January 15, 2021
This Week in Illinois
Amendatory Veto Request on SB 1480
The Chamber's Employment Law Council is drafting an amendatory veto request to Gov. Pritzker on SB 1480.We are primarily asking for the immediate effective date to be delayed so that the most egregious and unworkable provisions can be cleaned up over the next 5 months that the General Assembly will be meeting. If your company or organization is interested in joining on our letter, please contact Jay Shattuck at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The legislation that was passed by the General Assembly and shortly going to the Governor in general does the following:
- Adds to the Illinois Human Rights Act procedures an employer must engage in when hiring or promoting an employee with a criminal background;
- Adds to Business Corporation Act that any employer required to file an EEO Form-1 must file "similar" information to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State must publish the information on its website:
- Adds to the Equal Pay Act that employers of 100 or more employees; and employers with 40 or more employees and are state contractors must file with the Illinois Department of Labor significant data regarding their pay structures and affirmation of compliance with federal and state discrimination and equal pay laws. Any violation of the new provisions carries a penalty of 1% of the businesses "gross profits".
Governor Pritzker lessens Some COVID-19 Restrictions
At noon today, Governor Pritzker held a press conference in regard to ongoing, statewide COVID-19 restrictions. It was announced that different areas of the State, divided by "COVID-19 regions", will once again have the opportunity to exit Tier 3 mitigations. At this time, three of Illinois' 11 regions will be eligible to reduce restrictions in accordance with IDPH guidelines. An interactive map which details each region's COVID-19 data can be found here.
Current Tier 3 mitigations, which prohibit in-door dining and recreation among other activities, have been in-place statewide for nearly two months. Governor Pritzker tightened restrictions in anticipation of a thanksgiving surge and kept them in place throughout the holiday season.
Earlier this week, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot stated her desire for the reopening of bars and restaurants within the city. Chicago, categorized as Region 11, is still under Tier 3 mitigations.
Update on SB 1199, Decoupling Legislation
Keith Staats, Executive Director of the Illinois Chamber's Tax Institute, provides an update on SB 1199,
Last Friday, I alerted you that SB 1199
was amended to turn it into a shell bill. SB 1199
was amended in the House on Monday evening to include the Governor's proposal to decouple from net operating losses in the federal CARES Act. This was a classic attempt to jam something through at the last minute with a minimal amount of scrutiny and debate. I am happy to say that in this instance that attempt failed. For those of you who don't deal with the legislative process, you might find the chronology interesting.
On or about the same time SB 1199 was amended to include the substantive language, on a partisan vote, the House also voted to suspend the usual 6 day posting requirement for scheduling of committee hearings so the bill could be posted to the House Revenue committee and the committee could schedule a Monday night hearing with a couple of hours of notice.
Along with the decoupling proposal, HB 1199 was amended to include other tax provisions amending the data center sales tax exemption and to modify sales tax provisions affecting marketplace platforms and Illinois bricks and mortar sellers selling goods through marketplace platforms in an attempt to gain support for the bill, despite the decoupling language.
We strongly opposed decoupling from the federal CARES Act provisions on net operating losses. We shared the following Fact Sheet over the weekend when we became aware the Department was planning to attempt to pass decoupling language before we knew which bill would be amended to include the language and before we had seen any actual language. We also signed onto a fact sheet circulated along with a number of other business groups.
SB 1199 as amended passed out of the House Revenue committee to the floor on a partisan vote at a bit after midnight on Tuesday morning. The amended bill was debated and voted upon in the House at around 1:30 am. The bill failed to pass. The bill only received 50 votes. A number of Democrats either did not vote at all on the bill or voted against the bill. There has already been talk about another attempt to pass decoupling during the spring session.
In Case You Missed It...
Illinois House of Representatives Welcomes New Speaker
On Wednesday, the Inauguration of the 102nd General Assembly also brought the election of a new Speaker of the House. Representative Emanuel "Chris" Welch (D) was elected to lead the lower chamber, replacing long-time Speaker Michael J. Madigan. Representative Jim Durkin (R) will continue to serve as House Republican leader. Regarding Rep. Welch's election, the Chamber released the following statement:
"The Illinois Chamber would like to congratulate Representative Emanuel "Chris" Welch on his election today as Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives. Speaker Welch will be the first new speaker in the lifetime of many Illinoisans. It is no secret that Illinois faces a number of challenges including its budget and business climate, which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Illinois Chamber hopes to work collaboratively with Speaker Welch to better the state's economy and jobs climate."
McConchie Officially Elevated as GOP Leader
Also On Wednesday, Senator Dan McConchie began his first day as Senate Republican Leader. Leader McConchie has served in the upper chamber since 2016 and will replace retired Senator Bill Brady (R). Senate President Don Harmon (D) will remain in his current role.
Send Us Your Legislative Agenda
Its time to look forward to the spring legislative session. Please send us your agenda so that we can work together to develop a strategy. Thank you to everybody who has reached out so far, we have received some great feedback. Email any thoughts, concerns, and ideas to: email@example.com