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Senate Week in Review: Oct. 30 – Nov. 3, 2017

State lawmakers return to Springfield November 7 for the final days of fall veto session. Lawmakers are expected to take up several pieces of new legislation and vote on other bills vetoed by the Governor.

Also during the week, the Illinois Department of Transportation is looking at surveys from across the state about ways to improve rest areas; and the Illinois State Police is asking people to take part in a new logo contest.

And legislation has been filed to help municipalities save money when filing audits.

Veto session continues

State lawmakers return to Springfield November 7 for the final week of the fall veto session.

Issues that could come up during the scheduled three-day session include a property tax freeze, gun control measures, law enforcement being allowed to continue to use an eavesdropping device during investigations, credit agencies not being allowed to charge consumers who place or take off a security freeze on their credit report, and mandatory sexual harassment training for lawmakers, staff, and lobbyists, among other issues.

Helping municipalities save money on audits

Municipalities could file their annual audit with the Comptroller’s Office using a far easier method, saving them time and taxpayer dollars, under legislation filed at the Statehouse.

Senate Bill 2258 would allow municipalities to prepare their annual financial audit through either an accrual basis or cash basis accounting practices.  In June, the Comptroller’s Office sent a letter requiring that municipalities use only accrual basis accounting, a method that is more complicated, time-consuming, and costly because oftentimes, an accounting firm has to be hired by the municipality to conduct the audit.

Many rural municipalities want to use cash basis accounting because their budgets are basic, small, and don’t justify their using accrual basis accounting.

According to accountingcoach.com, under the accrual basis method of accounting, revenues are reported on the income statement when they are earned and expenses are matched with the related revenues and/or are reported when the expense occurs, not when the cash is paid. Under the cash basis method of accounting, revenues are reported on the income statement when the cash is received.

Thousands offer IDOT advice on rest areas

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) will now start to analyze nearly 4,500 surveys about the condition of the state’s rest areas.  From October 11 to October 29, IDOT offered people the chance to answer a 20-question survey about rest areas, ranging from their thoughts on rest rooms, water fountains, playgrounds, how satisfied they are when they use the state’s rest areas, and how important certain features are to them, among other topics.

IDOT says the survey will help the agency when they consider how to rehab or possibly close rest areas throughout the state. IDOT says that many of their rest areas have reached a point where it is now time to evaluate their future. A date has not been determined for when IDOT will announce what rest areas will be rehabbed or possibly closed.

IDOT maintains 30 rest areas throughout the state, which serve more than 36 million travelers every year. 

State Police seeking design for new logo

The Illinois State Police (ISP) is seeking help in designing a logo to celebrate the ISP’s 100th anniversary in 2022.  Contestants can submit up to three designs with the top three logo design winners all receiving cash prizes.  The contest is open to any active ISP employee, retiree, and community member.  The 100th anniversary logo will be used in making commemorative stars, patches, car decals, letterhead, web design, advertising, and more.

The logo design will be judged off of five criteria. Files can be uploaded or paintings/drawings can be mailed. For more information and to submit a logo, go to www.isphf.org/logo-contest.

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