The Senate was back in Springfield this past week for session as the House continued business remotely. Both chambers conducted committee hearings through the virtual platform at ilga.gov.
For this upcoming week, the Senate is scheduled to return to Springfield for session on Tuesday, March 16th through Thursday, March 18th. The House will also return for one day this week on Thursday, March 18th.
On Friday, The Senate President's Office issued guidance on in-person interactions during Senate. While the Capitol complex will remain closed to the general public, increased access has been given to individuals with scheduled meetings and scheduled hearing appearances. Lobbyists with business at the capitol complex will be required to take a COVID-19 SHIELD test, which upon a negative result, will last for 48 hours.
BIPA Reform Makes Major Progress
On Tuesday, HB 559 was heard in the judicial-civil committee. The bill passed out of committee on a vote of 10-5-1. HB 559 requires aggrieved parties to prove actual damages in court. Furthermore, this bill provides a private entity 30 days to cure a violation of BIPA. Since 2019 there has been over 1,000 lawsuits predicated on the violation of BIPA which has financially harmed employers and nonprofit organizations of all sizes. The Chamber is a strong advocate of BIPA reform. HB 559 is a Chamber Initiative. The Chamber would especially like to thank Leader Durkin and Chairman Thapedi for their leadership on this issue.
This is the first time a piece of legislation concerning BIPA reform has passed out of committee. Even more, this was the first time any consideration of BIPA reform has been given a hearing.
Legislation to Watch:
HB 118 (Guzzardi) Recovery of Damages for Underpayment in Wages
- This bill provides that an employee is entitled to recover damages of 5% (rather than 2%) of the amount of any underpayments in wages for each month following the date of payment during which such underpayments remain unpaid. This legislation passed out of committee and is now on the House calendar for a second reading. The Chamber opposes this legislation.
HB 353 (Flowers) Essential Worker Minimum Wage
- This bill was assigned to the Wage Policy & Study Subcommittee. This bill increases the minimum wage to $20 per hour for essential workers for the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency. The Chamber Opposes this legislation.
HB 711 (Harris) Prior Authorization Changes
- This bill passed out of the Human Services Committee by a vote of 15-0-0. This bill provides requirements concerning disclosure and review of prior authorization requirements, denial of claims or coverage by a utilization review organization, and the implementation of prior authorization requirements or restrictions. Provides requirements concerning a utilization review organization's obligations with respect to prior authorizations in nonurgent circumstances, urgent health care services, and emergency health care services. Provides that a utilization review organization shall not require prior authorization under specified circumstances. Provides requirements concerning the length of prior authorizations. Provides that health care services are automatically deemed authorized if a utilization review organization fails to comply with the requirements of the Act. Provides that the Director of Insurance may impose an administrative fine not to exceed $250,000 for violations of the Act. Defines terms. Amends the Illinois Insurance Code to change the definition of "emergency medical condition". Amends the Managed Care Reform and Patient Rights Act to provide that companies that transact accident and health insurance shall comply with specified requirements of the Managed Care Reform and Patient Rights Act.
SB 58 (Muñoz) Trade-In Cap
- This bill eliminates the $10,000 cap on automobile trade-ins. On Wednesday, SB 58 passed the Senate 53-0-1 and is now in the House.
SB 1730 (Jones III) Public Corporations, Identity of Directors
This bill amends the Business Corporation Act of 1983. Provides that public corporations must report the self-identified sexual orientation and self-identified gender identity of it directors. Effective January 1, 2022. This bill has been assigned to the Senate Commerce committee. We'd like to know the opinion of members on this legislation. Please reach out with any feedback you may have.
Chamber Releases New Key Legislation
The Illinois Chamber has released a new key legislation list with interactive features. Click here, or the link below, to find the most crucial legislation to Member interests. The Chamber's new key bills list will provide updates in real time. The content of the key legislation section will continue to be updated as session progresses.
Upcoming Chamber Webinar
Title: Dealing with Lenders: From Negotiation to Documentation
Date/Time: March 30, 2021 | 10:30 am – 11:30 am
Description: This webinar will discuss commercial loans from a lender’s perspective and the different concessions that a lender can make in order to get a loan deal. In particular, we will discuss what lenders look for in potential borrowers, some of the different “levers” that lenders can use to make a deal workable for all parties, and loan documentation clauses that lenders will and will not agree to change. Join Michael Cortina, co-chair of SmithAmundsen’s Financial Services Group, for this information and timely presentation!