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IML Statehouse Briefing - February 27, 2017

The Illinois House of Representatives convened in Springfield last week from Wednesday, February 22 through Friday, February 24. Legislative activity centered on committee hearings. The House has established 57 substantive committees and 39 subcommittees. Each bill that advances through the House is approved by the Rules Committee and considered by one of the 57 substantive committees.
 
The Senate was not in session last week, but will return on Tuesday, February 28. The House will not be in session this week. All eyes will be on the Senate to see whether the body is able to pass the package of budget and reform bills over to the House.
 
AFSCME Members Authorize Strike
The impasse between Governor Bruce Rauner and the state’s largest labor union, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 31, deepened when the union’s membership voted overwhelmingly to authorize their leadership to trigger a strike. The union’s ambition is for the strike vote to provide the necessary leverage to encourage the Governor to return to the bargaining table. Shortly after the announcement of the vote result, the Governor issued a press release criticizing the outcome of the vote and indicating that, should a strike occur, the state “will use every resource to ensure services continue to be available to the people of Illinois.”
 
Speaker Madigan Announces Education Funding Task Force
House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) announced his intent to form a bipartisan task force to address how Illinois funds public schools. The task force will further explore some of the issues raised by the Illinois School Funding Reform Commission’s final report. Developing an equitable school funding formula is the primary objective of the new task force. The Speaker has appointed a dozen House Democrats to the task force and indicated there will be House Republican appointees as well.
 
IML Hosts Municipal Contract Lobbyist Meeting
On Thursday, February 23, the Illinois Municipal League (IML) was pleased to host a large group of contract lobbyists who represent municipal clients. The meeting provided an opportunity to share IML’s 2017 legislative agenda and to learn what the contract lobbyists are working on to the benefit of their individual municipal clients and how IML might be helpful on those issues. Several issues were discussed during the meeting. One of the issues raised by IML that prompted extensive discussion was legislation intended to create a statewide regulatory framework for the location of small cell wireless facilities (SB 1451 – Sen. Link, D-Gurnee). More information about IML’s outreach concerning this bill is available below.
 
Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act
SB 1451 (Sen. Link, D-Gurnee) has been assigned to the Senate Telecommunications and Technology Committee. IML is opposed to the bill as written, but the sponsor has arranged discussions between IML and industry representatives to work towards amending the legislation.
 
As previously reported to our members in the February 13 Statehouse Briefing, IML met with Senator Link and industry representatives on February 8. We met with them again on February 15. The parties are in the process of exchanging draft language, although a comprehensive amendment may take a number of weeks to produce.
 
In order to gather input on the legislation from our members and provide updates on the status of discussions, IML raised the issue on a February 14 conference call with regional councils of government staff representatives; met with representatives of the Illinois Municipal Electric Agency (IMEA) on February 22; participated in a conference call with the DuPage Mayors and Managers Conference (DMMC) on February 23; discussed the issue with a group of municipal contract lobbyists on February 23; and has responded to individual inquiries as received. The legislation was also a topic of conversation during an IML-attended session of the Illinois Local Government Lawyers annual conference on February 20. IML staff is interested in your input as well. 
 
IML Contact for this issue: Patrick Hayes, General Counsel, PHayes@iml.org and Jessica DeWalt, Assistant Counsel, JDewalt@iml.org.
 
House Committee Action
Several IML-tracked bills were approved by substantive committees in the House last week. These bills are included below:
 
HB 398  (Rep. Reis, R-Willow Hill) would authorize the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to create a Regional Economic Revitalization Competition Program for making competitive grants for the economic development regions of the state in need of community and economic revitalization. The bill was approved by the House Business Incentives for Local Communities Committee. IML supports the bill.
 
HB 685 (Rep. Moeller, D-Elgin) would provide that counties and municipalities may not classify milkweed as a noxious or exotic weed. This legislation also limits home rule powers.  The bill was approved by the House Environment Committee. IML opposes the home preemption.
 
