February 22, 2019
ISACo News and Views
This Illinois State Association of Counties (ISACo) weekly News and Views newsletter highlights introduced legislation, summarizes Governor JB Pritzker's Budget Address, reports on the enactment of legislation to increase the minimum wage, includes an ISACo position paper promoting legislation that increases local revenues, spotlights bills of interest approved by House and Senate committees during the past week, discusses a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision restricting states and localities from imposing "excessive fines," invites county officials to an ISACo Open House , includes links to ISACo's social media platforms, looks at key upcoming dates on the legislative calendar and invites counties to join ISACo. Please visit our website (www.isacoil.org) for additional resources and information.
Legislative Spotlight
ISACo maintains an updated list of legislation of interest to counties. This list is organized by category and available within the legislative section of our website (linked here) .

In addition to this service, ISACo will frequently highlight bills of interest in the "Legislative Spotlight" section of our weekly newsletter. This week's "Legislative Spotlight" highlights the following bills:

House Bill 2476 (Representative Tarver, D-Chicago)
House Bill 2476 (available via this link) would amend the Election Code to provide that each election authority shall collaborate with the county jail within the jurisdiction of the election authority to facilitate voting by mail for voters eligible to vote in the county who are confined or detained in the county jail. Provides that in a county with a population of 3,000,000 or more, the election authority in the county shall establish a temporary branch polling place in the county jail. Contains additional provisions concerning the temporary branch polling place in the county jail. Amends the Counties Code. Provides that each election authority shall collaborate with the county jail within the jurisdiction of the election authority to facilitate voter registration for voters eligible to vote in that county who are confined or detained in the county jail. Provides that a county jail shall provide a voter registration application to any person in custody at the jail who requests an application and is eligible to vote.

House Bill 2559 (Representative Didech, D-Buffalo Grove)
Senate Bill 1218 (Senator Bush, D-Grayslake)
House Bill 2559 (available via this link) and Senate Bill 1218 (available via this link) would amend the Counties Code to provide that a chairman of a county board who is chosen by the board may be removed, with or without cause, upon a motion adopted by an affirmative vote of four-fifths of the board. Provides that upon adoption of a motion to remove the chairman: (i) the chairman position becomes vacant and the former chairman's compensation shall be prorated to the date the motion was approved; (ii) the vice-chairman immediately assumes the duties of chairman without chairman compensation; and (iii) a new chairman shall be elected at the next regularly scheduled county board meeting. Further provides that a chairman removed maintains his or her status as a member of the county board.

House Bill 2592 (Representative Cabello, R-Rockford)
House Bill 2592 (available via this link) would amend the General Provisions Article of the Illinois Pension Code to provide that a person may not participate in any pension fund or retirement system under the Code (includes IMRF) with respect to an elected position to which the person was first elected or appointed on or after the effective date of the amendatory Act.

Senate Bill 1240 (Senator Link, D-Gurnee)
Senate Bill 1240 (available via this link) would create the Checkout Bag Tax Act. The bill would impose a tax of $0.07 on each checkout bag used by a customer at a retail establishment in the State. Provides that the term "checkout bag" means a single use plastic, paper, or compostable bag provided by a retail establishment at the checkout, cash register, point of sale, or other point of departure to a customer for the purpose of transporting goods out of the retail establishment. Sets forth certain exceptions. Provides that the proceeds from the tax shall be distributed as follows: (1) the retailer shall retain $0.02 per bag; (2) the wholesaler shall retain $0.02 per bag; and (3) $0.03 per bag shall be deposited into the Checkout Bag Tax Fund. Amends the State Finance Act to create the Checkout Bag Tax Fund. Provides that moneys in the Fund shall be remitted to counties and municipal joint action agencies. Amends the Counties Code and the Illinois Municipal Code to preempt certain actions by counties and municipalities concerning auxiliary containers or checkout bags.

Senate Bill 1580 (Senator Curran, R-Downers Grove)
Senate Bill 1580 (available via this link) would amend the Counties Code to provide that a county may adopt an ordinance with reasonable regulations concerning the operation of adult entertainment facilities. Provides if a county has established a licensing program as part of its regulation of adult entertainment facilities, the findings, decision, and orders of the licensing official or licensing body is subject to review in the circuit court of the county and that the Administrative Review Law apply to and govern the judicial review. Allows a county having a code hearing unit to enforce and prosecute violations of the adult entertainment facilities ordinance through its administrative adjudication program.
Governor Delivers Budget Address

On Wednesday, February 20, Governor JB Pritzker delivered his first Budget Address to the General Assembly. The speech did not include any references or proposed changes to state-shared local government revenues, bu t the accompanying budget proposal book (linked at bottom of story) includes a reference to the Local Government Distributive Fund (LGDF). More specifically, the Governor is proposing that “the fiscal year 2020 budget holds the formula for these deposits prorated at 95 percent, consistent with the fiscal year 2019 level."

