Clark Kaericher | Vice President, Government Affairs | 217-522-5512 x 296

September 4th, 2020

The Infrastructure Council is an initiative of the Illinois Chamber that brings together Chamber members with a focus on increasing infrastructure investments in a strategic and thoughtful way to boost the overall business climate in Illinois. Our focus is on the public and private systems that are essential to Illinois businesses. 


Happy Friday! It's a holiday weekend and I hope everyone has exciting plans. After successfully dodging a couple of hurricanes last week, my weekend promises to be a bit more low-key.
 
Committee Updates
 
Last week the Senate Transportation Committee held a second virtual meeting to discuss diversity in road construction. This hearing focused on minority hiring and DBE within IDOT projects. IDOT testified that its DBE program participation mark reached 17.07%, a two-percentage point increase from the prior year and the largest achieved in six years. Senator Castro applauded IDOT for their efforts.

In related news, IDOT announced it will join a coalition with 9 other state transportation agencies to create a diversity panel to develop "fairness and inclusion" at work sites and to create more contracting opportunities for women and minority owned businesses.
 
COGFA Report Studies Impact on Motor Fuel Revenues

Underwhelming motor fuel receipts has been an ongoing topic in this newsletter. To recap, on July 1st of 2019 the provisions of the capital bill became effective which included a doubling of the motor fuel tax. Policy analysts then expected to see slightly less than a doubling of revenue from the year prior (a small amount of tax avoidance, like driving to neighboring states for fuel, was to be expected). Between August of 2019 and March of 2020, prior to the onset of COVID-19, this is exactly what happened as revenues increased 95.4%.  Since the COVID pandemic though, revenues have cratered relative to forecasts, reaching a low point of 36.1% in May. Motor fuel revenues from May-July totaled $654 million, only 55% higher than the previous year despite a doubling of the tax.

This loss in anticipated revenue is already beginning to show real world consequences. Quincy recently announced they were delaying road projects as a result of a $200,000 shortfall. https://wgem.com/2020/09/03/quincy-to-delay-road-projects-after-low-gas-tax-revenue/

Don't forget that motor fuel tax isn't the only tax that you pay at the pump, a sales tax is also charged. Lost sales tax revenue during this time amounts to a $35 million loss to the state's general revenue fund.

You can read the entire report from COGFA here: https://cgfa.ilga.gov/Upload/0820revenue.pdf

Department of Labor Change for Public Works Contractors

The following message was sent from Jason Keller, Assistant Director at the Illinois Department of Labor. Its relevant for all public works contractors in Illinois:

The Illinois Department of Labor is reminding contractors who perform construction work on public works projects in Illinois that they must begin filing their certified payroll with the department after September 1st. Public works projects include any construction work funded in whole, or in part, by state or local public tax dollars.

 In 2018, the Illinois General Assembly passed legislation to make changes to the certified payroll portion of the Prevailing Wage Act.  When Governor Pritzker took office in 2019, SB 203 was signed into law (PA 100-1177).  Prior to the law, certified payrolls were submitted to the local or state public body funding the project.  Under the new law, the Illinois Department of Labor is charged with developing and maintaining an online portal where all prevailing wage construction contractors file their certified payrolls with the department, otherwise known as Certified Transcript of Payroll portal. 

The Illinois Department of Labor recognizes that there have been bumps in the road in implementing the new law.  That being said, our staff has worked nights and weekends to streamline the portal for contractors.  In addition, we have held multiple trainings on this new law, and we have and will continue to answer all questions that come into our department.  We are here to help contractors come into compliance with the law.

In summary, after 12am on September 1st, all certified payrolls for work performed on current or new public works projects must be filed with the Illinois Department of Labor.  You may find PA 100-1177 here:  https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/100/PDF/100-1177.pdf

Illinois Chamber Annual Meeting Sponsorship
The Illinois Chamber's Annual Meeting set for September 24th from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm central time will be virtual this year. The agenda includes an hour devoted to an "All Council Networking Time" and a discussion of Economic Development in Distressed Communities" featuring Charles Evans, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and Timothy Crane, president of Wintrust Financial Corp. Susana Meza, Vice-President of Community Affairs of Wintrust will be the program's moderator.


Sponsorships: Contact Laurie Silvey at lsilvey@ilchamber.org or 217-306-1832
 
Bronze Sponsor - $2500
Benefits include:
* Fifteen virtual seats for your company at the Annual Meeting
* Acknowledgement on signage, website, and invite for the event
* ¼ page ad in the Illinois Business Leader September issue
* Add promotional materials on digital platform available for one year online
 
Partner Sponsor - $1500
Benefits include:
* Ten virtual seats for your company at the Annual Meeting
* Company logo on ILChamber.org website
* Listing in Event program and conference banners


Articles of Interest 

Until next time,   
 
Clark

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