HB 791 (Rep. Demmer, R-Dixon) would prohibit a unit of local government, including a home rule unit, from enacting an ordinance prohibiting the use of autonomous vehicles on its roadways. The bill defines "autonomous vehicle" as any vehicle equipped with autonomous technology that has been integrated into that vehicle capable of driving the vehicle without the active control or monitoring of a human operator. The bill was approved by the House Cities and Villages Committee. The issue of establishing regulations for autonomous vehicles will be thoroughly discussed by affected parties this session. IML is presently reviewing this bill.
 
HB 815 (Rep. Zalewski, D-Riverside) would amend the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) Article of the Illinois Pension Code to provide that certain police officers and firefighters who participate in IMRF may be granted Sheriff's Law Enforcement Employee (SLEP) status for future service with the approval of their employing municipality. The bill was drafted to specifically apply to Bedford Park. The approval resolution must specify that SLEP status must be applied to employment occurring on or after the adoption of the resolution. The bill provides that the resolution is irrevocable, but will automatically terminate upon the establishment of an Article 3 or 4 fund by the municipality.  According to the sponsor, the bill was modified to make it only apply prospectively to address concerns expressed by the Governor’s Office The bill was approved by the Personnel and Pensions Committee.
 
HB 2361 (Rep. Feigenholtz, D-Chicago) would amend the Illinois Vehicle Code to provide that the City of Chicago may enact an ordinance providing for a noise monitoring system upon any portion of Lake Shore Drive. Twelve months after the installation of the noise monitoring system, and any time after the first report as the City deems necessary, the City of Chicago shall prepare a noise monitoring report with the data collected from the system and shall, upon request, make the report available to the public. The bill was approved by the Transportation: Vehicles and Safety Committee.
 
HB 2363 (Rep. Morrison, R-Palatine) would require each municipality over 5,000 population to develop and update a 5 year (rather than 20 year) long-range highway transportation plan in order to properly plan the utilization of motor fuel tax funds. This legislation states that the plan shall, amongst other requirements, include the projected future traffic usage of each highway for a 5 year (rather than 20 year) period and include a listing of the major improvements anticipated within 3 years (rather than 5 years) of the date of each plan. The bill was approved by the House Transportation: Regulation, Roads and Bridges Committee. IML is working with the sponsor on a clarifying amendment.
 
HB 2382 (Rep. Riley, D-Hazel Crest) would amend the Fire Hydrant Act to define "dry hydrant" as a fire hydrant that is installed to provide access to water from a lake, pond or other body of water rather than water from a public or private water supply system.  The bill contains provisions concerning the maintenance of and access to specified dry hydrants and provides that all other dry hydrants are subject to specified provisions of the Act and a specified additional requirement. The bill was approved by the Fire and Emergency Services Committee. 
 
HB 2407 (Rep. Kifowit, D-Aurora) would provide that, for the purposes of annexation of contiguous territory, territory shall be considered contiguous to a municipality notwithstanding that the territory is separated from the municipality by a lake, river or other waterway. The bill was approved by the House Cities and Villages Committee. IML supports the bill.
 
HB 2424 (Rep. Breen, R-Lombard) would amend the Governmental Joint Purchasing Act (Act) to provide that if any contract or amendment to a contract is entered into or if purchase or expenditure of funds is made at any time in violation of the Act or other laws, the contract or amendment may be declared void by the chief procurement officer or may be ratified and affirmed, provided the chief procurement officer determines that ratification is in the best interests of the governmental unit. It also provides that if a contract is ratified and affirmed, it shall be without prejudice to the governmental unit's right to any appropriate damages. The bill was approved by the State Government Administration Committee. 
 
IML Tracked Legislation
Digital access to a list of introduced bills that affect or are of interest to municipalities is available on our legislative webpage. IML is presently tracking almost 700 bills out of the more than 6,500 bills, resolutions and constitutional amendments that have been introduced to date.
 
IML tracked legislation is 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 Attorney Seminar
Register today for the IML’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
You are invited to attend IML’s 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.