The Mayor and Village Trustees monitor legislation at the local, state and federal levels to stay abreast of issues that may affect the community. Regular legislative advocacy activities include providing information and educating legislators on the impact of legislation on the Village’s government operations and its taxpayers. The Mayor is the official spokesman for the village government in all political and legislative affairs and when dealing with other elected officials.
The Mayor regularly writes letters to legislators informing them of the Village’s position on certain issues and specific legislation.
Letters to Legislators:
The Village of Roselle is a dues-paying member of two associations that may conduct legislative advocacy initiatives at the county, state and/or federal levels. These associations include the DuPage Mayors and Managers Association and Illinois Municipal League. The Village is also a dues-paying member in the Pension Fairness for Illinois Communities, a coalition of business and government leaders committed to protecting local taxpayers.
Each year the Village Board approves a Legislative Action Program that includes priorities and position statements on state and federal issues affecting local government. Below are critical priorities included in the 2013 Legislative Action Program.
- Protect the Authority of Municipalities to Manage Municipal Funds
Frequently threatened with revenue diversions and fee increases from the state, municipalities require the freedom to raise and expend municipal funds in order to provide the services most needed by their residents and businesses. Recently, municipalities have worked to protect the local portion of income tax, prevent revenue losses from sales tax "holidays", and avert sweeps that divert local funds.
- Remove the Sunset Date of the Wireless Emergency Telephone Safety Act
At the advent of cell phone usage an access fee of 75 cents per month was implemented to fund the technological improvements which allow cell phones to contact 9-1-1. This statutory provision expires on July 1, 2013. The decline in landlines demands that the funding for 9-1-1 systems continue to be derived from the more proliferate usage of wireless phones.
- Reform Pensions
The pension system must be made sustainable not only to ensure affordability for municipalities and taxpayers, but also to protect obligations to employees. If municipalities lack sufficient funds, then pension systems will collapse and retirees will lose their benefits entirely. in 2010, police and fire pensions became a two-tier system that ensured some relief for municipalities. That relief, however, will mostly occur in future decades, when today's newest employees begin to reach retirement age.
- Amend the Public Safety Employee Benefits Act
PSEBA was originally created to supply health insurance benefits to public safety employees who suffer catastrophic injuries in the line of duty. However, the system is frequently used to provide duplicate benefits at the expense of the taxpayers when recipients are able to secure alternative, gainful employment with health benefits. The federal definition of "catastrophic injury" must be adopted to ensure that taxpayers are no longer needlessly overcharged.
Additional priorities established by the Legislative Action Program include:
- Create Equality in Labor Relations
- Support Western Access
- Limit Commercial Freedom of Information Act Requests
- Protect the Public Rights-of-Way and Advance the Modernization of Public Utilities
Illinois Municipal League's "Save Our Cities" Campaign
The Illinois Municipal League is rolling out a “Save Our Cities” campaign to rescue local governments from financial devastation. They are asking that the General Assembly assess the damage that has been inflicted on local communities by years and years of costly laws. State leaders must throw a life-preserver to communities that are financially sinking because of rising costs that are outside of local control. Visit the Save Our Cities site for more information.