March 1, 2019
ISACo News and Views
This Illinois State Association of Counties (ISACo) weekly News and Views newsletter highlights introduced legislation, reports on a visit to Springfield by National Association of Counties (NACo) Executive Director Matt Chase, references a SFY2020 economic forecasting and revenue estimate presentation provided to a House Committee by the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR), describes amendments filed during the week that are germane to counties, spotlights bills of interest approved by House committees during the past week, provides an introduction to ISACo's legislative advocacy team, 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 306 (Representative McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills)
House Bill 306 (available via this link) would amend the Counties Code to provide that a county board may, by ordinance, assume control over county recorder fees. Provides that, upon the adoption of such an ordinance, the county board may reduce any fee charged by the county recorder of deeds to a figure selected by the county board and transfer all or part of a county recorder of deed's budget surplus to the county general fund. Provides that county board actions under these provisions have precedence over other formulas or fee schedules used to calculate county recorder fees and any other use of a county recorder of deed's budget surplus.

House Bill 2206 (Representative Yingling, D-Round Lake Beach)
House Bill 2206 (available via this link) would create the Local Government Residential Inspection Limitation Act to provide that except for a fire, medical, or police emergency or as otherwise permitted by specified provisions of the Fire Investigation Act, a unit of local government may not conduct a physical inspection of residential property without the voluntary consent of the owner or occupant of the property, a lawful warrant, or court order. Limits home rule powers.

House Bill 2138 (Representative Wheeler, R-North Aurora)
House Bill 2138 (available via this link) would amend the Code of Civil Procedure to provide that a unit of local government may not seek damages in connection with a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction based upon a constitutional challenge to a tax. Provides that if a petition is filed in violation of the new provisions, the court shall award the respondent reasonable attorney's fees and costs incurred in connection with the petition.

Senate Bill 1712 (Senator Koehler, D-Peoria)
Senate Bill 1712 (available via this link) would amend the Freedom of Information Act to exempt from disclosure a public body's credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and other confidential account information that the disclosure of which could produce public loss.

Senate Bill 1806 (Senator Righter, R-Mattoon)
Senate Bill 1806 (available via this link) would amend the Governmental Account Audit Act, the Counties Code, and the Illinois Municipal Code to remove definitions of "licensed public accountant" and "accountant". Adds a definition for "generally accepted auditing standards". Modifies the definition of "auditor" to also include a substantially-equivalent licensed CPA that operates out-of-state. Replaces references to licensed public accountants and accountants with references to auditors. Removes audit report requirements for fiscal years prior to 2019. Modifies audit report requirements for fiscal year 2019 and beyond.
NACo Executive Director Matt Chase Visits Springfield

ISACo was privileged to welcome National Association of Counties (NACo) Executive Director Matt Chase to Springfield on Monday, February 25.

Matt met with ISACo Executive Director Joe McCoy and United Counties Council of Illinois (UCCI) Executive Director Michael McCreery to discuss county issues prior to speaking with several county officials.

Matt's willingness to make time for a visit was especially appreciated as his visit almost immediately preceded NACo's Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. (March 2-6) and all of the planning that goes into a conference of that magnitude.

ISACo enjoys a good working relationship with both NACo and UCCI and looks forward to partnering with these organizations to benefit Illinois counties. ISACo values its strategic partnerships and believes counties are stronger when various organizations and affiliates work together.
IDOR Presents SFY2020 Economic Forecast and Revenue Estimates to House Committee

The House Revenue and Finance Committee held a subject matter hearing on Thursday, February 28 to gather insights about revenue projections for State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2020.

Committee members heard testimony from Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) Director David Harris and IDOR staff. ISACo obtained a copy of the presentation materials used during the testimony (available via this link) .
Amendments Affecting Counties Filed

The following amendments of interest to counties were filed during the past week:

Wind Farm Standards
As introduced, House Bill 2988 (Representative Williams, D-Chicago) would amend the Counties Code in provisions concerning winds farms and electric-generating wind devices to make the provisions applicable even if a county has or has not formed a zoning commission and adopted formal zoning. The bill would clarify that only a county may establish standards for wind farms, electric-generating wind devices, and commercial wind energy facilities in unincorporated areas of the county outside of the zoning jurisdiction of a municipality and the 1.5 mile radius surrounding the zoning jurisdiction of a municipality.

House Committee Amendment 1 (Representative Williams, D-Chicago) would clarify the introduced bill by stating that only a county may establish standards for wind farms outside the 1.5 mile radius surrounding the zoning jurisdiction of a municipality.

Holding Coterminous Offices
As introduced, House Bill 1443 (Representative Hoffman, D-Belleville) would amend the Public Officer Simultaneous Tenure Act to provide that it is lawful for a person to hold the office of county board member and the office of park district commissioner, simultaneously, in counties of less than 300,000 in population.

House Committee Amendment 1 (Representative Hoffman, D-Belleville) would instead amend the Public Officer Prohibited Activities Act to provide that a county board member in a county of less than 300,000 residents can also hold the office of a park district commissioner. 

Special Uses
As introduced, House Bill 1449 (Representative Bennett, R-Pontiac) would amend the Zoning Division of the Counties Code to provide that a county board may, by majority vote (rather than by ordinance) and without a further public hearing, deny, grant, or grant subject to conditions a proposed special use on receiving the report from the board of appeals.

House Committee Amendment 1 (Representative Bennett, R-Pontiac) would restore a provision allowing a county board to refer a special use proposal back to the board of appeals for further consideration. This provision was removed in the bill as introduced.
Noteworthy Committee Action

The following bills of interest were approved by House committees during the week of February 25- March 1. The Senate did not convene this week.

Disclosable Payments (Representative McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills)
House Bill 303 (available via this link) would amend the Local Government Wage Increase Transparency Act to provide that "disclosable payment" also includes accumulated sick leave. The bill was approved by the House Personnel and Pensions Committee on Thursday, February 28 and is presently on Second Reading on the House Floor.

Open Meeting Act Exceptions (Representative Welch, D-Westchester)
House Bill 2124 (available via this link) would amend the Open Meetings Act to provide that a public body may hold a closed meeting to consider the appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, performance, or dismissal of specific employees, specific independent contractors, or specific volunteers (currently, only specific employees) of the public body or legal counsel for the public body, including hearing testimony on a complaint lodged against an employee, independent contractor, or volunteer of the public body or against legal counsel for the public body to determine its validity. The bill was approved by the House State Government Administration Committee on Wednesday, February 27 and is presently on Second Reading on the House Floor. ISACo SUPPORTS.

Gender Neutral Language (Representative Ammons, D-Champaign)
House Bill 2252 (available via this link) would amend the Clerk Division of the Counties Code to make all provisions of the Division gender neutral. The bill was approved by the House State Government Administrative Committee on Wednesday, February 27 and is presently on Second Reading on the House Floor.
Meet ISACo's Legislative Advocacy Team

ISACo is pleased to announce that we have assembled an experienced and effective team to advocate in support of Illinois counties. In addition to the legislative resources available on our website and our weekly updates on legislative issues, ISACo maintains a physical presence at the Illinois Statehouse to champion the interests of counties. Click this link to meet our legislative team.
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!

@Isacoil

@IsacoTweets
Looking Ahead...

The House and Senate are scheduled to be in session next week from March 5-7.

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.