Home > Legislative Statehouse Briefings > 2017 Statehouse Briefings >

IML Statehouse Briefing - February 6, 2017

The General Assembly returns to Springfield this week after a week-long break. We are in the very early stages of session, and the principle focus is on reviewing introduced legislation. As of this writing, 3,529 bills and resolutions have been introduced. IML has identified 218 bills of interest to municipalities and we are tracking them closely. All legislation tracked by IML is accessible in the “tracked legislation” section of our legislative webpage. Additional information about tracked bills is available later in this Statehouse Briefing.
 
IML is also laying the necessary groundwork for the pursuit of our aggressive and forward-leaning 2017 legislative agenda. Staff has been diligently drafting the legislation, identifying sponsors and preparing supporting materials. Common themes tying our 2017 legislative agenda together are the protection of municipal revenues and the reduction of municipal operating costs. The 2017 legislative agenda can therefore be embraced by both local officials and taxpayers.
 
Illinois Policy Institute Calls for Eliminating Local Income Tax Share
Last week, the Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) released a proposed plan to balance the budget without raising taxes. The IPI proposal calls for unprecedented cuts to state spending and public services. Included among these proposals is the complete elimination of Local Government Distributive Fund (LGDF) revenue and a five-year property tax freeze.
 
LGDF revenue is the 8% share of total state income tax dollars that is provided to municipalities and counties to help fund critical local services.
 
The IPI proposal to significantly reduce, if not eliminate, LGDF revenue is nothing new. In 2011, IPI released a report entitled, “Budget Solutions 2012” calling for a drastic reduction in LGDF payments to local governments. The plan did not garner much support in the General Assembly, and we do not expect that views toward this largely recycled proposal have changed since then. It should be noted that, as of this writing, the policy provisions outlined in the IPI budget plan have not been filed in bill form. IML has successfully defended against LGDF reductions in previous years, and we will continue to fight for this critical funding.
 
IML remains committed to protecting LGDF revenues, which represent a successful partnership between state and local government toward funding essential public services at the local level. Additional information about LGDF is available in our updated LGDF fact sheet. IML is also opposed to the five-year property tax freeze proposed by IPI.
 
IML Supports Bill Proposing LGDF Increase
HB 278 (Rep. DeLuca, D-Chicago Heights) would incrementally increase the current 8% LGDF share to 10% of total income tax collections by February 1, 2020. An increase to 10% would restore LGDF distributions, expressed as a percentage of income tax collections, to the level distributed prior to enactment of the temporary income tax increase in 2011. Under current law, LGDF distributions are on pace to reach almost 10% of total income tax collections by February, 2025. Representative DeLuca’s bill would accelerate this schedule by five years.
 
The bill has been assigned to the House Cities and Villages Committee and could be heard as early as Wednesday, February 8 at 2 p.m. Click here if you would like to file a witness in support of the bill. IML supports this bill.
 
Digital Access to IML Tracked Bills
A list of introduced bills that affect or are of interest to municipalities is available in the “tracked legislation” section of our legislative webpage. These bills are searchable by number or by issue category. Another great way to track bills of interest is by downloading our legislative app. If you do not yet have the app, it is available for iTunes and Android users. If you have questions or information about any of our tracked bills, please contact the IML staff member through the e-mail link available within the digital bill page and app, or e-mail us at IMLLegislation@iml.org.
 
Join Us at the Municipal Attorneys Seminar

Register today for the Illinois Municipal League’s 2017 Municipal Attorneys Seminar. The event will be held Friday, March 31 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel in Bloomington. A $175 registration fee includes breakfast, lunch and a copy of IML’s Sunshine Laws manual, as well as 6.25 hours of MCLE. Topics covered include Land Use Exactions & Takings; Mandatory Topics of Bargaining; Appellate Practice; Professional Responsibility / Ethics; Sunshine Laws; Employment Law; and Section 1983 and Municipal Liability. Register online at iml.org/seminar.
 
RSVP for Lobby Day April 26, 2017
The Illinois Municipal League (IML) invites you to attend Lobby Day on Wednesday, April 26 in Springfield. The Lobby Day briefing will begin at 9 a.m. at the IML office, followed by an opportunity to visit legislators at the Capitol (be sure to make your appointments in advance). A reception will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum. Additional information, including online registration for both events, is available online at iml.org/lobbyday.
 
Save the Date for IML’s 2017 Annual Conference
The Illinois Municipal League’s 2017 Annual Conference will be held September 21-23 at the Hilton Chicago. Mark your calendar for the municipal event of the year. We look forward to seeing you there.