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

May 29, 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.
Even i f you'd have been around since the  first session in the  C apitol building in 18 80s, you'd have never seen a legislative session like the one that  just concluded.    Actually, if  you'd have been at the capitol this year, you'd have missed most of it   as the House met at a nearby convention center with tables 6 feet apart.   The Senate did meet in the  Capitol,  but they  us e d a social distancing voting measure  which  increased voting times so much on even  the most mundane measures that viewers could feel themselves aging as they watched. Must see tv, it was not . Y et nearly one week later, lawmakers still can't decide  whether or  not  they  voted to increase their pay. 
Here's what we do know passed: a budget (more below),  reappropriated  capitol money, various sunsets were extended (including for Lyft and Uber to operate for another year), workers' compensation and unemployment insurance changes were adopted, progressive tax  language was adopted  and a healthcare assessment was agreed upon. 

The 7 Billion Dollar Question...The FY2021 Budget 
On a par ty line vote,  Democrats sent Gov. Pritzker a $43 billion dollar budget which is over $2 billion more than the FY20 budget that passed last year. With state tax revenues having plummeted to $36.8 billion, nearly $5 billion of the $36.8 billion in tax revenues comes from new borrowing from the Federal Reserve authorized by the CARES act. Democrats tout the approved budget as one that prioritizes public health and safety and vital services. Republicans are critical of the spending levels given the uncertainty of future revenues.  
Senator Durbin and the Illinois delegation now have their work cut out for them . Pressure is on for them to deliver the federal aid to Illinois in order to balance this budget.   The clock is ticking as bond markets are watching and Illinois is dangerously close to junk bond status.   Plus,  the interest on this borrowing, even at extremely low rates, will be something like $200 million.  That  is real money.  
To be fair, Illinois received something around $4 billion  annually after the 2008 recession.  Counting for inflation, and facing an arguably worse financial crisis, $7 billion may not be unreasonable.   Governor Pritzker, and his legislative allies, better hope  its not. 
Technology Measures that Failed to Advance...Yet 
The following is a  sample of some of the  tech  proposals introduced this year. Just because they did not advance this year, does not mean they won't be resurrected this November or next session.   The Chamber will reintroduce the BIPA reform proposals next year and hope to gain some traction.  I've always been told to expect a strong push for data privacy legislation. In fact, the House Majority Leader was tweeting yesterday in favor of data usage restrictions.   
  • BIPA reform.  The Chamber pushed 3 different BIPA proposals in total that were introduced in the House and the Senate.  We were seeing some momentum behind  this proposals  prior to the pandemic and hope to advance them next year  
    • SB 3591 ( Barickman ) amends the Biometric Information Privacy Act. This represents the Chamber's version of BIPA reform that was gaining the most legislative traction before the pandemic as it was the easiest to digest.  It would limit prevailing plaintiffs to $1,000 for each negligent capture of a  particular biometric  identifier.  This would greatly reduce damages from $1,000 per collection.   The bill was referred to the Senate Assignments committee but did not move.   
    • SB 3592 ( Barickman ) / HB 5375  (Durkin) this is the most employer friendly of the  Chamber;s  BIPA proposals.  It would eliminate the private right to action in almost all cases. Instead of individuals suing, the Department of Labor would be charged with enforcing BIPA violations.  The bills were referred to the Senate Assignments and House Rules committee respectively but did not move.   
  • Data privacy :  
    • SB 2263  (Harmon)   is based on the Washington Data Privacy Proposal. While there are some issues, it's much better than other proposals. The bill c reates the Data Privacy Act and provides for the regulation of the use and sale of data. Provides for the enforcement of the Act by the Attorney General and creates civil penalties for companies that do not comply with the Act. Preempts home rule and provides that the regulation of data use and privacy are exclusive powers and functions of the State. Creates the Consumer Privacy Fund as a special fund in the State treasury.  The bill was referred to the Senate Assignments committee but did not move.  
