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Government Affairs Reports


August 4, 2017

This Week In Springfield

The Illinois General Assembly was only in Monday this week.  The Senate lifted its parliamentarian hold on the the education funding reform bill (SB 1), which allowed the bill to leave the Senate and arrive on the governor’s desk.

As expected, Gov. Rauner issued an amendatory veto removing several provisions of the original bill including the Chicago Public School pension parity languge.

SB 1 will now return to the Senate where lawmakers can either concur with the governor’s amendatory veto with three-fifths majority vote in both chambers, file a motion to override the governor’s veto with three-fifths majority in both chambers, or let the bill die by not acting on the governor’s veto.

At this moment, it is unclear what actions will be taken by the Senate.  However, under the Illinois Constitution, the originating chamber has only 15 calendar days to either reject or accept the governor’s recommendations (Art. IV, Sec. 9).  In other words, the drop dead date for SB 1 is Aug. 15.

It would take 36 aye votes in the Senate to override the governor’s veto.  The same chamber originally passed SB 1 with 35 votes, one short needed for the override.  In he House, the climb is even steeper.  71 votes would be needed for an override.  SB 1, when originally passed only recorded 60 aye votes, 11 shy of the 71 needed for an override.

It is also important to note that the General Assembly remains in continuous session.  Therefore, issues outside of education could still be acted on.



After a decision late last week by a Cook County Circuit  judge, the penny-per-ounce soda tax went into effect Wednesday of this week.

Just because a judge has allowed this unfair tax to go forward does not mean Cook County should do it. Now is the time for Cook County commissioners who say they represent every day working families to stand up for them and stop this destructive tax from going into effect.

This tax hits Cook County families with enormous price increases, places at risk 6,100 middle class jobs and $1.3 billion in economic activity, and will devastate our small businesses by sending shoppers to stores over the border. These are risks Cook County residents cannot afford and County commissioners should act immediately to repeal the beverage tax.

The Can the Tax Coalition, which the Chamber belongs to, remains committed to educating Cook County residents about the real consequences of the beverage tax and will continue to urge the County Board to move on and repeal the tax.

A similar measure was introduced in the Illinois General Assembly this spring.



Last week the U.S. Department of Labor published in the Federal Register an RFI seeking input on how it should move forward with a new rulemaking to replace the Obama administration regulation.  As you’ll recall, the Obama rule is currently blocked from going into effect by a preliminary injunction issued November 22 by federal district Judge Amos Mazzant in Texas.  The administration has filed its final brief in the appeal of that ruling and has argued that the Secretary has the legislative authority to issue a salary threshold (some have read the Mazzant decision to say that there is no such legislative authority), but that the salary threshold set by the Obama administration was inappropriate.  The RFI is the first step in that rulemaking to set a new salary threshold.

The RFI consists of 11 questions that cover a wide variety of issues related to determining which employees should be exempt from the requirement to pay overtime compensation.  Among these are:

  • What methodology should be used for setting the salary threshold, and relatedly, should the 2004 threshold just be updated for inflation?
  • Should there be changes made to the duties test, and should the salary test be eliminated in favor of a duties-only test for exemption?
  • Should there be multiple salary levels to account for geographic, employer size, or some other difference?
  • Should there be different salary levels for different exemptions?
  • How should bonuses and incentive payments such as commissions be treated?
  • Should the salary level be automatically updated?

Comments are due September 25, 2017.



This week marked the fourteenth state legislator this year to either resign, give up their seat to run for another office or decide not to run for re-election

State Representative Patti Bellock (R – Hinsdale) announced this week that she would not be seeking re-election in 2018 adding to the growing number of lawmakers leaving the General Assembly.  Patti has been a fierce defender of the business community during her time in the legislature.  Bellock was also a recipient of the Chamber’s Champion of Free Enterprise multiple years in a row.

Adding to the list of House Republicans not seeking re-election include Bob Pritchard (not seeking re-election), Bill Mitchell (not seeking re-election), Chad Hays (not seeking re-election), and Barb Wheeler (not seeking re-election).  Senate Republicans include Christine Radogno (resigned), Tim Bivins (not seeking re-election) and Kyle McCarter (self imposed term limits).  House Democrats include Emily McAsey (resigned), Scott Drury (running for Governor), Cynthia Soto (running for another office), Laura Fine (running for state Senate), and Elaine Nektriz (not seeking re-election).  And lastly, Daniel Biss will be leaving the Senate Democrats to run for governor.



It’s time again to start thinking about your foursome for the Illinois Chamber’s annual golf outing at the Rail Golf Course in Springfield!  As always, your attendance includes food, beverages, raffle prizes and SWAG (stuff we all get!).

To register, click here.



This week the Chamber continued our Two-Minute Drill video series of interviewing members of the Illinois Congressional delegation.  This week, Chamber President and CEO Todd Maisch interview Congressman Rodney Davis.  If you didn’t get the chance to view the video, click here.
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