GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS
Report    

May 15, 2020

This Week in Illinois

Session Update
After nearly two months, state lawmakers will return to Springfield next week to resume legislative session. Both the House and the Senate are going to meet Wednesday-Friday. The Senate will meet in the capitol, but the House will meet at the Bank of Springfield C onvention C enter .   All elected officials will agree to additional screening procedures   will be largely separated from the public.  Lobbyist activity will also be greatly restricted. 
 
Senate President Harmon and Speaker Madigan have indicated this will be a "special session" which will formally limit it to the consideration of the following topics: 
  • The COVID-19 pandemic or other disasters; 
  • The state budget and its implementation; 
  • Economic recovery, infrastructure projects, and funding thereof; 
  • The explanation, arguments for and against the Progressive Income Tax; 
  • Laws of authority scheduled to sunset prior to June 1, 2021; 
  • The 2020 General Election and the State Board of Elections; and 
  • The hospital assessment program.   
Click here for a copy of the joint special session proclamation. The Illinois House has also released a COVID-19 session plan that details daily procedures and protocols. Click here to view the full House session plan.
 
Speaker Madigan has also asked that his members, as well as the Republican caucus, to sign an Illinois Department of Public Health-approved pledge to follow COVID-19 specific health guidelines while in session. Some of these guidelines include mask use while in session and mandatory temperature checks before entering the capitol building and places of legislative business.

Legislative Update
HB 5769 (Thapedi) - Creates the Personal Protective Equipment Responsibility Act requiring employers designated as an essential employers under a disaster proclamation issued pursuant to the Illinois Emergency Management Act,  to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to independent contractors and to all employees during the duration of the disaster proclamation or executive order. Authorizes the recovery of damages, including punitive damages, and attorney's fees. The Chamber opposes this legislation and is working with the sponsor to develop something that is more workable for the business community. 

Madison County Reopening Resolution
Madison County Illinois, the largest county in the state outside of the greater Chicago region , passed a resolution earlier this week to begin a phased-reopening. The plan would allow for many "non-essential" businesses such as hairdressers, restaurants, and recreation centers to immediately begin operation with limited capacity and health measures put into place.  The Madison County Board overwhelmingly passed the resolution 26-2 with bipartisan support.

However, the Madison County State's Attorney claims that the resolution is not enforceable and does not provide any legal protection for reopening businesses. Gov. Pritzker has also warned that Counties that begin reopening could lose federal and state funding.

Executive Order Compliance Questionnaire
The Office of the Illinois Attorney General is asking businesses how they are complying with executive orders requiring employers to mitigate risks presented by COVID-19.

The questionnaire asks businesses how they are reducing the number of on-site employees, the nature of the business, and what type of sanitation measures have been put in place. The questionnaire also asks businesses to describe their COVID-19 policies in detail and what type of screening measures are being implemented at the worksite.

The examples provided are only a small portion of the entire questionnaire. The Chamber does not believe that the Attorney General has the authority to force businesses to comply with this survey. The Chamber suggests that you contact your business's legal counsel before responding to the questionnaire.
 
Business Suggestions   
The Chamber is consulting with the governor's administration on business relief. Please send any information or suggestions  we can use to advocate on your behalf  to Andrew at acunningham@ilchamber.org

We also want to share your good news. Please send any announcements or positive stories on your business to Darbi at:  ddurham@ilchamber.org.

Connect with the Chamber

  

If you have questions about the Government Affairs Report, contact Clark Kaericher at ckaericher@ilchamber.org. Do not reply to this email. 

Illinois Chamber of Commerce

2020 Government Affairs Report | Clark Kaericher, Editor