    • SB 2330 (T. Cullerton) is a data privacy bill based on the California legislation.  This is much worse than the Harmon bill above. It creates the Data Transparency and Privacy Act. Provides that any business that processes personal information or deidentified information must, prior to processing, provide notice to the consumer to whom the information refers or belongs of specific information in the service agreement or somewhere readily accessible on the business' website or mobile application. Establishes a "right to know" for consumers and prescribes types of information that they may request of businesses.  It says consumers have the right to opt out of agreements that entail the disclosure of personal information from the business to third parties and affiliates, the sale of personal information from the business to third parties and affiliates, and the processing of personal information by the business, third parties, and affiliates. It creates numerous red tape burdens on employers, or anyone operating a web address. The legislation would create a brand new private right of action. The bill was referred to the Senate Assignments committee but did not move. 
End of Session Report 
You can view the Chamber's complete 2020 End of Session Report Here.
Reopen Illinois 
Since the start of the public health emergency, Governor Pritzker has issued 37 Executive Orders (with more expected in the coming days, weeks and months). Prior to the special session, the Governor's executive authority had become an increasing focus of lawmakers - particularly Republicans - who believed that the legislature's continued hiatus allowed the Executive Branch to continue making important policy decisions without appropriate legislative input. The Governor's executive authority has also become the source of an increasing number of lawsuits filed challenging his authority - many of which are still pending - but as lawmakers returned to Springfield, it was expected that his authority, including his plans to reopen the state under the Restore Illinois plan, would be a focus of legislative activity. 
The Illinois Chamber working with Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady introduced  SB 3993  to establish safe place of business protocols on or before May 30, 2020. It also amended the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act to provide that after an initial proclamation declaring that if a disaster exists, the Governor may only extend that declaration or make further proclamations regarding the same disaster if the General Assembly passes a resolution within 5 calendar days that approves the extension or further proclamation.  For emergencies that prevent the reconvening of the General Assembly, an extension may be granted with written consent of the four legislative leaders.   This would require bipartisan agreement in order to extend an  emergency order. 
While the General Assembly did not take any sweeping action to formally solidify the Governor's emergency authority powers, including the ability to issue multiple emergency declarations after the initial 30 days, nor did they make any statutory changes to the Governor's reopening plan, the General Assembly did pass an omnibus bill that included authorization of limited oversight over the plan.  SB 2135 , as amended, contained a number of provisions of note summarized below, but it was only able to pass out of the General Assembly after the House removed two controversial provisions that would have allowed the Legislature to convene and vote remotely, as well as allowed for the temporary delay of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requirements. As passed, SB 2135 includes:   
  • A new Restore Illinois Collaborative Commission to "participate in and provide input on plans to revive the various sectors of the state's economy in the wake of the COIVD-19 pandemic." The commission will consist of 14 appointed lawmakers (8 Democrats and 6 Republicans) in collaboration with the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO). Meetings may be convened to address revitalization efforts for the various sectors of the state's economy. DCEO will be required to provide monthly reports to the General Assembly regarding "current and proposed" revitalization efforts. The first report is due July 1.  
  • Creation of a 10-person task force of members representing the Department of Insurance and the insurance industry to study business interruption insurance.  
Progressive Income Tax Constitutional Question Wording 
Lawmakers also approved  Senate Joint Resolution 1 , which contains the wording for a graduated income tax ballot question that will also be mailed to voters ahead of the November election. Per the resolution, the language will include a background explanation to voters, along with presentations of the arguments for and against the proposed constitutional change.  The Illinois Chamber  helped craft the arguments against the proposal.   
The Illinois Chamber also participates in a coalition of organizations opposing the constitutional amendment to change our income tax system from a flat tax to a progressive tax. Members can access resources to educate their employees, family members, friends and neighbors as to why they should vote "NO" on the constitutional change. Go to:
Articles of Interest  
Pritzker says lawmakers took "significant actions" to help state: 
Edwardsville area chamber sues Pritzker over stay at home orders: 
Until next time,  

Con nect with the Chamber

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