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Summary of House Bill 3653

January 25th, 2021|

Many of the provisions in House Bill 3653 started in House Bill 163, as it was amended during the 2021 lame duck session of the Illinois 101st General Assembly. These amendments were added to House Bill 3653 by a Senate amendment on January 13, 2021 while the bill was in that chamber.

Giffin, Winning, Cohen & Bodewes, P.C., counsel for the United Counties Council of Illinois (UCCI) in coordination with O’Halloran Kosoff Geitner & Cook L.L.C., counsel for the Illinois Counties Risk Management Trust (ICRMT), have prepared a summary of HB 3653. Please review the summary by clicking here.

We continue to closely monitor this legislation and the anticipated follow-up legislation and have been in contact with the Illinois Sheriff’s Association and have reached out to the Illinois State’s Attorney Association to ensure a coordinated response to any future developments. If you have any questions, please reach out to your risk management consultant.

ICRMT HB 3653 Brief

January 12th, 2021|

The ICRMT has summarized the critical points of HB 3653 (formally HB 163) below that will impact the ICRMT members. Please share these concerns with the appropriate congress person that represents your district. This bill has wide reaching implications for public entity liability and insurability.

Please contact your ICRMT risk management consultant with questions on the brief below. You can also download a PDF copy by clicking here.

GOVERNANCE:

  • Eliminates virtually all affirmative defenses and immunities for Sheriff’s deputies/peace officers, but still allows vicarious liability for Sheriff’s and Counties as co-employers , which will now include attorneys’ fees, punitive damages and court costs.
  • Substantial unfunded mandates in form of equipment, training, additional processes.
  • Requires implementation of body cameras without providing any scheduled implementation for Counties.
  • Fails to acknowledge the unique structure of County governance where Sheriffs are duly elected and have control over the internal operations of their office.
  • If County Sheriff fails to implement body cameras, the County as a whole could be penalized with a 20% reduction in their annual Local Government Distributive Fund monies.
  • If County Sheriff fails comply with new, onerous reporting requirements, the County as a whole could be penalized with a 20% reduction in their annual Local Government Distributive Fund monies.
  • Limits local government utilization of military surplus programs.
  • Eliminates virtually all collective bargaining over any subject except for wages without any clear mechanism for how personnel relationships will proceed in their absence.
  • Eliminates any recourse for false or frivolous complaints that can be anonymous and must be processed pursuant to strict statutory requirements.
  • Eliminates current bail system that secures return of arrested parties.

LAW ENFORCEMENT AND IMMUNITY PROTECTIONS:

  • Defunds police departments by removing funding sources and interrupting as much as 40% of the total Local Government Distributive Fund monies.
  • Significantly limits use of no-knock warrants.
  • Makes significant changes to Use of Force, including Total Ban on Chokeholds or action above the shoulders under ANY circumstances.
  • No use of rubber bullets in crowd control.
  • Eliminates virtually all collective bargaining over any subject except for wages for over 50,000 law enforcement officers in the State.
  • Mandates expensive policies and procedures without any way for local governments to pay for them, including body cameras.
  • Eliminates all immunity for police officers and expressly applies punitive unbalanced civil penalties to police officers.
  • Extends the time to file claims against local public entities from one year to five years.
  • Allows officers to be punished for unverified, anonymous complaints. Eliminates sworn affidavits.
  • Requires police to provide 3 phone calls within one hour.
  • Eliminates Felony Murder.
  • Requires a predicate offense to charge someone with resisting arrest.
  • Allows courts to courts to bypass mandatory minimums in some circumstances.
  • In state court there is scope of employment liability which means the cities and counties will be on hook in most cases for entire damages. Remember, individually police officers have limited assets for collectible judgments.

INSURANCE AND LIABILITY:

  • Will have a direct impact on availability and cost of insurance for law enforcement agencies.
  • The potential of this is incalculable.
  • There would be no reason for any attorney to go to federal court.
  • Plaintiff could be entitled to attorney fees and punitive damages if they prevail.
  • Pressure will be increased to settle frivolous claims to avoid costly litigation due to the cost of plaintiff attorney fees.
  • These costs will ultimately be passed on to our entities and their tax payers in the form of higher deductibles and premiums.

Illinois Department of Labor Issues Minimum Wage Hike Reminder

January 12th, 2021|

Please review the below reminder released by the Illinois Department of Labor. As of January 1, 2021, Illinois’ minimum wage is increased to $11 an hour. Governor JB Pritzker signed legislation into law in 2019 providing a path to a $15 minimum wage by 2025. If you have any questions, reach out to your risk management consultant.

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois’ minimum wage is set to increase to $11 an hour on Friday, January 1, 2021. The Illinois Department of Labor is encouraging employees to watch their paychecks to ensure that time worked in 2021 is paid at the new rate.

Governor JB Pritzker signed legislation into law in 2019 providing a path to a $15 minimum wage by 2025. Minimum wage earners received two increases in 2020 to $9.25 an hour on January 1 followed by an increase to $10 an hour on July 1. The minimum wage will continue to increase an additional $1 an hour each January 1 until it reaches $15 an hour in 2025.

Prior to the 2020 increases, the last time Illinois increased its minimum wage was more than a decade ago in 2010 when it was raised to $8.25. Cook County has a higher minimum wage than the state, currently $13 an hour. The current city of Chicago minimum wage is $13.50 an hour for small employers (4 to 20 employees) and $14 an hour for large employers (21 or more employees).

The new law maintains provisions for employers to count gratuities to offset wages for workers such as food servers who regularly earn tips. Tipped employees may be paid 60 percent of the hourly minimum wage. These workers must still earn the minimum wage after receiving tips or the employer must make up the difference.

Workers who are under 18 years old and work fewer than 650 hours in a year will earn a minimum wage of $8.50 per hour beginning January 1. The youth minimum wage rate will gradually rise to $13 an hour by 2025.
 
All Illinois employers are required to post the “Your Rights Under Illinois Employment Laws” in a conspicuous location on the premises of the employer where notices to employees are customarily posted. The color poster, which also covers other Illinois labor laws, can be found here in English and Spanish: https://link.zixcentral.com/u/1cc497eb/jj8wRPpJ6xGKVvRgPI9hPQ?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww2.illinois.gov%2Fidol%2FEmployers%2FPages%2Fposters.aspx

Employees with problems regarding the minimum wage can file a complaint with IDOL at the following link: https://link.zixcentral.com/u/59984a33/zIgwRPpJ6xGKVvRgPI9hPQ?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww2.illinois.gov%2Fidol%2FPages%2FComplaints.aspx  or call 312-793-2800.

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Events

ICRMT Annual Member Conference

Our 2020 Annual Member Conference has been cancelled due to COVID-19. We will reschedule for 2021 to ensure the safety of our members. We will release the new date when it is finalized. Thank you for understanding.

Upcoming Events

Law Enforcement Seminar: Date will be announced at a later time