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Government Affairs Reports

  

March 10, 2017

This Week In Illinois

This week the House and Senate both returned to the Springfield for legislative session.  There was no major movement this week on the Senate’s “grand-bargain” budget compromise.  In protest, several Senate committees held subject matter hearings (no votes on bills) on testimony from various agency department heads.  Several Senate Democratic committee chair’s noted that votes would not be taken on bills until there is a budget resolution.  While this did not happen in all of the Senate’s committees, it appears to be up the the discretion of the committee chairman.

As a reminder, the Chamber opposes the Senate’s package as a whole due to the language tying each bill in the package to one another.  The Chamber remains opposed due to the watered down, weak workers’ compensation reforms laid out in SB 12 (Radogno) and assured adverse impact the omnibus tax bill would have on the state’s business climate.

BILLS TO NOTE FROM THIS WEEK

On Thursday, the Chamber’s VP of Policy testified in support of SB 1381 (Cunningham).  This bill is otherwise known as the telecom re-write.  This bill would transition Illinois from a Large Electing Provider to an Internet Protocol-based network.   The Chamber supports this bill will help modernize state law by attracting more private investment in high-speed networks.  More investment in high-speed internet networks helps virtually every sector in the Illinois economy.

Transportation & Infrastructure 

HB 2808 (Mah) passed in House Mass Transit Committee on Wednesday. The bill creates the Transportation Benefits Program Act. Requires all covered employers to offer at least one transportation benefit program. The Chamber slipped and testified in opposition to the bill.

SB 1267 (Sandoval) creates the Railroad Supplier Diversity Act.  Provides that each Class I railroad company shall, no later than April 15 of each year, submit to the Illinois Commerce Commission an annual report containing certain information concerning procurement goals and spending for female-owned, minority-owned, veteran-owned, and small business enterprises.  The Chamber opposes.

Employment Law

HB 2462 (Moeller) passed House Labor and Commerce Committee 7-4. The bill would bar an employer from inquiring into the past wages of an employee as well as add new punitive and compensatory damage penalties for violations. The Chamber opposed this bill.

HB 2749 (Guzzardi) passed House Labor and Commerce Committee 7-4. The bill would adopt the USDOL rule under the Obama Administration that would dramatically increase the wage level to determine whether an employee is eligible for overtime pay. The Chamber opposed this bill.

Taxes

HB 3419 (Andrade) passed House State Government Administration Committee 5-2. The bill provides that an expatriate corporation shall be considered a non-resident bidder for purposes of the Code. Provides that no business or member of a unitary business group shall submit a bid for or enter into a contract with a State agency under the Code if the business is an expatriate corporation.  The Chamber is opposed.

Energy & Environment 

HB 2899 (Phelps) passed unanimously out of House Environment. The bill would bring Illinois in line with federal regulations on certain mining provisions. The Chamber supports this bill.

HB 3643 (Moeller) would require the ICC to consider any and all evidence presented in public convenience proceedings for pipelines. This bill was also moved to House Environment subcommittee.  The Chamber is opposed.

Healthcare & Insurance

HB 2721 (Conroy) is the PANDAS insurance mandate. The bill passed out of House Insurance: Health and Life committee 14-2. The Chamber is opposed to the bill.

Business & Financial Regulation

HB 2861 (Arroyo) passed the House Executive Committee 6-4-0 on Wednesday.  This bill would prohibit the sale of energy drinks for those under the age of 18 in Illinois.  The Chamber opposes.

HB 523 (Turner) passed the House Real & Personal Property Law Subcommittee 2-1-0 but failed to pass the House Judiciary Civil Committee 5-6-0.  This bill would extend the collection of a graduated foreclosure filing fees.  The Chamber opposes this bill as we believe these temporary filing fees should expire as scheduled.  The bill remains in the House Judiciary Civil Committee.

PREVIEW: NEXT WEEK

Both the House and Senate are expected to be in session Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of next week.  The Senate’s deadline for substantive bills out of committee is next Friday, March 17.

Due to the abnormally high amount of bills leaving the House Rules Committee, there are several bad bills that have been either assigned to regular committees or subcommittees.

However, below are a few bills and committee hearings that are worth mentioning:

  • On March 16, the House Revenue and Finance Committee will hold a subject matter hearing on tax incentives such as the EDGE credit, the Chamber EDGE replacement, and property tax relief.  The Chamber’s executive director of the Tax Institute, Keith Staats is going to be testifying during that hearing.
  • The Senate is set to hear SB 1798 (Hastings) in the Senate Executive Committee on March 15.  This bill, same as the HB 3419 (Andrade), is an initiative of state Treasurer Michael Frerichs.  This bill would provide that an expatriate corporation is to be considered a non-resident bidder for purposes of the Illinois Procurement Code, thus prohibiting a business or member of a unitary business group from submitting bids or contracts with the state.  The Chamber opposes this bill as it is lousy tax policy.  State “tax havens” under the bill are arbitrary and overly broad and reflect a discarded worldwide approach to state taxation.  The Chamber is also prepared to testify in opposition to the bill.
  • The Chamber has received word that Rep. Fine is preparing to call HB 2958 (Fine) in the House Consumer Protection Committee on Tuesday.  This bill would ban the use of an environmentally preferred sealant on roadways, driveways, and parking lots in Illinois.  The Chamber, as well as anyone who owns a parking lot, is opposed to the bill.
  • As mentioned last week, there are several bills that would put restrictions and burdens on companies in the technology industry and anyone who owns a website.  The House Cybersecurity, Data Analytics and IT Committee is set to hear several anti-business bills that would set up for lawsuit abuse by plaintiff attorneys.  Bills in committee that the Chamber opposes include: HB 2774 (Turner), HB 3030 (D. Harris), and HB 3819 (Andrade).

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