Ad Hoc Legislative Committee met November 8.
Ad Hoc Legislative Committee met November 8.
Here is the minutes provided by the Committee:
1.Call to Order
Co-Chair Mathias called the meeting to order at 11:02 a.m.
Present 4 - Co-Chairman Mathias, Member Frank, Member Rummel and Member Werfel
Absent 1 - Co-Chairman Hewitt
Steve Carlson, County Board Member
Sandy Hart, County Board Member
Judy Martini, County Board Member
Linda Pedersen, County Board Member
Aaron Lawlor, County Board Chairman
Barry Burton, County Administrator
Amy McEwan, Deputy County Administrator
Gary Gordon, Director of Finance
Dakisha Wesley, Assistant County Administrator
Paul Fetherston, Assistant County Administrator
DonnaJo Maki, County Administrator's Office
Mike Warner, Stormwater Management
Carla Wycoff, County Clerk
Eric Waggoner, Planning, Building, and Development
Ben Gilbertson, Finance and Administrative Services
Kent Gaffney, McGuire Woods Representative (via phone)
Walter Willis, Solid Waste Agency of Lake County
Kevin Kerrigian, Division of Transportation
Kipp Wilson, County Clerk's Office
Heidie Hernandez, County Board Office
Danya Abusoud, Finance and Administrative Services
2. Pledge of Allegiance
Member Rummel led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Co-Chair Mathias noted that there was a physical quorum present and that Member Frank was participating electronically due to an emergency.
3. Approval of Minutes
Minutes from September 27, 2017.
A motion was made by Member Rummel, seconded by Member Werfel, that the minutes under item 3.1 be approved. Motion carried by voice vote.
4. Addenda to the Agenda
There were no items added to the agenda.
5. Public Comment
There were no comments made by the public.
6. Chairman's Remarks
Co-Chair Mathias thanked the committee and guests for attending and noted that there was a good agenda for discussion.
7. Old Business
There was no old business to conduct.
8. New Business
Discussion of the recommended fiscal year 2018 Legislative Agenda.
Assistant County Administrator Paul Fetherston reported staff, McGuire Woods representatives, and legislators met one-on-one to review the preliminary legislative agenda. He provided an overview of the revisions and modifications of the proposed legislative agenda. Kent Gaffney, McGuire Woods, provided input and updated the committee throughout the meeting regarding various pending bills that where being considered during Veto Session.
Recommended state initiatives for Lake County to sponsor:
1) Final Notice of Taking for Vacant Properties: there were no changes to the existing item.
2) Definition of Storm Sewers as Underground Utility Facility: a modification was made restricting the language to only apply to District 1 Counties, per the Illinois Association of County Engineers. An estimated amount of $340,000 is spent each year, district-wide, on locate requests and the processing of tickets. While locate amounts vary by county, considerable savings are expected if this initiative is signed into law. It was noted that exempted counties have the same processes and capabilities in place to manage these right-of-ways as Lake County. The County will continue discussing potential impact with the Joint Utility Locating Information for Excavators (JULIE) administrative staff.
3) Cemetery Association Appointment Authority: there were no major changes to this item, which is restricted to Cook and the Collar Counties to maintain uniformity.
4) Seavey Drainage District: this item remained a draft placeholder while it continues to go through an iterative review process. Three methods for its dissolution are through the drainage code, the consolidation act, and special legislation. This item is still being discussed with the State’s Attorney’s Office. There will be continued due diligence on the various dissolution options; however, special legislation is the current recommended method for dissolution. Member Martini requested clarification on the definition of draft placeholder and its timeframe. Mr. Fetherston explained all placeholders will be removed once they have gone through the current body, the Financial and Administrative Committee, and the County Board. Once the Board adopts the agenda, the placeholder language will be removed. Discussion ensued.
5) Lakes Region Sanitary District Consolidation: The County will consider legislation to consolidate services based on the outcome of the financial feasibility study. Member Martini inquired whether this item will return on future agendas. Mr. Fetherston noted this item could return depending on the outcome of the feasibility study. County Administrator Barry Burton explained the feasibility study must be conducted to determine if consolidation will benefit the residents of that area. If it is determined to be of benefit, the County can move forward with dissolution of the district through special legislation. 6) Board of Review Appointment Process: There were no changes to this item. County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor noted that continued discussion will occur to create an alternative process for the Board of Review appointments.
