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Legislative Update- March 2019

• Why: HB3317 Removes powers from elected board members, township trustees and consolidates it in to the county board chairman role. Yet another consolidation attempt by State Rep McSweeny, but this one consolidates power to the county board chair for executive powers to overrule county board votes, establish his own committees, hire his own parliamentarian and stop projects in townships for two years prior to a consolidation plan without voter consent.

• The current bill, like the previous, focuses on McHenry County but is expected to be expanded to state-wide application. The thought was to quell dissent and opposition from other county boards by managing the bill in this narrow scope as an entry point.
• HB3317 Full Synopsis- Creates the McHenry County Equitable Standards and Governmental Efficiency Law in the Counties Code. Allows the county board to require the election of specified special district trustees that it appoints. Allows the county board chairperson to: eliminate advisory committees or commissions; create standing committees and appoint members; set county board or committee meeting agendas; have line-item veto powers; and hire independent legal counsel or a parliamentarian or both; approve all appropriation expenditures before they are paid; reduce or divert moneys from a county fund with assets exceeding 150% of the previous year’s expenditures on a ratable basis to taxpayers. Allows the county board to appoint an inspector general to investigate waste, fraud, and abuse. Provides that, on the effective date of the amendatory Act, the elected chairperson of the county board is a county office distinct from the county board. Terminates the office of county recorder and the office of the county auditor. Amends the Local Government Reduction and Efficiency Division of the Counties Code. Provides that a county board may prohibit or limit a unit of local government that it has proposed to consolidate from starting a capital program, building project, or land acquisition for a set period of time, not to exceed 2 years, while the county board pursues possible consolidation. Effective immediately. Second reading now and approaching a 3rd reading. 171 opponents, 3 proponents. http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocNum=3317&GAID=15&DocTypeID=HB&LegId=119794&SessionID=108&GA=101

Call these legislators on the Counties and Townships Committee and ask that they oppose this bill: http://www.ilga.gov/house/committees/members.asp?CommitteeID=2348&GA=101 

Click the member name to access their contact information.

Chairperson : Sam Yingling D
Vice-Chairperson : Jonathan Carroll D
Republican Spokesperson : David McSweeney R
Member: Avery Bourne R
Member: Dan Brady R
Member: Daniel Didech D
Member: LaToya Greenwood D
Member: Brad Halbrook R
Member: Barbara Hernandez D
Member: Natalie A. Manley D
Member: Michael T. Marron R
Member: Martin J. Moylan D
Member: Lawrence Walsh, Jr. D
Member: Mark L. Walker D
Member: Tom Weber R
Member: Emanuel Chris Welch D
Member: David A. Welter R
Member: Kathleen Willis D

• Call these McHenry County Board members and lend support for their opposition to this bill: https://www.mchenrycountyil.gov/county-government/departments-a-i/county-board/meet-your-county-board-members
• Attend the next County Board Ad Hoc meeting scheduled at 9:00am on April 2 to speak publicly on this issue. If you prefer to submit a statement to be read during the comment period, you can do so by contacting your county board member.

Additional: McHenry County Board March 22 Emergency Ad Hoc meeting on this proposed legislation: http://mchenrycountyil.iqm2.com/Citizens/SplitView.aspx?Mode=Video&MeetingID=5413&Format=Agenda

(We await the return of a FOIA request regarding the email correspondence mentioned in this meeting. Details to follow.)

Other Items to WATCH


• FOID Social Media Bill Introduced HB0888 and HB0887: Amends FOID law to allow for police to search social media accounts for review. There is no definition of “troubling” content they may deem inappropriate. It invites abuse. This is in subcommittee but has not moved much.
• Bill overview: The new legislation is sponsored by two state Democratic lawmakers, in an effort to block people from acquiring guns if they have made some troubling comments on social media. “Troubling” is not defined.
• Opposition: ACLU response to privacy issues, Rebecca Glenberg of ACLU saying the bill doesn’t address what the police could do with the data, in addition to the First Amendment concerns. “A person’s political beliefs, a person’s religious beliefs, things that should not play a part in whether someone gets a FOID card,” Glenberg told the station.

McHenry County

• Historic Preservation Commission

Thank you to Chair Mike Tauler and Lynn Gray for speaking at the McHenry County Board meeting in January to raise awareness about the historic Preservation Commission and other community driven groups that have not had appointments completed. This led to these commissions not having authority to meet and act as intended. Now, the commission list and application process has been added back to the county website.
• OR Members who wish to get involved in the various county commissions are strongly encouraged to do so: https://www.mchenrycountyil.gov/county-government/departments-a-i/county-board/county-board-appointments?fbclid=IwAR3gSzUnM3yE_bKWpgJDUP4IXV0ghMr_8pz96E7_DM8x6YQbbl_fQIxyXng

• 6 applications have been confirmed. Chairman Franks said that interviews are being scheduled soon. (March 22 COW Meeting) We will continue to monitor this process.