ILEAS is involved in three pieces of proposed legislation in the current General Assembly session. The first is a funding bill that MABAS and ILEAS have both submitted and are supporting. The bill is HB5647 sponsored by Representatives Elaine Nekritz and Donald Moffitt. The companion bill in the Senate is SB2592 and is sponsored by Senator Pam Althoff. This bill adds $3 to the license plate registration fee dedicated for homeland security. Approximately one dollar each goes to law enforcement, fire and emergency management statewide mutual aid organzations. If successful, the funds generated by this bill would be directed towards necessary programs for which Federal Funds cannot be used. for example, it would include capital replacement on specialized team vehicles like Mobile Command Posts, Bearcats, ITECS trailers, interoprable radios, etc.
The second bill is SB2588 sponsored by Senator Antonio Munoz. This bill proposes a training exception for the Freedom from Drone Surveillance Act. There are currenlty six exceptions to the prohibition of drones for law enforcement. The original law did not provide an exception for training.
Given that ILEAS operates a homeland security training center, having the ability to utilize drones to assist with training is very desirable.
The third bill is HB6042 sponored by Representative Donald Moffitt. Since Illinois has not passed a budget, after July 1, 2015, Federal grant funds could not be spent because when they are received, they are placed into the State budget. The result is - so, no budget, no spending of Federal money. In August, ILEAS and MABAS and others supported a bill that would "pass-thru" the Federal funds in this year only. It was good that it passed because otherwise, ILEAS and MABAS would be closed down now. This bill provides that the Homeland Security Emergency Preparedness Trust Fund (the fund in the State budget where all the homeland security Federal grants are placed) will be a "continuing appropriation" each year and not subject to the end of the State Fiscal Year in June 30th.
All three of these bills have been reviewed by the Illinois Sheriffs' Association and the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police. At some point in the near future, ILEAS will reach out to its membership to support these bills as they are called. In the meantime, please familiarize yourself with them so that if you find yourself interacting with a Represeantative or Senator from your area, you can mention them and express your support.