dates by which federal census data will be released, reports on new CDC masking recommendations, provides a link for counties interested in applying for an Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) grant, informs about the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency's (IEPA) issuance of a health advisory for perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) and offers links to additional resources pertaining to this health advisory, announces upcoming National Association of Counties (NACo) webinar opportunities and a national membership call on federal infrastructure proposals, spotlights ISACo corporate partner Christopher B. Burke Engineering and invites counties to join ISACo.

New Public Acts Relevant to Counties Signed into Law by the Governor 

HB 34 - Enterprise Zone Eligibility (P.A. 102-0108)

HB 58 - Recorders - Unlawful Covenants (P.A. 102-0110)

HB 396 - Vehicle Code - Overweight Permits (P.A. 102-0124)

HB 2590 - IMDMA - Marriage Certificates (P.A. 102-0169)

HB 3289 - Property Tax - Homestead Exemption (P.A.102-0136)

SB 139 - IMDMA - Marriage Certificates (P.A. 102-0171)

SB 481 - Court Fees (P.A. 102-0145)

SB 501 - Duplicate Township Names (P.A. 102-0148) ISACo Initiative

SB 525 - Labor Relations - Unit Status (P.A. 102-0151)

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

Federal Infrastructure Bill Emerges

A bipartisan agreement surfaced on a federal infrastructure bill that will be considered by the United States Senate. The proposal includes $550 billion in new federal investment in America’s infrastructure. If approved by the United States Senate the bill will move to the United States House of Representatives for debate and a likely vote. A $3.5 trillion social spending bill is also being discussed in Congress separate from the bipartisan infrastructure legislation. 

Politico reports on the bipartisan infrastructure proposal here.

Click on this link for a fact sheet developed by the Biden administration about the infrastructure agreement.

U.S. Census Bureau Update on Release of Census Data

The U.S. Census Bureau has announced two dates by which its data will be released. The initial release will be by August 16, 2021. By September 30, 2021, Census will release the data again in an easier-to-use format. Additional information is available via this link. 

ISACo was successful in advocating that the General Assembly and Governor push back the deadline for county board reapportionment in order for this updated data to be utilized (P.A. 102-0015).

Illinois Fully Aligns with New CDC Masking Recommendations 

On Tuesday, July 27, 2021, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced it is fully adopting updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) masking recommendations to protect against COVID-19 and the Delta variant.  CDC recommends that everyone, including fully vaccinated individuals, wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas with substantial and high transmission.  CDC is also recommending universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. 

Click on this link to see the full press release with additional information regarding these recommendations.

OSLAD Grant Application Window Open

The Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) Program is a state-financed grant program that provides funding assistance to local government agencies for acquisition and/or development of land for public parks and open space. Applications for SFY2022 grants can be made through September 1, 2021. Information about how to apply for an OSLAD grant is available via this link.

Illinois EPA Issues Health Advisory for Perfluorononanoic Acid (PFNA)

On Tuesday, July 27, 2021, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) Director John J. Kim announced the issuance of a health advisory for Perfluorononanoic Acid (PFNA) in accordance with Illinois groundwater regulations. Health advisories are issued when there is detection of a chemical substance(s) harmful to human health for which no numeric groundwater standard(s) exists, and resampling confirms the presence in a community water supply well.

On January 28, 2021, IEPA issued health advisories for four chemicals included in the family of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), often referred to as “forever chemicals” because of their persistence over time in surface water and groundwater. On April 15, 2021, a health advisory was issued for a fifth chemical in the PFAS family and one of the initial health advisories was also updated. As with the previous health advisories, PFNA is a compound in the PFAS family of chemicals. Each health advisory contains a general description of the chemical, information on carcinogenicity and potential adverse health effects, and a guidance level.

The statewide PFAS investigation, which began in September 2020, is expected to be completed in the fall of 2021. The IEPA is sampling drinking water at every community water supply in Illinois. If PFAS chemicals are confirmed at concentrations above laboratory minimum reporting levels, the IEPA works directly with those community water supplies to ensure residents are informed and to determine the next steps for reducing exposure. To date, IEPA has collected samples from 1,243 community water supplies in Illinois. An additional 201 systems will be sampled as the investigation continues.

Find the complete listing of sample results to date available on the interactive map established by IEPA via this link.

The health advisories are published in the Environmental Register and can be found on the Illinois Pollution Control Board's website.

The health advisories are also available on the IEPA website.

For additional information, please visit the Statewide PFAS Investigation Network webpage.

Click on this link to view the full press release.

Upcoming NACo Webinars

NACo has announced the following upcoming webinar opportunities:

Understand Eligible Uses of the Fiscal Recovery Fund: Broadband Infrastructure

(Tuesday, August 3, 2021, 1:00pm-2:00pm 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 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 support critical investments in broadband to ensure residents have access to universally available, high-speed, reliable, and affordable coverage. 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.

Leveraging ARPA Funds for Infants and Toddlers Through State and Local Coordination

(Wednesday, August 4, 2021, 12:00pm-1:00pm CST)

Through the historic American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), states, counties, and cities will receive direct, flexible aid to address the impacts of COVID-19, strengthen communities, and support children and families. Programs like child care, home visiting, and the Child Tax Credit will receive new or increased federal investments. This new funding presents opportunities for families with infants and toddlers and stronger coordination among state and local governments on policies and systems supporting young children. Join this webinar to hear from city, county, and state leaders about strategies to leverage ARPA to support young children from prenatal to age three.

This webinar is part of the State and Local Government Prenatal-to-Three Collaboration in Action initiative, conducted in partnership with the National Association of Counties Research Foundation, National League of Cities, National Conference of State Legislatures, and the National Collaborative for Infants and Toddlers.

Click on this link to register for this event.

NACo National Membership Call: Federal Infrastructure Proposals

(Thursday, August 5, 2021, 12:00pm-1:00pm CST)

Join the National Association of Counties (NACo) to hear the latest on infrastructure, including updates on the surface transportation reauthorization, the bipartisan infrastructure framework and the potential for a reconciliation package that addresses the remaining provisions of President Biden’s American Jobs Plan later this fall.

Click on this link to register for this event.


This week's corporate partner spotlight highlights ISACo's partnership with Christopher B. Burke Engineering.

Started in 1986, Christopher B. Burke Engineering, LTD. is a full-service consulting engineering and surveying firm specializing in civil, transportation/highway, municipal, traffic, water resources, environmental, structural and mechanical engineering. The company provides not only design services, but also planning, preliminary engineering, permitting, and construction observation. Christopher B. Burke Engineering, LTD. successfully completed the design, permitting and construction of numerous major transportation projects, flood control reservoirs, pump stations, embankments, water mains and water systems, storm sewers, and large open channels. 

More information about the services provided by Christopher B. Burke Engineering, LTD. 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 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.