IHLA Governmental Affairs Update
September 2017

Automated External Defibrillator Ordinance:  This ordinance was pulled from the agenda at the 9/5/17 Finance Committee meeting to allow more time to work out an agreement on revised language. IHLA presented compromise language at a productive meeting with Chairman Burke's Chief and Alderman Patrick Thompson. The language would reduce the number of defibrillators required under this proposed ordinance for each hotel. Instead of the original proposal of AEDs on every floor and in banquet rooms with 50 or more, IHLA suggested a plan that calls for an AED at the front desk and at security, depending on the size of the hotel, and on floors with 5,000 or more square feet of banquet space, which would cover large ballrooms and large banquet space. IHLA suggested that the City regulate in a uniform fashion, to include other venues in the ordinance and to hold hearings. We are waiting to hear back from Alderman Thompson. The next Finance Committee meeting is on 10/5/17. The City Council meets on 10/11/17.
Sexual Harassment Ordinance: This ordinance is still on hold; although IHLA received amended language from Alderman Michelle Harris (sponsor of the ordinance) that appears to be in line with our amended language for panic buttons for hotel workers assigned to guest rooms. We are waiting to hear back from Alderman Harris. The ordinance is in the Workforce Development and Audit Committee, which has not been posted for a hearing, so we don't expect movement until October or later. The measure would require hotel employees assigned to work in guest rooms or restrooms to be equipped with panic buttons.
Airbnb/Short Term Rentals: The Alderman of the 23rd Ward is joining his colleague in the 13th Ward near Midway to ban short-term rentals (Airbnb) in parts of his Ward. Alderman Zalewski is calling for bans in 11 precincts out of 39 in the Ward. At the same time, Alderman Quinn in the 13th Ward introduced several more precincts to ban at the 9/6/17 City Council meeting and wants to ban all the precincts in the Ward. IHLA met with Commissioner Rosa Escanero of the Office of Consumer Protection to get an update on enforcement of the new ordinance. The Commissioner pledged to crack down on short term rentals and move ahead on enforcement.
Employment Practices for Low-Wage Workers: IHLA met with Alderman Scott Waguespack on his ordinance to try to remedy problems with scheduling and employment practices for low-wage workers. The proposal would mandate hourly workers get at least two weeks notice of any scheduling changes at work or be entitled to extra pay. The Alderman understands that IHLA is opposed to the ordinance and wants to work with us. The ball is in his court to contact IHLA to schedule a meeting. Discussions will continue with the Alderman, and he understands our concerns. The ordinance is on hold at this time. 
Soda Tax: The repeal of the soda tax was on the agenda for the 9/13/17 Board meeting, but Commissioners did not have the 9 votes needed to bypass the Finance Committee to place the repeal up for a vote by the full County Board. Instead, Commissioners voted to send the repeal ordinance to the Finance Committee, which meets on 10/11/17. If it passes the Finance Committee, it would likely be called in the County Board meeting that afternoon. Opposition continues to grow against the soda tax, as House Speaker Michael Madigan reportedly asked President Preckwinkle to drop the tax and she refused. If repealing the tax does not succeed when the Cook County Board meets on 10/11/17, the Speaker could throw his support behind passing state legislation in Springfield overturning the tax. A bill has been introduced, and several Democrats from suburban Cook County are co-sponsoring it. The next Cook County Board meeting is 10/11/17. 

 Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association
P: 312-346-3135 | F: 312-346-6036 

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