Director, Legislative Relations
February 1, 2019
Good morning and happy Friday! The House and Senate were both in this week. However, given the cold temperatures, the House was sent home. Legislatively speaking, the biggest event this week was the Senate's hearing on increasing the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour. Legislators are filing bills, some pertinent tech related legislation is posted towards the bottom of this newsletter.
US CHANGES VISA PROCESS FOR H1-B
This week the Trump Administration unveiled changes to how visas for high-skilled foreign workers would be allocated. Beginning this April 1st, the US Citizens and Immigration Services (USCIS)
will first select H-1B petitions submitted on behalf of all beneficiaries, including those that may be eligible for the advanced degree exemption.
The USCIS will then select from the remaining eligible petitions, a number projected to reach the advanced degree exemption. Changing the order in which the USCIS counts these allocations will likely increase the number of petitions for beneficiaries with a master's or higher degree from a US institution of higher education to be selected under the H-1B numerical allocations.
According to USCIS, this change would result in up to 5,340 more immigrants with a masters degree or higher getting selected for the visa.
The Wall Street Journal reported that this new ruling would likely be challenged by outsourcing companies, with the outsourcing firms arguing that the administration is sidestepping the official rule making process.
I would appreciate any feedback any of you have on this recent rule change.
IL SUPREME COURT RULES ON BIOMETRIC CASE
Last Friday, the Illinois Supreme Court dealt a blow to the business community by reversing an appellate court decision in
Rosenbach v. Six Flags
. The Illinois Supreme Court ruled that plaintiff's don't need to allege actual harm in order to qualify as an "aggrieved" person under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).
Potential damages under BIPA can be substantial, ranging anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 per violation. It's unclear at the moment what will happen next, however the Illinois Chamber expects more lawsuits to follow in the wake of this decision. Employers who utilize biometrics in the workplace for either time keeping or security should immediately take steps to comply with the
NEW LEGISLATION FILED
It's that time of the year. Legislation is going to continue to be filed in. Here are some of the bills that have came in since our last newsletter. If you have any input on these, please let me know.
Liquor Home Delivery
SB 54 (Harmon) amends the Liquor Control Act of 1934. Creates a third-party facilitator license. Establishes licensing fees, recordkeeping requirements, reporting requirements, and other requirements for a third-party facilitator licensee. Provides that a retailer may deliver alcoholic liquors to the home or other designated location of a consumer in this State if specified conditions are met, including verifying that the individual accepting the delivery is at least 21 years of age. Provides that a retailer may use the services of a third-party facilitator by means of the Internet or mobile application to facilitate the sale of alcoholic liquors to be delivered to the home or other designated location of a consumer in this State if specified conditions are met, including verifying that the individual accepting the delivery is at least 21 years of age. Provides that the Illinois Liquor Control Commission may not treat a violation of those conditions as a violation by the retailer. Preempts home rule powers.
HB 1582 (Williams) creates the Broadband Procurement and Disclosure Act. Provides that no State broadband purchaser may award any contract to an Internet service provider that includes broadband service unless the contract provides specified terms concerning access to and impairment of Internet services. Requires each Internet service provider to make available on its website a clear and conspicuous statement informing end users of the Internet service provider's network management practices and performance, including commercial terms offered to end users. Provides enforcement and damages provisions. Provides that nothing in the Act supersedes any obligation or authorization or limits the ability of an Internet service provider to address the needs of emergency communications or law enforcement, public safety, or national security authorities consistent with or as permitted by applicable law.
HB 1590 (Evans) Amends the Illinois Vehicle Code. Defines "low-speed electric scooter". Provides that a person may not operate a low-speed electric scooter without a driver's license, instruction permit, or State identification card and unless he or she is 16 years of age or older. Provides that a person may operate a low-speed electric scooter where the operation of bicycles is permitted, including, but not limited to, bicycle lanes and bicycle paths, and shall have all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the rider of a bicycle. Provides requirements for lamps and reflectors for use at nighttime. Provides requirement for brakes. Prohibits the equipping or use of sirens, with the exception of scooters that are police vehicles or fire department vehicles.
