Publications

Illinois Bar Journal
Articles on Local Government

Population increased for liquor control commissioner restriction. PA 098-0010 August 2013 Illinois Law Update, Page 392 Under the Liquor Control Act of 1934, the mayor or board of trustees president (or their designee) shall be the local liquor control commissioner for their respective locality. 235 ILCS 5/4-2.
Update: Finding Illinois Municipal Ordinances Online (and Free!) By Tom Gaylord January 2013 Column, Page 46 A fresh look at websites that offer free online municipal codes.
Governmental tort immunity for ice and snow on recreational property By Adam W. Lasker December 2012 Lawpulse, Page 626 Plaintiffs can't recover from a local government for injuries caused when they slip on snow and ice on recreational property, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled recently.
Recovery for damage to local government-owned roadway property. PA 097-0373 June 2012 Illinois Law Update, Page 292 Illinois lawmakers have amended the Illinois Highway Code to allow local governments to request recovery for the costs of repairing or replacing damaged or destroyed local government-owned roadway property.
Illinois Municipal Code and implied preemption October 2010 Illinois Law Update, Page 508 On July 27, 2010, the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, reversed a decision of the Circuit Court of Cook County, finding that a local ordinance defining an abandoned gasoline station as a nuisance was not preempted by section 11-31-1 of the Illinois Municipal Code (65 ILCS 5/11-31-1). 
2010 Spring Session Roundup By Jim Covington August 2010 Column, Page 404 A summary of key Illinois legislation passed this spring.
Legal Immunities for Local Governments in Public Health Emergencies By Christina Marie Webb June 2010 Article, Page 314 A brief review of immunities available to local governments, governmental employees, and volunteers if they're sued for conduct arising from public health emergencies.
Not all dividing lines constitute “the border” line for the purposes of territory disconnection June 2010 Illinois Law Update, Page 292 On March 30, 2010, the Appellate Court of Illinois, Second District, on a matter of first impression, affirmed the decision of the Circuit Court of Kane County, denying a territory subdivision's petition to disconnect from the Village of Campton Hills.
2009 Spring Session Roundup By Jim Covington August 2009 Column, Page 396 A summary of key legislation.
Counties Code amended to address public facilities. PA 095-1002 April 2009 Illinois Law Update, Page 174 The Illinois General Assembly amended section 5-1006.5 of the Counties Code by adding terms which address "public facilities" in the "Special County Retailers' Occupation Tax" provision.
Act authorizes school districts to release juvenile truancy records. PA 095-1016 March 2009 Illinois Law Update, Page 122 The Illinois General Assembly amended the Illinois Municipal Code by changing Sections 1-2.2-20 and 11-5-9. 65 ILCS 5/1-2.2-20, 11-5-9. 
Illinois Zoning Law Six Years after Klaeren By George L. Schoenbeck February 2009 Article, Page 84 Legislation and subsequent cases have resolved some ambiguities in the landmark Klaeren decision while giving rise to others.
Additional requirements on municipalities awarding waste collection franchises. PA 095-0856 January 2009 Illinois Law Update, Page 16 The Illinois Municipal Code has been amended by modifying section 5/11-19-1 to add new language concerning the awarding of waste collection franchises. 65 ILCS 5/11-19-1. 
The term “emergency” in the Employee Benefits Act encompasses a variety of situations January 2009 Illinois Law Update, Page 16 On November 4, 2008, the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, affirmed the judgment of the Circuit Court of Lake County finding that the plaintiff was entitled to benefits under the Public Safety Employee Benefits Act (Employee Benefits Act), 820 ILCS 320/1 et seq.
Changes made to requirements for local government health plan December 2008 Illinois Law Update, Page 612 The Department of Central Management Services made a number of amendments to Title 80, Part 2160, relating to the Local Government Health Plan ("plan"). 80 Ill Adm Code 2160. 
Counties Code amended. PA 095-0805 December 2008 Illinois Law Update, Page 612 The Counties Code has been amended by adding section 42000 dealing with county ownership of a wind farm. 55 ILCS 5/42000. This new section provides that a county may "own and operate a wind generation turbine farm [wind farm]." 
Retalitory discharge: local governments not immune under Workers’ Comp Act By Helen W. Gunnarsson November 2008 Lawpulse, Page 548  Public employees can sue for being fired in retaliation for filing a workers' comp claim, the Illinois Supreme Court holds.
The Open Meetings Act v. client confidentiality By Helen W. Gunnarsson October 2008 Lawpulse, Page 498 A trial court's search for truth and the public's right to know may conflict with what local governments believe to be their right to confidential communications with counsel.    
No discretionary immunity for retaliatory discharge of employee June 2008 Illinois Law Update, Page 284 On April 17, 2008, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the circuit court's holding barring the plaintiff's retaliatory discharge claim against the Waukegan Park District due to the District's immunity under the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act (Tort Immunity Act), 745 ILCS 10/1-101 et seq.
Local public entity immune from retaliatory discharge claim August 2007 Illinois Law Update, Page 404 On June 6, 2007, the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, affirmed the order of the Circuit Court of Lake County dismissing Gregory Smith's retaliatory discharge complaint against the Waukegan Park District. 
Local governments barred from reverse auction evaluation of professional services bids -PA 094-1097 July 2007 Illinois Law Update, Page 348 The Illinois General Assembly has amended Section 5 of the Local Government Professional Services Selection Act, 50 ILCS 510/5. 
No governmental immunity for hazardous recreational activity By Helen W. Gunnarsson April 2007 Lawpulse, Page 170 The tort immunity act offers no blanket immunity for trampolining and other hazardous recreational activities, the high court rules.
When is holding multiple public offices verboten? By Helen W. Gunnarsson April 2007 Lawpulse, Page 170 A recent appellate case, and AG opinions over the years, illustrate that officeholders won't always be permitted to serve two masters.
Finding Illinois Municipal Ordinances Online By Tom Gaylord March 2007 Column, Page 156 They can be hard to come by online - here's where to find them.
E-Mail and the Open Meetings Act By John H. Brechin December 2006 Article, Page 666 Beginning in January, members of public bodies can attend by "electronic means" under some circumstances.or opines.
Bill would amend Open Meetings Act to address attendance by “electronic means” By Helen W. Gunnarsson August 2006 Lawpulse, Page 398 Proposed legislation would allow public officials to attend meetings electronically under specified circumstances. 
Disclosure of Government Documents: The Deliberative-Process Exemption By Paul N. Keller March 2005 Article, Page 140 Documents considered by a public body in formulating policy decisions are often exempt from disclosure under federal and state law.
Ethics overkill? By Helen W. Gunnarsson June 2004 Lawpulse, Page 286 The Illinois Municipal League and the Illinois AG offer competing model ethics-in-government ordinances for local governmental bodies.
Supreme court upholds constitutionality of unsafe-building demolition law By Helen W. Gunnarsson May 2004 Lawpulse, Page 236 The supreme court held recently that municipalities can tear down unsafe buildings as soon as the circuit court enters a demolition order.
Local governments cope with the verbatim-record requirement By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2004 Lawpulse, Page 118 What must public bodies do to comply with the new law? The answers are far from clear.