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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Bills Would Prohibit Use of Public Funds for Employee Professional Development and Training Expenses

A couple of new bills have been introduced in the Illinois General Assembly that would restrict the use of local government funds for expenses related to local officials' attendance at conferences or conventions.  At this time, none of these have passed the house or senate.

HB 4246 would prohibit the use of any public funds by a unit of local government for expenses connected with attendance by an employee or contractor of a unit of local government at any convention or gathering of personnel. The bill defines "convention or gathering of personnel" to mean any gathering where employees or contractors from 2 or more units of government gather for professional education, training, retraining, or personnel development. 

This bill would seem to cover conferences hosted by the ILCMA, IML, TOI, IAPD, and ILA, among many other conferences that provide education and professional development training to local government employees. The bill would exempt public safety personnel from the ban, and would allow public funds to be spent pursuant to a contract that predated the new law - that would appear to cover employment agreements where the unit of local government agreed to cover an employee's conference and training expenses.

HB 4247 would amend the State Finance Act to prohibit state appropriations for contracts to rent or pay for access to physical space for booths, hospitality suites, or other physical space at a convention or gathering of personnel (again, the bill exempts conferences for public safety personnel). 

HB 4248 appears to be a combination of the provisions of HB 4246 and 4248.

Because these bills, if passed, would have a significant impact on local government expenditures on professional development, training, and education of its employees, we will keep you posted on their progress through the General Assembly.

Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf


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