The 100th General Assembly gaveled to a close Thursday, May 31.
With near historic bipartisan cooperation, the General Assembly passed a balanced budget for fiscal 2019. The Senate passed the budget bill 56-2 the evening of May 30, while the House approved it 97-18 on the last day of the session.
Gov. Bruce Rauner is expected to sign the $38.5 billion budget, which has no new taxes on small businesses.
The budget is “balanced” in that it does not appropriate more than the revenue estimated to be in FY19. It includes a pension payment, but no pension reforms were passed.
While there was much harmony on the surface, there were lawmakers who still see that Illinois has a long way to go before the fiscal ship is righted. Moody’s Investor Services also threw cold water on the celebration stating the obvious: Illinois needs to fix long-term pension, and retiree healthcare costs or worse trouble looms.
Bills NFIB supported that passed
HB 5253 Small Business Regulatory Flexibility requires state agencies to complete an analysis when proposing new rules or amendments to rules that affect small businesses by identifying the type of industry as well as cost category impacted.
SB 3285 Home Grown Business Opportunity requires the IL. Dept. of Commerce to develop an economic plan to assist businesses and municipalities located geographically close to bordering states taking into account specific strategies for utilizing the assets of those regions of the State.
SB 867 LLC Filing Fee Reduction reduces a variety of fees associated with Limited Liability Company filings. For example: filing organization articles from $500 down to $150.
There were several other pro-small-business bills NFIB supported, including many workers’ compensation reform, that were proposed but never allowed out of committee.
It is imperative we support small business candidates in the 2018 election. Watch your late summer mail for our endorsement flyer.
Bills NFIB opposed that died
HB 5046 Predictive Scheduling would have required employers to provide work schedules to employees at least 72 hours before the start of the first shift of the work schedule.
HB 2772 Mandated Paid Sick Leave would have required all employers to provide at least 40 hours of paid sick leave to full and part-time employees they would earn by work hours. Would not consider personal-time-off already provided.
HB 4595 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. Would compete with 300 private sector insurers.
SB 2863 Workers’ Comp Rates -This bill amends the Employer’s Liability Rates Article of the Illinois Insurance Code to regulate workers’ compensation insurance rates. This would have lead to increased premiums for employers.
SB 2480 Hazardous Material Workforce would have prevented non-union, merit-shop contractors from bidding and working on specific private sector projects by requiring that contractors and subcontractors use union workers only.
SB 2213 Illinois Workers’ Rights and Worker Safety Act was a bill to prevent Illinois businesses from realizing the benefits of the roll-back of the onerous federal regulations that have occurred under the Trump administration.
SB 2999 Employer-Employee Reimbursements was originally a bill that used a broad brush to address employers reimbursing an employee for expenditures or losses. Through negotiations, the bill was more narrowly focused and makes the employee responsible for losses due to negligence, normal wear or theft.
HB 5334 Employee Background Fairness Act would have prevented an employer from refusing to hire or discharging an individual because of the individual’s criminal history.
HB 2717 Third-Party Tax Audits would have allowed third-party audits of confidential business sales tax filings to find greater tax liabilities.
SB 3257 Retail Theft Definition would have increased the felony retail theft threshold from the current $300 to $2,000.
HB 4293 Income Tax – Investment Services would have imposed a privilege tax on partnerships and S corporations engaged in the business of conducting investment management service at the rate of 20% of the fees on invested funds.
Bills that NFIB opposed that passed
HB 4163 Wage History – Prohibition This bill, which failed in 2017 but just passed by a narrow margin, prohibits employers from asking job applicants about their wage, salary and benefit history as a condition of being interviewed or considered for employment. It lowers employer defenses and exposes them to civil suits and damages.
NFIB is requesting a veto from Governor Rauner.
HB 4572 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. Opens up law suit abuse on Illinois’ smallest employers. NFIB has requested a veto from Governor Rauner.