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



May 15, 2020

The Technology Council seeks to aggressively and proactively promote the interests of the Illinois technology community by advocating for public policy that fosters innovation and promotes economic growth. The Council will seek to promote workforce development policies, advocate for world-class technology infrastructure, avoid overregulation on the industry and support innovators access to the capital they need to grow.
Like everyone else in Illinois locked at home, I've been watching "The Last Dance" which documents the 1998 Chicago Bulls.  It's well worth watching, even for this Hoosier who grew up with a poster of Reggie Miller on the wall.     

Session is back! (Kind of)  
Like Jordan in the late 1995, session is coming back and similar to Jordan wearing the number 45, this session week is going to be weird. 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 Convention Center.  All elected officials will agree to additional screening procedures and will be largely separated from the public.  Lobbyist activity will 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 or authority scheduled to sunset prior to June 1, 2021; 
  • The 2020 General Election and the State Board of Elections; and 
  • The hospital assessment program    
Legislative Updates 
The following legislation was filed, or action was taken in the last two weeks. As always, your input on these measures is very much appreciated:   
 
HB 5770 (Ford) - Amends the Broadband Advisory Council Act. Directs the Council to develop a plan to provide access to broadband services at no cost to all residents of this State. Provides that the Office of Broadband within the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity shall support and assist the Council in the development of the plan. Requires that priority be given to zip codes identified as having high levels of poverty and areas lacking the infrastructure necessary to meet requirements for high-speed access to the Internet. Requires the Council to identify existing and new streams of State revenue necessary to implement the plan. Provides that the Council shall report the plan and recommendations for legislation necessary to implement the plan to the General Assembly by March 31, 2021. Effective immediately.  
 
HB 5769 (Thapedi) - Creates the Personal Protective Equipment Responsibility Act. Requires an employer designated as an essential employer under a disaster proclamation issued pursuant to the Illinois Emergency Management Act or an executive order issued pursuant to the disaster proclamation to provide personal protective equipment to independent contractors and to all employees during the duration of the disaster proclamation or executive order. Defines terms. Authorizes the recovery of damages, including punitive damages, and attorney's fees. Effective immediately. The Chamber opposes this legislation and is working with the sponsor to develop something more workable.  
 
United States Senate Commerce Committee Holds Rural Broadband Hearing 
On Wednesday morning, the US Senate Commerce Committee held hearings on the expansion of rural broadband.  One estimate shows that average broadband usage as increased 47% since the various state shutdowns.  Broadband is becoming, really already is, a necessity of modern life.  The FCC plans to disburse $20 billion for rural broadband; $16 billion of that is scheduled to be dispersed this October.    The Chamber wishes to thank the Senate for taking up this important business development issue, including Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth.  
 
We should also note that Illinois is slightly ahead of the curve on this issue.  Our recently passed capital bill included over $50 million for broadband expansion.  
 
Expect Work from Home to Accelerate after COVID-19 
This pandemic has proven that many employees can work from home without missing a beat. In fact, Twitter just announced they are making work from home a permanent option for some employees.  This is a nice perk for employees and should serve as a great recruitment tool for the company.  The news is a sign of things to come, especially for the tech industry which largely employs white collar workers who can work remotely. ( https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/350582?utm_campaign=Feed%3A%2Bentrepreneur%2Flatest%2B%28Entrepreneur%29&utm_medium=feed&utm_source=feedburner)   
 
To underscore why workers would want to work remotely (besides the lack of a commute), lets take a typical software engineer for a Silicon Valley tech company with the option for two homes.  We will call her Amy.    
 
Option one: 842 Marshall Drive in Palo Alto. Driveable to her office and listed for $2,600,000. Its also smaller than my fraternity house bedroom  (seriously).  Hopefully, Amy doesn't have children or they will be sharing a bedroom.  At least the weather is nice...   https://www.zillow.com/homes/842-Marshall-Dr-Palo-Alto,-CA,-94303_rb/19499747_zpid/?  
 
Option two: Amy decides to work remotely. She finds a house in Edwardsville, Illinois. Its located 10 miles from St. Louis and features a top ten school district in the state.  It's also 7x(!) bigger than the house in Palo Alto and less than half the price at $1.1 million. With the money leftover, Amy can pay for her children's college, or hire household staff.    https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/3025-Sunset-Hills-Blvd-S-Edwardsville-IL-62025/72601954_zpid/  
 
I'm not sure what our fictional Amy would decide, but I think the choice is easy. Many companies will follow Twitter's lead on this one - recruitment for talent is a contact sport.  
 
Generation X killed the landline, Millennials are leading the cord cutting revolution and likely Zoomers will kill the concept of an office. Welcome to the "new normal".  
 
