Legislative Committee: 6 Laws Could Save or Cost Kane Taxpayers Millions

Legislative Committee: 6 Laws Could Save or Cost Kane Taxpayers Millions

Kane County Supervisor of Assessments Mark Armstrong explains at Monday’s Legislative Breakfast why newspaper publication of assessments is so costly to taxpayers.

The Kane County Legislative Committee this week outlined six goals as part of its lobbying agenda — including five bills it supports and one it will oppose.

Virtually each piece of legislation the committee supports or opposes has a financial impact on Kane County taxpayers, seeking either to lift unfunded mandates or to encourage prospective revenue sources.

“A lot of our efforts are focused on eliminating or preventing unfunded mandates,” Starrett said. “We try our best to keep costs down for Kane County taxpayers, and we’ve been successful in holding the line on spending for five years running.”

The County Board’s Legislative Committee essentially takes the place of professional lobbyists, putting the communication efforts in the hands of elected officeholders and saving taxpayers money necessary to pay lobbyists.

Here’s a quick look at the legislation. Kane County Connects will follow up with additional stories regarding these pieces of legislation.

The Kane County Legislative Committee supports:

HB 5244 — On Property Tax Assessment Publications

Sponsored by state Reps. Linda Chapa LaVia and Allen Skillicorn, this bill amends the property-tax code and says basically that the county would not have to pay for publication of in-print newspaper listings of individual assessments.

The legislation stipulates that the assessments must be published and available online, on a county-controlled website.

Passage of the legislation would save the county about $400,000 annually.

SB 2486 / HB 4573 — Amends The Public Funds Investment Act

Sponsored by Sens. Emil Jones, III, Linda Holmes and Karen McConnaughay, SB 2486 amends the Public Funds Investment Act.

The bill provides that any public agency may invest any public funds in obligations (currently, short term obligations) of corporations organized in the United States with assets exceeding $500 million, if such obligations mature not later than three years (currently, 270 days) from the date of purchase, in addition to other criteria.

The Kane County Legislative Committee estimates the county could gain more than $100,000 in revenue if the law goes into effect.

HB 4321 — On Wardship Petitions

This bill amends the Juvenile Court Act of 1987.

The Legislative Committee estimates that passage would save Kane County $200,000 per year.

It provides that any time prior to a minor’s 18th birthday, under a supplemental petition, the court may reinstate wardship and open a previously closed case when:

(1) wardship and guardianship under the Act was vacated in conjunction with the appointment of a private guardian under the Probate Act of 1975; or

Kane County Juvenile Justice Center

(2) the minor is not presently a ward of the court under the Act nor is there a petition for adjudication of wardship pending on behalf of the minor; and it is in the minor’s best interest that wardship be reinstated.

It also provides that any time prior to a minor’s 21st birthday, under a supplemental petition, the court may reinstate wardship and open a previously closed case when:

(1) wardship and guardianship under the Act was vacated under an order by the court finding that the health, safety, and the best interests of the minor and the public no longer require the wardship of the court in the case of a minor over the age of 18; or

(2) closure of a case where the court determined that the health, safety, and best interests of the minor and the public no longer require the warship of the court in the case of a minor under the age of 18 who has been partially or completely emancipated in accordance with the Emancipation of Minors Act; or

(3) the wardship order terminated based on the minor’s attaining the age of 19 years; or

(4) the minor is not presently a ward of the court under the Act nor is there a petition for adjudication of wardship pending on behalf of the minor; and it is in the minor’s best interest that wardship be reinstated.

SB 2581 — On Detention Screenings

SB 2581 amends the Juvenile Court Act of 1987.

The committee estimates passage of the law would save $100,000 annually in staff preparation time, transportation, court security and other costs associated with the Juvenile Justice Center.

Sponsored by Sen. John G. Mulroe, SB 2581 provides that on and after July 1, 2020, a detention screening instrument shall be used for referrals to all authorized juvenile detention facilities in Illinois prior to a judicial hearing.

Under the law, a minor alleged to be a delinquent minor taken into temporary custody must be brought before a judicial officer within 48 hours (rather than 40 hours, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and court designated holidays).

The legislation provides that if an appearance is required of any minor taken and held in a place of custody or confinement operated by the state or any of its political subdivisions, including counties and municipalities, the chief judge of the circuit may permit by rule for the minor’s personal appearance to be made by means of two-way audio-visual communication.

The communication could include closed circuit television and computerized video conference and could be used in the following proceedings: the initial appearance before a judge; a detention or shelter care hearing; or any status hearing.

The legislation amends the Probation and Probation Officers Act.

The Division of Probation Services of the Supreme Court would adopt a statewide juvenile detention screening instrument that has been verified through evidence-based and data-based practices that is to be used by all authorized juvenile detention facilities.

VARIOUS — GRANT MANAGEMENT

This one is more of an ongoing goal for the Legislative Committee.

“We’re requesting federal and state legislators focus on programs and legislation that return value to residents of Kane County,” Starrett said.

The Kane County Legislative Committee opposes:

SB 1451 — Small Wireless Facilities (Oppose)

SB 1451 creates the Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act.

“This legislation was written by the telecom industry,” Starrett said. “And it severely limits local authority to regulate, site or change permit fees for wireless facilities.”

Local-government leaders have united in opposition to the bill. Here’s a fact sheet that explains why.

“There are too many public safety and logistical issues that remain unresolved for this piece of legislation to go forward,” Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen said back in November.

The legislation provides that an authority (a unit of local government with control over rights-of-way) may not prohibit, regulate, or charge for the collocation of small wireless facilities (the installation, mounting, maintaining, modifying, operating, or replacement of small wireless facilities on or adjacent to a wireless support structure or utility pole).

There have been several amendments on the Senate and House floors. According to the state of Illinois website, the last action was the legislation was sent to the Governor’s Office on Feb. 16.

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