March 29, 2019

This Week in Illinois 
Both houses were in session this week. Today was the  House deadline for bills to be favorably passed out of committee. Next week the Senate is in session Wednesday April 3, through Friday, April 5. The House is in session Tuesday, April 2, through Thursday, April 4. 
The Illinois Chamber of Commerce backed a transportation modernization program, HB 3823, introduced Wednesday evening by Representative André M. Thapedi, D-Chicago, to raise $2 billion in annual revenue offset with pro-consumer and pro-business reforms. The bill phases out the state sales tax on motor fuel with consumers realizing a combined 15 cent per gallon Motor Fuels Tax increase. The sales tax swap eliminates a state tax on motor fuel, narrows the price gap between Illinois and neighboring states, and will create consumer savings when gas rises above $2 per gallon. While the Chamber does not take tax increases lightly, Illinois must act now to improve and invest in our infrastructure system to ensure the state remains the transportation hub of North America.  The bill includes: 

Annual funding of:
  • $600 million for IDOT
  • $240 million for local governments (a 40% increase over today's funding)
  • $672 million for transit capital expenses
  • $20 million for the Grade Crossing Protection Fund to fund better rail/highway grade crossings
  • $2 million for construction trades training for disadvantaged populations
Bond funding of:
  • $4 billion to IDOT to accelerate bridge improvements
  • $1 billion for other needs (ports, federal grant match for local governments, transit)
This is a Chamber initiative.
The press release can be found here.
The fact sheet can be found here.

This week, the Illinois Chamber and other local and state business chambers across the country wrote an open letter to state governors and lawmakers urging them to carefully consider data privacy legislation and to avoid importing a California-style privacy law. You can read our letter here

This week, the Senate Revenue Committee approved SB 1591 (Sims) that will be brought back with an additional amendment in the coming week. The legislation is an initiative of the Illinois Chamber and would create a sales and use tax and electricity excise tax exemptions for data centers.  Today, 30 states (from Washington to Florida, New York to Arizona) have incentives that are specifically targeted at attracting data centers as part of expanded economic development efforts. However, 24 of these states have enacted legislation since 2012 in an effort to capture a greater percentage of the growth. Illinois is surrounded by states that offer data center incentives. Our legislation is designed to compete with surrounding states and to help boost our demand for data centers and therefore strengthen our stature as a digital powerhouse.

Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Tort Reform held a subject matter hearing on  SB 98 (Barickman). The legislation Amends the Civil Practice Law of the Code of Civil Procedure to add a part concerning asbestos trust claims. The Chamber supports of this legislation.

Senate Energy and Public Utilities held a subject matter hearing on SB 2132 (Castro) and SB 1781 (Cunningham), similar to the debate heard in the House last week. Members asked questions on the impact to reliability needs of users across the state. The proponents of the legislation shared similar testimony to the House hearing. Opponents testified with concerns over the costs the bills could have on ratepayers. Both bills were referred back to the House Committee on Assignments. It's likely the House versions will be the package vehicles. The Chamber is opposed to SB 2132.

The House Revenue Committee also held subject matter hearings on several sports wagering proposals.

HB 889 (Swanson) unanimously passed the House and now moves to the Senate. The bill amends the Illinois Insurance Code requiring an individual or group policy of accident and health insurance or managed care plan to provide coverage for long-term antibiotic therapy for a person with a tick-borne disease. The Chamber is opposed. 

HB 1639 (DeLuca) passed the House 74-30-0 and now moves to the Senate. The bill amends the Illinois Insurance Code in an Article concerning accident and health insurance. Provides that "policy of individual or group accident and health insurance" does not include any coverage or policy that provides an excepted benefit, as defined in the federal Public Health Service Act. The Chamber supports this measure.

SB 1847 ( Muñoz) unanimously passed the Senate and now moves to the House. The legislation amends the Environmental Protection Act providing that the EPA provide notice when a permit for a new facility is required. The Chamber provided agreed language and was neutral on its passage.

HB 2764 (Hurley) unanimously passed the House and now moves to the Senate. The bill amends the Environmental Protection Act providing that when manifests are required by the Pollution Control Board for the shipment of nonhazardous special waste, the manifests shall consist of forms prescribed by the EPA, rather than being identical to manifests required for the shipment of hazardous waste. The Chamber is in support of this legislation. 

