Design-Build Contracts Allowed for Schools and Municipalities

by Meganne Trela and Nicholas DeConcilis Effective January 1, 2024, the Illinois General Assembly is changing the way municipalities contract for building schools in an effort to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of delivering public projects in Public Act 103-491. This new law changes the delivery system for construction projects to a design-build process from a design-bid-build process. Municipalities and …

Court Ousts Pension Trustees Due to Breach of Fiduciary Duties

by Adam Hudoba Pension fund trustees have a fiduciary duty to act in their fund’s best interest. If they do not, there can be adverse consequences. As illustrated by the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in a case arising out of a private pension fund, that may include losing one’s seat on the Board of Trustees. …

New FOIA Exemption for Medical Records

by Ericka J. Thomas The Illinois General Assembly recently updated the definition of “private information” for certain public bodies under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), and in so doing created a new exception for what must be produced in response to a FOIA request. Public bodies are generally required to make public records available for inspection and copying to …

Equal Pay Act Amendment to Require Greater Wage Transparency from Local Governments

by Erin Kiernat Beginning January 1, 2025, an amendment to the Equal Pay Act (820 ILCS 112/1, et seq.) takes effect that will require employers—including local governments—to include pay scales and benefits in job postings and to inform current employees of promotion opportunities. In addition, the Act will mandate that employers disclose compensation information to job applicants. The Equal Pay …

Biometric Information Privacy Act Blows Burdens Business

by W. Anthony Andrews and Joseph S. Davidson For the past several years, a flood of Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”) lawsuits have hit companies in nearly every industry. The law generally restricts the collection and use of retina or iris scans, fingerprints, voiceprints, or scans of hand or face geometry, and any information based on these categories used to …

Illinois Appellate Court Upholds Asset Consolidation

by John E. Motylinski After a long road, we now have a decision in the case challenging Illinois’ decision to consolidate the investment assets of downstate police and firefighters’ pension funds. In a terse, 11-page ruling, the appellate court in Arlington Heights v. Pritzker, 2023 IL App (2d) 220198, affirmed the constitutionality of consolidation. This lawsuit stems from Public Act …

Teacher Reinstated Despite Offensive Social Media Posts

by Maureen A. Lemon “I can think of no better form of birth control than to have people observe my class for a day.” “You can miss 85 days in Oak Park and still pass 6th grade.” “This parent is nuts.” These are a few of the Facebook posts authored by tenured teacher Deidre Kelleher. The Oak Park Elementary School …

Excess Accumulations and YOU!

by James M. Vasselli and Matthew T. Simo Public bodies perform important tasks. They set and maintain budgets, manage finances, and perhaps most significantly, they levy taxes. Spiderman taught us that with great power comes great responsibility. Since the power to tax is a great power, it commands great responsibility. Tax levies must be carefully crafted to bring in sufficient …

Court Interprets Open Meetings Act Statute of Limitations

by Thomas J. Gilbert and Hayley Loufek It goes without saying that Illinois local governments must comply with the Open Meetings Act (“OMA”). If they don’t, they will be subject to the wrath of the courts and the Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor. However, OMA violations have a shelf life. If the Act is violated (or there is probable cause …

How to Handle the Paid Leave for All Workers Act

by Michael Castaldo III On March 13, 2023, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law Public Act 102-1143, which creates the Paid Leave for All Workers Act. This legislation guarantees Illinois employees a minimum of 40 hours of paid leave per year that may be used for any purpose, at their discretion. Illinois employers must ensure their leave practices meet or …