Member Groups

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

March 2001, vol. 2, no. 2

Legislative preview

The 92nd General Assembly convened January 10, 2001, for the start of its two-year term. During the first month of the session, more than 1,100 bills were introduced. Because of timing issues relative to the publication of this newsletter, we are unable to provide summaries of only those pieces of legislation that are actually moving through the system. Thus, we offer a synopsis of those bills which we believe may be of general interest to the government bar and suggest that you check the status of a particular bill with either your office's own legislative contact people or the ISBA's Legislative Affairs Department.

As this issue of the newsletter goes to press, the ISBA's Legislative Affairs Department has requested that the Committee on Government Lawyers review three pieces of legislation. A summary of those bills referred for review and the Committee's positions thereon follows.


Amends the Illinois Governmental Ethics Act to delete a provision requiring persons examining economic disclosure statements to provide personal information. Deletes a provision that requires a person whose statement is examined be notified of the examination. Provides that the Secretary of State shall make the statements of economic interest filed by candidates for and persons holding the offices of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Comptroller and State Treasurer and by members of and candidates to the General Assembly accessible through the World Wide Web.

The Committee on Government Lawyers recommended that the ISBA support HB 32 because it promotes openness in government by eliminating the requirement that the identity of an individual seeking to examine a statement of economic interest be revealed. The Committee also suggested the amendment of the bill to allow for the exclusion of certain "personal information" found in the statements of economic interest from the Internet posting requirements.


Amends the Illinois Governmental Ethics Act, the Fiscal Note Act, the Lobbyist Registration Act and the Illinois Procurement Code to prohibit former state employees, whose duties directly related to procurement, from doing substantially similar business with their former state agency for two years. Prohibits current and former state employees from using confidential information, available due to their employment, for personal gain. Limits the cost of meals per person paid for by the state at state-sponsored events.

While the Committee on Government Lawyers supports that portion of HB 93 which promotes ethics and integrity in government by prohibiting former state employees from doing business with their former employer, the Committee was concerned that only those state employees whose duties relate to procurement were prohibited from using confidential information for personal gain. Therefore, the Committee took no position on the bill.


Amends the Human Rights Act. Provides, inter alia, that nothing in the Act shall be construed as requiring any employer, employment agency, or labor organization to give preferential treatment or special rights or implement affirmative action policies or programs based on sexual orientation. Defines "sexual orientation."

While the Committee on Government Lawyers questioned the approach adopted to address the issue of discrimination based upon sexual orientation, the Committee recommended that the ISBA support the concept set forth in HB 101 because it promotes and further extends the fundamental right to equal protection under the law.

The Committee is also aware of the following pieces of legislation which may be general interest to the government bar.

SB-0006 and HB-0397

Amends the Election Code. Requires presidential and vice-presidential electors to cast their votes for the winner of the statewide popular vote.

SB-0016 and HB-0151

Amends provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure concerning the inspection of hospital and medical records. Provides that the charges imposed by a hospital or physician for copying records may not exceed a $25 handling charge plus 37 cents per page. Allows charges for shipping. Provides that the rates shall be automatically adjusted for inflation each year. Applies the same maximum charge to records of other health care practitioners, clinical psychologists, clinical social workers and attorneys.


Amends the County Jail Act. Requires county sheriffs to adopt and implement a written policy that provides for the release of a person in the custody of the sheriff to other law enforcement personnel or the state's attorney for the purpose of furthering investigations into criminal matters. Provides that the sheriff is not liable for any injury to the person released or to a third party during the period that the person released is in the custody of other law enforcement personnel or the state's attorney, unless the sheriff or a deputy sheriff, correctional guard, lockup keeper or county employee is guilty of willful and wanton conduct that proximately caused the injury.


Amends the Child Death Review Team Act to create the Illinois Death Review Teams Executive Council to coordinate and oversee Illinois' child death review teams. Amends the Open Meetings Act and the Freedom of Information Act to exempt the Illinois Child Death Review Teams Executive Council from the provisions of those Acts.

HB-0010 and HB-0051

Amends the Illinois Vehicle Code to permit the use of a single-sided headset with cellular or other mobile telephones.


