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

April 2002, vol. 3, no. 3

Legislative review

The 92nd General Assembly re-convened in January, 2002, for the start of the second year of its two-year term. Since the General Assembly adjourned last summer, over 3,500 bills have been 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.

HB 3641

Amends the School Code, various Acts relating to the governance of the public universities in Illinois, and the Public Community College Act. Prohibits a school district, university, or community college from providing student's name, address, telephone number, social security number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information to a business organization or financial institution that issues credit or debit cards. Effective immediately.

HB 3642

Amends the Counties Code and the Election Code. Authorizes advisory referenda concerning (i) the number of members of the county board to be elected, (ii) whether the board members should be elected from single-member districts, multi-member districts, or at-large, or (iii) both. Provides that the advisory referenda may be initiated by an ordinance of the county board or by a petition containing the signatures of one percent of the registered voters of the county. Removes this type of advisory referenda from the general limit of three public questions per ballot. Effective immediately.

HB 3653

Amends the Open Meetings Act. Provides that tourism boards and convention or civic center boards (now tourism boards and convention or civic center boards located in counties that are contiguous to the Mississippi River with populations of more than 250,000 but less than 300,000) are public bodies for purposes of the Act. Provides that a tourism board or a convention or civic center board may hold closed meetings to consider convention contracts or convention contract proposals.

HB 3682

Amends the Open Meetings Act. Allows closed meetings to consider security procedures with respect to dangers to private property (as well as public property) and to consider security procedures with respect to dangers to citizens. Amends the Freedom of Information Act to exempt from the Act's inspection and copying requirements utility, building, and construction-related information to the extent disclosure would compromise security.

HB 3717

Amends the Unified Code of Corrections. Permits the Department of State Police to require the submission of saliva or tissue specimens as well as blood specimens to the Department for analysis and categorizing into genetic marker groupings. Requires the specimens to be submitted by persons convicted or found guilty of an offense classified as a felony under Illinois law or found guilty or given supervision for such an offense under the Juvenile Court Act of 1987. Requires a person incarcerated in a Department of Corrections facility to submit the blood, saliva, or tissue specimens before his or her release on parole or mandatory supervised release, as a condition of that parole or mandatory supervised release. Effective immediately.

HB 3734

Amends the Public Funds Accounting Act. Authorizes the treasurer of any public or municipal corporation to use an electronic funds transfer as a method of disbursement. Effective immediately.

HB 3769

Amends the Illinois Municipal Code. Provides that if the city council or board of trustees fails to give its advice and consent to an appointment of a qualified person to the office of alderman or trustee prior to the 60th day after a vacancy occurs and if the mayor or president has nominated a minimum of two persons for appointment and each has failed to be confirmed, the mayor or president may make a temporary appointment from those persons who were nominated but failed to be confirmed. Provides that the person shall serve until an appointee has been nominated, confirmed, and qualified or until a person has been elected and qualified.

HB 3772

Amends the State Lawsuit Immunity Act. Provides that an employee, former employee, or prospective employee of the State who is aggrieved by any conduct or action or inaction of the State that would constitute a violation of the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, or the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 may bring a civil action against the State for legal or equitable relief to effectuate the purposes of those Acts. Provides that an employee of the State who is aggrieved by any conduct or action or inaction of the State that would constitute a violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 may bring a civil action against the State for legal or equitable relief to effectuate the purposes of that Act.

HB 3795

Amends the Election Code. Provides that the State Board of Elections shall post on its World Wide Web site an Internet voters' guide containing candidate portraits and statements and explanatory statements of and arguments supporting and opposing public questions. Sets the requirements for material that may be included in the voters' guide. Provides for the review of material to be included in the guide. Provides that the Board may charge fees for the inclusion of material in the guide. Provides that a county may post on its World Wide Web site a county voters' guide for any regular election. Contains other provisions.

