State Legislative Program: Ensuring Stability and Sustainability
Illinois has achieved its strongest fiscal position in years. We commend the General Assembly and the Administration for taking necessary steps to restore the fiscal stability of the state. A commitment to properly fund state pension costs and operating reserves through a rainy day fund will allow Illinois to focus future resources on sustaining services and vital infrastructure.
The Northwest Municipal Conference stands ready to partner with state lawmakers on the continued path to stability and sustainability by addressing the needs of residents and businesses while still providing critical public safety and infrastructure services. For communities with far fewer fiscal resources than available to the state, the restoration of the Local Government Distributive Fund is a necessary first step to help focus resources on services while meeting persistent inflationary threats.
The NWMC has identified additional solutions to meet continuing and emerging challenges. Escalating public safety pension costs consume growing amounts of local revenues. Lead service lines have long been hidden threats to the health of children in Illinois communities. Efficient and thoughtful implementation to mandates will prove critical to the health of our communities.
Overcoming these challenges requires state leadership and local partnership. The Conference requests state lawmakers to work with us to address the issues that are important to our constituents and help us accomplish the following:
Restore the Local Government Distributive Fund (LGDF) to 10%
Local governments need sufficient fiscal resources through broad state-wide taxation in order to limit the stress on property taxes while providing vital services to meet the continuing challenges facing communities. These revenues are essential and will have a direct impact on public safety services, infrastructure investments and pension funding.
Extend the 2040 Pension Amortization Deadline
While lawmakers took a significant step to strengthen and stabilize the public safety pension system by consolidating investments, some communities need fiscal flexibility of an extended deadline to meet statutorily established funding goals. Extending the funding deadline beyond 2040 will provide municipalities the ability to responsibly stabilize local budgets.
Support Implementation of Critical Mandates and Remove Outdated Mandates
State lawmakers need to leverage federal funding and seek creative solutions to address looming mandates such as lead service line replacement and police body camera implementation. Meanwhile, lawmakers should look to amend outdated legal notice publication requirements given the dramatically changing newspaper and media landscape.