Amends the Illinois Vehicle Code to provide that the Secretary of State may not knowingly disclose or make available for commercial solicitation purposes a photograph or digitally produced and captured image of any individual obtained by the Secretary's office in connection with a motor vehicle record.


Amends the Election Code to change from $150 to $5 the minimum aggregate campaign contribution or expenditure that must be disclosed per contributor or recipient.

HB-0077 and HB-0134

Amends the Toll Highway Act to prohibit directors of the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority, their employees and agents from receiving financial benefit from the letting of Authority contracts during their terms of service and for a period of one year following termination of their positions or employment with the Authority. Extends this prohibition to the immediate family or household members of the directors, employees and agents of the Authority.


Amends the State Finance Act and the Illinois State Collection Act of 1986 to require that the Auditor General establish a Debt Collection Unit for the collection of overdue debts owed to the state. Beginning July 1, 2002, requires state agencies other than universities to determine the collectibility of debts using rules adopted by the Auditor General and to turn over to the Debt Collection Unit debts more than 90 days overdue. Abolishes in 2002 the Debt Collection Board, the Comptroller's use of special account receivable funds, and the use of private collection services by individual state agencies.


Creates the State Loan Act to provide that the name of a person lent state money must be made public. Amends the Illinois Department of Revenue Sunshine Act to authorize the Department to disclose information about delinquent taxpayers after giving at least 90 days notice of intent to disclose the information.

HB-0201 and SB-063

Amends the Secretary of State Act to require the Secretary of State to appoint, with the advice and consent of the Senate, an Inspector General. Provides that the Secretary of State may designate the Inspector General and members of the Inspector General's office as peace officers after those persons have completed basic police training. Provides for the powers and duties of the Inspector General.


Amends the Criminal Code of 1961. With respect to eavesdropping, exempts electronic video and audio recordings made of a custodial interrogation of an individual by a law enforcement officer.


Amends the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963. Provides that an electronic criminal surveillance officer specially designated by a state's attorney may intercept a private oral communication before a court order authorizing the interception is issued under certain emergency situations if an application for the order is filed with the chief judge within 48 hours after interception of the communication begins. Provides that the order is retroactive to the time the interception began to occur (current law requires the state's attorney to obtain oral approval for the interception).

HB-0241 and HB-0243

Amends the State Employees Group Insurance Act of 1971, the Counties Code, the Illinois Municipal Code, the School Code, the Illinois Insurance Code, the Health Maintenance Organization Act, and the Voluntary Health Services Plans Act by providing that if a policy provides coverage for prescription drugs approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of impotency, then the policy must provide coverage for prescription drugs for the prevention of pregnancy.

HB-0289 and HB-0610

Amends the Illinois Governmental Ethics Act. Provides that a person whose multiple offices or positions each require a statement of economic interests need file only one statement with the Secretary of State, for offices and positions required to file with the Secretary of State, or one statement with a county clerk, for offices and positions required to file with that county clerk.


Amends the Illinois Highway Code and Illinois Municipal Code. Provides that county boards, highway commissioners, and municipalities shall exclusively use competitively bid contracts for certain activities concerning the construction, repair, and maintenance of county highways, district roads, and municipal streets.


Amends the Election Code and the Criminal Code of 1961. Creates the Class A misdemeanor of solicitation misconduct. Prohibits a public officer or employee from receiving or soliciting campaign contributions from a person whose business or activity the officer or employee regulates. Requires state agencies to notify the Secretary of State of the officers and employees with regulatory responsibilities, but provides that an officer or employee not so designated may be found guilty of solicitation misconduct. Requires forfeiture office or employment upon conviction. Requires relief for an employee discriminated against because of his or her anti-solicitation misconduct activities. Requires the Department of State Police to establish a toll-free telephone number for reporting solicitation misconduct, and makes false reporting a Class C misdemeanor. Prohibits a candidate or political committee treasurer from receiving contributions resulting from solicitation misconduct, and makes violation a Class A misdemeanor. Provides that prohibited contributions escheat to the state.


Amends the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act. Provides that every municipality must submit to the Department of State Police a copy of every ordinance adopted by the municipality that regulates the acquisition, possession, or transfer of firearms within the municipality and must submit, as soon as possible after adoption, every such ordinance adopted after the initial submission. Provides that the Department of State Police shall compile the ordinances and publish them in a form available to the public free of charge and shall periodically update the compilation.


