ISACo News and Views for September 6, 2022

9/1/2022 Joe McCoy

This week's Illinois State Association of Counties (ISACo) News and Views e-newsletter links to a letter sent by ISACo to an Illinois Supreme Court task force created to discuss issues concerning access to justice and court costs, reports on the creation of a new state entity to coordinate opioid recovery resources, includes information about the upcoming constitutional amendment ballot question concerning workers' rights, shares an upcoming National Association of Counties (NACo) webinar opportunity, spotlights ISACo corporate partner AT&T and invites counties to join ISACo.

ISACo Provides Comments to Supreme Court Statutory Court Fee Task Force 

On Monday, August 29, ISACo Executive Director Joe McCoy submitted a letter to the Illinois Supreme Court Statutory Court Fee Task Force ahead of its August 30 hearing. The hearing was held to discuss the Task Force's Draft Report on Implementation of 2016 Task Force Recommendations and Additional Proposed Measures for Addressing Barriers to Access to Justice and Excessive Financial Burdens Associated with Fees and Costs in Illinois Court Proceedings. 

The letter expresses ISACo's concerns about increasing financial burdens confronting the Illinois court system at a time when local funding options are being restricted and additional costs are expected as a result of SAFE-T Act implementation. The letter states ISACo's support for the State to assume a larger responsibility for funding the court system. 

A copy of the Task Force's Draft Report as well as the comments submitted by interested parties is available via this link.

Office of Opioid Settlement Administration

On August 30, Governor Pritzker issued Executive Order (EO) 2022-19 to establish the Office of Opioid Settlement Administration within the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS).

The Office is authorized to leverage existing resources to assist with the recovery of individuals experiencing substance use disorder. The Office will create and oversee the Illinois Opioid Remediation Advisory Board which will make advisory recommendations to the Opioid Overdose Prevention and Recovery Steering Committee ensuring an equitable allocation of resources to all parts of the state.

NACo has established an Opioid Solutions Center as a resource for counties.

Constitutional Amendment on Workers' Rights

An initiative proposing to amend the Illinois Constitution will be considered by voters during the upcoming November election. If approved by voters, the right for workers to bargain collectively would be enshrined within the Constitution. The following language would be included in the Illinois Constitution's Bill of Rights:


(a) Employees shall have the fundamental right to organize and to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing for the purpose of negotiating wages, hours, and working conditions, and to protect their economic welfare and safety at work. No law shall be passed that interferes with, negates, or diminishes the right of employees to organize and bargain collectively over their wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment and work place safety, including any law or ordinance that prohibits the execution or application of agreements between employers and labor organizations that represent employees requiring membership in an organization as a condition of employment. 

(b) The provisions of this Section are controlling over those of Section 6 of Article VII. 

A proposed Constitutional amendment becomes effective if approved by either three-fifths of those voting on the question or a majority of those voting in the election. 

The initiative will be placed on the November ballot as a result of the General Assembly approving SJRCA 11 in 2021 by votes of 49-7 in the Senate and 80-30 in the House.

Upcoming NACo Webinar

NACo has announced the following upcoming webinar opportunity. ISACo is a proud partner with NACo and encourages counties to participate in NACo membership and activities. 

Seven Years of Stepping Up

(Friday, September 8, 2022, 1:00pm-2:00pm CDT)

Communities across the country are reducing overincarceration of people with mental illnesses as part of the national Stepping Up initiative. Since the initiative launched in 2015, more than 550 counties have passed a Stepping Up resolution—more than half of the U.S. population lives in a Stepping Up county.
Join the initiative’s network for Seven Years of Stepping Up, a Justice Briefing Live event that will highlight counties’ achievements over the past seven years, explore emerging trends in the field, and chart a path forward for the movement. Funded by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs’ Bureau of Justice Assistance, Stepping Up is a partnership between The Council of State Governments Justice Center, the National Association of Counties, and the American Psychiatric Association Foundation.

Click on this link to register for this event.

Corporate Partner 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 ISACo member counties are listed here. Thank you for your consideration.