Blog Authors

Latest from Municipal Minute

Since the Affordable Housing Planning and Appeal Act (Act) became effective in January 2004, housing affordability has inspired much debate in Illinois.  The Act requires all non-exempt municipalities (those with less than 10% affordable housing units in their communities) to adopt an affordable housing plan that includes, at a minimum, (1) a report indicating how many affordable units would need to be constructed to make a local government exempt from the reporting requirements (i.e., how many units would be needed to make 10% of all year-round housing within the locality affordable); (2) information on plots of land and existing structures which…
Don’t forgot to check out (and subscribe) to Ancel Glink’s employment law blog, The Workplace Report with Ancel Glink. A few recent posts are linked below: Federal Court Upholds Employer Mandate for the COVID-19 Vaccine Cybersecurity Tips Employers Should Know PSEBA Coverage Levels Now a Mandatory Subject of Bargaining EEOC Offiers Long-Awaited Guidance on Vaccinations What Local Governments Should Know about COBRA During the Pandemic       Related Stories Podcast Ep. 51: Parliamentary Procedures for Newly Elected Officials Trailer Bill to SAFE-T Act Sent to Governor Bills Propose Changes to Employee-Related Legislation  …
With the State moving to Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois plan last week, municipalities should be aware of various changes affecting liquor sales and delivery. State Guidance on Temporary Delivery and Off-Premises Sales Ends July 1, 2021 The Illinois Liquor Control Commission (ILCC) recently announced that many of its COVID-19 bulletins would be lifted July 1, 2021, including its “Guidance on Temporary Delivery of Alcoholic Liquor” and  “Guidance to Local Liquor Control Commissions for On-Premises Only Retailers.” The ILCC guidance allowed all licensed retailers, including on-premises only licensees, to make “to go” sales, curbside deliveries,…
The Illinois Municipal League (IML) just released the most recent edition of the Illinois Municipal Handbook (2021), the 19th edition  of this publication. The Municipal Handbook provides a complete overview of municipal government, home rule, elections, FOIA, Open Meetings, employment laws, zoning, property sale and purchase, ethics, and many other topics of interest to municipal officials and employees. The Municipal Handbook is published by the IML, and each chapter of the Handbook is authored by Ancel Glink attorneys who volunteer their time on this publication. This release is great timing for newly elected officials who would like a comprehensive overview…
Thanks to a Municipal Minute reader who submitted a FOIA to the PAC asking for copies of any binding PAC opinions issued during the time that the Attorney General’s website has been down, we have a copy of the fourth binding PAC opinion of 2021. In PAC Op. 21-004, the PAC found a municipality in violation of FOIA after it denied a FOIA request for communications between the city and an applicant for a zoning change. The city had denied the request arguing that the communications were part of the city’s “deliberative process” on the zoning application and were…
One of the bills that many municipalities were carefully monitoring was the trailer bill that proposed certain amendments to P.A. 101-0652, the “SAFE-T Act.” HB 3443 is a follow-up bill to the SAFE-T Act which was passed during the January General Assembly legislative session. This bill would provide updated and clarifying information to the massive set of provisions related to criminal justice and law enforcement reform. While the bill represents many comprehensive changes to the previous legislation, those most relevant to municipalities include the delay of newly mandated officer training to January 1, 2022 (from July 1, 2021), clarifications regarding…
The Illinois General Assembly sent a few finance-related bills to the Governor that may be of interest to local governments. TIF Reporting Requirements HB 0571 would amend the Tax Increment Allocation Redevelopment Act to require municipalities to prepare an analysis for the Comptroller and relevant taxing districts indicating the (1) nature and term of the obligation; (2) the projected debt service including required reserves and debt coverage; and (3) the actual debt service. Starting in FY-2022, municipalities will also be required to submit to the Comptroller and taxing districts certain information about job growth, property tax increment, and any identified…
in 2017 and 2018, a FOIA requestor submitted seven FOIA requests to three different public bodies. After the public bodies denied each request based on applicable FOIA exemptions, the requestor appealed each denial to the Illinois Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor (PAC). The PAC notified the requestor that no further action would be taken in response to his appeals. The requestor then filed a lawsuit against the PAC, alleging it violated FOIA by refusing to perform “a clear ministerial duty” by denying his requests for review.   The trial court ruled in favor of the PAC and dismissed the requester’s lawsuit…
