For Immediate Release
Contact: [email protected]
May 26, 2023
Revised Bill on Leasing of County Land, A Plus for Taxpayers
"We have known for a few years now that this bill was necessary to fix leasing issues in the county." State Representative Brad Halbrook
Shelbyville, Illinois – House Bill 1076 puts new requirements in place for the leasing of county ground. Those requirements include that three-fourths of the full county board must approve any leasing agreement and that the lease can be no longer than five years. It deletes a provision that a single county officer can make a lease agreement, and importantly, it ensures that public property can only be used for a public purpose.
Currently, county property has been improperly leased without a public benefit and the leasing agreements were done without transparent and fair bidding. Those requirements are part of other Illinois laws that govern how taxpayer assets are used. The original House version did not fix these flaws and unfortunately passed to the Senate with the support of legislators and interest groups, including the Farm Bureau, who had limited legal understanding of the current processes’ violation of other Illinois laws. State Rep. Brad Halbrook opposed the initial version of the legislation.
Halbrook responded to the latest version saying. “We have known for a few years now that this bill was necessary to fix leasing issues in the county. It only took a few tweaks in key sentences to make this bill one that will protect taxpayers and give counties an additional revenue source and also be in full compliance with Article VIII, Section 1 of our Illinois Constitution – public property shall be used only for public purposes. With the changes in Senate Amendment 1 to HB 1076, I fully support the bill and thank Senator Plummer for his work on this legislation.”