SPRINGFIELD, IL. (ECWd) –
State Representative Sam Yingling (D) is Chief Sponsor, with David Welter (R), Kathleen Willis (D), Daniel Didech (D), David McSweeney (R), and Jonathan Carroll (D) co-sponsoring HB3596 after House Floor Amendment 2 was added, there are a total of four amendments.
The language in the Amendments is troubling to say the least. What this Bill does, is creates the possibility of massive legal bills taxpayers will be forced to pay for each county-wide office holder, and a county board – in addition to what they are already taxed to pay for a State’s Attorney’s Office.
HB3596 HFA #s 2, 3, and 4 permit a county board, and each county-wide elected official to select an outside attorney to represent them. This means that the county taxpayer could be subjected to massive additional attorney fees (for which they are already taxed in State’s Attorney’s budget) for the following county-wide elected offices:
- County Board and Chairman
- County Auditor (if elected)
- County Supervisor of Assessments (if elected)
- County Sheriff
- County Clerk
- County Recorder
- County Treasurer
- Circuit Clerk
- County State’s Attorney
- County Coroner
That is a total of 8 (or 10 in some counties) newly hire attorneys, in every county in the State of Illinois who will suck the taxpayer dry.
The Bill would infringe on the statutory duties of a State’s Attorney, whom taxpayers are already paying, to defend and prosecute all actions of county officials/offices, and the State’s Attorney’s duty to provide legal advice to those offices free of charge. There is already a provision permitting a State’s Attorney to hire assistants and to hire outside counsel when he is conflicted or otherwise unable to effectively deal with specific subject matters.