This special Friday edition of the Illinois State Association of Counties (ISACo) News and Views e-newsletter reports on the signing into law of the omnibus election trailer bill, provides an update from the Illinois Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) about the federal COVID vaccine and testing mandate, shares news about passage of the Build Back Better Act in the U.S. House of Representatives, provides a link to register for the National Association of Counties (NACo) Legislative Conference being held in February 2022, spotlights ISACo corporate partner Comcast and invites counties to join ISACo.
Omnibus Election Trailer Bill Signed into Law
On Monday, November 15, 2021, Governor JB Pritzker signed into law SB 536 (President Harmon, D-Oak Park/Rep. Stuart, D-Edwardsville). The new law (P.A. 102-0668) makes several corrections to problems within an omnibus election bill enacted into law last summer. New provisions are included as well.
The bill directs county boards other than Cook County to increase the number of voters within each precinct to 1,200 within 60 days of the effective date of the bill (Cook County may increase precincts to 1,800 registered voters), increases polling place access for the disabled, provides that county boards shall complete their reapportionment plans by December 31, 2021, provides that commissioners of a forest preserve district in DuPage County shall be elected from districts as determined by the board of commissioners, makes clarifications about voting centers, voting by mail, drop box ballot collections and provides that the boundaries of subcircuits in certain judicial circuits shall be redrawn in 2022 (currently 2021).
ISACo has prepared a Policy Brief with more information about the provisions within the bill that are of relevance to counties.
Illinois OSHA Update on Federal Vaccine/Testing Mandate
The message below was published by Illinois OSHA on November 17, 2021:
On November 12, 2021, the U.S. Fifth Circuit Appellate Court's issued an order staying Federal OSHA's Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) requiring Covid vaccines or testing for employers with more than 100 employees, and the Court also ordered that OSHA 'take no steps to implement or enforce' the ETS "until further court order." Therefore, at this time, Illinois OSHA is not adopting the Covid ETS. Illinois OSHA continues to closely monitor the court proceedings and will re-evaluate our next steps as necessary. Illinois OSHA will continue to post updates on our Web site so that public employers subject to Illinois OSHA standards are informed about any actions that may affect them.
ISACo previously shared information about the ETS issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) OSHA in our November 8, 2021, Federal Legislative Update.
On November 16, 2021, ISACo sent a letter to the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) to seek information about how the mandate will be interpreted and implemented in Illinois. In the letter, ISACo indicated the Association has no position on the mandate itself.
ISACo will continue to share information about the ETS as it develops.
U.S. House of Representatives Approves Build Back Better Act
On the morning of Friday, November 19, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Biden Administration's $1.7 trillion Build Back Better spending plan. The vote, which fell along partisan lines, was 220-213 with Democrats in support and Republicans joined by a single Democract in opposition. The prospects for Senate passage are currently in doubt based upon the 50-50 partisan split and reticence among two Senate Democrats to support the legislation.
The National Association of Counties (NACo) has prepared an analysis of the Build Back Better Act.
Registration Open for NACo's 2022 Legislative Conference
The 2022 NACo Legislative Conference will be held in Washington, D.C. from February 12-16. The Conference brings together nearly 2,000 elected and appointed county officials to focus on federal policy issues that impact counties and their residents. Attendees have the opportunity to engage in second-to-none policy and educational sessions, interact with federal officials and participate in congressional briefings and meetings.
Registration information is available via this link.
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 produce 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. ISACo member counties are listed here. Thank you for your consideration.