The General Assembly passed Public Act 99-0604, the Local Government Travel Expense Control Act, effective January 1, 2017. The Act requires municipalities, park districts, and other units of local government to establish, by resolution or ordinance, a policy on travel expense reimbursement.
The policy must:
- outline the type of official business for which expenses are allowed;
- set maximum allowable expenses for meals, travel, and lodging; and
- adopt a standardized form for reimbursement.
Expenses which exceed the maximum set are allowed only in emergency or “other extraordinary circumstances.” Certain documentation supporting the need for the expense is required as well. Entertainment expenses (as defined in the Act) are outright banned. A roll call vote at an open meeting is required to approve any expense exceeding the maximum allowed under the ordinance or resolution.
Municipalities, park districts, and other entities should carefully consider their existing travel and expense reimbursement policies to ensure that they are in compliance with the Act. The Act takes effect on January 1, 2017. Although the Act gives 180 days after the Act’s effective date to create a policy which includes maximum limits, the Act also requires roll-call votes for expenses that exceed those limits within 60 days.
In adopting maximum travel reimbursement amounts, you may wish to consider those rates set by the Government Services Administration (GSA), which sets allowances for the federal government. These rates are also used by the IRS when determining ordinary and necessary business expenses on meals for tax purposes. Additionally, the Illinois Central Management Services sets a daily per diem for state employees.
If you have further questions on how to ensure your agency timely complies with the provisions of the Act, please contact us.