HB 3810

Amends the Election Code. Provides that persons serving as election judges may be absent from work after giving 20 days' written notice to their employers. Provides that an employer may not penalize an employee for an absence to serve as election judge other than a deduction in salary for the time the employee is absent from the place of employment. Exempts employers with fewer than 25 employees. Provides that an employer with 25 to 100 employees need not permit more than two employees to be absent on the same election day. Provides that employers with more than 100 employees shall not be required to permit more than three percent of the employees to be absent on the same election day to serve as election judges.

HB 3933

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 to provide that if a policy provides coverage for prescription drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of impotency, then the policy must provide coverage for prescription drugs for the prevention of pregnancy.

HB 3938

Amends the School Code. Repeals provisions with regard to prohibiting the use or possession of any cellular radio telecommunication device by a pupil while the pupil is in a school building or on school property. Effective immediately.

HB 4078

Creates the Lawyers' Assistance Program Act and amends the State Finance Act. Authorizes the Illinois Supreme Court to enter into contracts or agreements with or make grants to non-profit entities to provide assistance to lawyers who are addicted, abuse alcohol or other substances, or are in need of mental health assistance. Requires the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission to collect an annual fee from licensed attorneys in the amount of $7 or as set by Supreme Court rule. Creates a special fund in the State treasury for deposit of the fees and for payment for the lawyers' assistance program. Effective immediately.

HB 4098

Among other things, amends the State Appellate Defender Act. Provides that the State Appellate Defender shall establish, maintain, and carry out an Expungement Program to provide information and assistance to persons eligible to have their arrest or criminal history record information ordered expunged, sealed or impounded. Provides that the State Appellate Defender shall develop brochures, pamphlets and other materials in printed form and through the agency's World Wide Web site that include at a minimum the following information: (1) an explanation of the State's expungement process; (2) the circumstances under which expungements may occur; (3) the criminal offenses that may be expunged; (4) the steps necessary to initiate and complete the expungement process; and (5) directions on how to contact the State Appellate Defender. Provides that the State Appellate Defender shall establish and maintain a statewide toll-free telephone number that a person may use to receive information or assistance concerning the expungement or sealing of arrest or criminal history record information. Provides that the State Appellate Defender shall compile a statewide list of volunteer attorneys willing to assist eligible individuals through the expungement process. Provides that the Program shall be implemented from funds appropriated to the State Appellate Defender for this purpose. Effective immediately.

HB 4203

Amends the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963. Permits the admissibility of evidence in a criminal case of a statement made by a witness that narrates, describes, or explains a statement made by a defendant of which the witness had personal knowledge.

HB 4287

Amends the Counties Code. Provides that in a county with fewer than 2,000,000 inhabitants, certain contracts for services, materials, equipment, or supplies in excess of $20,000 (instead of $10,000) must be let by competitive bid.

HB 4292

Amends the Illinois Vehicle Code. Provides that a person who fails or refuses to comply with an officer's request to show proof insurance is guilty of a petty offense and shall be required to pay a fine of $25. Provides that the fine shall be in addition to any fine that may be imposed for operation of an uninsured motor vehicle.

HB 4337

Amends the Property Tax Code. Provides that a county supervisor of assessments who has served as a supervisor of assessments for 12 years or more is qualified to hold office if he or she has a Certified Illinois Assessing Official certificate from the Illinois Property Assessment Institute with a minimum of 360 additional hours of successfully completed courses approved by the Department of Revenue if at least 180 of the course hours required a written examination. Effective immediately.

HB 4354

Amends the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act. Provides that a local public entity may indemnify an employee or former employee for attorney's fees incurred in defending a claim or action instituted against the employee based on an injury allegedly arising out of an act or omission occurring within the scope of employment. Effective immediately.

HB 4397

Amends the Illinois Municipal Code. Provides that a municipality with 20,000 or more inhabitants may adopt, by ordinance or resolution, at least 180 days prior to the first municipal election following the municipality's receipt of the new federal decennial census results, the following number of aldermen: in cities exceeding 20,000 by not exceeding 50,000, 10 aldermen; exceeding 50,000 but not exceeding 70,000, 14 aldermen; exceeding 70,000 but not exceeding 90,000, 16 aldermen; and exceeding 90,000 but not exceeding 500,000, 18 aldermen. Provides that a municipality with at least 40,000 inhabitants but not more than 50,000 inhabitants may adopt, by either ordinance or resolution, at least 180 days prior to the first municipal election following the municipality's receipt of the new federal decennial census results, 16 aldermen. Effective immediately.

