GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS
Report    

February 15, 2019

This Week in Illinois 

Most of the focus this week was on the hurried passage of the minimum wage bill and today's bill filing deadline. With the end of the flood new legislation introduced by members of the 101st General Assembly, we will have a better idea of all the legislation before us this session.  

$15 MINIMUM WAGE PASSES HOUSE
Yesterday the House passed SB 1 , which would implement a statewide $15 per hour minimum wage by 2025 and a $13 per hour minimum wage for those under 18 by 2025. The bill also contains a tax credit that was hastily put together and retains the 60/40 tip credit for restaurants. The bill is expected to be signed by Governor Pritzker prior to his Budget Address on Wednesday. The Chamber opposed this legislation and will continue to advocate for legislation that will mitigate its damage. To see how members of the House voted, click here .  

Given the governor's stated support, the bill indeed may be lost, but the battle is not over. Enhanced tax relief for small businesses and other pro-business reforms may still mitigate the damage done by this legislation. The Chamber calls on the legislature and the governor to recognize the true cost of this legislation and commit themselves to pass subsequent legislation to begin to undo its harm.

For now, members are encouraged to reach out to members of the House and Senate who voted NO and thank them for standing up for small businesses. You can find more information   here .

HYNES SPEAKS AT CITY CLUB OF CHICAGO 
Deputy Governor Dan Hynes spoke at the City Club of Chicago today in what is widely viewed as a speech previewing the governor's budget asks. He focused on changing the state's pension payments by extending the length of time the state takes to reach full funding. He noted the Administration is looking at whether to transfer state assets to the pension system. He did not reject the idea of transferring the Illinois Tollway to the pension system. The other major topic of Hynes' speech focused on winning passage of a Constitutional Amendment to change Illinois' income tax system to a graduated system. You can find a summary in Crain's here .

WATER'S EDGE TAX CREDIT
Chamber staff met with Senator Steans and House sponsor, Representative Greg Harris, on  SB 1115, the 'waters-edge' election bill to explain our strong opposition to this proposal. The bill is bad tax policy, technically flawed in that, among other things the drafters didn't understand the existence of the add back provisions that have been in the Illinois Income Tax Act for more than 10 years, and the revenue projections of the proponents are based invalid and inaccurate projections. For more information reach out to Keith Staats .

CHAMBER TESTIFIES ON 'BUY AMERICA'
The House State Government Committee passed both SB 357 (Hoffman) and HB 356 (Hoffman). Both of these bills are similar in that they would prioritize the procurement of made in America and Made in Illinois goods from the state.  The Chamber testified in opposition to these bills because of the likelihood of retaliation from other state and countries on Illinois/American goods.  In addition, this proposal would limit the options for state contracts, thus costing taxpayers more money. 

BILLS OF NOTE
This does not include the entire list of bills we are tracking.  We will get a complete list out next week.

Small Business Credit Renewal
SB 1232 (Steans) amends the Small Business Job Creation Tax Credit Act. Provides that the Act applies for a second set of incentive periods beginning on July 1, 2019 and ending on June 30, 2026. Provides that certain provisions concerning employees who had participated as worker-trainees in the Put Illinois to Work Program during 2010 do not apply to the second set of incentive periods. Provides that the term "basic wage" means not less than $15 per hour (currently, $10). Effective immediately.  

Work Verify Software 
Transparency Business  i s backing HB 2127 (Mussman) an SB 1326 (Murphy) which requires private businesses who contract with any government body  to install tracking devices on every employee's computer who works on a public project.  This company also provides the technology which does the tracking. It looks suspiciously like asking the legislature to mandate the sale of their spyware product at the expense of thousands of Illinois businesses . They point to a single instance of overbilling in New York City which began in 2003 by a sole-sourced IT firm as justification for the enormous new, unfunded mandate. It has been suggested that there is no opposition to this proposal. There is, in fact, significant opposition and the bill has been quickly abandoned in most of the other states where it has been introduced.

'Right to Repair' Returns to Springfield
A terrible piece of legislation is back in Springfield.  HB 2026 (Mussman) was filed late last Friday. This bill would force original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to give up proprietary diagnostic and repair documentation to third-party vendors and repair shops is not moving this session.  The bill as drafted would apply to everything from televisions to tractors, tablets to refrigerators.  The Chamber has deep concerns with forcing manufacturers to give up their intellectual property to just about anyone.  Warranties, public safety and emissions are critical to a device or piece of equipment. We were able to defeat this legislation last year.  However, given the new sponsor, we are taking this legislation seriously. 
 
Proposal Seeks to Make R&D Credit Permanent 
A proposal to make the state's research and development credit permanent was surfaced.  SB 123 (Morrison) would p rovide that the research and development credit applies on a permanent basis.  This vital credit has expired in the past and has been used as a political bargaining chip.  Making this credit permanent would provide stability to our R&D community.  The Chamber supports this bill.  

UPCOMING EVENTS
Chamber Day
Registration for Illinois Chamber Day on March 20th is now open. 

Second Annual Women in Business Conference
The Illinois Chamber of Commerce is hosting its second Women in Business conference on March 15th, 2019 at Pinstripes in Oak Brook, IL. The event will bring together business leaders from across the State to encourage women to invest in themselves, become courageous leaders, and be a force in their careers. 

Play, Relax, and Network with your Peers!
Join your fellow Chicagoland IT professionals, C3, and Mitel for an evening of old-fashioned competitive fun! Unwind after a long day at work and join our friends at C3 on March 7th from 4:30 - 7:00 at the Chicago Athletic Association  - Game Room to network with peers, enjoy great food and drinks, play some classic games, and learn how to simplify your business communications.  Click here to register .
 
Executive's Club - Business Technology Forum
On Feb. 26, the Executives Club of Chicago is holding a Business Technology Forum.  The event centers on disruptive technology and its impact on business.  The Club is offering comped tickets to Chamber members (usually $50 for non-members).  For an agenda and list of panelists including reps from AWS and the Chicago Bears, click here
 
For more information, the agenda, sponsorship information, visit the conference website.

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 tdiers@ilchamber.org. Do not reply to this email. 

Illinois Chamber of Commerce

2017 Government Affairs Report | Tyler Diers, Editor