Administrative Rules Update 
The DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE proposed an amendment to Use Tax (86 IAC 150; 44 Ill Reg 7855) implementing provisions of Public Acts 101-9 and 101-604 concerning the collection of the 6.25% Illinois use tax by marketplace facilitators. A companion emergency rule was effective 12/23/19 for 150 days. Effective 1/1/20, marketplace facilitators must collect and remit use tax on their sales to Illinois customers if, within any 12-month period, they conduct at least 200 transactions with Illinois customers or collect at least $100,000 in gross receipts from Illinois customers.
 
Upcoming Illinois Chamber of Commerce Webinars  
May 20 - COVID-19 and It's Impact on the Gig Economy 
10:30am - 11:30am 
The government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic has sent shockwaves through the business world, including assisting the Gig economy. This webinar will review the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (C.A.R.E.S.) from an independent contractor viewpoint. We will discuss which sections apply to independent contractors and how independent contractors can use these Acts to help them through this unprecedented pandemic.
   
Member Rate- $104 
Non-Member Rate - $124 
Save $25 when you register by May 10 
 
May 20 - How to Challenge Illinois Audit Assessments & Refunds Claims Denials 
1:30pm - 2:30pm 
Join Paul  Bogdanski  Partner in the Reed Smith State and Local Tax practice and Keith Staats Executive Director of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Tax Institute as they discuss the options available to taxpayers to challenge Illinois sales and income tax audit assessments and refund claim denials. They will discuss choosing the proper forum for your challenge, filing deadlines and procedural rules. Paul and Keith will also give their thoughts on when to litigate, when to settle and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on how to approach your case.
 
Member Rate- $104 
Non-Member Rate - $124 
Save $25 when you register by May 10 
 
May 21 - The New Form I-9 and Addressing Form I-9 Compliance in Light of the Impacts of COVID-19 
10:30am - 12pm  
While COVID-19 is temporarily changing the shape and functionality of most businesses, this is not the time to take your foot of the gas regarding Form I-9 Compliance. In fact, starting May 1 employers must be cognizant that they can only use the 10/21/19 edition of the Form I-9 for new employees and for reverification. Attend this webinar to learn about the new Form I-9, compliance requirements for the Form I-9, COVID-19 Form I-9 compliance, COVID-19  E-verify   compliance, addressing the Form I-9 when hiring and recalling employees after COVID-19 and Form I-9 audits.
   
Member Rate - $135 
Non-Member Rate - $165 
Save $25 when you register by May 11 
 
May 27 - Scheduling Nightmare: Complying with the Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance 
10:30am - 12pm 
Last year, Chicago's City Council passed the most comprehensive "predictive scheduling" ordinance in the nation, creating a litany of new obligations for many Chicago companies. Employers in the building services, healthcare, hotel, manufacturing, restaurant, retail and warehouse services industries with as few as 50 employees in Chicago may be subject to the new ordinance when it goes into effect on July 1, 2020. 
 
Member Rate - $135 
Non-Member Rate - $165 
Save $25 when you register by May 17 
 
May 28 - Welcome Back! Reopening Your Business After COVID-19 
1:30pm - 3pm 
Discussion to Include:  
  • How employers can implement safety measures to protect its workforce when reopening   
  • Employers hiring practices when reopening during a pandemic-the dos and don'ts   
  • OSHA guidelines to implement in your workplace for workers to return to a safe environment   
  • Modifying your company handbook to comply with the U.S. DOL regulations   
  • And More!   
Member Rate - $135 
Non-Member Rate - $165 
Save $25 when you register by May 18 
 
June 9 - Administrative Rulemaking in Illinois, What You Don't Know Can Hurt You 
1:30pm - 2:30pm 
Join us to gain an understanding the basics of the Illinois administrative rulemaking process and how the Chamber is an unmatched advocate for the business community in the rulemaking process. The webinar will be taught by Keith Staats Executive Director of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. Keith has been involved in the administrative rulemaking process for almost 40 years both inside and outside of state government. Keith was Deputy Director of the Illinois General Assembly's Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) and served on JCAR staff for almost 10 years. In private practice, Keith represented clients in the rulemaking process promoting rules that provided clarity and  guidance, and  opposing proposed and existing rules that were examples administrative agency overreach. In his role with the Chamber Tax Institute, Keith continues his advocacy for the business community by reviewing and analyzing all tax-related rulemaking. Most recently, Keith was successful in lobbying the Illinois Department of Revenue to make favorable changes for Chamber members to the proposed rules on the Data Center Tax exemption and the new Illinois Parking Tax.
   
Member Rate- $104 
Non-Member Rate - $124 
Save $25 when you register by May 31 
 
To register or for more information contact  
Pam Holleman,  
HR Specialist/Event & Publication Sales 
at (855) 239-6150 or pholleman@ilchamber.org 
 
Articles of Interest  
Gig workers can now apply for unemployment: 
https://www.nprillinois.org/post/illinois-gig-workers-can-now-apply-unemployment#stream/0   
Until next time,  
 
Clark 

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