Recommended state initiatives for Lake County to support:
1) Prescription Monitoring Program: there was a modification to existing Senate Bill (SB) 1607 requiring physicians to check a database before prescribing specific medications. This item has been discussed by members from the Medical Society and legislators to determine feasibility for both parties. It has since merged into SB772, requiring physicians and their staff to document their attempt to access the database prior to prescribing certain medications. Both parties are supportive, and this item will likely be voted on during the veto session. Member Hart inquired on the County’s sponsorship of this item. Mr. Burton explained this item is too great for the County to carry on its own. With the existing bill in place, it is recommended to support this item rather than sponsor.
2) Homestead Exemption for Surviving Spouses Veterans with Disabilities: There were no changes to this item. Discussion ensued regarding the review needed for all property tax exemptions.
Recommended draft placeholders that, if approved, would be state initiatives for Lake County to sponsor or support:
1) Driver’s License Reinstatement: this item remains a draft placeholder, as it continues to be modified. The initial recommendation was to amend state statute to allow judiciaries the discretion to decide which three fees would be waived depending on a person’s financial status. House Bill (HB) 3717 and SB1614 focused on eliminating driver’s license suspensions for nonmoving violations through the Secretary of State's authority; however, they have not passed due to some of the dynamics of the bill. There will be continued discussion with the Circuit Clerk, States Attorney’s Office, and Bar Association to determine the best action for legislation. Mr. Burton noted Senator Link is not supporting the bill and raised the issue that enforcing such fees may be challenged. Discussion ensued.
2) Disaster Declaration Period: Due to its magnitude and based on the feedback received, this item is not recommended for inclusion. This item will be a multiyear proposal.
3) Mental & Behavioral Health Coordination of Care: This item remains a draft placeholder as it awaits a solidified proposal. Deputy County Administrator Amy McEwan provided an update regarding legislation to repeal the Mental Health and Development Disability Confidentiality Act. The intent of the Act is to allow data sharing models to improve services and eliminate duplication of services. The County is in search for alternative measures to appealing the law that are less challenging. Discussion ensued.
4) Prescription Drug Disposal Program – Extended Producer Responsibility: this item was not recommended for inclusion.
Recommended Federal Initiative to support:
1) Substance Abuse Coordination of Care: there were no proposed changes to this item. County Board Chairman Lawlor inquired on the County’s collaboration with National Association of Counties (NACo). The County has not discussed this item with NACo, but a discussion will take place in the future.
Staff reviewed two initiatives submitted by the standing committees that are not recommended for inclusion in the 2018 legislative agenda:
1) Mental Health Treatment Gap: after further research conducted by the Health Department, it has been determined that the following item is not a legislative issue.
2) Recreational Marijuana: This item does not align with the guiding tenets of the legislative agenda and is not recommend for inclusion, but relevant potential future bills will be monitored.
There was also discussion regarding two bills being considered at the state level, which may impact Lake County. The first was a tax credit for flood victims and the second dealt with a property tax freeze. If the tax credit is approved, there is no need for the County to include in its legislative agenda. If the property tax freeze is approved, it will impact Lake County and will require reconsideration of the fiscal year 2018 budget.
Mr. Fetherston reported the Small Cell Facilities Bill passed the State's House of Representatives. Mr. Gaffney noted Comcast is opposing the bill to allow phone providers the ability to roll out 5G technology in neighborhoods. The bill may stall in the committee, but will most likely be passed. Discussion ensued.
Co-Chair Mathias also asked if the committee would consider adding two items to the legislative agenda that oppose the freeze to the increase for local governments under the Local Government Distribution Fund and oppose the administrative fee for the 1/4% Sales Tax for Transportation and Public Safety. County Board Chairman Lawlor said the intent of these initiatives was appropriate, but the timeframe to add items to the agenda had passed.
This item was discussed.
9. Executive Session
There was no Executive Session.
10. County Administrator's Report
Discussion ensued regarding the next committee meeting. Staff stated the November 29th meeting would be canceled. The next meeting will be held on December 6, 2017 at noon.
11. Members' Remarks
There were no members remarks.
Meeting adjourned at 11:56 a.m.
A motion was made by Member Werfel, seconded by Member Rummel, to adjourn. The motion carried unanimously.
Aye: 4 - Co-Chairman Mathias, Member Frank, Member Rummel and Member Werfel
Absent: 1 – Co-Chairman Hewitt
Next Meeting: December 6, 2017 as revised by Committee.