State Legislative Program: Stronger Communities for the Challenges of Today and Tomorrow
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It is imperative for Illinois municipalities to have the resources necessary to deliver the critical front line services that are essential for safe and healthy communities. Since 2011, state-focused financial solutions came at the expense of local governments. Had the Local Government Distributive Fund (LGDF) remained at ten percent after the income tax increase, local governments would have received an additional $6.9 billion over the last 11 years. Without the restoration of those resources, local governments will find it increasingly difficult to address ongoing pandemic issues, infrastructure and public safety pension funds. The Conference stands ready to work with our state lawmakers to address the issues that are most important to our constituents and we ask the General Assembly to help us accomplish the following:
Strengthen Local Government Resources
The NWMC greatly appreciates that the General Assembly took critical steps to reinstate past cuts from the LGDF. However, without sufficient resources or targeted relief, there are few options beyond raising property taxes and/or decreasing vital services to meet the continuing challenges facing communities. The following measures are needed to ensure Illinois communities have the necessary resources to address current and future challenges:
- LGDF Restoration: Partially restore the LGDF share of the income tax to eight percent. This will result in over $500 million statewide to local governments and nearly $50 million to NWMC communities. These revenues are essential and will have a direct impact on public safety services, infrastructure investments and pension funding.
- Public Safety Pension Amortization: Extend the current 2040 amortization deadline to help responsibly stabilize local budgets while ensuring public pensions are secure. While lawmakers took a significant step to strengthen the pension system by consolidating investments, communities require an additional step to reap the consolidation benefits.
- Local Government Revenue Protection: Protect all current state collected local government revenues from future cuts and ensure their timely distribution via continuing appropriations.
Implement the SAFE-T and Lead Service Line Acts
Financial resources need to be allocated to support the important public health and safety initiatives mandated under the following acts:
- SAFE-T Act Implementation: Provide funding for the enhanced police training requirements, body camera equipment, and image archiving. Lawmakers have taken transformative steps for modern and effective policing and public safety services, and they must continue by providing support and funding.
- Lead Service Line Replacement Notification Act: Leverage federal funding to identify and eliminate lead service lines. The Conference fully supports the state’s effort to eliminate lead service lines.
The NWMC values its longstanding partnership with our lawmakers in strengthening local governments and ensuring the provision of quality services for our residents and businesses. By providing local governments reliable revenues and assistance to implement new mandates and challenges, the state will ensure modern and vigorous communities that are active partners in driving a sustainable economic future for Illinois.