This week's Illinois State Association of Counties (ISACo) News and Views e-newsletter provides an update on the SAFE-T Act, includes a letter sent by ISACo to the Office of the Attorney General with comments about draft language concerning the Veterans Assistance Commission law, invites counties to submit legislative proposal ideas and amendments to ISACo's County Platform for 2023, informs about additional payments being made to reduce the state's Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund debt, includes information about state and federal funding for conservation planning, shares upcoming National Association of Counties (NACo) webinar opportunities, spotlights ISACo corporate partner Comcast and invites counties to join ISACo.
SAFE-T Act Update
On Monday, September 26, 2022, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) filed legislation to amend the SAFE-T Act to clarify language in the Act and improve how local officials can enforce the law. Additional information is available via this link.
As reported in our September 12 News and Views e-newsletter, ISACo has hosted meetings to provide county officials and staff with a forum to exchange information and best practices about how their counties are planning to comply with the personnel requirements ahead of the January 1, 2023, implementation of the SAFE-T Act. Additional meetings will be held over the coming months. Please contact ISACo at email@example.com if your county would like to participate in these meetings.
The SAFE-T Act is the criminal justice reform legislation enacted into law as P.A. 101-0652 in early 2021. ISACo's overview of the Act is available here. ISACo also published an overview of a trailer bill to the SAFE-T Act (P.A. 102-0694) that was enacted into law in January 2022.
ISACo is seeking to identify problems making compliance with the Act difficult as well as possible solutions to those problems. County officials and staff are invited to share this information with ISACo by utilizing this Word document and e-mailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org. The goal of this endeavor is to identify ways to reduce costs and ease compliance with existing SAFE-T Act provisions.
There has been a significant amount of media coverage about the SAFE-T Act in recent weeks. ISACo has created a SAFE-T Act Resource page on our website to aggregate these stories and other information about the Act.
ISACo Comments on Veterans Assistance Commission Draft
In our September 12 News and Views e-newsletter, ISACo reported on our proposed framework to amend the law pertaining to Veterans Assistance Commissions with the intent of improving upon recent changes made to the law by P.A. 102-0732. This framework was referenced in the following article and editorial published in the Daily Herald:
State Law Aims to Boost Spending to Help Veterans, But Counties Say Hold On
Editorial: Lawmakers Must Work to Minimize Impact of Veterans Law on County Budgets
After reviewing draft language prepared by the Office of the Attorney General, ISACo submitted comments on the draft in a letter dated September 22. We appreciate the Attorney General's Office for reaching out to stakeholders with requests for comments as we all have an interest in producing a sensible law that works for veterans, counties and taxpayers.
ISACo anticipates there will be legislation to further amend P.A. 102-0732 during the upcoming Veto Session (November 15-17 and November 29-December 2).
ISACo's Policy Brief about the new law is available via this link.
ISACo Accepting Legislative Proposals for 2023 - INPUT REQUESTED!
Does your county have a problem in need of a legislative solution? If so, please e-mail it to ISACo at email@example.com. Submitted proposals will be considered by the Legislative Committee. Proposals ultimately approved by the ISACo Board of Directors will be included within our 2023 Illinois County Action Program (ICAP).
Additionally, ISACo will be considering amendments to our County Platform for 2023. Please review this document and send any suggestions for additions/changes to firstname.lastname@example.org. Proposed changes will be considered by the Legislative Committee and Board of Directors.
State Continues to Pay Down Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund Debt
The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) will pay $450 million towards the remaining $1.8 billion hole in the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. The Agency attributes the ability to make this payment to low unemployment insurance claims. In March 2022, $2.7 billion in ARPA recovery dollars were allocated to pay down the then $4.5 billion Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund shortfall.
State and Federal Funds Made Available for Conservation Planning
The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) announced the approval of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (NLRS) and Conservation Planning Assistance grant agreement.
The IDOA/NRCS partnership leverages $3.5 million in Illinois state NLRS funds with $9.8 million in federal funds from the USDA/NRCS to deliver over $13.3 million in new funding to support conservation planning and NLRS staffing and programming.
The project will allow the addition of up to 40 conservation planners across the state of Illinois. The conservation planners will increase Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) technical assistance for planning, implementation, and maintenance. They will increase capacity to develop new conservation plans and to conduct conservation implementation follow-up to improve conservation successes.
Additional information is available via this link.
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.
Cybersecurity Monitoring: A Best Practice - SecurityScorecard
(Wednesday, October 12, 2022, 12:00pm-1:00pm CDT)
SecurityScorecard offers a novel way to self-monitor your county's cyber hygiene while also providing the ability to identify risk within your third-party ecosystem.
Click on this link to register for this event.
Using Public Safety Funds to Support Community Members' Behavioral Health
(Wednesday, October 12, 2022, 2:00pm-3:00pm CDT)
Law enforcement officers are often the first responders when a person is experiencing a behavioral health crisis, but some public safety leaders are trying to change that. From mental health clinicians to peer navigators, sheriffs and police chiefs across the country are investing funds from their own budgets in the behavioral health workforce to provide the treatment and services to people in need before they come into contact with law enforcement or jails. Join NACo to hear from county leaders pioneering these efforts.
Click on this link to register for this event.
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 email@example.com. ISACo member counties are listed here. Thank you for your consideration.