ISACo will continue our advocacy to protect and increase LGDF and other revenues collected by the state on behalf of local governments.

Confronted with a $3.2 billion deficit for the upcoming state fiscal year (SFY2020) and a $15 billion backlog in unpaid bills, the Governor articulated his long-term budget goals in tandem with a short-term budget intended to connect the present with the future he envisions.

The Governor laid out three different options the state could pursue. They are as follows: (1) cutting services while not raising additional revenue; (2) raising revenues under the current flat income tax system while also increasing other taxes and fees; or (3) reform the income tax system by enacting a progressive income tax. The Governor supports an overhaul to the income tax structure and indicated his willingness to engage legislators in discussions concerning the details of rate structures and revenue collection targets.

During his speech, Governor Pritzker called on the General Assembly to work with him to achieve pension funding changes intended to ease the annual financial burden posed by the state's pension obligations. The Governor's five-point proposal includes the following: (1) earmarking a portion of new revenues from a new state income tax structure for pension funding; (2) an up-front infusion of new assets into the state pension systems; (3) small-scale bonding to reduce liabilities; (4) making the optional retiree buyout program permanent; and (5) smoothing the pension ramp by modestly extending it.

A progressive income tax requires a constitutional amendment that must ultimately be approved by voters. Because resultant revenues would not be realized for several months, the Governor proposed what can be considered a "bridge budget" to address current revenue and spending needs.

The Governor's proposed SFY2020 budget intends to re-prioritize and control spending while allowing for increases in three areas. These areas are education, health and human services and public safety.

To generate an additional $1.1 billion in revenue for SFY2020, the Governor is proposing the following measures: (1) legalization and regulation of adult-use cannabis; (2) legalization and taxation of sports betting; and (3) a tax on insurance companies intended to generate more state and federal revenue to help defray the costs of the state's Medicaid program.

In addition to his long-term and short-term budget objectives, the Governor discussed the recent enactment to increase the minimum wage (see next story), the need for significant investment in capital infrastructure in 2019, the cultivation of a business climate that will attract talent and generate jobs and his desire to rebuild the Illinois State Police with two new cadet classes.

Additional Resources:


Minimum Wage Increase Signed Into Law

Governor JB Pritzker signed a minimum wage increase into law on Tuesday, February 19, 2019. The legislation ( available via this link ) would incrementally increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour by January 1, 2025. The new law is P.A. 101-0001.

The Governor's Office released a statement (available via this link) following his enactment of the bill into law.

In an effort to reduce the immediate impact of the wage increase to smaller employers, the new law provides employers with 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees a credit against tax withheld beginning January 1, 2020. This credit would be reduced beginning January 1, 2021. Employers may claim the credit amount in effect on January 1, 2025, until December 31, 2026, and employers with no more than five employees may claim that credit until December 31, 2027.
ISACo Position Paper on Local Revenue Enhancement Legislation

Several bills have been introduced that would increase local revenue dollars collected by the state on behalf of local governments or otherwise ensure existing revenues are paid in a timely manner. ISACo prepared a position paper (available via this link) for county officials to use when discussing these bills with legislators. ISACo requests that county officials urge their legislators to co-sponsor these favorable House and Senate bills.
Noteworthy Committee Action

The following bills of interest were approved by House and Senate committees during the week of February 18-22:

Tobacco 21 (Representative Lily, D-Oak Park)
House Bill 345 (available via this link) would amend the Prevention of Tobacco Use by Minors and Sale and Distribution of Tobacco Products Act to raise the age for whom tobacco products, electronic cigarettes and alternative nicotine products may be sold to and possessed by from at least 18 years of age to at least 21 years of age. The bill was approved by the House Health Care Availability and Access Committee on Tuesday, February 19. The bill is presently on Second Reading on the House Floor.

Equal Pay Act Wage History (Representative Moeller, D-Elgin)
House Bill 834 (available via this link) would amend the Equal Pay Act of 2003 to prohibit an employer from: (i) screening job applicants based on their wage or salary history, (ii) requiring that an applicant's prior wages satisfy minimum or maximum criteria, and (iii) requesting or requiring as a condition of being interviewed or as a condition of continuing to be considered for an offer of employment that an applicant disclose prior wages or salary. Prohibits an employer from seeking the salary, including benefits or other compensation or salary history, of a job applicant from any current or former employer, with some exceptions. Limits defenses. The bill provides for penalties and injunctive relief. The bill was approved by the House Labor and Commerce Committee on Wednesday, February 20 and is presently on Second Reading on the House Floor.

Applicability of Juvenile Court Act (Senator Fine, D-Glenview)
Senate Bill 1116 (available via this link) would amend the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 to provide that a minor is subject to the Act if the court has made a finding of probable cause to believe that the minor is abused, neglected, or dependent under the Act prior to the minor's 18th birthday (rather than any minor under 18 years of age). The bill was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, February 20. An amendment has been filed for the bill (available via this link) for consideration at a later date. The bill is presently on Third Reading on the Senate Floor, but must return to Second Reading to receive the filed amendment.