HB 4411

Amends the Open Meetings Act and the Freedom of Information Act. Permits a public body to hold a closed meeting to consider the subject of dangers to public safety. Exempts from inspection and copying requirements (i) a public body's records compiled for emergency and security procedures, to the extent disclosure would interfere with planning, training, and security, and (ii) plans related to the structure or operation of public buildings and power, water, and transportation facilities, to the extent disclosure would compromise public safety. In the Freedom of Information Act, includes transmission and distribution facilities among the facilities for which plans are exempt and includes within the exemption vulnerability and risk assessment plans for the security of public and private facilities. Includes vulnerability and risk assessment plans among a public body's public safety plans that are exempt from inspection and copying requirements. Effective immediately.

HB4897

Creates the Freedom to Be a Patriot Act. Provides that the display of the American flag may not be prohibited in buildings owned, leased, or controlled by the State.

HB 4938

Amends the State Records Act. Adds a legislative policy. Includes "digitized electronic material" and "databases" in the definition of "record". Exempts "blank forms" from the definition of "record." Removes the exemptions of "processed documents" and "reports of impaired physicians" from the definition of "record." Provides that records created or received by or coming under the authority of or coming into the custody, control, or possession of public officials are public property and may not be destroyed except as provided by law and must be available for public inspection. Deletes the provision that the person in charge of records may require a 24-hour notice before inspection. Deletes the provision allowing access through an affidavit to information that is not defined as "public records" but that is open to the public. Provides requirements for storing electronic records. Provides that the State Archives Board shall also serve as the Illinois State Historical Records Advisory Board and provides requirements for the Board. Repeals Sections concerning the confidentially of foster placement records, arrests, penalties, and agency procedures for record destruction. Makes other changes. Effective immediately.

HB 4976

Amends the Counties Code. Provides that a county board may by ordinance impose and collect an increase in any statutorily authorized fee when justified by an acceptable cost study showing that the current fee is not sufficient to cover the cost of providing the service. Provides that the county board must prepare a statement of the costs of providing each service and that all documents in support of the increase are subject to public audit and inspection. Provides that the provisions authorizing a county board to increase any statutorily authorized fees if justified by an acceptable cost study do not apply to any fees of the Clerk of the Circuit Court as provided in the Clerks of Courts Act. Provides for a $10 fee for sheriffs in counties of first and second class for committing each prisoner to and discharging each prisoner from jail. Provides that the court service fee shall be $25 (currently, a differential rate for different categories of criminal or civil cases, but not to exceed $15). Effective December 1, 2002.

HB 5000

Amends the Liquor Control Act of 1934. Provides that the Illinois Liquor Control Commission may appoint, at the Commission's discretion, hearing officers. Effective immediately.

HB 5583

Amends the Illinois Vehicle Code. Provides that the Department of Transportation may furnish to any person or entity in bulk electronic form copies of accident records from which any personally identifying information has been removed, if the person or entity has stated in writing that the records will be used only for identifying vehicles that have been involved in accidents or damaged and not for identifying individuals.

HB 5646

Amends the Election Code. Until July 1, 2003, authorizes election authorities to use facsimile machines or other electronic means to transmit absentee ballot applications and absentee ballots to military personnel otherwise qualified to vote. Until July 1, 2003, authorizes military personnel to transmit completed absentee ballots by facsimile machine. Effective immediately.

HB 5654

Amends the Counties Code. Provides that each county must establish a written protocol to deal with homicides and questionable deaths. Provides that the protocol must be promulgated by the Coroner, Sheriff, State's Attorney, all fire departments and fire protection districts located in the county, and all police departments located in the county. Provides elements that must be included in the protocol.

