Clark Kaericher | Vice President, Government Affairs | 217-522-5512 x 296

April 24, 2020

The Infrastructure Council is an initiative of the Illinois Chamber that brings together Chamber members with a focus on increasing infrastructure investments in a strategic and thoughtful way to boost the overall business climate in Illinois. Our focus is on the public and private systems that are essential to Illinois businesses. 


Good Afternoon. I hope everyone is staying healthy and sane at home. The Governor extended his stay at home order, with some modifications. This week, some people are happy for the time with their families and the return of some normalcy with the NFL draft (sorry Packers fans). Others are suing the Governor or attempting a Natasha and Boris style plan to burn down the Thompson Center ( https://twitter.com/chicagostreetn1/status/1253451596077252609?s=12
 
Committee Updates 
The House and Senate were not in session this week. The House has canceled the session days originally scheduled for next week. According to the Illinois General Assembly website, the next session day scheduled for the Senate is listed as May 5. The House does not have a next scheduled session day posted on the website as of this morning.  
The following deadlines have been extended:  
  • Committee Deadline: May 7th 
  • 3rd Reading Deadline Chamber of Origin: May 15th 
  • Committee Deadline Alternate Chamber Bills: May 22 
  • 3rd Reading Deadline Alternate Chamber: May 29

It remains unclear when the General Assembly will return to Springfield. I very much doubt those deadlines above are the final extension. Remember, though, that voting requirements increase on June 1st.   
 
Governor Announces Intention to Extend Stay at Home Order 
Yesterday, Gov. Pritzker announced his  intent  to extend the statewide stay-at-home order through the end of May. Additional industries have been deemed as essential (including garden centers/nurseries), there will be a face mask requirement in public spaces when social distancing can't be maintained, certain state parks and golf courses will be allowed to reopen under certain conditions, as well as additional requirements on essential businesses.   
The mask requirement drew most of the media attention. The order will also require a mask requirement when in public and social distancing is not possible. A simple face covering is all that is required.  
 
Temporary Restraining Order Issued on COVID-19 Workers Comp Rule 
As discussed last week, the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission issued an emergency rule that declared any essential worker that contracts the COVID-19 virus will be presumed to have caught it at work and thus entitled to workers compensation from his/her employer. 
 
The business community strongly pushed back on this as it would be nearly impossible to prove a negative and costs would skyrocket an estimated $10 billion. This would be nearly quadruple the normal workers compensation costs in a typical year.    
 
The Illinois Chamber of Commerce filed an animus brief in support of the temporary restraining order in Sangamon County court. That order was granted and further hearings scheduled for May 4th.  
 
Department of Transportation Administrative Rule Update  
IDOT issued new purchasing rules that should be examined by all IDOT vendors.   
 
Here is a summary of the changes from JCAR:  
 
The CHIEF PROCUREMENT OFFICER FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION adopted amendments to the Part titled Chief Procurement Officer for the Department of Transportation - Contract Procurement (44 IAC 6; 43 Ill Reg 14490) effective 4/8/20, implementing recent changes to the Procurement Code. The rulemaking expands the jurisdiction of the CPO-DOT to include procurement of construction support services, defined as all equipment, supplies, and services necessary to the operation of a construction agency's construction program, but not including construction-related services such as design, layout, inspection, etc. (Formerly, the Part applied to construction and construction-related services.) Conditions for the use of sole-source and sole economically feasible source purchasing, and the procedures for determining that such purchases can be made, are added. Definitions and provisions are added for piggyback contracts (cooperative purchasing in which the State accepts the pricing and terms of a contract entered into by another organization, agency or department; another state or its agencies; or the federal government) and no-cost contracts (in which the vendor does not pay or make payments to the State, but charges another entity the State contracted rate for goods or services). A small purchase threshold of $100,000 (below which competitive bidding is not required- this was previously $30,000), adjusted annually for inflation, is established for construction purchases, individual purchases from any one source, and professional and artistic services contracted for a nonrenewable term of no more than 1 year.    
 
Articles of Interest  
Economic Downturn Horrible for Autonomous Car Development  https://www.thedrive.com/tech/33110/the-autonomous-car-industry-is-about-to-get-hammered  

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