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Wednesday, January 23, 2019

New Year, New Bills

The Illinois General Assembly has been busy introducing hundreds of new bills - 62 bills introduced in the Illinois Senate and 812 introduced in the Illinois House as of the end of last week. While many of these are "shell bills" waiting for substantive language to be added later in the session, some are substantive and of interest to local governments.

A few of the bills introduced this year (note that none have been voted on) are summarized below:

SB 21 and HB 345 would amend the tobacco statute to prohibit the sale and distribution of tobacco throughout the state to persons under 21. 

SB 30 would enact the Workplace Transparency Act that would prohibit employers from requiring employees to sign a nondisclosure agreement that would limit or restrict the disclosure of sexual misconduct.

HB 152 would declare any provision in a collective bargaining agreement that limits the ability of a government employer to investigate the conduct of an employee to be against public policy and unenforceable.

HB 155 would increase the maximum sales tax a non-home rule municipality is authorized to impose pursuant to the Non-Home Rule Municipal Sales Tax Act from 1% to 2%, subject to restrictions on how the additional revenue can be spent.

HB 305 reintroduces the bill introduced last year that would prohibit local governments from spending public funds on expenses relating to a municipal convention or gathering.

HB 307 would create the Citizens Empowerment Act that would allow voters to petition for a referendum to dissolve a unit of local government. 

HB 317 and HB 320 would extend the PTELL (commonly known as the tax cap) to all taxing districts, including home rule units.

HB 814 would amend the Open Meetings Act to allow municipal officers to complete the required OMA training through a program hosted by an organization that represents municipalities. Currently, the only training authorized for municipal officials is offered through the Attorney General's office.

It's not clear how many of these (if any) will move forward but if they do, we will keep you posted.


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