Today, we report on a couple of new Illinois laws that affect park districts.
P.A. 103-146 amends the Park District Code to authorize park districts to enter into a lease or other agreement related to the acquisition of solar energy, including the installation, maintenance, and service of solar panels, equipment and similar technology. The lease or agreement is limited to a term not to exceed 2 1/2 times the term authorized for equipment or machinery leases (8 years), and must be approved by a vote of 2/3 of the park district board.
P.A. 103-153 amends the Child Care Act of 1969 to amend the definition of “day care center” that is subject to the Act to expressly exempt certain programs offered by park districts for children 3 years or older so long as the program does not meet more than 3 1/2 continuous hours at a time or less and no more than than 25 hours during any week, and provided the park district conducts a background investigation on employees of the program pursuant to section 8-23 of the Park District Code.
P.A. 103-235 amends the Park District Code to expand the authorized use of the special “police program” tax that is authorized by Section 5-9 of the Park District Code to include the implementation and maintenance of “public safety and security measures” within the parks and playgrounds maintained by the district. The new law defines “public safety and security measures” to include security personnel, special events staff, safety audits, safety drills, active shooter training, security improvements, or safety-related upgrades to buildings, grounds, or facilities such as security lighting, video cameras, medical detectors, and emergency call boxes. Those districts where a majority of voters have already approved a police program tax by referendum are authorized to use their tax revenues for these new public safety and security measures.