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ISBA Statehouse Review for the week of June 11, 2015

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews legislation in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers Open Meetings Act (House Bill 175), Open Meetings Act (House Bill 1498), County budgets (House Bill 2474), Elder abuse (House Bill 1588), Citation to discover assets (Senate Bill 1308), Collection of fines and penalties (Senate Bill 86), Juvenile sentencing (House Bill 2471) and Child-support fines (House Bill 3683). More information on each bill is available below the video.

Open Meetings Act. House Bill 175 (McSweeney, R-Cary; Duffy, R-Barrington) creates what is essentially a statute of repose for requests for review to be filed with the Public Access Counselor. If the facts concerning the violation are not discovered within 60 days of the violation but discovered at a later date by a person using reasonable diligence, the request must be made within two years after the alleged violation. Passed both chambers.

Open Meetings Act. House Bill 1498 (Thomas Bennett, R-Watseka; Koehler, D-Peoria) provides that a public body may hold closed meetings to consider school building safety and security. Passed both chambers.

County budgets. House Bill 2474 (Nekritz, D-Buffalo Grove; Morrison, D-Deerfield) requires a budget to be made available to public inspection and provided to the public at a public meeting at least 15 days before final action taken on that budget. House Bill 2474 applies to all counties that are not required by law to pass an annual appropriation bill within the first quarter of the fiscal year. Allows a county board to act at a public meeting to amend a budget after notice has been given. Requires notices pertaining to the budget meeting and the proposed budget to be posted on the county’s official website, if it maintains one. If a county does not maintain a website, it requires the county to comply with the Open Meetings Act in giving notice of such agenda items and make the proposed budget available for public inspection. Passed both chambers.

Elder abuse. House Bill 1588 (Thomas Bennett, R-Watseka; Barickman, R-Bloomington) expands the current civil cause of action for financial exploitation of the elderly or disabled by deleting the precursor of an indictment and the limitation of remedy of returning the property. Passed both chambers.

Citation to discover assets. Senate Bill 1308 (Silverstein, D-Chicago; Jehan Gordon-Booth) expands its reach to compel appearance before it of any person whom the petitioner believes may be liable to the estate of a ward under any civil cause of action. Also expands the statute to include “assets” in the person’s possession or control and or previously in person’s possession or control. Passed both chambers.

Collection of fines and penalties. Senate Bill 86 (Althoff, R-McHenry; Franks, D-Marengo) amends the Counties Code to allow a default in the payment of a fine or penalty or any installment to be collected in any way that any other monetary judgment is collected. Allows the state’s attorney to retain attorneys and private collection agents to collect them and their fees to be charged to the offender. Passed both chambers.

Juvenile sentencing. House Bill 2471 (Currie, D-Chicago; Harmon, D-Oak Park) codifies the U.S. Supreme Court’s holding in Miller v. Alabama that for persons under 18 years of age, a mandatory sentence of natural life without parole upon conviction is a violation of the 8th amendment’s cruel and unusual punishment clause. The bill’s application is prospective only. Passed both chambers.

Child-support fines. House Bill 3683 (Wallace, D-Rockford; Lightford, D-Chicago) gives the Department of Healthcare and Family Services to power to levy administrative fines and liens against a payor who willfully fails, after receiving two reminders from HFS, to withhold or pay over income under a properly served income-withholding notice or otherwise files to comply with any other duties under the Income Withholding for Support Act. Passed both chambers.

Posted on June 11, 2015 by Chris Bonjean
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