Coming down the stretch: The Senate and House were in session this past week. With the May 31 session deadline looming, it’s time for the legislature to get serious about proposing and passing a balanced state budget. No one wants a repeat of last year or the previous two for that matter.
The Democratic leaders have continued to resist the legal requirement that the General Assembly come up with a revenue estimate. Republicans lawmakers have pushed for a revenue estimate. But their legislation and resolution have been batted away by House and Senate leadership. Read NFIB State Director Mark Grant’s op-ed on this issue.
What is the end game? There is a great desire among the rank and file lawmakers that the session end on time with a balanced budget passed and sent to the governor. Whether or not the leadership can come to an agreement is an entirely different matter. Stay tuned.
Taxes: As we discussed before House Speaker Mike Madigan proposed House Resolution 1025, a call for a graduated income tax to replace the current flat tax in Illinois. There appears to be widespread agreement among Democrats and their candidate for governor, JB Pritzker, is fully in support.
NFIB opposes: The graduated income tax because it would impact small businesses that file as pass-through entities extra hard, hurting business growth and job creation. And depending on how it would be structured, C-corporations could get hit especially hard.
And we just learned that Missouri legislature just passed bills lowering both their individual and corporate income taxes this week.
Bills NFIB Supports
HB 5253 (Rep. Carol Sente, Sen. Althoff) Small Business – Impact Analysis, NFIB is working with the bill sponsor and other business on language to require state agencies to issue an economic impact analysis when proposing new rules or amendments to rules that affect small businesses. This would enhance current regulatory flexibility in state law meant to protect small business. Status: Passed House and Senate committee, awaiting full vote in Senate.
Bills NFIB Opposes
HB 5046 (Rep. Chris Welch) Predictive Scheduling would require employers to provide work schedules to employees at least 72 hours before the start of the first shift of the work schedule. Provides for reporting pay when an employee’s work shift is canceled or reduced within 72 of the beginning of the shift. Authorizes lawsuits against employers for violations. Status: House Labor committee. Status: This measure received a subject matter hearing in a joint House/Senate Labor committee. NFIB submitted testimony in opposition. Apparently not moving in this session.
HB 4163 (Rep. Anna Moeller, Sen. Castro) Equal Pay: Wage History: This bill is back from 2017, where it failed to pass the Senate. It would prohibit an employer from screening job applicants based on their wage or salary history as a condition of being interviewed/considered for employment. Status: Passed the House, now in Senate Labor committee.
SB 2863 (Sen. Kwame Raoul, Rep Hoffman) passed the Senate this week 34-21-0. This bill amends the Employer’s Liability Rates Article of the Illinois Insurance Code to regulate workers’ compensation insurance rates. This bill is identical to HB 2525 which was vetoed last year by the Governor. Status: Passed Senate, Passed House Labor committee, now on House 2nd reading.
HB 4572 (Rep. Will Guzzardi, Sen Castro) Amends the Illinois Human Rights Act to redefine “employer” to include any person employing one (currently 15) or more employees within Illinois during 20 or more calendar weeks within the calendar year of or preceding the alleged violation. Status: Passed House, passed Senate, NFIB will be requesting Governor veto.
HB 4595 (Rep. Laura Fine) State-based Workers’ Comp Insurance company. It would be started with a $10 million “loan” from the Workers’ Compensation Commission fund that comes from insurance provider fees. The sponsor does not have a business or feasibility plan nor any experience in business or the insurance industry. Status: Passed House, assigned to Senate Judiciary committee.
SB 2213 (Sen. Dan Biss, Rep. Stratton) Illinois Workers’ Rights and Worker Safety Act provides that a State agency may establish workers’ rights and worker safety standards that are equal to or more stringent than those provided in federal law in existence as of January 1, 2017. Status: Passed Senate, in House Environment
SB 2480 (Sen. Michael Hastings) Hazardous Material Workforce seeks to limit merit-shop contractors from specific private projects at stationary sources by requiring that contractors and any subcontractors use a trained workforce to perform all onsite work within an “apprenticeable” occupation in the building and construction trades. Status: Returned to Senate Assignments committee.
SB 2999 (Sen. Van Pelt, Rep. Conyears-Ervin) Amends the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act. Provides that an employer shall reimburse an employee for all necessary expenditures or losses incurred by the employee directly related to services performed for the employer. Status: Passed Senate, Passed House Labor committee. NFIB moved to neutral after employer protections were negotiated into the bill.