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IML Statehouse Briefing - April 3, 2017

The House and Senate convened last week, with the House working to move bills through the committee process ahead of the Friday, March 31 deadline for advancing House bills out of substantive House committees.
 
There has been talk of attempts to revive the “grand bargain” of revenue and reform legislation intended to break the ongoing state budget impasse. The Illinois Municipal League (IML) expects that several different budget proposals will be unveiled over the coming weeks. We advise our members not to be overly concerned with these proposals, many of which will propose reductions to local government revenues. These proposals are unlikely to have sufficient support to ultimately be enacted into law. Just last week, a budget proposal was floated by Senator Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) that proposes cuts to the Local Government Distributive Fund (LGDF) while providing the Governor with the authority to transfer funds and implement budget cuts that could harm local revenues. Once again, our members should keep in mind that a budget proposal does not necessarily translate into a budget agreement. IML remains deeply engaged in the process and will communicate to our members whether a particular proposal has a real likelihood of passing both chambers and being signed into law by the Governor.
 
Both the House and Senate return to action this week focused on moving bills out of each chamber ahead of the April 28 deadline to move bills out of their chambers of origin. We anticipate that a multitude of amendments will be presented for legislation presently on the House and Senate floors. Following adjournment this week, the General Assembly is not scheduled to reconvene again until the week of April 24.
 
CRITICAL ISSUE UPDATE
The following issue is highlighted because of its significance to municipalities.
 
Small Cell Wireless Facility Legislation Update
The IML remains opposed to many of the provisions within SB 1451 as written, but will participate in a phone conference with industry representative on Monday April 3 to explore additional amendments to improve the bill.  Please contact your senators and inform them of your opposition to SB 1451.
 
IML contacts for this legislation are: Patrick Hayes, phayes@iml.org and Jessica DeWalt jdewalt@iml.org.  
 
NEW ISSUES UPDATE
The following issues are appearing in the Statehouse Briefing for the first time.
 
IML Advances Two Legislative Initiatives
Two bills that are part of IML’s 2017 legislative agenda were approved during the committee process last week.
 
HB 3751 (Rep. Moylan, D-Des Plaines) would allow municipalities to determine the form of credit required by developers to secure subdivision improvements in the event that a project is abandoned. The bill was approved by the House Construction Industry and Code Enforcement Committee. IML thanks Representative Moylan, a former Mayor of Des Plaines, for his sponsorship and work to move this bill to the House floor.
 
SB 937 (Sen. McGuire, D-Joliet) would require the state to treat municipal utilities the same as private utility companies with respect to paying interest on any utility bill that is over 90 days late. IML also thanks Senator McGuire for his sponsorship and work to move this bill to the Senate floor.
 
House and Senate Committee Action

Several IML-tracked bills were approved by substantive committees in the House and Senate last week. These bills are included below:
 
House Bills
 
HB 286 (Rep. Fortner, R-West Chicago) would amend the Election Code to provide that, notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, whenever an election authority is required to publish or post information to the public, the election authority may satisfy that requirement by publishing via a newspaper or on its website. The bill was approved by the House Elections and Campaign Finance Committee. IML supports the bill.
 
HB 465 (Rep. Stewart, R-Freeport) would amend the Illinois Municipal Code to create a tax increment allocation financing extension for an ordinance adopted on February 5, 1996 by the Village of Pearl City. The bill was approved by the House Revenue and Finance Committee. IML supports the bill.
 
HB 2409 (Rep. Flowers, D-Chicago) would amend the Cannabis Control Act, the Illinois Controlled Substances Act and the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act. The bill would provide that 12.5% of all moneys and the sale proceeds of all other property forfeited and seized under the Acts shall be distributed to the Office of the Public Defender of the county in which the prosecution resulting in the forfeiture was instituted, deposited in a special fund in the county treasury and appropriated to the Office of the Public Defender to be used for the expenses incurred in defending persons charged with violating laws governing cannabis and controlled substances. The bill decreases from 65% to 52.5% the amounts distributed to the metropolitan enforcement group, local, municipal, county or state law enforcement agency or agencies which conducted or participated in the investigation resulting in the forfeiture. The bill was approved by the House Judiciary – Criminal Law Committee. IML opposes the bill.
 
HB 2469 (Rep. Walsh, D-Joliet) would amend the Election Code to require each election authority to report to the State Board of Elections all census tracts within its jurisdiction in which more than 10% of the persons who speak the same foreign language have been identified as having limited English proficiency, as reported in the American Community Survey. The bill provides that those reports shall be made in 2018 and then each year ending in a 1 or a 6. The bill was approved by the House Elections and Campaign Finance Committee. IML opposes the bill.
 