HB 5681

Amends the State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor's Act. Allows the Office of the State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor, when requested and authorized by the Attorney General, to file briefs with and argue before the Illinois Supreme Court. Allows the Office to assist State's Attorneys in connection with the Cannabis Control Act and the Drug Asset Forfeiture Act. Allows the Office to prosecute other cases, with the consent of the State's Attorney responsible for the case. Allows the Office to act as Special Prosecutor with the consent of the Attorney General and if appointed by a court having jurisdiction. Provides procedures for the appointment.

HB 5714

Amends the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963. Provides that when the conditions of the bail bond have been performed and the accused has been discharged from all obligations, the court shall order the return of 80 percent (rather than 90 percent) of the bail amount and shall retain 20 percent (rather than 10 percent) of the amount deposited as bail bond costs. Provides that the court shall not order bail bond deposited by or on behalf of a defendant in one case to be used to satisfy the financial obligations of that same defendant in a different case until the bail bond is first used to satisfy any unpaid child support obligations.

HB 5808

Creates the State Agency Web Site Act. Provides that each State agency shall include a privacy policy on the agency's Web site. Sets forth contents of the privacy policy. Provides that conspicuous hyperlinks to the privacy policy shall be located on the Web site's home page and on other locations on the Web site where personal information is collected or tracking technology is used. Provides that a State agency may not gather data from users on the agency's Web site unless it demonstrates a compelling need to do so and that the compelling need, if any, shall be identified as such and stated as part of the privacy policy.

HB 5830

Amends the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963. Changes from 120 days to 110 days the time period within which a person must be tried after being taken into custody if not on bail or recognizance and from 160 days to 150 days the time period within which a person must be tried after demanding trial if the person was released on bail or recognizance. Adds procedures for determining what periods are or are not counted. Provides that, if the court rules that the applicable time period for trying a defendant has expired, the court must set the case for trial within 10 days, except as otherwise specified. Makes other changes.

HB 6003

Creates the Illinois Civil Law Notary Act. Authorizes the Secretary of State to appoint attorneys licensed in Illinois and with five years experience as civil law notaries. Sets forth the authority and obligations of a civil law notary. Authorizes the Secretary of State to adopt rules to implement and enforce the Act. Provides for criminal liability for official misconduct, impersonation of a civil law notary, and unlawful possession of an official seal. Authorizes injunctions for unlawful practice as a civil law notary. Contains other provisions.

SB 1537

Creates the Emergency Evacuation Plan for People With Disabilities Act. Provides that an emergency evacuation plan must be in place for every high rise structure (defined as an office structure, hotel, or residential building with a height that exceeds 80 feet) for the safe and timely evacuation of people with disabilities. Specifies elements of plans. Specifies additional requirements for hotels that are high rise structures. Provides that emergency evacuation drills shall be conducted at least four times a year. Provides that the Illinois Emergency Management Agency shall adopt rules for implementing the new Act. Amends the State Mandates Act to require implementation without reimbursement by the State. Effective immediately.

SB 1555

Creates the Higher Education Institution Symbol and Trademark Act. Prohibits a person from using the symbol of a public institution of higher education without the prior consent of that institution. Provides that a person who violates this prohibition is guilty of a Class C misdemeanor for a first offense and a Class A misdemeanor for a second or subsequent offense. Effective immediately.

SB 1635

Amends the Illinois Municipal Code. Provides that a municipality with 20,000 or more inhabitants may adopt, by ordinance or resolution, at least 180 days prior to the first municipal election following the municipality's receipt of the new federal decennial census results, the following number of aldermen: in cities exceeding 20,000 by not exceeding 50,000, 10 aldermen; exceeding 50,000 but not exceeding 70,000, 14 aldermen; exceeding 70,000 but not exceeding 90,000, 16 aldermen; and exceeding 90,000 but not exceeding 500,000, 18 aldermen. Provides that a municipality with at least 40,000 inhabitants but not more than 50,000 inhabitants may adopt, by either ordinance or resolution, at least 180 days prior to the first municipal election following the municipality's receipt of the new federal decennial census results, 16 aldermen. Effective immediately.

