board member must now be considered incompatible."

Individuals who have taken up the duties of both the offices of township supervisor and county board member prior to September 5. 1974, may retain both offices until the present terms expire. However, any township supervisor who has assumed the office of county board member, or any county board member who has assumed the office of township supervisor, by election or appointment, after September 5, 1974, has ipso facto resigned and vacated the prior held office.

With respect to the positions of member and president of the forest preserve commission, county board members may serve in these positions since they are not elected or appointed by county hoard action. Specific statutory language allows the county board to appoint county board members to the board of review.

Covered in pay raise bill
NP-876 to Comptroller George W. Lindberg. 3/13/75

Employees of the Illinois Insurance Laws Study Commission are entitled to the pay increase provided by Public Act 78-1254 and the increase should he funded from the appropriation provided the comptroller in section 3.1 of P.A. 78-1090. But, the question of the pay increase being retroactive is still in litigation (AFSCME v. Walker being appealed from the 7th Judicial Circuit, Sangamon County, to the Illinois 4th Appellate Court).

Board of Ethics
Policy Statement on Executive Order No. 4 of 1973. 4/14/75

Executive Order No. 4 of 1973 required that economic interest statements be filed between April 15 and April 30 each year by appointees of the governor, those in agencies responsible to the governor who earn $20,000 or more per year from the state or whose positions are subject to undue influence, and gubernatorial appointees to some other agencies.

Personal financial information filed with the Board of Ethics is protected by strict security measures. Copies of all income tax returns filed with the board remain confidential, and only the board and its staff have access to them.

Financial disclosure statements filed by publicly-appointed commission and board members are also confidential, though such statements filed by all other persons are available for the public to inspect.

Those wishing to inspect ethics statements must execute a request formally under oath containing the name, address, occupation and organization represented by the inspector. Also, the request must contain a statement that the information will not be used for commercial purposes unrelated to the public function of the person who filed the disclosure statement.

Judicial Rulings
Illinois Supreme Court

Tax equalization deferred Hamer v. Kirk. decided April 16, 1975

"This is another in a succession of cases resulting from the failure of public officials, both State and local, to assess and equalize property for taxing purposes in the manner prescribed by law," said Chief Justice Underwood, speaking for four of the judges (Justices Schaefer and Davis took no part in the case: Justice Kluczynski dissented).

The circuit court of Lake County had enjoined the Department of Local Government Affairs from certifying, without prior court approval, a final 1974 "multiplier" for any county which would result in a level of property assessment less than 42 per cent of full value (see "Politics of equalizing the property tax," June, p. 179ff). The state appealed.

After describing the statutory program to produce uniformity in the level of assessments, the court said "no real effort has been made by Slate or local officials to assess all property at its fair cash value as required by statute .... That this situation exists in Lake County is demonstrated by the record in this case. That it is duplicated in varying degrees in other counties ... is a matter of common knowledge .... Substantial disparities . . . exist in the levels of assessed valuations as between the various counties. The Department of Local Government Affairs, charged by the legislature with the duty of equalizing those valuations at 50% of actual value has . . . deliberately chosen not to do so. The net results of this are intracounty and intercounty disparities in assessed valuations which are neither lair to individual taxpayers nor in accordance with law."

Despite this view, the court reversed the order of the Lake County circuit court and sent the case back for further action. That action, the court suggested, should relate to the 1975 and subsequent tax years. For the 1974 tax year to which the injunction related no action was to be taken. The court's reason was that to do otherwise would result in a substantial delay in the collection of taxes, compelling local governments to borrow funds to meet operating expenses. It appeared that after the Supreme Court had stayed the lower court's injunction, the department had certified final 1974 multipliers to 65 counties, and the work of milking tax extensions had already begun. If new multipliers were to be computed and certified in April, county clerks would have to do their work over again wilh resulting delays.

The department had argued that the Lake County circuit court was not the proper forum for a case involving property and taxpayers in the 101 other counties, who were not represented. The court rejected this contention. "We do not agree that representatives from all counties are necessary parties. hut the circuit court of Lake County should permit any county so requesting to intervene as to further proceedings."

A week later (4/23/75), the court disposed of two related cases. People ex ret. Hoogasian v Kirk and Board of Education of Evanston Township High School v. Kirk, by sending them back to the Lake County circuit court and Cook County circuit court, respectively, for further proceedings consistent with the Hamer decision.

U.S. Supreme Court
Show must go on Southeastern Promotions, Ltd. v. Conrad, decided March 18, 1975

As a consequence of action taken by the U.S. Supreme Court local officials will no longer be able to censor live stage productions without providing a system of minimal procedural safeguards including an opportunity for prompt judicial review of their action.

In 1971 the petitioner, a New York corporation, attempted to secure the use of a municipal auditorium in the city of Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the purpose of staging a live theater production of the rock musical "Hair." The corporation's request was denied by the board of directors on the grounds that it would not be "in the best interest of the community." The corporation then sought injunctive relief in a federal District Court.

In the District Court a hearing was held, and on the basis of evidence and testimony an advisory jury concluded that the musical "Hair" was obscene and therefore constituted criminal conduct. The District Court agreed, and accordingly denied the request for injunctive relief. The U.S. Court of Appeals upheld this judgment by a divided vote. Southeastern then appealed to the Supreme Court.

Justice Blackmun, speaking for a majority of five, stated that the constitutional issue before the court was not whether the live stage production was, in fact, obscene. Instead it was whether or not the Chattanooga Board exercised censorship by refusing outright without minimal procedural safeguards to permit the staging of the production.

Blackmun reasoned that the authority being exercised by the board amounted to "the power to deny the use of a forum in advance of actual expression." This constituted the "ery essence of prior restraint. The key value that Blackmun was articulating in his case was that "a free society prefers to punish the few who abuse rights of speech after they break the law than to throttle them and all others beforehand. "/C.P.R.

220/Illinois Issues/July 1975


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