Amends the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act. Provides that no action for damages for injury or death arising out of patient care may be brought against a local entity or public employee more than two years (instead of one year) after the claimant knew or should have known of the injury or death, but in no event more than four years after the act alleged to have caused the injury or death. Applies to pending actions.


Amends the Counties Code. Provides that the state shall reimburse counties for compensation paid to the Public Defender in counties having a population of less than 500,000. Provides that the reimbursement amount shall be equal to 40% of the salary paid to the state's attorney in counties having a population of less than 500,000 but more than 100,000, and 25% of the salary paid to the state's attorney in counties having a population of 100,000 or less.


Amends various Acts to abolish the death penalty. Provides that on or after the effective date of this amendatory Act no person may be executed. Requires re-sentencing of those already sentenced to death. Repeals the Capital Crimes Litigation Act on July 1, 2003.


Creates the State Appointee Contract Prohibition Act and amends the Illinois Procurement Code. Prohibits an appointed member of a board, commission, authority, or task force authorized or created by state law, and entities in which the appointee has majority ownership or managerial responsibility, from having contracts with the state, units of local government, and school districts that relate to the entity to which he or she is appointed. Applies to the spouse and immediate family members of an appointee. Applies during and for one year after the person's term office. Makes violation a business offense punishable by a $1,000 minimum and $5,000 maximum fine.


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, or entities in which they or their spouses and immediate family members have majority financial interests. Requires disclosure by appointees of their campaign contributions to General Assembly members and candidates and executive branch constitutional officers and candidates before, during, and after their appointments. Makes violation a business offense with a $1,000 fine. Makes disclosures public records.

HB-0591 and HB-0596

Amends the Elder Abuse and Neglect Act. Extends the list of mandated reporters of elder abuse to bankers and lawyers. Provides that professionals who are mandated reporters who willfully fail to report suspected elder abuse shall be referred to the appropriate professional disciplinary board and that other mandated reporters who willfully fail to report are guilty of a misdemeanor.


Amends the Open Meetings Act. Provides that, for the purposes of the Act, "public body" does not include a Metropolitan Enforcement Group (MEG) Policy Board or any combination of law enforcement agencies established to enforce the penal laws of the state.


Amends the Legislative Information System Act. Requires the Legislative Information System to make roll call votes, transcripts of debates, and audio streams controlled by the Clerk of the House and the Secretary of the Senate available to the public in electronic form. Provides that the audio streams must be made available uninterrupted and digitally recordable on the World Wide Web. Amends the General Assembly Organization Act. Makes it a Class 4 felony to (i) knowingly and without lawful authority interfere with computerized data of the legislative branch or (ii) knowingly and with malicious intent falsify copies of legislative information made available to the public.


Amends the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963. Provides that the state's attorney may designate a person to authorize an application to a circuit judge or an associate judge assigned by the Chief Judge of the circuit for use of an eavesdropping device by a law enforcement officer or agency. Provides that the order for use of an eavesdropping device may not be for more than 30 (now 10) days and an extension no more than 30 (now 10) days each. Provides that no later than 160 (now 90) days after the filing of the application for an order of authorization or approval that is denied or not later than 160 (now 90) days after the termination of the period of an order or extension of the order, the judge issuing or denying the issuance of the eavesdropping order shall cause to be served on the persons overheard during the period of (rather than named in) the order or application a notice of the transaction involving any requested or completed use of the eavesdropping device.


Amends the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act. Provides that no employee may be considered a "managerial employee" because (i) he or she belongs to a classification of employees to whom executive and management functions may be delegated or (ii) he or she performs professional duties. Provides that in determining an employee's status the labor board shall consider the employee's actual job duties and responsibilities and the extent to which the employee has actual authority concerning the overall operations and governance of the employee's office or workplace.


Amends the Freedom of Information Act, the State Records Act, the Department of State Police Law of the Civil Administrative Code of Illinois, the Local Records Act, the Campus Security Act, the Illinois Vehicle Code, and the Code of Civil Procedure. Specifies that references to news media include print and electronic format newspapers, periodicals, and news services and include television networks.