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

May 15, 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. 

Like everyone else in Illinois locked at home, I've been watching "The Last Dance" which documents the 1998 Chicago Bulls.   
It's well worth watching, even for this Hoosier who grew up with  a poster of  Reggie Miller on the wall.   
Session is back! (Kind of)  
Like Jordan in the late 199 5 , session is coming back  and similar to  Jordan wearing the number 45, this session  week  is going to be weird.  Both the House and the Senate are going to meet Wednesday-Friday.  The Senate will meet in the capitol, but the House will meet at the Bank of Springfield C onvention C enter .   All elected officials will agree to additional screening procedures and  will be largely separated from the public.  Lobbyist activity will be greatly restricted.   
Senate President Harmon and Speaker Madigan have indicated this will be a "special session" which will formally limit  it to the consideration of the following topics:  
  • The COVID-19 pandemic or other disasters; 
  • The state budget and its implementation; 
  • Economic recovery, infrastructure projects, and funding thereof;
  • The explanation, arguments for and against the Progressive Income Tax; 
  • Laws or authority scheduled to sunset prior to June 1, 2021; 
  • The 2020 General Election and the State Board of Elections; and 
  • The hospital assessment program   
Legislative Updates 
The following legislation was  filed,  or action was taken in the last two weeks. As always, your input on these  measures is very much appreciated: 
HB 5769 ( Thapedi ) -  Creates the Personal Protective Equipment Responsibility Act. Requires an employer designated as an essential employer under a disaster proclamation issued pursuant to the Illinois Emergency Management Act or an executive order issued pursuant to the disaster proclamation to provide personal protective equipment to independent contractors and to all employees during the duration of the disaster proclamation or executive order. Defines terms. Authorizes the recovery of damages, including punitive damages, and attorney's fees. Effective immediately.  The Chamber opposes this legislation and is working with the sponsor to develop something more workable.   
Illinois Directs $25 Million to Speed Grants for Infrastructure  
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity recently announced that $25 million in grant funding  will be used to accelerate work on planned infrastructure projects.  These grants, called Fast-Track Public Infrastructure Grants, will support local projects that are ready for construction to start this summer.  Projects must be ready to begin construction within 90 days of  receiving an award notice.  They must be permanent public  assets  without recurring project expenses.  Examples given were  expanding water and sewer systems and modernizing schools or other public buildings.   Funding for the grants come from the historic Rebuild Illinois capitol program  supported by the Illinois Chamber. You can apply for the grants here:  
Upcoming Illinois Chamber of Commerce Webinars
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, starting May 1, 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 regulation   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 Hollerman,
HR Specialist/Event & Publication Sales  
at (855) 239-6150 or 
Articles of Interest  
Until next time,  

Connect with the Chamber

© Illinois Chamber of Commerce

Not a member and want to learn more about the Illinois Chamber click here to contact Lanae Clarke