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NWMC
1600 East Golf Road
Suite 0700
Des Plaines, IL 60016
Phone: 847-296-9200
Fax: 847-296-9207

2020 Legislative Program

On January 25, The Northwest Municipal Conference (NWMC) unveiled its 2020 Legislative Program to a large crowd of legislators and municipal officials.
 
2020 NWMC Legislative Program
 
The Conference urges lawmakers and local officials to dedicate their attention towards securing local revenues, improving the delivery of infrastructure projects and addressing the short-term stability of public safety pension funds.  We believe that 2020 is the year when Illinois can break the cycle of relying on local governments to make up funding gaps in the state budget, thus securing critical local services.  We believe 2020 is the year when Illinois fulfills its promise of infrastructure modernization by giving state agencies and local governments the tools necessary to streamline project delivery.  Finally, we believe 2020 is the year when Illinois provides short-term relief for long-term stability of the public safety pension system. 

Local Government Revenue

A decade removed from the Great Recession, our communities have moved beyond recovery; however, local governments continue to face challenges of fiscal instability.  All too often the state has called on local governments to absorb repeated cuts to state collected local revenues, which has resulted in millions of diverted local revenues from NWMC communities.  The NWMC Legilsative Program calls on lawmakers to:
  1. Reinstate state collected local revenues at previous levels and make these continuing appropriations outside the annual state budget process.
  2. Defend local control over property taxes.
  3. Modernize the tax system to tax services reflecting the current economy.

Infrastructure Investment

In 2019, Governor Pritzker and lawmakers passed an ambitious capital program, supported by dramatic increases in transportation revenues.  The Conference thanks lawmakers for this committment to infrastructure.  Unfortunately, the potential impact of Rebuild Illinois' historic infrastructure investments may be dampened by IDOT's current lack of capacity.  To properly implement the capital program, the NWMC is urging lawamkers to:
  1. Increase the capacity of the Illinois Department of Transportation to expediate the review process and approval of projects.
  2. Provide options for delegation of review and certification activities associated with Motor Fuel Tax (MFT) to more efficiently deliver projects.
  3. Exempt MFT revenues from the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA)

Pension Reform

During the 2019 veto session, lawmakers took a major step, one for which the Conference has long advocated, to address the long-term health of local public safety pension systems.  By passing legislation to consolidate the investment functions of local pension funds, lawmakers have set these pension systems on a path to increase investment returns and limit the long-term property tax burden all while not encroaching on constitutional protections.
 
Despite the significant step towards pension sustainability, the legislation contained Tier 2 pension enhancements.  While the full positive impact of consolidation and higher investment returns will take time to materialize, communities are immediately facing increases in pension contributions.  Therefore, the NWMC is calling on lawmakers to:
  1. Provide short-term taxpayer relief during the transitionary period of public safety pension fund consolidation.
  2. Maintain current pension benefitws to prevent any additional burdens on local taxpayers.
  3. Define catastrophic injuries under the Public Safety Employees Benefit Act (PSEBA).