This week's Illinois State Association of Counties (ISACo) News and Views e-newsletter provides an update on evolving COVID policies in the House and Senate, conveys remaining spring legislative session deadlines, urges county officials to push their House members to increase the revenue shared with counties through the Local Government Distributive Fund (LGDF), reports on actions taken last week concerning legislation of interest to counties, announces a $3.5 million investment to accelerate local economic recovery initiatives through competitive grants, provides an update on the passage of federal spending legislation, links to early bird registration for the National Association of Counties (NACo) Annual Conference in July, shares upcoming NACo webinar opportunities, spotlights ISACo corporate partner Christopher B. Burke Engineering and invites counties to join ISACo.
Session Lighter Last Week
Last week's legislative session saw less activity now that we are beyond the deadlines to move bills to the opposite chamber.
The House was scheduled for session all week while the Senate was in session Tuesday through Thursday.
Both chambers will be gearing up to hold committee hearings for legislation sent over by the opposite chamber. This will include the filing of amendments to alter provisions within many bills approved by the other chamber.
The Senate removed its masking requirement through a change in operating policy. The Senate galleries will open to the public at 50% capacity and while appointments to meet with members are no longer required they are encouraged.
While remote committee hearings will continue in both chambers, the House is beginning to hold some hybrid hearings in a committee room equipped for virtual participation.
Former Democratic State Representative Diane Pappas (D-Bloomingdale) was appointed last week by local Democrats to replace Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) who resigned.
Four Weeks Remain for Spring Legislative Session
The General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn for the spring on April 8, 2022. Key remaining deadlines are as follows:
- March 25 - Committee deadline for bills in opposite chamber
- April 1 - Third Reading deadline for bills in opposite chamber
- April 8 - Adjournment
ISACo Continues Advocacy for LGDF Increase
As previously reported, ISACo is working with our strategic partners in municipal government to support a partial restoration of funding through the Local Government Distributive Fund (LGDF). LGDF is the local share of the state income tax distributed to counties and municipalities on a per capita basis. ISACo's Policy Brief about LGDF is available via this link.
ISACo is presently focusing our advocacy on pushing House members to pass HB 4169 (Rep. DeLuca, D-Chicago Heights). Representative DeLuca is committed to advancing the legislation, which would increase the percentage share of LGDF revenue distributed to local governments from 6.06% to 8%. This represents a partial restoration of the full 10% share received by counties and municipalities at the beginning of 2011.
State legislators will soon be developing the State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2023 budget and its accompanying budget implementation (BIMP) bill. ISACo and our municipal government coalition partners want an increase in LGDF to be part of those discussions.
The General Assembly is considering multiple new programs and tax relief measures to support individual taxpayers across the state. The state is also projecting increased revenues from multiple sources. Now is the time to call on those same legislators to also increase funding to local governments.
ISACo is asking county officials to contact their State Representative (this bill is only in the House, not the Senate) and ask them to do the following:
- Actively support HB 4169 and an increase to LGDF from 6.06% to 8%
- Sign-on as a co-sponsor of HB 4169
- Agree to stand firm with other legislators and not vote for a SFY 2023 budget unless it includes an increase to LGDF as proposed in HB 4169
By acting together as one voice with our municipal coalition partners, now is the time to regain local government funding that has been taken away in previous state budgets. Generating hundreds and possibly thousands of phone calls to State Representatives will make our message known in all corners of the state – the General Assembly must increase LGDF and stop balancing state budgets on the backs of local governments. Together, we can achieve success toward this critical goal.
Legislation Approved by the Senate Last Week
The following ISACo-tracked bill passed out of Senate during the week of March 7-11 and will next be considered by the House. Please contact us at email@example.com if your county would like to offer input on any ISACo-tracked bills.
SB 1233 - Blue-Ribbon Commission on Transportation Infrastructure and Policy (No Position)
Legislation Approved by Committees Last Week
The following ISACo-tracked bill passed out of a Senate Committee during the week of March 7-11 and will next be considered by the full Senate. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if your county would like to offer input on this bill.
HB 4369 - Lead Poisoning Prevention (No Position)
Amendments Filed Last Week
The following amendment was filed during the week of March 7-11 that would impact or otherwise be of interest to county governments.
