GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS
Report    

March 22, 2019

This Week in Illinois 
 
Both houses were in session this week. The Senate cancelled session Friday, though today was the deadline for Senate bills to be passed favorably out of committees. Be on the lookout for deadline extensions as the Senate typically grants them on Senate bills. Next week, the Senate is in session Tuesday, March 26 through Thursday, March 28. The House is in session Tuesday, March 26 through Friday, March 29 th . Friday is the House deadline for bills to be favorably passed out of committee.  
 
REVENUE MATTER HEARINGS
The House Revenue and Finance Committee held a subject matter hearing on several revenue proposals that could have a major impact on Illinois business. Specifically, HB 3359 (Turner) which creates a satellite TV tax by imposing a tax on the providers of digital audio-visual works to subscribers and creates the Entertainment Tax Fairness Act, which imposes a tax on the subscribers of loosely defined 'entertainment.' HB 270  (Murphy) also received a subject matter hearing. This bill changes the sourcing of local taxes to a destination-sourcing basis for all sales of tangible personal property made via the internet, over the phone or in writing and that are delivered. In addition to adding an incredible degree of complication to Illinois internet sales, it could also change how customers who currently come into stores to make purchases may interact with businesses.  The Chamber is opposed to both bills.
 
ENERGY SUBJECT MATTER HEARINGS
The House Energy and Environment Committee held a subject matter hearing on HB 2966 (Davis) and HB 3624 (Williams). HB 2966 expands the renewable portfolio standard to 40 percent and increased financing for the program while providing efficiencies. HB 3624 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.   
 
Panelists took questions from members on costs to customers and the business community, questions about siting for renewable facilities and local control, and concerns over a move to decarbonize the electricity sector by 2030 and what that means for electricity reliability and the Illinois economy. It is expected the bills could become part of a larger package as there are multiple impactful energy proposals that have been introduced. We could start to see a conversation on what type of a package could materialize over this session. The Chamber is opposed to HB 3624. Members who have comments or concerns should reach out to Katie Stonewater.
 
CHAMBER URGES GOV. PRITZKER TO VETO WORK COMP BILL
Today, the  Chamber submitted a letter to Governor Pritzker urging him to veto SB 1596 (Sims/Hoffman). The legislation is intended to overturn the 2015 Illinois Supreme Court decision of Folta v. Ferro Engineering, where the court affirmed the employers' protection of exclusive remedy under the Workers' Compensation and Occupational Diseases Acts. However, SB 1596 provides that the restriction in prosecution of a claim against an employer under both the WC/OD Acts "do not apply to any injury or death sustained by an employee as to which the recovery of compensation benefits under this Act would be precluded due to the operation of any period of repose or repose provision." Instead of the protections provided by the WC/OD Acts, employers will now face civil actions with unlimited awards, including punitive damages, from cases where the action has been previously barred.  Read our veto letter here.
 
SUBJECT MATTER HEARINGS ON DIGITAL FAIR REPAIR ACT
The House Cybersecurity Committee held a subject matter hearing on  HB 2026  (Mussman) that creates the Digital Fair Repair Act. The bill provides that original equipment manufacturers must make available to any independent repair provider or owner of equipment manufactured by the original equipment manufacturer the same diagnostic and repair documentation in the same manner as that information is made available to the manufacturer's authorized repair providers; and make available for purchase by the owner, his or her authorized agent, or any independent repair provider parts, inclusive of any updates to the embedded software of the parts, upon fair and reasonable terms. The sponsor mentioned that they committee may hold another hearing on this bill this year.  The Chamber is opposed. 

COMMITTEE ACTION
SB 9   (Bennett) was passed out to Senate Environment and Conservation Committee, but will be held for Second Reading as the sponsor committed to continued discussions. The bill sets strict coal ash regulations beyond federal requirements.  The Chamber opposed the bill and IERG testified in opposition. 
 
SB 24  (Link), was moved from the Senate Transportation Committee to the Senate Executive Committee where it was passed this week 12-5-1. The bill mandates freight trains have at least a two-person crew. The Chamber is opposed.
 
SB 75  (Villivalam) was unanimously passed out of the Senate Labor Committee. The bill creates the Hotel and Casino Employee Safety Act. With the adoption of Senate Amendment 1, the Chamber has moved from opposed to neutral on the bill.  
 
SB 161  (Curran) was unanimously passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill creates the Worker Protection Unit within the Office of the Illinois Attorney General to intervene in, initiate, enforce, and defend all criminal or civil legal proceedings on matters and violations relating to specified statutes.  The Chamber is opposed.  
 
SB 1184  (Fine) unanimously passed out of the Senate Environment and Conservation Committee. The bill bans the use of coal tar sealant in Illinois. An amendment was offered  limiting the bill to Cook, DuPage, Lake, or McHenry counties.
The Chamber is opposed.
 
