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August 10, 2022

Subject Matter Hearing Misrepresentations Exposed – Part X

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On March 27, 2022

Shelby Co. (ECWd) –

This is Part X of the exposure of misrepresentations and misinformation provided by Shelby County State’s Attorney Nichole Kronke during her oral testimony in support of legislation affecting every county in the state.  We urge everyone to read Part I at this link, Part II at this link, Part III at this link, Part IV at this link, Part V at this link, Part VI at this link, Part VII at this link. , Part VIII at this link, and Part IX at this link.

“Chapter 620 of the Illinois Compiled Statutes approved under county airports that the legislature found that land leased pursuant to pursuant of ownership and maintenance of the county farm is in fact leased for a public purpose, even though a private entity, the farmer, profits, these statutes are all const.. been held to be constitutional, they have never been held to be unconstitutional.”

This one is a doozy because she points to 620 ICLS but later statues “these statutes”.

620 ICLS is the Air Transportation statute. Looking at 620 ICLS, you will see there are 16 sections.  There are only three sections found in 620 ICLS that are related to county airports and it is those we must look to for the purpose of exposing her misinformation.

Let’s look at the first claim in her statement, (emphasis added):

  • “..the legislature found that land leased pursuant to pursuant of ownership and maintenance of the county farm is in fact leased for a public purpose, even though a private entity, the farmer, profits. ”

Nothing in the three-county airport statutes under 620 ICLS speaks to the legislature finding what Kronke claims but please don’t take our word for it, read them yourself.

What the legislature did say, as found in 620 ILCS 40/4, and does not apply to the county farm, is as follows.

(620 ILCS 40/4) (from Ch. 15 1/2, par. 72)
    Sec. 4. All land and appurtenances thereto, acquired, owned, leased or occupied by a county for any purpose specified in Section 1 of this Act are acquired, owned, leased, or occupied for a public purpose.
(Source: Laws 1941, vol. 1, p. 463.)

Nothing in Section 1 of that Act speaks to farming but for the sake of education, let’s say it does.  Airport farm ground that is leased to a private farmer has a public purpose because of the use of the ground, which is not just private farming.  The farm ground is primarily a safety buffer area to the runways and taxiways which are required by the FAA.  So the use of the land is not solely for private farming but also for the required safety zone.

620 ILCS 45 does not speak to farming either.

620 ICLS 50 does not speak to farming either.

The real zinger that shocked us was the last part of her statement (emphasis added):

  • “these statutes are all const.. been held to be constitutional, they have never been held to be unconstitutional.”

Claiming a statute has been “held” Constitutional would mean that a court has had a Constitutionality question before them and “held” the statute as Constitutional or Unconstitutional.

Searching all the case law on 620 ICLS to include the three-county airport statutes found in 620 ICLS, we have been unable to locate a single case where the Constitutionality of the law was the question before the court.  For her to claim they have been held Constitutional appears to be, let’s say, inaccurate. Without a question of Constitutionality before a court, were not sure how she comes to the conclusion these statutes have been held constitutional as well as never being held unconstitutional. It appears she made her statement in an effort to push a narrative that supports her objective however I believe she does more harm than good.

I asked her to provide the case she relied upon for her statement.  In the event she chooses to respond I will update accordingly.  To date, she has not responded to any questions presented related to this series of exposures.

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