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

2019 Legislative Program

On January 26, The Northwest Municipal Conference (NWMC) unveiled its 2019 Legislative Program to a large crowd of legislators and municipal officials.
 
2019 NWMC Legislative Program
 
While NWMC communities continue to provide high quality services to our residents and businesses, the 2019 NWMC Legislative Program highlights how the sustainability of those services requires state and federal lawmakers to partner with us to modernize Illinois’ infrastructure, its revenue structure and its public safety pension system.

Modernize Capital Funding to Sustain Our Infrastructure

As the 101st General Assembly begins, lawmakers have an opportunity to address the significant infrastructure needs facing Illinois and its communities.  Strong, reliable and modern infrastructure is the back-bone for a healthy economy, making the state attractive to businesses and residents.  Unfortunately, it has been nearly a decade since the state enacted a capital bill.  This large gap between major capital investment is not new for Illinois.  The sporadic investment results in deteriorating infrastructure and higher maintenance costs.  Consequently, infrastructure dollars are spent on repair and triage rather than modernization.  The Conference implores lawmakers to:
  1. Address critical infrastructure needs through new investment in a state capital program and increased federal transportation investments.
  2. Develop a modern transportation revenue system.
  3. Authorize stormwater and wastewater agencies to expand local government assistance programs.

Modernize Revenues to Sustain the Fiscal Stability of Our Communities

The state has an opportunity to set itself and its municipal partners on stable footing.  Modernizing revenues means that Illinois can escape the cycle of budget crises while ensuring that local governments can provide the consistent delivery of critical services to residents. The Conference implores lawmakers to:
 
  1. Reinstate state collected local revenues at previous levels and make these revenues continuing appropriations outside the annual state budget process. 
  2. Modernize the tax system to reflect the current economy. 
  3. Require the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) to notify municipalities when an investigation causes the interruption of sales tax distributions.

Modernize an Inefficient System to Sustain Local Government Pensions

Illinois lawmakers have an opportunity to modernize public safety pension funds and provide taxpayer relief.  The current public safety pension situation demands creative thinking.  Past pension enhancements and political decisions to “kick the can down the road” have resulted in a struggling pension system, even during one of the longest periods of economic growth in the country’s history.  The antiquated system suffers from significant inefficiencies, which are exacerbated by the over 650 individual public safety pension funds.  The Conference implores lawmakers to:
 
  1. Consolidate public safety pension funds into the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF).
  2. Clearly define catastrophic injury as one that prevents the injured employee from performing any gainful work following the injury.