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Illinois Municipal League Legislative Update for IGFOA Members

March 7, 2016 | Legislative briefs

Illinois Municipal League Legislative Update

COGFA Revenue Estimate Reduced

IML staff attended a hearing on Tuesday, March 1, where the Commission on Governmental Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA) presented its revised FY2016 budget estimate. COGFA adjusted its state revenue estimates down by $442 million. COGFA’s estimate from July of last year anticipated $32.139 billion in revenues. The new estimate is $31.697 billion.

Minimum Manning Trailer Bill Clears Senate Committee

SB 2195 (Sen. Althoff, R-McHenry) would amend the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act to provide that the analysis applied by arbitrators when ruling on proposals to add, modify or remove firefighter manning language in a bargaining agreement shall not be changed in any way as a result of the changes made by the passage of Public Act 98-1151.

This is a "trailer" bill to ensure that arbitrators use the existing "breakthrough analysis" standard when making decisions that could impose minimum manning requirements on municipalities where no such requirements exist.

SB 2195, which IML supports, was unanimously approved by the Senate Executive Committee on March 2 and is presently on Third Reading. Similar legislation was approved by the Senate in 2015, but was held in the House Labor and Commerce Committee despite the absence of any opposition.

IML-Opposed Arbitration Bill Re-emerges

HB 1380 (Rep. Phelps, D-Harrisburg) was kicked out of House Rules Committee directly to the House Floor. The bill changes arbitration law to punish public employers that exercise their right to obtain a stay of an award for purposes of seeking a judicial review of the decision.

Under current law, both the employer and the union have equal recourse to seek a stay of an arbitration decision for purposes of a court review. Each party is responsible for their own court costs and attorneys’ fees unless the court, upon review, ultimately determines the appeal to be frivolous. At that point, the party deemed to have made the frivolous appeal is responsible for all court costs and attorneys’ fees.

HB 1380 makes a substantial change to this law by creating a “loser pays” system that only applies to the detriment of public employers. Here is how it would work:
• if a union receives a stay of an arbitration decision and ultimately loses following a review, each party is responsible for their OWN court costs and attorneys’ fees;
• if the public employer receives a stay of an arbitration decision and ultimately loses following a review, the public employer is responsible for ALL court costs and attorneys’ fees. And these costs may accrue interest at the rate of 12 percent per annum from the effective retroactive date. This is money that would be owed by taxpayers.

HB 1380 creates a “heads I win, tails you lose” standard in Illinois arbitration law that favors public safety unions over municipal employers. This is an inequitable, discriminatory and unfair abridgement of due process rights.

This IML-opposed legislation was on the House Floor in 2015 only to be re-assigned back to the House Rules Committee. An amendment has been filed for HB 1380 and will be reviewed by IML.

By: Joe McCoy
Legislative Director
Illinois Municipal League

The IGFOA thanks the IML for its ongoing commitment to providing the IGFOA with timely and relevant information on legislative issues important to the IGFOA membership.

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