February 9, 2018

This Week in Illinois 

A proposal that would place egregious restrictions on companies operating call centers in Illinois seems to be getting some traction from the House Democratic majority.  Backed by organized labor, HB 4081 (Rep. Halpinwould create the Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act and would require any employers with 50 or more employees that intends to relocate a call center from Illinois to another state or foreign country to notify the Illinois Treasurer at least 120 days prior to the relocation.

Employers that do not notify the Treasurer would be subjected to a civil penalty of $10,000 for each day they are found in violation!  Companies moving out of the state would also be blacklisted on the state Treasurer's website for public display.  

And it does't stop there.  Any employer that appears on the blacklist would be ineligible for any direct or indirect state grants or loan for 5 years and would have to pay back any grant, loan, or tax benefit it previously received from the state back to the Treasurer.  

The Chamber is opposed to this bill for many reasons.  One,  this bill severely restricts Illinois' business competitiveness to companies looking to locate call centers in Illinois.  Second, the definition of "call center" is broadly defined it could impact many unintended business operations.  And lastly, this legislation undermines a businesses ability to locate a call center in outside areas to communicate with customers in a language other than English.  Just to name a few. 

Luckily, the committee in which this bill was assigned to has since been cancelled.  However, expect this bill to at least receive a hearing before the session is over.  

A proposal that the Chamber helped defeat last year has been reincarnated into another bill.  HB 4293 (Rep. Welch) would impose a massive 400% tax increase on Illinois' vital financial services.  In today's interconnected world, billions of dollars travel across the globe in less than seconds.  Welch's proposal would put Illinois' vital financial service sector and the tens of thousands of jobs it employs at risk by imposing a new 20% tax on partnerships and S corps engaged in the business of conducting investment management services. 

Illinois is home to many investment partnerships. If this tax were adopted, Illinois could likely see part of its financial sector leave for other states where taxes would be far lower. If Illinois taxes on such income were to increase, this form of private investment would shrink, and many Illinois businesses would lose access to capital and expertise. Start-ups continually face shortages of capital, and raising taxes on investment management services provided to Illinois based start-ups would reduce investment options for private companies, innovators and small firms getting off the ground.  Not to mention, the tax will likely be subjected to a constitutional challenge as an improper second income tax, or a tax that violates the uniformity clause of the Illinois Constitutional by unreasonably signaling out a particular industry.

For the reasons stated above, the Chamber is opposed to this proposal.  HB 4293 is posted for a committee hearing in the House next week.  The Chamber stands ready to testify in opposition.  

Another relatively light week in Springfield.  Two bills which the Chamber opposed did make it out of committees in the House and Senate.  HB 4297 (Lilly) and SB 2332 (Morrison) both would raise the age for whom tobacco products, electronic cigarettes, and alternative nicotine products may be sold to and possessed by from at least 18 years of age to at least 21 years of age.  Our one pager may be found here.  

It is also worth mentioning that House Revenue Chairman Mike Zalewski (D- Chicago) announced this week his intentions to hold subject matter hearings on both reforming enterprise zones and property tax assessment practices this session.  The Chamber is looking forward to providing expertise at these hearings.  

Both chambers are scheduled to be in session next week (Tues. - Thurs.).  Gov. Rauner is set to delvier his budget address on Wednesday to lay fourth his vision for the state's fiscal year budget.  Below is a snapshot of bills in committee that may be of importance to the business community.  

