GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS
Report    

March 8, 2019

This Week in Illinois 

The House and the Senate were in session this week and will return next week. 

PROPOSED GRADUATED INCOME TAX RATES 
On Thursday, the governor proposed his vision for a graduated income tax rate structure. Notably, his proposal would raise the "regular" portion of the corporate income tax to 7.95 percent from the current 7 percent rate.  
 
It would also provide that individuals subject to the highest rate, 7.95 percent, would be required to pay tax at the 7.95 percent rate on all income, not just the income in excess of $1,000,000. 
 
The governor's graduated income tax proposal could only go into effect if there is an amendment to the Illinois constitution to authorize the imposition of a graduated income tax structure. The earliest such an amendment could be placed on the ballot for approval by the voters is November 2020. As a result, the likely earliest date a law adopting a graduated income tax structure could be effective would be January 1, 2021. 

To view the details from the Governor's Office, click here.
 
The Chamber opposes amending the constitution to authorize a graduated income tax structure.
 
PRESCRIPTION DRUG SUPPLY CHAIN
The House Prescription Drug Affordability and Accessibility Committee held two subject matter hearings this week on the prescription drug supply chain. Members of the committee raised questions on the challenges of state regulation of drug prices. 
 
EXCEPTED BENEFIT BILL 
SB 1596 passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate floor this week with a vote of 8-2-0. The bill creates unlimited workers comp / occupational liabilities for employers. Instead of the protections provided by the WC/OD Acts, employers will now face civil actions with unlimited awards from cases where the action has been previously barred. The Chamber is opposed. 
 
CAPITAL BILL 
President and CEO of the Illinois Chamber Todd Maisch testified on the need for infrastructure investment before the  Illinois House Appropriations Capital Committee this week. The committee also heard from IDOT, representatives from the national ACEC and ARTBA groups, City of Chicago, Cook County, City of Springfield, County Engineers, CMAP, and Active Transportation Alliance. Testimonies focused on the need for investment, with IDOT reiterating it needs an additional $13 billion to $15 billion more over the next 10 years to maintain its highway system.

The Senate Appropriations and Transportation Subcommittees on Capital also held a hearing in Edwardsville this week focused on the capital needs of the SIU system and general the transportation needs of the area. 

BILL ACTION
SB 1379 (Hutchinson) passed the Senate Revenue Committee unanimously this week. This bill is an initiative of the Cook County Assessor and would amend the Property Tax Code. The Chamber is opposed as is but the Assessor will continue to work with stakeholders.

SB 1240 (Link) passed the Senate Revenue Committee unanimously. The bill creates the Checkout Bag Tax Act and would apply a seven cent tax on each checkout bag (paper, plastic) at a retail establishment. The Chamber is opposed.

SB 1474 (Villivalam) passed out of the Senate Labor Committee 10-5-0. This 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 111 (Morrison) passed out of the Senate Insurance Committee this week. The bill amends the Insurance Code to require anesthetics to be provided for individuals diagnosed with autism. The Chamber was neutral on its passage.  
 
The Senate Insurance Committee also held a subject matter hearing on SB 1187 (Oberweis) that creates the Right to Shop Act. The bill requires a carrier offering a health plan to develop and implement a program that provides incentives for enrollees in a health plan who elect to receive a comparable health care service from a provider that collects less than the average in-network allowed amount paid by that carrier to a network provider for that comparable health care service. The Chamber is opposed to this concept.  
 
HB 2460 (Davis) 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 opposed.
 
The House Labor Committee advanced one bill this week.  HB 2557 (Andrade) passed unanimously. This bill would creates the Artificial Intelligence Video Interview Act providing that an employer that asks applicants to record video interviews and uses an artificial intelligence analysis of applicant-submitted videos shall notify each applicant in writing before the interview.  The Chamber does not have a position on this bill but advises members to take a look at the language.
 
The Senate unanimously passed  SB 1349 (Weaver/Walker) this week. This bill is a Chamber initiative that would amend the Uniform Penalty and Interest Act to automatically rescind underpayment penalties.  The Chamber supports this measure.  It now heads to the House.  
 
SB 1530 (Harmon) unanimously passed the Senate Commerce and Economic Development Committee this week. The bill amends the Illinois Enterprise Zone Act providing that the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is authorized to receive and approve applications for the designation of "High Impact Businesses" in Illinois if the business intends to, among other other potential intentions, establish a new utility-scale solar facility at a designated location in Illinois. The Chamber supports this measure. 
 
SB 1864 (Link) passed the Senate Public Health Committee. This bill would add electronic cigarettes to the Smoke Free Illinois law. The sponsor agreed to continue to work on the bill.  

The Senate Transportation Committee held a subject matter hearing on SB 24 (Link) that provides that no rail carrier shall operate a train or light engine used in connection with the movement of freight unless it has an operating crew consisting of at least 2 individuals. The Chamber is opposed.
 
 (Hurley) passed the House Energy & Environment Committee 29-0-1. It would allow for the use of less onerous manifesting when transporting non-hazardous waste. Currently, non-hazardous waste transporters must use the same manifest as those transporting hazardous waste materials. 
The Chamber supported the bill.
 
HB 2846 (Conroy) passed the House Insurance Committee 21-0-0. Provides that treatment in  provisions concerning treatment for pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections and pediatric acute onset neuropsychiatric syndrome  administered or prescribed after July 18, 2017  shall be covered.  The Chamber is neutral on this bill. 
 
The Senate Transportation Committee passed SR 68 (D-Cullerton). This resolution rescinds Gov. Rauner's executive order on Autonomous Illinois.  
 
In addition, the Chamber's government affairs team is tracking roughly 1,200 pieces of legislation. To see a complete list of bills with staff assignments, click
here.  
 
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. Learn more here.
 
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