This Illinois State Association of Counties (ISACo) News and Views e-newsletter includes our report summarizing all bills of interest to counties approved by the General Assembly during the Spring legislative session, alerts counties about a funding opportunity through the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP), shares information about Broadband READY grants awarded by region, links to a letter from ISACo to the Surface Transportation Board (STB) outlining concerns about a pending rail merger, announces National Association of Counties (NACo) webinar opportunities, highlights ISACo corporate partner AT&T and invites counties to join ISACo.
Please feel welcome to share this update with other county officials and staff who may not be receiving it. Those wishing to be included on our distribution list can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bills of Interest to Counties Report
ISACo has published our "Bills of Interest to Counties Approved by Both Chambers in 2022" report. The 23-page report organizes approved bills by category, includes a synopsis and ISACo's position. The report will be updated frequently as the Governor signs legislation into law and is permanently available on ISACo's website at www.isacoil.org.
ISACo previously published our "End of Session Report" for the 2022 Spring legislative session on April 11, 2022.
Additional post-session materials, including letters to the Governor requesting specific actions, will be published soon.
Local Highway Safety Improvement Program Projects
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is requesting candidate projects for the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) that will be initiated in State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2024. Applications for this funding program will be received through Friday, June 17, 2022, at 5:00 PM CST, and the announcement of the selected projects for funding will be made during the week of September 5, 2022.
IDOT's 2022-11 Circular Letter with additional information is available via this link.
Broadband READY Grants Awarded by Region
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) announced the second cohort of the Regional Engagement for Adoption + Digital Equity (READY) program. Through Broadband READY, five regional entities have been selected to receive a total of $250,000 to support planning, research and data collection as they work to eliminate the digital divide. Broadband READY grants empower regions to explore opportunities for equitable advances in the areas of broadband access, adoption and utilization. Each grantee will create deliverables that provide a comprehensive assessment of the broadband landscape in their respective region, which will guide program integration and resource investment to close gaps in broadband equity and inclusion.
Five institutions were each awarded $50,000 to conduct research and outreach on digital equity:
- Bloomington-Normal EDC (North Central Region)
- Chicago State University (Northeast Region)
- Northern Illinois University (Northwest Region)
- Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (Southwest Region)
- Western Illinois University (West Central Region)
Information about the Broadband READY program is available via this link.
ISACo Expresses Concerns About Pending Rail Merger
On April 19, 2022, ISACo Executive Director Joe McCoy sent a letter to the Surface Transportation Board (STB) to communicate concerns about the Canadian Pacific Railway's pending acquisition of the Kansas City Southern. The letter urges the STB to either deny the merger or require mitigations to reduce harmful impacts for affected Illinois counties. The STB is expected to complete its review of the pending merger by late 2022.
Upcoming NACo Webinars
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.
U.S. Treasury Webinar on Reporting Guidelines for the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds
(Thursday, April 21, 2022, 2:00-3:00pm CST
Join NACo for a review of the Treasury Department’s webinar on reporting guidelines and compliance requirements for the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund program. NACo staff will be available to answer questions on the upcoming deadline for the Project and Expenditure Report, which is due April 30.
Click on this link to register for this event.
Evolving to AWS Cloud
(Friday, April 22, 2022, 12:00-1:00pm CST)
Digital transformation has shown that traditional methods of delivering services and managing data need reimagination. When considering a move to the cloud, county governments need a resilient strategy that will drive real value and adapt to evolving community needs. Join this session hosted by Amazon Web Services (AWS) to learn how cloud computing can help government organizations enhance mission-critical operations, improve access to data, and meet increasing community demands for digital services.
Click on this link to register for this event.
Corporate Sponsor Spotlight
This week's corporate partner spotlight highlights ISACo's partnership with AT&T.
AT&T Inc. is a modern media company whose mission is to inspire human progress through the power of communication and entertainment.
The company brings together premium video content, a large base of direct-to-consumer relationships, high-speed networks optimized for video and advertising technology to lead the next revolution in technology, media and telecommunications.
More information about the services provided by AT&T 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.