House Environment (CAP 114, 2/13/18)
  • HB 3643 (Moeller) would require the Illinois Commerce Commission to consider any and all evidence presented in public convenience proceedings for pipelines.  Chamber is opposed. 
  • HR 123 (Moeller) is a non-binding resolution that encourages pipeline companies to conduct an environmental study before they proceed with new or expansion pipeline construction. Chamber is opposed
House Revenue & Finance (CAP 118, 2/14/18)
  • HB 4293 (Welch) imposes a new 20% tax on investment management services. See above for more detail.  Chamber is opposed. 
  • HB 4400 (Reis) reinstates an exemption for oil field exploration, drilling, and production equipment for the period beginning on January 1, 2019 and ending on June 30, 2022.  The Chamber supports. 
House Elem. Secondary Education (STRAT D1, 2/14/18)
  • HB 4291 (Welch) provides that a pupil entering the 9th grade in the 2019-2020 school year or a subsequent school year must successfully complete one semester of computer science as a prerequisite to receiving a high school diploma.
House Labor & Commerce (CAP 114, 2/14/18) 
  • HB 4324 (Welch) is a redraft from last year.  This bill creates the Wage Lien Act to state that a lien exists on an employer's property for the amount of unpaid wages owed to an employee.  The Chamber is oppose and is meeting with sponsor next week to discuss our opposition.  
House Transportation: Vehicles/Safety (CAP 115, 2/14/18)
  • HB 4259 (Batinick) provides that, except for a semitrailer registered under the Code, beginning with the 2019 registration year, the Secretary of State shall offer to each owner of a motor vehicle that is subject to registration under the Code a registration period based on a one calendar, year, 2 calendar year, 3 calendar year, 4 calendar year, or 5 calendar year.  
House Human Services (CAP 122B, 2/13/18)
  • HB 2617 (Gabel) requires a policy of accident or health insurance shall provide coverage for medically necessary expenses for standard fertility preservation services when a necessary medical treatment may directly or indirectly cause iatrogenic infertility to an enrollee.  Chamber is opposed.  
Senate Public Health (CAP 400, 2/6/18)
  • SB 2334 (Murphy) provides that a hospital shall maintain a metal detector at each point of entry into the hospital. Provides that a hospital shall ensure that all members of the public, other than the employees of the hospital who display proper credentials, who enter the hospital at a point of entry are subjected to screening by a metal detector. Chamber is opposed.  
Senate Executive Committee (CAP 212, 2/14/18)
  • SB 2436 (Nybo) changes the Liquor Control Act to allow a local liquor commissioner to grant an exemption to the prohibition of the sale of liquor at retail within 100 feet of churches, schools, hospitals instead of having to get the Illinois General Assembly's approval.  
Senate Revenue (CAP 212, 2/14/18) 
  • SB 2483 (T. Cullerton) provides that not less than 75% of the amounts collected by a municipality within DuPage County pursuant to the municipal hotel operators' occupation tax and municipal hotel use tax shall be used to promote tourism within that municipality. Provides that the remainder of the amounts collected may be used by the municipality for economic development or capital infrastructure.
Senate Commerce (CAP 400, 2/15/18) 
  • SB 2522 (Stadelman) provides that a rental car company that equips a vehicle with an electronic tolling device and does not offer a renter the ability to opt-out of its use shall not charge a renter a fee of more than $2 each day for its use. Provides that a rental car company shall not charge a daily fee on any day the renter does not drive through an electronic toll or only drives through an electronic toll collection system for which no alternative payment option exists. Provides that a rental car company that provides or offers a motor vehicle with an electronic tolling device shall clearly include the applicable terms and conditions of its use in the rental agreement and post the applicable terms and conditions on the business premises.  The Chamber is opposed.  
Next week Todd Maisch, President and CEO of the Illinois Chamber, will be speaking at the City Club of Chicago on February 13, 2018 at 11:30 a.m. at Maggiano's Banquets in Chicago. If you haven't already done so, register today to get your ticket (or tickets!).    We hope to see you there and encourage you to spread the word to fellow business advocates!

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.

As the unifying leader of policies that support growth in Illinois' dynamic and diverse economy, we want to be able to communicate with you as proactively and resourcefully as possible. That is why the Illinois Chamber of Commerce is announcing the launch of our new interactive and member-friendly website, which encompasses our mission and values including education, member experience, vision and innovation. 

At the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, we have a larger view of a prosperous Illinois. You are invaluable to that view. So, we encourage you to visit and check out our latest website tour here to find the latest information on our membership, government affairs, councils, business services and communications efforts.

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