SB 1704

Amends the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963. Provides that a peace officer may conduct temporary questioning and make arrests in any jurisdiction within this State if the officer, while on duty as a peace officer, is requested by an appropriate State or local law enforcement official to render aid or assistance to the requesting law enforcement agency that is outside the officer's primary jurisdiction.

SB 1706

Amends the Freedom of Information Act. Changes the exemption from the Act's inspection and copying requirements for computer graphic systems to an exemption for computer geographic systems. Effective immediately.

SB 1756

Amends the Open Meetings Act. Requires that a public body post its agenda at least 72, rather than 48, hours before a regular meeting. If a public body has a Web site, requires that the public body post meeting notices, agendas, and minutes on that Web site.

SB 1779

Amends the State Employee Article of the Illinois Pension Code. Allows a member to apply for service and earnings credit, without any additional contribution, for a period of up to five days of involuntary furlough resulting from a State fiscal emergency. Effective immediately.

SB 1909

Amends the Liquor Control Act of 1934. Provides that an alderman or member of a city council or commission, a member of a village board of trustees, other than the president, or a member of a county board, other than the president, may have a direct interest in a manufacturer or distributor of alcoholic liquor if the manufacturer or distributor is not required to hold a local liquor license. Authorizes the delivery and sale of alcoholic liquor on any golf course owned by a park district organized under the Park District Code, subject to the approval of the governing board of the district.

SB 1946

Amends the Clerks of Courts Act. Provides that in counties having a population in excess of 500,000 inhabitants but less than 3,000,000 inhabitants and in relation to units of local government and school districts in counties with more than 3,000,000 inhabitants, for each page of hard copy print output, when case records are maintained on an automated medium, the circuit clerk is entitled to a minimum fee of $1 (rather than $4).

SB 1971

Amends the Clerks of Courts Act. Provides that in counties having a population in excess of 650,000 inhabitants but less than 3,000,000 inhabitants and in relation to fees charged to units of local government and school districts in counties with more than 3,000,000 inhabitants when a mailing fee is generated using an automated record keeping system, the fee shall be remitted monthly by the clerk to the county treasurer and retained as part of the court automation fund.

SB 2016

Amends the Counties Code. Provides that no county with a population under 2,000,000 may reduce the rate of compensation of its sheriff below the rate of compensation that it is actually paying to its sheriff on January 1, 2002 or the effective date of this amendatory Act. Also provides for an annual cost of living adjustment. Beginning December 1, 2002, with respect to the optional salary that may be paid to the Supervisor of Safety, retains the optional character but changes the maximum annual amounts to minimums. Amends the Local Government Officer Compensation Act to exempt these changes from the 180 day rule. Amends the State Mandates Act to require implementation without reimbursement. Effective immediately.

SB 2024

Amends the Unified Code of Corrections. Permits the Department of State Police to require the submission of saliva or tissue specimens as well as blood specimens to the Department for analysis and categorizing into genetic marker groupings. Requires the specimens to be submitted by persons convicted or found guilty of an offense classified as a felony under Illinois law or found guilty or given supervision for such an offense under the Juvenile Court Act of 1987. Requires a person incarcerated in a Department of Corrections facility to submit the blood, saliva, or tissue specimens before his or her release on parole or mandatory supervised release, as a condition of that parole or mandatory supervised release. Effective immediately.

SB 2074

Amends the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963. Provides that the clerk of the court may add a delinquency amount fee to the unpaid fines and unpaid costs of conviction of a convicted person equal to an amount of five percent of the unpaid fines and costs that remain unpaid after 30 days, 10 percent of the unpaid fines and costs that remain unpaid after 60 days, and 15 percent of the unpaid fines and costs that remain unpaid after 90 days. Provides that after 90 days delinquency, the clerk may release that information of delinquency to credit reporting agencies.

SB 2135

Amends the State Library Act. Provides that certain records held by a State agency shall (instead of shall when feasible) be provided to the State Library in electronic format. Provides that the State Librarian shall set by rule the standard to be used for electronic data exchange among State agencies and the State Library. Adds a definition for "published material." Deletes the definition for "printed material."


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