SB 1975 (HCA 1)
Reinserts the engrossed bill with changes. Further amends the Property Tax Code to provide that the Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption may be cited as the Low Income Senior Citizens Assessment Freeze Homestead Exemption. Provides that a homeowner who is enrolled in the Aid to the Aged, Blind or Disabled (AABD) Program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) may be presumed to have household income that does not exceed the maximum income limitation for that tax year. Effective immediately (Under Review)
ISACo will continue to review introduced amendments and take positions as necessary. Please contact us at email@example.com if your county has a question or would like to offer input regarding an ISACo position on a bill or amendment. Your comments and questions are always welcome.
Congress Approves $1.5 Trillion Spending Measure
Congress approved the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022 (H.R. 2471) to provide $1.5 trillion in federal discretionary spending across all 12 appropriations bills. The legislation would fund the federal government through September 2022. The previous Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the government was set to expire at midnight on March 11,2022. President Biden is expected to sign the spending legislation into law. Additional information about passage of the spending bill is available here.
State Announces $3.5 Million Investment in ‘Regional Planning to Spur Economic Recovery’ (RISE) Program
On March 10, 2022, Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) announced a $3.5 million investment to accelerate local economic recovery initiatives. Through the launch of the Research in Illinois to Spur Economic Development (RISE) initiative, the State will offer competitive grants to help local governments and economic development organizations (EDOs) create new regional or local plans to promote economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. After the grants are awarded and plans are created, DCEO will offer grantees the opportunity to apply for funding for specific projects included in their plans. This program is funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
Additional information is available via this link.
Registration Open for NACo Annual Conference
The National Association of Counties (NACo) opened early bird registration for its Annual Conference being held from July 21-24 in Adams County, Colorado. Come join ISACo in Adams County! Registration is available via this link.
NACo has announced the following upcoming webinar opportunities. ISACo is a proud partner with NACo and encourages counties to participate in NACo membership and activities.
New NACo Resources for Understanding the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL): Funding Table of BIL Opportunities for County Governments
(Tuesday, March 15, 2022, 1:00-2:00pm CST)
Join this webinar to learn more from NACo staff about a new funding matrix for counties that details all funding opportunities accessible by counties that are provided for in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Details include how counties can access funds, funding levels, special eligibility requirements, and most importantly, opportunities AVAILABLE NOW that counties can access.
Click on this link to register for this event.
Jail Reentry for People with Substance Use Disorders Part 2: Creating a Continuum of Care
(Wednesday, March 16, 2022, 1:00-2:00pm CST)
County jail staff are partnering with local health and behavioral health providers and community-based organizations to ensure that people who are receiving treatment in jail and continue to have access to treatment and services when they return to the community. Reentry from jail is a pivotal point in the justice process for individuals returning to the community who have substance use disorders (SUD); this is especially true in times of instability like the current COVID-19 pandemic. Creating a robust continuum of care for people leaving jails can reduce the likelihood relapsing, experiencing a behavioral health crisis or return to the justice system.
Join NACo for part two in a series on supporting people with SUD leaving jail. Presenters will discuss strategies counties can use to partner with community-based providers to ensure seamless connections to care when people are released from jail.
This webinar is part of a three-part webinar series. Please join us and register for Part 3: Jail Reentry for People with Substance Use Disorders: Sharing and Using Data on March 30.
This project was supported by Grant No. 2017-AR-BX-K003 awarded to the Institute for Intergovernmental Research (IIR) by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the SMART Office. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of IIR or of the U.S Department of Justice.
Click on this link to register for this event.
SLLC Supreme Court Midterm Webinar
(Thursday, March 17, 2022, 12:00-1:15pm CST)
Since this summer, the Supreme Court has agreed to decide, and has decided, numerous cases involving states and local governments ranging from blockbusters to (more) bread and butter. Topics of cases discussed in this webinar include abortion, First Amendment, state intervention, qualified immunity, the Clean Power Plan, and liability for not reciting Miranda. Join Michael Dreeben, O’Melveny, who is writing the State and Local Legal Center (SLLC) amicus brief in a First Amendment public employment case, Harker Rhodes, Kirkland and Ellis, who is writing the SLLC brief in the Miranda case, and Morgan Ratner, Sullivan & Cromwell, in a discussion of the state and local Supreme Court docket at midterm.
Click on this link to register for this event.
CORPORATE SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. ISACo member counties are listed here. Thank you for your consideration.