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

May 8, 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. 


First a Global pandemic, then killer hornets, and now Kristin Cavallari is divorcing Jay Cutler after calling him "lazy and unmotivated". What else does 2020 have in store?   

Committee Updates
The House has cancelled next week's session.  The deadline to release House Bills from committees has been extended one week to Friday, May 22nd.   This move was widely expected.  Despite increasing calls by the GOP to return to legislating, it still appears that the last week of May would be the absolute earliest the General Assembly will return to Springfield.    

Gov. Pritzker Outlines Plan to Reopen Illinois
Since mid-March the nation has faced dueling disasters, a public health pandemic and an economic recession that threatens to turn worse. At the Illinois Chamber, we believe the Governor has done an admirable job with the public health crises but the economic crises has deepened largely unabated. Make no mistake, economic crises can have outcomes just as severe as the virus: substance abuse, domestic abuse and self-harm among them.  For a couple of weeks now, we have asked the Governor to provide a pathway to ease the economic devastation occurring in Illinois.   

On Tuesday, Governor Pritzker outlined his plan to reopen Illinois. The plan divides the state into four regions and lays out five phases towards a return to pre-coronavirus life. The entire state is currently in Phase II.  Each region can move independently into the next stage when certain public health benchmarks are obtained over a 28-day period. For example, the plan requires a downward trajectory of cases and positive tests over a 14-day period, but a decrease in hospital admissions for 28 days.  This 28-day benchmark is double the period used in New York, where the outbreak has been more severe, and longer than the timeline provided by some experts like Dr. Fauci. Republicans, including Leader Brady, have been publicly critical of this extended timeline.  

Once a region has met the benchmarks over a 28-day period they move on to the next phase. For all of the state that would be Phase III which would feature the return of "nonessential" manufacturing, retail, childcare and corporate offices. Phase IV reopens schools, restaurant dining, personal care, health clubs and some entertainment venues.  Phase V is the final stage in which everything is allowed to fully reopen.  

While the Chamber is pleased the Governor has outlined a plan and provided some light at the end of the tunnel, we ask that he continue to evaluate the plan and adjust for conditions as they develop.  For example, if neighboring states like Indiana and Missouri which have adopted more aggressive reopening measures succeed, Illinois should follow suit sooner- our economy depends on it.   


Study Shows Big Impacts to Motor Fuel Tax Receipts
We've talked in the last couple of weeks about how the drastic reduction in travel would greatly reduce the state's motor fuel tax revenue.  A recent study from the Illinois Economic Policy Institute provides some numbers. They predict a loss to Illinois of anywhere from $296 to $559 million as a result of the pandemic.  The construction industry says this years work on IDOT projects won't be impacted because the work has already begun.  However, that loss of revenue will hamper future projects.  What's more worrisome is that the study just estimated the loss during the pandemic. Revenue losses due to a crippled economy would be even greater.  This is yet another reason the Illinois Chamber continues to advocate for a balancing of the ongoing public health and economic crises.   

Secretary of State Limited Opening for Commercial Drivers Licenses
The offices of the Illinois Secretary of State were among the first to close at the start of the pandemic. As a result, there is a backlog of those wishing to renew or obtain a Commercial Driver's License. To meet this demand, the Secretary is opening three offices statewide: West Chicago, Springfield-Dirksen or Marion facilities. To schedule a road test you can call the Secretary of State at (217) 785- 3013. More information can be found here: https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/drivers/drivers_license/CDL/IL_fast_pass.html

Upcoming Illinois Chamber of Commerce Webinars
 
May 12 - Recent Developments In Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act Class Actions
10:30am - 12pm
  • The defenses employers are relying upon to try to defeat the claims altogether, including arguments that the claims are preempted by the Labor Management Relations Act, the National Labor Relations Act, and the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act, among other defenses   
  • Key recent court opinions interpreting BIPA, including what a plantiff must allege to proceed in state and federal court, and the time period for plantiffs to bring suit  
  • Area of anticipated litigation, including regarding whether these cases will be decided in state or federal court, the calculation of damages, and the award of attorneys' fees for a prevailing party   
  • Considerations for employers when getting into compliance with BIPA   
Member Rate - $135
Non-Member Rate - $165

 
May 15 - Re-Opening the Economy - Preparing to Return Workers to the Workplace
10:30am - 12pm
 
This 90-minute webinar will focus on the following topics:
Phasing in essential workers, the latest guidance from local, state and federal government   

  • Checking temps at the door  
  • Providing PPE - who pays for it?   
  • Managing public transportation and commuting problems   
  • Reacting to childcare issues   
  • Protecting health/privacy issues  
  • Avoiding discrimination claims and related pitfalls   
  • Diminishing the threat of Workers Compensation claims   
  • Supporting subcontractors/independent contractors without making them employees   
  • Managing Public Relations n And More!   
Member Rate - $135
Non-Member Rate - $165

May 20 - COVID-19 and It's Impact on the Gig Economy
10:30am - 11:30am
The government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic has sent shockwaves through the business world, including assisting the gig economy. This webinar will review the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (C.A.R.E.S.) from an independent contractor viewpoint. We will discuss which sections apply to independent contractors and how independent contractors can use these Acts to help them through this unprecedented pandemic.