SB 1281  (Hunter) passed out of the Senate Executive Committee 13-3-2. This bill imposes a tax on ride sharing companies that operate to and from Navy Pier and McCormick Place. Its House companion HB 2693 (Buckner) passed out of the House Executive Committee. The sponsor agreed to hold the bill to continue talks with opponents.  The Chamber is opposed to both bills.  
 
SB 1474  (Villivalam) was passed out of the House Labor and Commerce Committee 21-4-0. The bill creates the Collective Bargaining Freedom Act providing that employers and labor organizations covered by the National Labor Relations Act may execute and apply agreements requiring membership in a labor organization as a condition of employment to the fullest extent authorized by the National Labor Relations Act. The Chamber is opposed.  
 
SB 1624  (Glowiak) unanimouslypassed out of  the Senate Telecommunications and IT Committee with the agreement the bill would come back with an amendment. The bill amends the state's data breach notification law (PIPA) to require notification of a breach of 100 or more Illinois residents to the AG in 14 days.  The Chamber testified in opposition.
 
SB 1719  (Castro) passed out of the Senate Telecommunications and IT Committee 6-2-0, with the agreement that the sponsor would bring the bill back with an amendment. The bill regulates microphone-enabled devices (i.e. phone, apps, refrigerators, cars), requiring consent from users prior to the microphone being enabled.  The Chamber is opposed.  
 
SB 1760  (Stadelman) was passed out of the Senate Commerce and Economic Development Committee. This bill creates the New Vehicle Buyer Protection Act of 2019 providing that if a manufacturer is unable to service or repair a new motor vehicle to conform to the applicable written warranties after a reasonable number of attempts, the manufacturer shall either promptly replace the new motor vehicle or make restitution to the buyer. The Chamber is opposed.  
 
SB 1847  (Muñoz) was unanimously passed out of the Senate Executive Committee. The bill requires the IEPA to provide public notice to legislators when permitting a new facility. The Chamber worked with the sponsor last year on language to bring our position to neutral.  The Chamber approves of the language passed and remains neutral on this bill.
 
SB 1919  (Gillespie) was unanimously passed out of the Senate Commerce and Economic Development Committee. The bill requires the Illinois Community College Board to establish and administer a manufacturing training grant program.  The Chamber supports this legislation.  
 
SB 2062  (Martinez) was unanimously passed out of the Senate State Government Committee, however the sponsor agreed to hold it on Second Reading as more amendments are expected. The bill was amended to add language that sustainability factors are not the only component of an evaluation of investment decisions. The bill creates the Illinois Sustainable Investing Act that any public agency or governmental unit (such as schools) shall develop and implement sustainable investment policies and incorporate those into new and existing investments. Some of those policies include consideration of corporate governance, leadership factors, social capital costs, and environmental factors such as greenhouse gases. This is an initiative of the Illinois Treasurer's Office, who already may make these considerations when investing on behalf of taxpayers. The Chamber remains opposed.
 
SB 2080  (Hastings) passed out of Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee 18-1-0 with an agreement to hold it on Second Reading as amendments are expected. The bill extends the formula ratemaking process for electricity rates that is set to sunset in 2022. The Chamber has not taken a position.
 
SB 2140  (Ellman) passed out of Senate Environment and Conservation Committee 7-1-0. The bill repeals the Kyoto Protocol, which restricted the state from regulating greenhouse gas emissions. The House passed a version last week. The Chamber is opposed.
 
HB 2174  (Willis) was passed out of the House Prescription Drug Committee 11-5-0. The bill provides that every health insurance providing coverage for prescription drugs shall ensure that at least 25 percent of certain individual and group plans offered apply a pre-deductible, flat-dollar co-payment structure to the entire drug benefit.  The Chamber testified in opposition.  
 
HB 2572  (Feigenholtz) was passed out of the House Appropriations Human Services Committee with the agreement to come back with an amendment. The bill requires the Department of Healthcare and Family Services to restructure the Family Support Program enable early treatment of a child or young adult with serious mental health needs, align the program with system of care principles and include both community-based and residential treatment services. The Chamber is opposed.  

HB 2838 (Gong-Gershowitz) was passed out of the House Labor and Commerce Committee 18-10-0. The bill provides that, for contracts entered into on or after July 1, 2019, a direct contractor making or taking a contract in the state for the erection, construction, alteration, or repair of a building, structure, or other private work shall assume, and is liable for, any debt owed to a wage claimant or third party on the wage claimant's behalf, incurred by a subcontractor at any tier acting under, by, or for the direct contractor for the wage claimant's performance of labor included in the subject of the contract between the direct contractor and the owner. The bill provides for enforcement by the Department of Labor.  The Chamber is opposed.  

HB 3394  (Welch) was passed out of the House Labor and Commerce Committee today. 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 Chamber is opposed.  

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


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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