HB 2975 (Evans) passed the House today 66-34-0 and moves to the Senate. The legislation amends the Employment Contract Act and provides that an employer may not require as a condition or precondition of employment that an employee or person seeking employment waive, arbitrate, or otherwise diminish any future claim, right, or benefit to which the person would otherwise be entitled under state or federal law. The Chamber is opposed to this legislation.  

HB 3394 (Welch) passed the House 61-27-0 and moves to the Senate. The bill provides that, no later than the close of the 2020 calendar year, a publicly held domestic or foreign corporation whose principal executive offices, according to the corporation's SEC 10-K form, are located in Illinois shall have a minimum of one female director and one African American director on its board of directors. The Secretary of State must publish a report on its website documenting the number of corporations that have at least one female director and one African American director, the number of corporations that were in compliance at one point during the preceding calendar year, the number of corporations that moved to Illinois during the preceding calendar year, and the number of corporations that were previously subject to the requirements during the preceding year but are no longer publicly traded. Provides penalties for violations. The Chamber is opposed.

HB 3435 (Carroll) passed out of the House today 92-0-3 and now goes to the Senate. The bill pertains to epinephrine injectors. With the adoption of Amendment 1, the Chamber is neutral on its passage.

HB 8 (Flowers) passed out of the House Appropriations - Human Services Committee 10-5-0. The legislation creates the Illinois Medicare for All Health Care Act providing that all individuals residing in the state are covered under the Illinois Health Services Program for health insurance. The Chamber is opposed. 

HB 255 (Guzzardi) failed to pass out of the House Commercial Law Subcommittee. This bill would have repealed the Rent control Preemption Act. The Chamber is opposed.

HB 466  (Scherer) passed out of the House Insurance Committee 14-7-0. This bill requires insurance to cover substance abuse the same as Medicaid. The sponsor agreed to bring the bill back to committee with an amendment.  The Chamber testified in opposition.

HB 465 (Harris) unanimously passed out of the House Prescription Drug and Affordability Committee. This bill regulates pharmacy benefit managers. As written, the Chamber is opposed.

SB 1379 (Hutchinson) passed out of the Senate Revenue Committee 6-1-0. This legislation is an initiative of the Cook County Assessor. The Chamber is opposed.

SB 1407, Amdt 2 (Hastings) passed out of the Senate Executive Committee, 12-5-0. The amendment, offered by Senator Koehler, adds ethanol facilities to Sen. Hastings bill. The underlying bill creates the Illinois Hazardous Materials Workforce Training Act requiring all construction and maintenance work at privately owned petroleum refineries and petrochemical facilities within the state to be exclusively performed by members of certain trade unions. SB1407 passed the committee last week. The Chamber is opposed.

HB 1633 (Hoffman) passed out of the House Judiciary-Criminal 13-6-0. The bill imposes stricter criminal penalties on a person who knowingly damages critical infrastructure such as pipelines, railways, transmission, etc. An amendment has been filed to lower the criminal penalties from a Class 1 to Class 3 penalty and add coal mines to the definition of critical infrastructure. An additional amendment is expected to switch "knowingly" to "intentionally", further ensuring the bill targets those who seek to damage critical infrastructure assets. The Chamber supports this bill.

HB 3358 Amdt.2 (Turner) passed out of the House Executive Committee 7-2-0 with the agreement to bring the bill back to committee. The legislation creates the Data Transparency and Privacy Act and seeks to regulate businesses that collect personal information on Illinoisans. The Chamber is opposed.

HB 3624 (Williams) passed out of the House Energy and Environment Committee 18-11-0. The Clean Energy Jobs Act calls for Illinois to: decarbonize by 2030; use 100 percent renewables for the electricity sector by 2050; electrify the transportation network, including rebates to install personal EV infrastructure; and create numerous job programs and community programs to promote clean energy. It also requires Illinois to take over capacity markets from PJM. The sponsor has committed to working with stakeholders on this and the multiple energy proposals being discussed to negotiate a possible package. The Chamber is opposed.

HB 3633 (Manley) passed out of the House Revenue Committee 15-0-0. The legislation amends the "foreign tax credit" against the Illinois income tax for taxes paid by individuals on wages to other states. The Chamber testified in opposition but is working with the sponsor on an amendment.

Members are encouraged to check our  calendar  for events and conferences throughout the year.  

Connect with the Chamber


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