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Government Affairs Reports

                                           

August 29, 2014

 

In the last week Governor Pat Quinn has been very busy and not just on the campaign trail for re-election. The last couple of days the governor has approved and vetoed a number of pieces of legislation on our Key Bill list. Below are highlights.

Highlights of Recent Governor Approvals

Legislation to Combat “Patent Trolling” – SB 3405
Chamber supported legislation that makes certain claims regarding patent infringement unlawful. Prohibits claims that falsely threaten adverse administrative or judicial action, lack a reasonable basis in fact or law, or that come from an individual that is not, or does not represent, the person with a current right to license the patent. Passed the House 114-0-1, the Senate 57-0-0, and is now P.A. 98-1119.

State Government Procurement Reform – HB 5491
Chamber initiated legislation that amends the Procurement Code, the Small Business Contracts Act, the Governmental Joint Purchasing Act and the Discriminatory Club Act. The legislation is intended to provide for a more expedited procurement process while preserving transparency. Further, the legislation provides streamlining and clarification, as well as statutory clean-up. Among many other changes, the legislation increases the small business thresholds, allows for electronic submissions (rather than physical) regarding some requirements, and clarifies several definitional terms and references. Passed the House 110-0-1, Senate 55-0-0, and is now P.A. 98-1076.

Pregnancy Accommodation – HB 8
Legislation extends protections for pregnancy under the Illinois Human Rights Act to all medical and “common” conditions related to pregnancy and child birth. An employer must provide a “reasonable accommodation” unless the accommodation causes an “undue hardship”. A Senate amendment modified the bill to assist employers in their compliance with the law. However, employers must become familiar with the trappings of these changes to avoid costly litigation in the future. Passed the House 115-0-0, Senate 57-0-0, and is now P.A. 98-1050.

“Ban the Box”/Criminal Conviction Information Not Allowed on Job Application
Legislation which provides that an employer of 15 or more employees may not inquire into or require disclosure of a job applicant’s criminal record or criminal history before the candidate has been notified that the candidate has been selected for a job interview or has been offered a conditional offer of employment. The legislation has several key exemptions: (1) employers required to exclude applicants with certain criminal convictions from employment due to federal or State law; (2) if a standard fidelity bond or an equivalent bond is required and an applicant’s conviction of one or more specified criminal offenses would disqualify the applicant from obtaining such a bond, in which case an employer may include a question or otherwise inquire whether the applicant has ever been convicted of any of those offenses; or (3) employers employing individuals licensed under the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Systems Act. The law also will allow employers on its application to inform job applicants which criminal convictions will disqualify them for employment. Gov. Quinn signed the measure into law as Public Act 98-774 with a January 1, 2015 effective date. Passed the House 67-47-0, Senate 40-12-0, and is now P.A. 98-0774.

Violations of Equal Pay Act – HB 5563
Legislation to consolidate report, allows the Illinois Department of Labor to refer for investigation a complaint alleging a violation of the Illinois Equal Pay Act to the Department of Human Rights if the complaint also alleges a violation of the Illinois Human Rights Act over which the Department of Human Rights has jurisdiction. Passed the House 110-0-0, Senate 56-0-0, and is now P.A. 98-1051.

Sales Tax Sourcing – SB 2612
Amends the various sales tax acts to provide local tax sourcing guidelines for over-the-counter sales, vending machine sales, and sales of minerals. It also establishes a Use and Occupation Tax Reform Task Force for the purpose of studying how to modernize the state sales tax. The Task Force is required to report to the Governor and General Assembly no later than January 1, 2016. Passed the House 76-38-1, Senate 44-12-0, and now P.A. 98-1098.

Highlights of Recent Governor Vetoes

Rideshare Legislation Vetoed – HB 4075 and HB 5331
Legislation that would create a statewide regulatory framework on for-hire rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft. The Governor feared the legislation would stifle innovation and had concerns over the Home Rule preemption that would not allow local communities to create their own local specific regulations as the City of Chicago did earlier in the year. Passed the House 80-26-0, Senate 46-8-2, and the General Assembly may attempt to override the Governor’s veto in November after the elections.

