Illinois Municipal League

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The Illinois Municipal League is a government sector lobbying association in Illinois. It is represented by the National League of Cities.[1]

The corporate authorities of an Illinois municipality may budget for and pay annual dues and fees in order to join the Illinois Municipal League. This includes:

  • Mayor and aldermen (or similar for cities),
  • The president and trustees (or similar for villages or incorporated towns), or
  • The council (for municipalities under a municipal government).

Taxpayer-funded lobbying

See also: Illinois government sector lobbying

The Illinois Municipal League has been represented by the lobbying firm Vincent R. Williams and Associates for 2008-2009.[2][3] The firm also represents Chicago Transit Authority and Chicago Public Schools.[2][3] Its members are public entities.

The firm lists on its registration documents that it lobbies to more than 50 state agencies, including:[2][3]

  • Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
  • Gaming Board
  • General Assembly Members
  • Governor's Office
  • Healthcare and Family Services
  • Department of Human Services
  • Illinois Development Finance Authority
  • Illinois Educational Facilities Authority
  • Illinois Housing Development Authority
  • Department of Labor
  • Department of Public Health
  • Racing Board
  • Department of Revenue
  • Secretary of State
  • State Board of Education
  • State/Local Labor Relations Boards
  • Toll Highway Authority
  • Department of Transportation
  • Treasurer
  • Department of Veterans Affairs

Opposition to FOIA improvements

The league came out in opposition to changes that would strengthen the Illinois Freedom of Information Act. Senate Bill 189, sponsored by Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) and Speaker Michael J. Madigan (D-Chicago), would do the following:[4]

  • Narrow and clarify personal privacy exemptions
  • Require heightened scrutiny when public bodies seek to use the privacy or preliminary draft exemptions
  • Limit copying charges, and
  • Require public bodies to produce records electronically.

Furthermore, changes would shorten the time that public entities have to respond to a request to five days, would fine any entity attempting to violate the act $1000, and would require entities to appoint an official responsible for requests.[5]

Throughout the bill's drafting, the IML played an active role in requesting that changes be made to the proposed bill. On May 28, 2009, it testified before the Senate Executive Committee to voice its concerns. On the same day, both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly passed SB 189 and it was signed by Governor Quinn.[6] Although legislators made extensive changes to the initial bill, the IML still saw the adopted changes as overly burdensome and claimed that they would leave organizations more vulnerable to identity theft.[5] Upon signing the bill, Governor Pat Quinn issued a statement recognizing the existence of problems with the new law and encouraging affected parties to work together to address these flaws by the January 1, 2010 implementation date.[7]

Issues

The League makes its positions on bills public and posts them on its website.[8]

Budget cuts

A proposed budget plan by the Illinois governor, Pat Quinn would increase the income tax while reducing the amount of tax receipts municipalities receive. The Illinois Municipal League highlighted the fact that cities would receive $23 less per person after the cut, and was opposed to the plan.[9][10][11]

The League has faced this situation before. In 2003, in the midst of severe revenue shortage, the Illinois Municipal League successfully lobbied against a proposed budget cut that would lessen the amount allotted to municipalities and counties to less than the 10% precedent of total income tax revenue.[12]

Pension policies

The Illinois Municipal League expresses concerns about existing public pension policies, particularly the ability of the General Assembly to increase municipal employee pension benefits without providing the funds to pay for the increases.[13] In 2009, the Illinois General Assembly passed Senate Bill 364, which imposed reforms on public pension funds in Illinois, and House Bill 3606 in the spring of 2009, which increases the pension benefits of municipal employees that retired prior to July 1, 1977.[14]

The association belongs to the Pension Fairness Coalition.[15]

In 2007, the Illinois Municipal League published a study entitled "Fiscal Analysis of the Downstate Police, Fire and IMRF Pension Systems."[16] This study indicated that the financial health of over 600 non-Chicago municipal pension funds is endangered by rapidly escalating debt. As a result of this study, the Illinois Municipal League successfully advocated in support of House Bill 5088 during the 2008 legislative session.[17] The legislation contained several pension reforms, including significant ethics, disclosure, and transparency provisions for the employee-controlled municipal public safety pension funds.

Officers of the Illinois Municipal League

The Board of Directors is composed of mayors and village presidents of local Illinois municipalities. The following is a list of 2009 Board Members:[18]

President: Mayor Gary L. Graham, O'Fallon

First Vice President: Mayor Timothy J. Davlin, Springfield

Sergeant-At-Arms: Mayor Gail Mitchell, Fairview Heights

Executive Director: Larry G. Frang

Vice Presidents:

Membership

Membership dues

To be a member of the Illinois Municipal League, Illinois municipalities must pay yearly dues based on population size.[19]

Population size Dues
< 1,000 $130.00
1,000 - 15,000 $130.00 - $1,107.00
15,000 - 30,000 $1,107.00 - $1,660.00
30,000 - 45,000 $1,660.00 - $2,214.00
45,000 - 60,000 $2,214.00 - $2,766.00
60,000 - 75,000 $2,766.00 - $3,318.00
75,000 - 90,000 $3,318.00 - $3,874.00
90,000 - 105,000 $3,874.00 - $4,426.00
105,000 - 120,000 $4,426.00 - $4,978.00
120,000 - 135,000 $4,978.00 - $5,533.00
135,000 - 150,000 $5,533.00 - $ 6,085.00
150,000 - 160,000 $6,085.00 - $6,455.00
> 576,001 $22,355.00

External links

References