March 14, 2011
The deadline for legislation to advance from House and Senate committees is March 17, so lawmakers and lobbyists will be intensely busy this week in Springfield.
Among the bills that the Chicagoland Chamber will be supporting is legislation that embodies a long-time initiative of the Health and Wellness Committee. House Bill 3236 (Rep. Karen May) will be heard in the House Insurance Committee on March 15; Claire Gregoire will testify on behalf of the Chicagoland Chamber. House Bill 3236 provides that health benefit purchasing cooperatives may be organized by one or more persons in geographic areas designated by the Director of the Department of Insurance. The legislation also gives guidance for the design of the health benefit purchasing cooperative and for establishing member criteria. Insurance Director Michael McRaith is also expected to testify on behalf of the bill.
The Chicagoland Chamber also supports House Bill 1577 (Mautino-Osmond) and Senate Bill 1549 (Haine-Syverson) which establishes a health benefits exchange in order to help small employers with 50 or fewer employees shop for, select, and enroll in qualified affordable private health plans. HB 1577 advanced out of the House Insurance Committee on March 8 and is on second reading in the House. SB 1549 is posted for a committee hearing on March 16.
Listed below are other bills of interest to Chicagoland Chamber members.
House Bill 14 (McCarthy) - Called the Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act, this bill creates a policy framework to reform electric utility regulation and facilitate the electric (“smart”) grid modernization program. The Chicagoland Chamber supports this legislation to pave the way for necessary energy infrastructure investment. HB 14 is scheduled for a second Public Utilities Hearing on March 15.
House Bill 1091 (Nekritz); Senate Bill 146 (Steans) - Creates the Public-Private Partnerships for Transportation Act; grants to the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority the necessary powers for the development, financing, and operation of transportation projects through public-private agreements with one or more private entities. The Chicagoland Chamber has been a longtime advocate of this concept as a way to allow Illinois to seek new sources of investment capital for infrastructure improvements and supports both bills. HB 1091 is on second reading in the House; SSB 146 is posted for a Senate hearing on March 15.
House Bill 1444 (Mautino); Senate 1770 (Wilhelmi) - Amends the Illinois Procurement Code to provide that, for state contracts, a privately held entity that is exempt from Federal 10k reporting but has more than 200 (now, 400) shareholders may, in place of the prescribed disclosures, submit the information that Federal 10k reporting companies are required to report under federal regulations and list the names of any person or entity holding any ownership share greater than 5%. The Chicagoland Chamber supports both bills. HB 1444 advanced out of committee and is on second reading in the House; SB 1770 was sent to a Senate subcommittee for further review.
House Bill 2903 (Williams) – Authorizes the Environmental Protection Agency, in fiscal year 2012 and in each fiscal year thereafter, to make a grant to a not-for-profit car-sharing organization; the funds may be used to purchase electric vehicles. The Chicagoland Chamber opposes this legislation as unfair competition for one particular car-sharing company. It advanced out of committee on the promise by the sponsor to continue to work on the language.
Senate Bill 20 (Mulroe) - Amends the Small Business Job Creation Tax Credit Act passed last year. Makes it available to a person who operates an Illinois business having no more than 75 full-time employees (instead of 50); extends the incentive period from June 30, 2011 to June 30, 2012 and raises the cap on the credit from $2,500 to $3,500 for each new employee hired. The Chicagoland Chamber supports; it is scheduled for a committee hearing on March 16.
Senate Bill 79 (Steans) - Establishes a State Charter School Commission as an independent State agency with statewide chartering jurisdiction and authority. The Chicagoland Chamber supports; it is scheduled for a committee hearing on March 15.
Senate Bill 107 (Kotowski) - Authorizes the state treasurer to segregate up to 2% of the Treasurer's investment portfolio in the Technology Development Account IIa. Authorizes investments from the account to provide venture capital to help attract, assist, and retain quality technology businesses in Illinois. The Chicagoland Chamber supports. It passed the Senate and is pending in the House.
Senate Bill 128 (Sandoval); House Bill 2871 (Hernandez) -Requires an employer to provide an employee up to 7 sick days with pay during each 12-month period. SB 128 was opposed by the Chicagoland Chamber in Senate Labor Committee during a subject-matter-only hearing on March 2. It was held in committee. HB 2871 has been assigned to the House Executive Committee, but not posted for a hearing.
Senate Bill 1565 (Lightford) –Provides a procedure for increasing the minimum wage by the increase in the cost of living during the preceding year; deletes language pertaining to temporary or irregular employees and employees under the age of 18. The Chicagoland Chamber opposes this legislation which is posted for a committee hearing on March 16.
Senate Bill 1772 (Maloney) - Authorizes taxing districts to adopt a levy, without referendum approval, to recapture revenue lost by certain refunds; exempts the recapture levy from the definition of "aggregate extension" in the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law. Also allows a taxpayer who has received a refund to have a portion of the refund amount included in the extension of the district's recapture levy against his or her property abated. The Chicagoland Chamber supports SB 1772; it is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Revenue Committee on March 16.
Senate Bill 1773 (Maloney) - Changes the current enrollment-based funding formula for higher education institutions to a performance based formula that measures achievement in state goals related to student success and certificate and degree completion. The Chicagoland Chamber supports SB 1773 which is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Higher Education Committee on March 15.
Senate Bill 2194 (Hutchison) - Provides that, with respect to retailers' and service occupation taxes imposed by the State and units of local government, sales are attributed to the unit of local government where the purchase order is accepted, subject to certain exceptions. The Chicagoland Chamber supports; SB 2194; it passed out of the Senate Revenue Committee on March 9 despite opposition from the Illinois Department of Revenue and the City of Chicago.
House Bill 175 (Connelley) and House Bill 243 (Senger) – Both of these bills are aimed at repealing provisions of the income tax increase enacted in mid-January. HB 175 reduces the rate of tax to 3% for individuals, trusts, and estates and 4.8% for corporations; HB 243 restores the net operating loss carryover deduction. While the Chicagoland Chamber supports the intent of both bills, and similar ones introduced in the Senate (Senate 2239 (Murphy); Senate Bill 110, (Dillard), we do not expect this legislation to advance in this session.
Prepared by Joan Parker, Joan A. Parker Government Affairs, for the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
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Last Updated on 2011-03-16 11:05:16.222