SB 176 (Harris) Creates the Sports Wagering Act. Provides that sports wagering may not be offered in the State until the Illinois Gaming Board determines that federal statutes prohibiting sports wagering have been repealed or the United States Supreme Court finds those federal statutes unconstitutional. Authorizes sports wagering at a gaming facility that is authorized to conduct gambling operations under the Riverboat Gambling Act. Provides that a sports wagering operator may offer sports wagering in-person at the licensed facility and over the Internet through an interactive sports wagering platform. Provides for licensure of interactive sports wagering platforms. Requires a sports wagering operator to verify that a person placing a wager is of the legal minimum age. Requires a sports wagering operator to allow an individual to restrict himself or herself from placing wagers with the operator. Requires the Board to adopt rules concerning standards for a sports wagering operator's advertisements for sports wagering. Provides integrity requirements for a sports wagering operator. Requires a sports wagering operator to maintain all records of bets and wagers placed. Requires a sports wagering operator to submit a report to the Board annually with the number of accounts established, winnings awarded, gross wagering revenue received, and other information. Requires a sports wagering operator to pay a 12.5% tax of its gross sports wagering revenue. Provides civil penalties for a person or entity that knowingly violates provisions under the Act. Provides that all moneys collected under the Act shall be deposited into the State Gaming Fund.
FOID - Social Media Accounts
HB 888 (Didech) amends the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act. Provides that the Department of State Police shall conduct a search of the purchasers' social media accounts available to the public to determine if there is any information that would disqualify the person from obtaining or require revocation of a currently valid Firearm Owner's Identification Card. Provides that each applicant for a Firearm Owner's Identification Card shall furnish to the Department of State Police a list of every social media account.
Vehicle Code - Use of Video Devices
SB 86 (Stadelman) amends the Illinois Vehicle Code. In the Section prohibiting the use of video devices, provides that "video device" includes cellular telephones, tablets, laptops, two-way messaging devices, and electronic games, but does not include two-way radios, citizens' band radios, or amateur radio equipment. Provides that "using an electronic communication device" includes: (1) holding a personal electronic device in either hand or both hands; (2) using a hand or finger to compose, send, read, view, access, browse, transmit, save or retrieve email, text messages, instant messages, photographs, or other electronic data; and (3) watching video on a personal electronic device. Provides that "using an electronic communication device" does not include the minimal use of a finger to activate, deactivate, or initiate a function of the device.
HB 839 (Stuart) provides that a person also commits use of a scanning device or reencoder to defraud when the person knowingly possesses, sells, or delivers a scanning device or reencoder, other than for the purpose of processing information to facilitate a lawful financial transaction. Increases the penalties for use of a scanning device or reencoder to defraud from a Class 4 felony for a first offense to a Class 3 felony and for a second or subsequent offense from a Class 3 felony to a Class 2 felony. Provides that the knowing sale or delivery of the device or reencoder is a Class 2 felony for a first offense and a Class 1 felony for a second or subsequent offense.
Automatic Telephone Dialers Act
HB 337 (Parkhurst) redefines "recorded message" to mean any artificial or recorded communication that includes or introduces an advertisement or constitutes telemarketing without live voice interaction (rather than any taped communication soliciting the sale of goods or services without live voice interaction). Prohibits an autodialer from providing inaccurate caller ID information in violation of a specified federal law and regulations of the Federal Communications Commission. Provides that it is a violation of the Act to play a recorded message (rather than a prerecorded message) placed by an autodialer without the (i) prior express consent of the called party or (ii) the prior express written consent of the called party if the call is made by or on behalf of a tax-exempt nonprofit organization or is a call that delivers a health care message made by, or on behalf of, a covered entity or its business associate as those terms are defined in a specified provision of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.
State Website Modernization
HB 816 (Welch) provides that on or before July 1, 2020, each State agency shall submit to the Department of Innovation and Technology a plan to improve the provision of digital services, including modernizing websites and enhancing the use of data analytics. Provides for the contents of the plan to be submitted to the Department. Provides that on or before July 1, 2021, all State agency websites intended for use by the public shall be mobile-friendly and accessible by persons with disabilities.
ICYMI: CHAMBER RELEASES DATA CENTER REPORT
Last Friday, the Illinois Chamber Foundation released an economic impact study on the potential benefits of a data center tax incentive. I invite you to read and share the report and corresponding appendix. The Chamber's Tech Council will be actively pursuing this legislation this legislative session. Any questions, let me know!
Here is some of the media from our release:
ARTICLES OF INTEREST