As we get closer to the end of 2016, it is important for public bodies to understand and ready themselves for all of the new laws that will take effect at the beginning of 2017 that affect local governments. The IML published an article in the December edition of the Illinois Municipal Review that includes a comprehensive list of these new laws. We have summarized just a few of these laws below, but encourage our readers to take a look at the IML's article for other laws of interest.
P.A. 99-586 - FOIA Non-Compliance Penalty. This new law allows a requester to file a law suit to enforce a binding PAC opinion and there is a rebuttable presumption that the public body willfully and intentionally failed to comply if the public body didn't appeal the PAC's opinion. The new law also provides for penalties of up to $1,000 per day for willful and intentional failures to comply with FOIA.
P.A. 99-610 - Employee Social Media Account Privacy. This new law makes it unlawful for an employer or prospective employer to request or require an employee or candidate to access his or her personal social media accounts or to request or require an employee or applicant to "friend" the employer or join the employer's page.
P.A. 99-754 - County Adjudication Hearings for Local Governments. This new law allows the collar counties to establish an administrative adjudication system for violations of local ordinances with participating local governments.
P.A. 99-604 - Travel Expense Reimbursement Act. We've written extensively about this new law, which will require public bodies to adopt a local travel expense policy and approve certain expenses prior to reimbursement of employees and officers (all expenses of the corporate authorities and any expenses of other officers and employees that exceed the travel policy maximum reimbursement amount).
P.A. 99-835 - Expungement of Law Enforcement and Juvenile Court Records. This new law provides that a person can petition the court to expunge his or her juvenile court records if the offense committed as a juvenile would have been a criminal offense if committed by an adult.
P.A. 99-860 - Illinois Freedom to Work Act. This new law prohibits employers from entering into covenants not to compete with any low-wage employee.