Removal of County Board Chairman (Senator Bush, D-Grayslake)
Senate Bill 1218 (available via this link) would amend the Counties Code to provide that a chairman of a county board who is chosen by the board may be removed, with or without cause, upon a motion adopted by an affirmative vote of four-fifths of the board. Upon adoption of a motion to remove the chairman: (i) the chairman position becomes vacant and the former chairman's compensation shall be prorated to the date the motion was approved; (ii) the vice-chairman immediately assumes the duties of chairman without chairman compensation; and (iii) a new chairman shall be elected at the next regularly scheduled county board meeting. Further provides that a chairman removed maintains his or her status as a member of the county board. The bill was approved by the Senate Local Government Committee on Wednesday, February 20 and is presently on Third Reading on the Senate Floor.

Joint Emergency Telephone System Boards (Senator Tracy, R-Quincy)
Senate Bill 1285 (available via this link) would amend the Emergency Telephone System Act to provide that if a Joint Emergency Telephone System Board includes a county which was a part of a 9-1-1 Governing Board established in 1988, no more than 3 members of the county board shall be appointed to serve on the joint board with the remaining members being either elected officials or representatives from the 9-1-1 public safety agencies within the coverage area of the joint board. The bill was approved on Thursday, February 21 by the Senate Telecommunications and Information Technology Committee and is now on Second Reading on the Senate Floor.

Juvenile Code - Detention Screening (Senator Mulroe, D-Chicago)
Senate Bill 1302 (available via this link) would amend the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 to provide that on and after July 1, 2021, a detention screening instrument shall be used for referrals to all authorized juvenile detention facilities in this State prior to a judicial hearing. A minor alleged to be a delinquent minor taken into temporary custody must be brought before a judicial officer within 48 hours (rather than 40 hours, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and court designated holidays). Provides that if an appearance is required of any minor taken and held in a place of custody or confinement operated by the State or any of its political subdivisions, including counties and municipalities, the chief judge of the circuit may permit by rule for the minor's personal appearance to be made by means of two-way audio-visual communication, including closed circuit television and computerized video conference, in the following proceedings: (1) the initial appearance before a judge; (2) a detention or shelter care hearing; or (3) any status hearing. Amends the Probation and Probation Officers Act. Provides that the Division of Probation Services of the Supreme Court shall adopt a statewide juvenile detention screening instrument that has been verified through evidence-based and data-based practices that is to be used by all authorized juvenile detention facilities. The bill was approved by the Senate Criminal Law Committee on Wednesday, February 20 and is presently on Third Reading on the Senate Floor.
US Supreme Court Imposes Restrictions on "Excessive Fines"

In a 9-0 decision handed down on Wednesday, February 20, 2019, in the case of Timbs v. Indiana, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled that a restriction applicable to states concerning "excessive fines" also applies to states and localities. The decision is expected to have ramifications for civil asset forfeiture policies. From the New York Times (article linked here) :

"The Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that the Constitution places limits on the ability of states and localities to take and keep cash, cars, houses and other private property used to commit crimes.

The practice, known as civil forfeiture, is a popular way to raise revenue and is easily abused, and it has been the subject of widespread criticism across the political spectrum. The court’s decision will open the door to new legal arguments when the value of the property seized was out of proportion to the crimes involved."

You're Invited to ISACo's Open House!

ISACo will hold an open house for county officials and legislators on Wednesday, March 13 from 6 p.m - 8 p.m. The event will be at our office located at 828 South Second Street in Springfield.

Please join us to celebrate the launch of ISACo! It's a perfect opportunity to learn more about us. We request that you RSVP by Wednesday, March 5 so we can obtain an accurate count of expected attendees. RSVP's can be sent to bmetrow@isacoil.org.
Follow ISACo on Social Media

ISACo is getting social! We've established a presence on Facebook and Twitter to provide another tool for communication with Illinois county officials and other interested parties. Please follow our Facebook page and Twitter feed and join the conversation!

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Looking Ahead...

The House is scheduled to be in session next week from February 26-28. The Senate will not convene next week.

The deadline to move Senate bills out of Senate committees is March 22. The deadline to move House bills out of House committees is March 29.

The deadline to move House bills out of the House and Senate bills out of the Senate is April 12.

The deadline to move House bills out of Senate committees and Senate bills out of House committees is May 10.

The deadline to move House bills out of the Senate and Senate bills out of the House is May 24.

Both chambers are scheduled to adjourn on May 31.
The Key to ISACo's Success is YOU!
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 jmccoy@isacoil.org. Thank you for your consideration.
News and Views is a service provided by ISACo for county officials and staff. Please feel welcome to share with interested parties. You can contact ISACo Executive Director Joe McCoy at jmccoy@isacoil.org or (217) 679-3368 if we can be of service. Thank you for your support of ISACo.