70mph Tollway Speed Limit Bill – SB 2015
Legislation would have raised the speed limit on Illinois’ tollways from 65mpg to 70mph to be in line with the new statewide maximum speedlimit of 70mph enacted earlier this year. Despite passing overwhelming in the House and Senate, the Governor believed that increased traffic speeds lengthen vehicle stopping distances, produce more violent collisions, and ultimately, increase the loss of human life. Passed the House 111-4-0, Senate 48-6-0, and the General Assembly may attempt to override the Governor’s veto in November after the elections.

 

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Free Luncheon on Employer Grassroots Policy and Political Engagement

You are invited to join Greg Casey, President & CEO of BIPAC and Todd Maisch, President & CEO of the Illinois Chamber for a free luncheon on, September 10 in Naperville.  The Illinois Chamber of Commerce and the DuPage Business Council is hosting a luncheon with senior leadership from BIPAC to help provide guidance to Illinois employers and employees on how to engage in voter education and public policy engagement at the workplace.

The business community must become more involved in the electoral process to improve the legislative and regulatory environment. This luncheon will provide practical guidance to employers on how they can educate their employees on public policy matters and engage in the political process. The result will be a better business environment for all of us to foster growth and profitability.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014
11:30am to 1:00pm
Hotel Arista
2139 City Gate Lane, Naperville, Illinois 60563

Topics for discussion include:

  • Best Practices for Employee and Member Communications,
  • Illinois General Election Activities,
  • Tools and Strategies to Influence Policies and Politics,
  • Involvement Options and Implementing Employer and Employee Grassroots Activities,

Members of BIPAC’s and the Illinois Chamber of Commerce’s senior leadership will be giving tangible, practical guidance to state business leaders about best practices in influencing the political landscape and how to engage employees and members most effectively. BIPAC is focusing on states with political races that are particularly important to the business community so that business leaders can play the most effective role possible in shaping political outcomes and creating a legislative and regulatory environment that fosters growth and profitability.

Attendance is free, but RSVPs are required. To RSVP, please contact Andrew Proctor, The Illinois Chamber’s Director of Advocacy at aproctor@ilchamber.org.

More About BIPAC
The Business Industry Political Action Committee (BIPAC) helps the business community play a more active role in the public policy process. BIPAC provides its members the tools and strategies they need to keep their employees abreast of the key policy decisions impacting their livelihood, and opportunities to get involved in the public policy process. BIPAC helps state business organizations and its members impact political outcomes through the nation’s largest employee-focused grassroots network in the states, providing meaningful political analysis, crafting forward-thinking election strategies, and deploying cutting-edge PAC strategies. BIPAC is made up of more than 6,300 businesses and associations and has deployment partners in more than 40 states.

 

 

Annual Illinois Chamber PAC Golf Outing on September 3

golf-outing-art-2014

You are cordially invited to the annual Illinois Chamber PAC Golf Outing scheduled for Wednesday, September 3 at The Rail Golf Course in Springfield.

Join business leaders, legislators, and candidates throughout the state for a fun filled day of golf and networking outside of the office!

For your convenience, registration is available online by clicking HERE.

Schedule of Events
Noon – Check-in & Lunch
1:00 p.m – Shotgun Start
5:30 p.m – Dinner

Tickets
Foursome @ $600 each
Individual Golfer @ $150/person

Sponsorships
Event Sponsor @ $1,500 includes foursome
Dinner @ $500
Golf Hole @ $250

All sponsors will have their company names prominently displayed for their chosen sponsoring location/activity and in Chamber publications.

Contact Information
For more information, contact Andrew Proctor at 217-522-5512, ext. 296 or aproctor@ilchamber.org.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

 

 

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