Member Rate- $104
Non-Member Rate - $124
Save $25 when you register by May 10

May 20 - How to Challenge Illinois Audit Assessments & Refunds Claims Denials
1:30pm - 2:30pm
Join Paul Bogdanski Partner in the Reed Smith State and Local Tax practice and Keith Staats Executive Director of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Tax Institute as they discuss the options available to taxpayers to challenge Illinois sales and income tax audit assessments and refund claim denials. They will discuss choosing the proper forum for your challenge, filing deadlines and procedural rules. Paul and Keith will also give their thoughts on when to litigate, when to settle and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on how to approach your case.

Member Rate- $104
Non-Member Rate - $124
Save $25 when you register by May 10

May 21 - The New Form I-9 and Addressing Form I-9 Compliance in Light of the Impacts of COVID-19
10:30am - 12pm
While COVID-19 is temporarily changing the shape and functionality of most businesses, this is not the time to take your foot of the gas regarding Form I-9 Compliance. In fact,  employers must be cognizant that they can only use the 10/21/19 edition of the Form I-9 for new employees and for reverification. Attend this webinar to learn about the new Form I-9, compliance requirements for the Form I-9, COVID-19 Form I-9 compliance, COVID-19 E-verify compliance, addressing the Form I-9 when hiring and recalling employees after COVID-19 and Form I-9 audits.

Member Rate - $135
Non-Member Rate - $165
Save $25 when you register by May 11

May 27 - Scheduling Nightmare: Complying with the Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance
10:30am - 12pm
Last year, Chicago's City Council passed the most comprehensive "predictive scheduling" ordinance in the nation, creating a litany of new obligations for many Chicago companies. Employers in the building services, healthcare, hotel, manufacturing, restaurant, retail and warehouse services industries with as few as 50 employees in Chicago may be subject to the new ordinance when it goes into effect on July 1, 2020.  

Member Rate - $135
Non-Member Rate - $165
Save $25 when you register by May 17

May 28 - Welcome Back! Reopening Your Business After COVID-19
1:30pm - 3pm
Discussion to Include:   
  • How employers can implement safety measures to protect its workforce when reopening  
  • Employers hiring practices when reopening during a pandemic-the dos and don'ts   
  • OSHA guidelines to implement in your workplace for workers to return to a safe environment   
  • Modifying your company handbook to comply with the U.S. DOL regulations 
  • And More!   
Member Rate - $135
Non-Member Rate - $165
Save $25 when you register by May 18
 
June 9 - Administrative Rulemaking in Illinois, What You Don't Know Can Hurt You
1:30pm - 2:30pm
Join us to gain an understanding the basics of the Illinois administrative rulemaking process and how the Chamber is an unmatched advocate for the business community in the rulemaking process. The webinar will be taught by Keith Staats Executive Director of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Tax Institute. Keith has been involved in the administrative rulemaking process for almost 40 years both inside and outside of state government. Keith was Deputy Director of the Illinois General Assembly's Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) and served on JCAR staff for almost 10 years. In private practice,  Keith represented clients in the rulemaking process promoting rules that provided clarity and guidance, and opposing proposed and existing rules that were examples administrative agency overreach. In his role with the Chamber Tax Institute  Keith continues his advocacy for the business community by reviewing and analyzing all tax-related rulemaking. Most recently, Keith was successful in lobbying the Illinois Department of Revenue to make favorable changes for Chamber members to the proposed rules on the Data Center Tax exemption and the new Illinois Parking Tax.

Member Rate- $104
Non-Member Rate - $124
Save $25 when you register by May 31

To register or for more information contact   
Pam Holleman,   
HR Specialist/Event & Publication Sales
at (855) 239-6150 or pholleman@ilchamber.org

Articles of Interest  
April state revenues down by more than $2.7 Billion:  https://www.sj-r.com/news/20200505/april-state-revenues-down-by-more-than-27-billion  

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