On June 10, 2022, Governor Pritzker signed the Decennial Committee on Local Government Efficiency Act, 50 ILCS 70/1 et seq., into law. This law requires all Illinois local governments that impose a tax (as defined in the Act and excepting municipalities and counties) to convene a committee to study and report on local government efficiency. There are certain actions impacted local governments must take to begin compliance with this law by no later than June 10, 2023.
Under this law, impacted local governments must:
1 Form a committee to study local efficiencies and meet for the first time no later than June 10, 2023.
2. Have the committee meet at least three times.
3. Prepare a written report with recommendations (if any) on efficiencies and increased accountability.
4. File the report with the county (or each county in which your local government is located).
WHO HAS TO COMPLY?
The Act applies to “all entities that levy taxes and are also units of local government, as defined in Section 1 of Article VII of the Illinois Constitution, except municipalities and counties.”
WHO HAS TO BE ON THE COMMITTEE?
Section 10(b) of the Act specifies that the committee’s membership must include the elected or appointed members of the governing board. In addition, it must include any chief executive officer (such as an executive director, administrator, or manager) and “other officer” of the local government. The committee must also include at least two residents within the territory served by the local government who are appointed by the committee chair. The committee chair can also appoint others to serve on the committee. Committee members are not compensated but can be reimbursed for any committee-related expenses.
WHAT DOES THE COMMITTEE HAVE TO DO?
The committee is required to meet at least three times, with the first meeting occurring no later than June 10, 2023. The committee meeting can be the same day as the governing body’s board meeting. It can even be a part of the regular board meeting, provided the committee meeting is listed as a part of the meeting agenda and there is a majority of the committee members present. All other requirements of the Open Meetings Act (notice, minutes, etc.) also apply to these committee meetings.
WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN AT THESE COMMITTEE MEETINGS?
The committee must “summarize its work and findings within a written report, which must include recommendations in respect to increased accountability and efficiency and must provide the report to the county board in which the governmental unit is located no later than 18 months after the formation of the committee.” The goal is for the committee to study and report on local government efficiencies. Ultimately, this can be as simple or complex as you make it.
First meeting: This meeting would essentially be an “organizational” meeting to identify committee members, set deadlines for next steps, designate different committee members to compile information and identify efficiencies the local government currently has in place, and whether there are increased opportunities for efficiency and whether there are additional opportunities for accountability. This would include identifying any intergovernmental agreements currently have in place, or whether there are additional opportunities for intergovernmental cooperation (sharing equipment, personnel, resources, etc.). The committee can also discuss at this meeting whether the committee members want to gather and analyze information, or whether it wants to employ specialists in public administration and governmental management or other consultants. Keep in mind, however, that this law is an unfunded mandate, so payment for anyone hired by the committee will have to come from existing funds.
Second meeting: This meeting could be used to take the information gathered by the committee and compile it into a draft report. The committee can also identify any additional information that might be needed to prepare a final report.
Third meeting: At this meeting, the committee can finalize and approve the report.
Remember, the Act requires a minimum of three meetings but a committee could have as many meetings as it needs or wants. These meetings could be held throughout the year leading up to the report deadline, which is 18 months after the first committee meeting.
Additional Requirements: At the end of each meeting, the committee must “conduct a survey of residents who attended asking for input on the matters discussed at the meeting.” A committee could poll the people present at the meeting while at the meeting or send out an email survey to those attendees who provided an email address.
WHAT DO WE DO WITH THE REPORT ONCE IT HAS BEEN PREPARED?
Section 25 of the Act requires the committee to provide its report to the county board.
Post Authored by Keri-Lyn Krafthefer, Ancel Glink