2020 Legislative Conference Recap

United Counties Council of Illinois recently held its annual Legislative Conference in Springfield at the Sangamo Club. This two-day event allowed attendees the opportunity to meet and interact with county board members from across the state and exchange ideas on how to better serve their constituents and the communities they represent; to visit with local legislators and discuss issues impacting local government; and, to receive training and education on enacted legislation, programs/services available to county government, and local/national issues impacting the citizens of Illinois.

February 25 ~ Legislative Day
During the monthly Membership meeting, held Tuesday afternoon, UCCI Executive Director Mike McCreery provided an update on legislation pending before the Illinois General Assembly.

An afternoon visit to the Capitol allowed personal visits to be made with legislators to discuss local issues and the opportunity to see lawmakers in action during committee hearings.            

                 Stephenson County Board Visits Capitol
At the conclusion of their meeting with Representative Chesney in his office, he personally escorted Board Members Casey Anthony, Andrew Schroeder and Rebecca Quiggle, along with County Administrator Georgia Newcomer, through the tunnels to the Capitol.  Picture shows them standing at the desk of the Speaker of the House; and, from the security guard they learned some interesting history of the south wing of the third floor, along with 'insider' information and funny stories.                

The Tuesday evening Legislative Reception hosted by UCCI was well-attended by members of the Illinois General Assembly and provided a social atmosphere for casual conversation with lawmakers from across the state of Illinois.

February 26 ~ Education Seminar
The Wednesday half-day, three-part seminar provided valuable training/education and resources for attendees.


  Connecting Illinois: Toward Universal Broadband Access … and Impact 

Matt Schmit, Deputy Director of Broadband, with the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, presented on the Connect Illinois Program. Mr. Schmit provided a detailed overview of the program … enlightening attendees on the vision of the program; outlining the composition/purpose of the Broadband Advisory Council and working groups; describing the goals of the Broadband Strategic Plan; discussing broadband access, adoption and utilization through digital literacy, adoption and inclusion, community planning/capacity building, and infrastructure; and, directing attention to the ‘Broadband Grand Application’ process/funding opportunity.

Illinois State’s Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor
Patrick Delfino, Director, Office of the Illinois State’s Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor, presented on the duties and responsibilities of his office. During his presentation, Mr. Delfino outlined the wide array of services available through his office to county governments and emphasized the primary objective of his office was the delivery of quality professional services to all participating counties in compliance with legislative mandates.

First Amendment Audit Preparedness ~ “Right to Film in Public Spaces”

Jason Brokaw and John Gabala, Attorneys from the Springfield law firm of Giffin, Winning, Cohen & Bodewes, presented on ‘First Amendment Audits’. This multimedia presentation provided to the audience examples of actual First Amendment Audit encounters that happened in Illinois, and clearly illustrated the need for counties to be prepared … discuss how these audits are to be handled before one takes place; develop and adopt content-neutral rules on recordings; identify and provide notice of restricted areas; and, provide education/training to county employees on First Amendment Audit encounters. Attendees gained valuable information on the do’s and don’ts when encountering a First Amendment Audit; filing of claim/suit resulting from actual or perceived violation of auditor’s protected rights; First Amendment Audit rights/governing body meetings; and, Illinois Eavesdropping Law/Exceptions.