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Advocacy Update: IML Legislative Agenda

By Joe McCoy, Legislative Director

Illinois’ communities have many needs in these challenging times. Protecting essential revenue sources, controlling operational costs and enhancing flexibility in governance are the solutions necessary to ensure strong communities.
The Illinois Municipal League (IML) 2017 Legislative Agenda, which is both aggressive and ambitious, was developed to achieve these objectives. Winning approval for this agenda will require full engagement from our member municipalities. It is critical that our members discuss the important issues below with their state legislators. We are appreciative of our six policy committees and our Legislative Committee for developing this agenda, which was approved by the IML Board of Directors.
Public Safety Pension Fund Consolidation HB 2682
Sponsor: Rep. Spain (R-Peoria)
Reduce long-term pension costs by consolidating the administrative and investment functions of the over 660 municipal public safety pension funds to achieve greater efficiency and investment return opportunities.
Automatic Appropriation Authority for Local Funds HB 617
Sponsor: Rep. McCombie (R-Savanna)
Require several local revenue sources that are collected and distributed by the state to become continuing appropriations so funds are automatically distributed to local governments and not dependent on the budget process.
Expansion of Home Rule Eligibility SJRCA 9
Sponsor: Sen. Hutchinson (D-Olympia Fields)
Amend the Illinois Constitution to expand eligibility for home rule status to provide all municipalities that reach a population above 5,000 with additional governing tools to meet the needs of their communities.
Federal Definition of “Catastrophic Injury” in PSEBA Law HB 2352
Sponsor: Rep. Ives (R-Wheaton)
Use the federal definition of “catastrophic injury” to create a gainful employment standard to ensure that the benefit is only paid to those unable to work.
Public Safety Employee Arbitration Reform HB 797
Sponsor: Rep. Sosnowski (R-Rockford)
Require arbitrators to base decisions primarily on actual available revenues and a municipality’s current financial status.

Reinstatement of the Public Duty Doctrine SB 2029
Sponsor: Sen. Clayborne (D-East St. Louis)
Restore the public duty doctrine to provide that governmental entities owe a broader duty of protection to the public at large rather than individual members of the general public.
Assess Interest on Overdue Utility Payments SB 937
Sponsor: Sen. McGuire (D-Crest Hill)
Require the state to treat municipal utilities identical to private utilities and pay interest on any utility bill that is over 90 days late.
Protect Equalized Assessed Value of Property SB 56
Sponsor: Sen. Stadelman (D-Rockford)
Repeal the provision in the Property Tax Code that allows for the use of compulsory sales as evidence of comparable value in assessment challenges to protect the equalized assessed value of property within a taxing body.
Application Fee for Telecom Utility Access to Public Right-of-Way HB 2819
Sponsor: Rep. Andersson (R-Geneva)
Reinstate the ability of a municipality to impose an application fee on telecom carriers that want access to the public right-of-way.
Notification to Taxing Bodies of Petition to Reduce EAV by $100,000 or Greater SB 1247
Sponsor: Sen. Althoff (R-McHenry)
Require notification of taxing bodies when an assessment challenge in circuit court could result in a reduction of $100,000 or more in assessed value for a property.
Allow Municipalities to Select the Form of Surety Used by Developers HB 3751
Sponsor: Rep. Moylan (D-Des Plaines)
Allow municipalities to determine the form of credit required by developers to secure subdivision improvements.
Sensible Change to Bidding Municipal Services HB 2681
Sponsor: Rep. Sente (D-Vernon Hills)
Increase the expenditure ceiling under which local governments are allowed to seek up-front financial information to find the best value when selecting architects, engineers or land surveyors.

Joe McCoy is the League’s Legislative Director. Contact Joe at (217) 525-1220 or jmccoy@iml.org.