The Illinois General Assembly sent a couple of bills that deal with land use and other regulator issues to the Governor this legislative session. Residential Gardens HB 0633 would, if sinto law, establish the “Garden Act” to create a right to cultivate gardens on residential property for growing vegetables, herbs, fruits, flowers, and other edible plants. The bill proposes to restrict the power of a home rule unit of local government to prohibit vegetable gardens but would not prevent public bodies from regulating the height, setbacks, water use, and similar elements of the gardens so long as the regulations do…
Today, we are providing updates to employee-related bills that passed both houses of the General Assembly and are now awaiting Governor action. If signed by the Governor, SB 539 would make changes to the Illinois Government Ethics Act and related ethics statutes. First, the legislation would modify the economic interests that certain government officers are required to disclose annually when they file their economic interest statement under the Act. For example, an individual required to file a statement of economic interest must also include certain interests of spouses and minor children. The Secretary of State would be required to publish…
Last week, we reported that two bills that would have amended the Open Meetings Act to expand the remote meeting procedures adopted during the pandemic were not approved in this legislative session. Since then, we have received some questions about when public bodies are required to go back to in-person meetings and the traditional procedures for remote meeting attendance. While only the Governor knows how long the COVID-19 disaster declaration will stay in place, we did see that Executive Order 2021-11 (issued on May 28, 2021) extended EO 2020-07 until June 26, 2021 – that was the EO that temporarily…
Ancel Glink just released Episode 53 of its Quorum Forum Podcast, Property Brothers: Park Edition. Information about this episode is below: Put in your earbuds, take a walk in the park, and join the “Property Brothers” to learn the ins and outs of the purchase, sale, and lease of park property. This popular session from the 2021 IAPD/IPRA Soaring to New Heights Virtual conference covers what park agencies need to know to evaluate property-related proposals from private and public sector entities alike, and how property transfers can help advance your organization’s mission.  What’s happening in your parks this summer?…
We have a lot of updates on the close of session activity of the Illinois General Assembly, more than we can possibly include in one post. Today, we will focus on a few bills that passed both houses and, if signed by the Governor, would affect meetings of public bodies. SB 2356 would, if signed by Governor Pritzker, amend the Open Meetings Act to provide that all public bodies are to meet and review the minutes of all closed meetings every six months, or as soon as practical given the nature of the public body’s business and schedule. The amendment…
Over the weekend, the Illinois General Assembly passed SB 825, modifying various provisions of the Election Code . The bill has been sent to the Governor and is awaiting signature. If the legislation is signed, the date of the 2022 primary election would be June 28, 2022. The first day to circulate petitions for the primary would be January 13, 2022, and candidate nominating petitions would have to be filed between March 7, 2022 and March 14, 2022. Any objections to the nominating petitions would have to be filed by March 21, 2022. In exchange for the shortened petition-circulation…
Recently, the Illinois Supreme Court issued a decision interpreting the Prevailing Wage Act  and clarifying the obligations of public bodies and contractors to pay damages for violations of the Act. Valerio et al. v. Moore Landscapes, LLC, 2021 IL 126139, The case was brought by a group of twelve landscape workers who performed work under a contract between their employer and the Chicago Park District. The case centered around the language of the contract between the Park District and the employer, which provided that the “[c]ontractor shall pay all persons employed by [it], or its subcontractors, prevailing wage rates…
An Illinois Appellate Court recently issued an opinion regarding the Public Safety Employment Benefits Act (PSEBA). In McCaffey v. Village of Hoffman Estates, the Appellate Court ruled that the Village was not obligated to pay insurance premiums for beneficiaries who had become eligible for Medicare coverage. One of the plaintiffs, a former police officer, was injured in the line of duty and applied for PSEBA health insurance benefits for his family and himself. Those benefits were granted by the Village in 2006. Some time around 2015, the former officer and his wife became eligible for Medicare based on disability.…