IML Wins Suit For Municipalities To Stay Open If They Choose on Nov. 3

By Benjamin Cox on October 19, 2020 at 3:57pm

A Sangamon County Circuit Court judge has ruled in favor of the Illinois Municipal League and its member municipalities, ruling a mandate to close all government offices on Election Day does not apply to municipalities. The ruling settles ambiguity within a measure passed by lawmakers earlier this year that would have required “all government offices” to close on Election Day.

Sangamon County Circuit Court Judge Raylene D. Grischow’s decision says it will allow individual municipalities to determine whether their offices will be open on November 3rd. According to IML’s lawsuit against the Illinois State Board of Elections, the law would have imposed a new unfunded mandate on municipalities that could have cost local communities and taxpayers tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in holiday pay and related expenses for first responders and village staff in a current time where municipalities are strapped for money due to COVID-19 revenue losses.

In a press release, IML President Brad Cole applauded the decision, saying that it removes a “one size fits all” approach to the situation and says that many cities and local governments simply couldn’t afford the extra costs.