February 16, 2018

This Week in Illinois 

On Tuesday, Chamber President and CEO Todd Maisch delivered a keynote address to the City Cub of Chicago.  Thanks to all of those who came out and supported the event.  If you missed it you can view the address here.  

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (IL-13) stopped by the Illinois Chamber of Commerce office this morning to discuss the latest in public policy with Illinois Chamber. Immigration, budget framework and spending levels, and infrastructure are all addressed here.

A proposal that is getting some traction in Springfield  is the return of the "prejudgment" wage lien proposal, HB 4324 , introduced by Rep. Chris Welch (D-Maywood). A group of opponents met Tuesday with Rep. Welch this week and several of the organizations pushing for its passage. This year's version has a couple of minor changes to address issues raised by the Chamber and others over the past several years. Rep. Welch challenged the opponents to draft a proposal that addresses the problem of certain business owners failing to pay wages owed to workers. In brief the new bill accomplishes the following:
  • Requires IDOL to adjudicate wage claims within 90 days of receiving a wage claim.  Surprisingly, the current law for DOL administrative procedures to adjudicate wage claim is already subject to appropriation.
  • If the employee files the claim expeditiously and DOL adjudicates the claim within 90 days it would be very difficult to dissolve, reorganize, or transfer assets. Therefore, a pre-judgment lien would be unnecessary. Under the Wage Payment and Collection Act, there is no current statutory deadline to adjudicate a wage claim. This is a concession (albeit not a business concession).
  • IDOL shall file a lien on real property of an employer who has been found guilty of violating the Act and after the employer has exhausted all available administrative or judicial appeals. Under the Wage Payment and Collection Act, there is no statutory ability to file a lien on an employer's property for lost wages. 
  • The lien shall be on the real property of the employer in the county where the wage claim originated within 10 days of the adjudication.
  • The lien is limited to the amount of the unpaid wage and limited to real property that is adequate to fully satisfy the  amount of the adjudicated unpaid wage.
  • The notice should be filed at the circuit court and sent to the employer by certified mail.
  • The wage lien does not take precedence over a lien of a financial institution against the employer that originates before the wage lien.
  • The wage lien will not attach if an employer has a surety bond.
Please reach out to Jay Shattuck of the Chamber's Employment Law Council for any concerns or suggestions you may have.  The proponents made it very clear that they believe the only solution is a prejudgment lien. We obviously strongly disagree.

Last week we reported a proposal that was posted for a committee hearing this week (but ended up being cancelled).  HB 4081 (Halpin) would place egregious restrictions on companies operating call centers in Illinois. Under the proposal, any call center (with at least 50+ employees) that intends to move their operations out of state or out of the country to notify the State Treasurer within 120 days or else face a penalty of up to $10,000 per day for violation!  The sponsor has indicated his intentions to call the bill before the end of the month.  Any member-company operating call centers is encouraged to reach out to Tyler Diers with any concerns or questions under the proposal.  

On Wednesday, Gov. Rauner delivered his State of the Budget address.  The Governor touted his efforts to trim spending by enacting pension reform.  His proposal would shift the cost of pension liability from school districts and universities away from the state.  He also highlighted othe proposals such as sending additional money to fix the state's veterans homes, selling of the Thompson Center, and $2.2 billion in pay-as-you-go funds for IDOT's annual road program.  The Chamber offered a reaction to the address this week in our Two Minute Drill series.  

Outside of the Governor's budget address, this week's committee load was relatively light.  However, the week was rather busy with the Friday deadline for legislation to be introduced.  More on that next week.  

For a recap, see below for two bills that did get approved this week that may be of interest to Chamber membership.  
  • HB 4237 (Carol) passed out of the House Revenue Committee unanimously. This bill would set up a charitable donation income tax credit mechanism that allows for payments to be received at the county level that would provide a credit against a taxpayer's property tax liability and generate a federal tax deduction that can be used to work around the SALT deduction limitations in the recent federal tax reform legislation.  The Chamber had no position.  
  • HR651 (Thapedi) passed the House Energy Committee without objection.  The resolution calls for support of strengthening the nation's grid with advance technologies. The Chamber was neutral.
Next week, the Senate is the only chamber that is scheduled to be in town.  

Today Google announced plans to expand its office in Illinois! We're excited to welcome Google's continued investment in our community and workforce. Learn more about Google's plans to grow offices here and across the country here

Primary and gubernatorial politics are shaping the policy debate in Springfield and will have lasting implications on the business community. On April 11th, join us in our first ever Chamber Day - an advocacy effort to let lawmakers know we must be heard in any major policy decision impacting Illinois employers.  This new event will combine our local chamber summit and the Chamber's traditional lobby day to better show our strength in numbers. If you are ready, you can register TODAY by clicking here.

The February 2018 issue of Business Leader magazine is now available online. This issue includes a  focus  on Federal Tax Reform and on the Illinois Chamber's Legislative Agenda for 2018, feedback  on the Sexual Harassment Task Forces, and a
member spotlight on Zelis Healthcare. Chamber members have been  connecting  at several events over the past quarter, including the New Laws Forum and the announcement of our keynote speaker for this year's Annual Luncheon, along with much more.  Read it here!

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If you have questions about the Government Affairs Report, contact Tyler Diers at Do not reply to this email. 

Illinois Chamber of Commerce

2017 Government Affairs Report | Tyler Diers, Editor