HB 2493 (Rep. Hoffman, D-Collinsville) provides that a public body shall specify in the call for bids that each bidder be a responsible bidder. It also requires contractors and subcontractors to report the hours worked by minorities and females. The bill requires the Department of Transportation, the Capital Development Board and the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority to report that information to the General Assembly.  The bill was approved by the House Labor Committee.  IML opposes the bill.
 
HB 2495 (Rep. Hoffman, D-Collinsville) would amend the Prevailing Wage Act to provide that the prevailing wage shall not be less than the rate that prevails for similar work performed under collective bargaining agreements in the locality provided that the agreements cover at least 30% of the workers. If bargaining agreements do not exist in the locality, the Department of Labor (Department) shall ascertain the prevailing wage to be paid under the Act. The bill applies to public works performed without a written contract. The bill requires that the Department publish prevailing wages schedules on its website. The bill was approved by the House Labor and Commerce Committee. IML opposes the bill.
 
HB 2703 (Rep. Hoffman, D-Collinsville) would amend the Freedom of Information Act. The bill deletes language that exempts from copying and inspection: (i) any and all proprietary information and records related to the operation of an intergovernmental risk management association or self-insurance pool or jointly self-administered health and accident cooperative or pool; and (ii) insurance or self-insurance (including any intergovernmental risk management association or self-insurance pool) claims, loss or risk management information, records, data, advice or communications. The bill was approved by the House Labor and Commerce Committee. IML opposes the bill.
 
HB 2771 (Rep. C. Mitchell, D-Chicago) creates the Healthy Workplace Act. The legislation requires employers to provide, annually, a minimum of five paid sick days to employees after 180 days of beginning their employment. The Department of Labor shall administer the Act. The bill authorizes the imposition of civil penalties and allows individuals to file civil actions with respect to violations. The bill was approved by the House Economic Opportunity Committee.  IML opposes the bill.
 
HB 2860 (Rep. Walsh, D-Joliet) provides that the portion of a site or facility that collects, separates, stores or converts post-use polymers into crude oil, fuels or other valuable final or intermediate products using a pyrolysis process is not a pollution control facility under the Act.  The bill limits the concurrent exercise of power by home rule units. The bill was approved by the House Environment Committee. IML opposes the bill. 
 
HB 2992 (Rep. Slaughter, D-Chicago) would amend the Election Code to provide that an election authority shall not locate a polling place for early voting, grace period registration and voting, or election day voting in a building permanently occupied by a local or state law enforcement agency. The bill was approved by the House Election and Campaign Finance Committee. IML opposes the bill.
 
Senate Bills
 
SB 851 (Sen. Hutchinson, D-Olympia Fields) would amend the Illinois Local Library Act to provide that a library board of trustees' statement of financial requirements necessary for the next year and any amount the library board believes will be necessary to levy taxes for the library's next fiscal year shall be submitted to the governing board of the municipality no less than 60 days prior to when the tax levy must be certified under the Property Tax Code (rather than 60 days after the expiration of the fiscal year). The bill was approved by the Senate Local Government Committee. IML supports the bill.
 
SB 1296 (Sen. Hutchinson, D-Olympia Fields) would create the Healthy Workplace Act and amends the State Finance Act to require employers to provide specified paid sick days to employees. The Department of Labor shall administer the Act. The bill authorizes the imposition of civil penalties and authorizes individuals to file civil actions with respect to violations. The Healthy Workplace Fund is created as a special fund in the State treasury. The bill was approved by the Senate Labor Committee. IML opposes the bill.
 
SB 1795 (Sen. Stadelman, D-Rockford) would amend the Property Tax Code. In a Section concerning tax abatements after acquisition by a governmental unit, the bill provides that the abatement applies to property acquired by a governmental unit under a blight reduction or abandoned property program administered by the Illinois Housing Development Authority. The bill was approved by the Senate Local Government Committee. IML supports the bill.
 
PREVIOUS ISSUES UPDATE
The following issues have been included in previous Statehouse Briefings and have since undergone a change in status.
 
Legislation Approved by the House
Several IML-tracked bills passed out of the House of Representatives last week. They are as follows:
 
HB 496 (Rep. Demmer, R-Dixon) would amend the Township Code to provide that all townships within a coterminous, or substantially coterminous, municipality may be discontinued. The bill was approved by the House. IML supports the bill.
 
HB 683 (Rep. Beiser, D-Alton) would amend the Illinois Vehicle Code to provide that the maximum length of a truck tractor in combination with a semitrailer may not exceed 65 feet (rather than 55 feet) overall dimension on all non-state highways. The bill was approved by the House. IML opposes the bill.
 
IML Developing Public Safety Pension Consolidation Legislation
Executive Director Brad Cole is developing draft legislation to consolidate the 663 municipal public safety pension funds. Pension fund consolidation is a legislative priority for IML.
 
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 over 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.
 
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.