February 8, 2019
ISACo News and Views
This Illinois State Association of Counties (ISACo) weekly News and Views newsletter highlights introduced legislation, includes lists of Illinois House and Senate committee chairpersons and minority spokespersons, provides an update on legislation to increase the minimum wage, reports on committee action concerning bills affecting hospital report cards and the dissolution of drainage districts, looks at key upcoming dates on the legislative calendar, links to news stories about recycling efforts in two counties 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 320 (Representative McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills)
House Bill 320 (available via this link) would amend the Property Tax Code to apply tax caps to all taxing districts, including home rule units. Provides that, for the 2019 levy year, the limiting rate under the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law shall be calculated by reducing the district's 2016 aggregate extension by 5%. Provides that, for the 2020 levy year, the limiting rate under the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law shall be calculated by reducing the district's 2018 aggregate extension by 10%. Provides that, beginning with the 2021 levy year, the extension limitation is 0%. The bill preempts home rule authority and amends the State Mandates Act to require implementation without reimbursement. ISACo opposes property tax caps because caps make it difficult for counties to keep up with rising costs.

House Bill 1621 (Representative Skillicorn, R-Crystal Lake)
House Bill 1621 (available via this link) would amend the Counties Code and Illinois Municipal Code to provide that a county or municipality may not use payments received from the Local Government Distributive Fund for payments for travel, lodging or dining. The bill preempts home rule authority. ISACo opposes the spending restriction within the bill because it would require an impractical segregation of funds and would restrict the use of a county revenue source for legitimate county purposes.  

House Bill 1476 (Representative McCombie, R-Savanna)
Senate Bill 84 (Senator Bertino-Tarrant, D-Plainfield)
Both House Bill 1476 (available via this link) and Senate Bill 84 (available via this link) would amend the State Finance Act, the Motor Fuel Tax Law, the Emergency Telephone System Act, the Riverboat Gambling Act and the Video Gaming Act to provide that the moneys in these funds are subject to a continuing appropriation without the need for an act of the General Assembly and Governor. ISACo supports this legislation because it would ensure that distribution of these local revenues is not delayed as a result of a budget impasse.

Senate Bill 223 (Senator Castro, D-Elgin)
Senate Bill 223 (available via this link) would amend the Local Government Professional Services Selection Act. The bill eliminates the "satisfactory relationship" exemption that allows a political subdivision to contract with a qualified firm without going through a new selection process. The bill would apply to firms that provide architectural, engineering or land surveying services. ISACo opposes elimination of the "satisfactory relationship" exemption because it would force local governments to undergo an unnecessary selection process.

Senate Bill 250 (Senator Van Pelt, D-Chicago)
Senate Bill 250 (available via this link) would create the SAFE Act. On and after January 1, 2020, funding formulas based on population shall include prisoners as residents based on the place where they resided before incarceration or the place they intend to return. The bill would amend the State Revenue Sharing Act. For purposes of the amount of funds allocable to each municipality and county in the State, the number of individual residents of a municipality or county shall include the number of persons incarcerated in a penal institution who resided in the municipality or county before incarceration, or, if known, the municipality or county to where the prisoner intends to return after release from the penal institution.
House and Senate Committee Leadership

Committees have been announced for both the Illinois House and Senate. The work of each committee will be instrumental in evaluating legislation and moving bills to the floor in the House and Senate.

A list of each House Committee with the chairperson and minority spokesperson is available via this link.

A list of each Senate Committee with the chairperson and minority spokesperson is available via this link.

Please let ISACo know if you have a personal relationship with one or more of these chairpersons or minority spokespersons.
Minimum Wage Increase Passes Senate

On Thursday, February 7, the Illinois Senate approved legislation that would increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour. The vote was 39-18.

The language increasing the minimum wage ( available via this link ) was filed as an amendment to Senate Bill 1 by Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood). Prior to Thursday’s Senate vote, the bill as amended was approved by the Senate Executive Committee. The amendment incrementally increases the minimum wage to $15 per hour by January 1, 2025.

In an effort to reduce the immediate impact of the wage increase to smaller employers, the bill 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.

Governor J.B. Pritzker has made enacting a $15 per hour minimum wage into law his first legislative priority. The bill has already been scheduled for a February 13 hearing in the House Labor and Commerce Committee. The bill is sponsored in the House by Representative Will Guzzardi.
Hospital Report Card Bill Approved by House Committee

The House Health Care Availability and Accessibility Committee voted 5-0 to advance House Bill 3 (Representative Flowers, D-Chicago) on Tuesday, February 5. The bill (available via this link) would require that each hospital include in its quarterly report instances of preterm infants, infant mortality and maternal mortality. The bill also mandates the reporting of racial and ethnic information of the infants' mothers, along with the disparity of occurrences across different racial and ethnic groups. Counties that administer hospitals should be aware of this legislation. House Bill 3 will next be considered by the full House.
Drainage District Dissolution Bill Receives Support from Senate Committee

The Senate Local Government Committee approved a bill intended to facilitate the dissolution of drainage districts with the approval of counties and municipalities.

Senator McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods) introduced SB 90 (available via this link) to provide that if one or more municipalities account for at least 50% of a drainage district's territory, the drainage district may be dissolved if each municipality that has territory within the drainage district and the county in which the drainage district lies adopt a resolution or ordinance dissolving the district. The bill includes provisions for the transfer of powers and real property of the former drainage district to the municipalities and county. If the former district levied a tax that is still effective on the date of dissolution, then the county in which the drainage district lies has the authority to continue to collect, receive and expend the proceeds of the tax within the boundaries of the former drainage district.

The committee vote was 8-0 to send the bill to the Senate floor.
Looking Ahead...

The House is scheduled to be in session next week from February 13-15. The Senate does not convene next week.

The deadline to introduce House and Senate bills is February 15.

The Governor's Budget Address is February 20.

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.
County Recycling Efforts in the News
The Southern Illinoisan identified Jackson County as a leader for its recycling program. Collaborative partnerships and the use of landfill tipping fees to generate revenue for its program are components of the county's success. Click here to read the story.

The Herald and Review reported on a proposal in Macon County to construct a $7.5 million recycling campus. The proposal would establish drive-through recycling, county environmental offices, a compost center, solar farm and community gardens. The Board was expected to consider the proposal this month, but further discussions about the cost will delay county board action on the matter. Click here to read the story.
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.