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Monday, June 11, 2012

Highlights of 2012 Spring Session of Illinois Legislature

For a municipality-focused summary of the 2012 spring session, check out the Illinois Municipal League's June 8th update, on the IML website.  IML Legislative Director Joe McCoy describes the good and the bad of this spring's session as it relates to municipalities. 

Among the bills that passed both houses and await the Governor's signature:

Change in Meeting Agenda Requirements
HB 4687  was approved by both chambers and would amend the Open Meetings Act to require agendas to describe the "general subject matter" of items for final action.

Enterprise Zone Program Extended
SB 3616 extends enterprise zones by an additional 25 years, creates five additional zones, introduces competition and financial transparency, and eliminates tax incentives that are deemed unnecessary to the core mission of enterprise zones

Prevailing Wage Notifications
HB 5212 relieves public bodies from the responsibility of notifying contractors of prevailing wage rate revisions. Instead, contracts would need to include a statement that the actual revisions would be made available on the Illinois Department of Labor's website.

Use of Streets for Charitable Solicitations
SB 3518 requires municipalities and counties to allow for charitable solicitations in roadways if the individuals engaged in the solicitation are police, firefighters, or other public-safety employees

Special Service Areas
SB 409 sets additional notice and hearing procedures for Special Service Areas.

Among the bills that have not passed both houses, but remain active:

TIF Reform HB 5457 would make substantial changes to the TIF statute. 

Abandoned Property
  • SB 16  would have required banks to maintain abandoned property.
  • SB 2534 would have made $25 million available to municipalities for use in maintaining abandoned property.
  • SB 3522 would have raised $30 million for use in property maintenance and $20 million for housing counseling throughout the state. 
Responsible Bidder Requirement
SB 2643 would require eligible bidders to demonstrate participation within a United States Department of Labor approved apprentice and training program.

Prevailing Wage Exemptions
  • HB 4537  and HB 3094 would create an exemption under the Prevailing Wage Act for projects that are valued at less than $20,000.
  • HB 5038 would exempt the removal of trees and limbs along roadways and parkways from prevailing wage requirements when that work is not part of other construction.
  • HB 5366 would provide that "public works" does not include conservation projects or practices on private land paid for wholly or in part out of public funds.


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