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Government Lawyers Newsletter
The newsletter of the ISBA’s Standing Committee on Government Lawyers

May 2003, vol. 4, no. 5

Legislative update

The following is a synopsis of bills introduced during the 93rd General Assembly that may be of general interest to government attorneys. The summaries are of the bills as introduced. Some of the bills may have been amended, and the amendments are not summarized here. Copies of bills, as well as additional information about the bills, may be found at: <www.ilga.gov>.

HB 47--Creates the State Appointee Disclosure Act. Requires appointees of State boards, commissions, authorities and task forces to disclose to the Secretary of State contracts between the State and themselves, their spouses and immediate family members who have majority financial interests and certain campaign contributions made to candidates before, during, and after their appointments.

HB 69--Creates the State Facility Closing Act. Requires that an economic impact statement be performed and a report submitted to the General Assembly prior to the closing of the facility or agency or the layoff of the agency's staff. The community where the closure occurred shall have priority for the construction or location of a new facility.

HB 89--Amends the State Finance Act and the Illinois State Collection Act of 1986. Requires that the Auditor General establish a Debt Collection Unit for collection of overdue debts owed to the State.

HB 305--Amends the Open Meetings Act and the Freedom of Information Act. Allows a public body to hold closed meetings to consider the prevention of and response to dangers to public safety and property.

HB 438--Amends the Freedom of Information Act. Provides that the court shall award reasonable costs, including attorney fees at trial and on appeal, to litigants who prevail in a proceeding against a public body that has violated the Act.

HB 469--Amends the State Lawsuit Immunity Act. Provides that a worker, former worker, or prospective worker of the State who is aggrieved by any conduct or action of the State that would constitute a violation of the Federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and certain related acts, may bring a civil action against the State.

HB 539--Amends the Freedom of Information Act. Provides that a private gain or public loss, the expectation of which exempts certain information from the Act's inspection and copying requirements, does not include a news medium's dissemination of information regarding the public's health, safety, welfare, and legal rights.

HB 1456--Amends the Administrative Procedure Act. Creates the Office of Administrative Hearings to conduct hearings for agencies under the Governor, except certain specified boards and commissions.

HB 3452--Creates the Human Voice Contact Act. Provides that a State agency that uses automated telephone answering equipment to answer incoming telephone calls must, during normal business hours, provide a caller with the option of speaking to a live operator.

SB 106--Creates the State's Attorney Prohibited Loan Act and amends the Election Code. Prohibits a state's attorney or candidate for the office of state's attorney from taking loans, loan guarantees, or the promise of loans from attorneys or law firms that during the previous two years represented a defendant in criminal matters in the circuit court of the county where the state's attorney holds or the candidate seeks office.

SB 690--Amends the Freedom of Information Act. Removes the requirements for the awarding of attorney fees in a suit resulting from the denial of the disclosure of a public record that the record be highly significant to the general public and that the public body lacked a reasonable basis for the denial.

SB 915--Creates the State Employee Leave Sharing Act. Requires the Department of Central Management Services to adopt rules allowing a State employee to share unused sick, vacation, or personal time with that employee's spouse if the spouse, whether employed by the same or another State agency, is eligible for sick, vacation, or personal time and has used all of the sick, vacation, or personal time available to him or her.

SB 1416--Amends Freedom of Information Act. Requires the Secretary of State to maintain an updated directory of contact information about persons designated by public bodies to whom requests should be directed to for the copying and inspection of public records.

SB 1504--Creates the Office of Administrative Hearings to conduct hearings for agencies under the jurisdiction of the Governor, except for certain specified boards and commissions.

SB 1510--Amends the Freedom of Information Act. Provides that information held by any State agency, including public pension funds, regarding certain investment information that is considered a trade secret be exempt from the Act.

SB 1530--Amends the Procurement Code. Creates a five-year ban against bids from and contracts with businesses with personnel convicted of felonies under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act or Securities Law and requires that bids and contracts certify that the business is not barred by the ban.

SB 1648--Amends the Procurement Code. Sets forth procedures for the award of contracts for construction management services and requires State agencies to provide public notice of all projects requiring construction management services.

SB 1872--Creates the Whistleblower Act. Provides that an employer may not: (1) make, adopt, or enforce any rule, regulation, or policy preventing an employee from disclosing information to a government or law enforcement agency if the employee has reasonable cause to believe that the information discloses a violation of a State or federal law, rule, or regulation; (2) retaliate against an employee for disclosing information to a government or law enforcement agency, where the employee has reasonable cause to believe that the information discloses a violation of a State or federal law, rule, or regulation; or (3) retaliate against an employee for refusing to participate in an activity that would result in a violation of a State or federal law, rule, or regulation.

The following is a list of bills that may be of general interest to government attorneys that did not make it out of committee by the deadline and therefore are considered dead for this session:

HB 0038--Former State Worker Business Restrictions

HB 0049--State Worker Contract Ban

HB 2218--Defrauding the State

HB 2258--Governmental Account Audit, Fund Financial Statements

HB 2643--State Leases/Payment Reductions

HB 2766--Procurement/Property Lease Options

HB 2767--Procurement/Capital Projects

HB 2768--Procurement/Notification of Changes

HB 2917--End of Term Employment

HB 3046--State Worker Political Work Procedures

HB 3328--Public Officer Misconduct

HB 3617--Administrative Procedure Rules Adoption

HB 3696--Public Officer Misconduct Prosecution

HB 3697--Government Ethics Pledge

SB 1489--Legally Due Taxes Lawsuits

SB 1520--Joint Committee on Administrative Rules Votes

SB 1871--State Officials, Employees B Ethics

SB 1875--Procurement Code, Contract Interests

SB 1885--Attorney General/Office of Civil Rights

SB 2001--Government Ethics/Interests Reporting


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