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Committee Deadline Arrives

 March 9 was the deadline for bills to pass out of House and Senate committees but as usual; there will more than likely be several deadline extensions.  Below is a review of a selection of the key bills we’re tracking and where they stand as of this writing.

Business Regulation

Bill: HB1666 Tanning Facility Ban
Sponsor: Rep. Gabel (D-Evanston)
Status: 3rd Reading
Position: Oppose
Description: Tanning facilities may not permit anyone under the age of 18 to use the facility even if they have parent’s consent.

Bill: HB4018 Business Registration
Sponsor: Rep. DeLuca (D-Crete)
Status: 3rd Reading
Position: Oppose
Description: Allows municipalities to force businesses to register with the municipality and if they don’t, charge a $200 fine.

Bill: HB5211 3rd Party Billing
Sponsor: Rep. Burke (D-Oak Lawn)
Status: 3rd Reading
Position: Oppose
Description: Attorney General’s initiative preventing phone companies from offering up 3rd party billing which is a legitimate business practice.

Bill: HB5369 Liquor Pricing
Sponsor: Rep. Berrios (D-Chicago)
Status: Executive Committee
Position: Oppose
Description: Creates a state-regulated minimum price on liquor.

Civil Law

Bill: HB3825 Recyclable Metal
Sponsor: Rep. Unes (R-Pekin)
Status: 3rd Reading 
Position: Support
Description: All purchases of recyclable metal must be recorded as provided in the Act, instead of only purchases of recyclable metal with a minimum value of $100.  This bill is aimed at preventing copper and other metal theft and reselling of said metal.

Bill: SB3200/HB5258 Consumer Contract Plain Language
Sponsor: Sen. Noland (D-Elgin)
Status: Judiciary Committees
Position: Oppose
Description: Creates the Consumer Contract Plain Language Act. Requires consumer contracts to be written in a simple, clear, understandable, and easily readable manner. Establishes the requirements necessary for compliance with the Act. Authorizes the Attorney General to enforce the Act.

Bill: SB3203/HB5259 Consumer Contract Right to Know
Sponsor: Sen. Silverstein (D-Chicago)
Status: Judiciary Committees
Position: Oppose
Description: Creates the Consumer Contract Right to Know Act. Requires certain disclosures to be made by a person who utilizes standard form consumer contracts in the usual course of business. Provides that consumers must be given access to standard form consumer contracts before a sale to enable the consumer to comparison shop. Authorizes the Attorney General to enforce the Act.

Employment Law

Bill: HB3094 Prevailing Wage Exemption
Sponsor: Rep. Tryon (R-Crystal Lake)
Status: Labor Committee
Position: Support
Description: Exempts projects with a total cost of $20,000 or less from prevailing wage.

Bill: HB3782 Right to Privacy in the Workplace
Sponsor: Rep. Ford (D-Chicago)
Status: 2nd Reading
Position: Oppose
Description: Makes it unlawful for any employer to ask any prospective employee to provide any username, password, or other related account information in order to gain access to a social networking website where that prospective employee maintains an account or profile. Position paper

Bill: HB3877 Employee Fee Recovery Act
Sponsor: Rep. Zalewski (D-Chicago)
Position: Support
Status: Judiciary I, Civil Law Committee
Description: If a former employee files two or more complaints with two or more separate State agencies against a single former employer and each complaint is dismissed, the former employer may petition the circuit court for an award of its attorney’s fees incurred to dismiss the complaints. Employment Law Council Initiative.

Bill: HB4497/SB1844 Automatic IRA
Sponsor: Rep. Sente (D-Lincolnshire)
Status: State Government Administration Committee/Financial Institutions Committee
Position: Oppose
Description:
Creates the Illinois Automatic IRA Program Act. Provides that the Illinois Automatic IRA Program shall be administered by the State Treasurer and that the Treasurer shall adopt regulations to implement the Program. Allows employees of certain employers that have not offered a qualified retirement plan for 2 years to set aside a percentage of their wages to be deposited into an IRA trust fund administered by the State Treasurer’s office. Sets minimum requirements for the operation of the Program. Sets forth duties and authority of the State Treasurer in relation to the Program. Limits State and employer liability.

Bill: HB4617 One Day Rest in Seven Penalty
Sponsor: Rep. Hernandez (D-Cicero)
Status: Labor Committee
Position: Oppose
Description:
Changes the violation for a penalty in the One Day Rest in Seven Act from a petty offense to a civil penalty.

Bill: HB4724 Illinois FMLA
Sponsor: Rep. Cassidy (D-Chicago)
Status: 2nd Reading
Position: Oppose
Description: Creates the Illinois Family Medical Leave Act with provisions similar to the ones currently in the federal FMLA. Position paper.

Bill: SB2521 Workers’ Compensation Injury
Sponsor: Sen. McCarter (R-Highland)
Status: Labor SubCommittee on Special Issues
Position: Support
Description:
Amends the Workers’ Compensation Act by defining “accident” and “injury.” “Injury” includes the aggravation of a pre-existing condition by an accident arising out of and in the course of the employment, but only for so long as the aggravation of the pre-existing condition continues to be the major contributing cause of the disability. An injury resulting directly or indirectly from idiopathic causes is not compensable. No longer allows an employee to choose in writing to decline their employer’s preferred provider program. View our position paperChamber Initiative.

Bill: SB2636 Exempt Employees
Sponsor: Sen. Althoff (R-Crystal Lake)
Status: Labor Committee
Position: Support
Description: Directs Illinois employers to use federal law and U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) rules when determining the exempt or non-exempt status of an employee.  Employment Law Council initiative.  Read our position paper here.

Bill: SB2847 Equal Pay Act Liability
Sponsor: Sen. Steans (D-Chicago)
Status: 2nd Reading
Position: Oppose
Description: In addition to an individual who is deemed to be an employer, any officers of a corporation or agents of an employer who knowingly permit such employer to violate the provisions of the Act shall be deemed to be the employers of the employees.  Position paper

Environment & Energy

Bill: HB5373 BPA Paper Ban
Sponsor: Rep. May (D-Highwood)
Status: Environmental Health Committee
Position: Oppose
Description: Prohibits the manufacture, distribution, and use of paper containing bisphenol A for the making of business or banking records.

Bill: SB2950 BPA Ban
Sponsor: Sen. Silverstein (D-Chicago)
Status: 2nd Reading
Position: Oppose
Description: No manufacturer or wholesaler shall sell or offer children’s food and beverage containers containing bispenol-A

Bill: SB3282 Expedited Permit Fee Invoices
Sponsor: Sen. Clayborne (D-East St. Louis)
Status: 2nd Reading
Position: Support
Description: Requires the IEPA to provide the permit applicant with an invoice that includes the total amount of the expedited fee and the number of hours Agency staff spent on overtime to complete this project.  Chamber initiative.

Bill: SB3414 Economic Harm Rulemaking
Sponsor: Rep. Silverstein (D-Chicago)
Status: 2nd Reading
Position: Support
Description: Allows the IEPA to adopt an emergency rulemaking if it finds that a situation exists which reasonably constitutes a threat to the public interest, safety or welfare as well as economic harm.  Chamber initiative.

Bill: SB3672 Air Regulation Standards
Sponsor: Sen. Rezin (R-Peru)
Status: 3rd Reading
Position: Support
Description: Expands existing rulemaking authority that is currently used at the state level to adopt federal land regulations to a very narrow set of air regulations: ambient air quality regulations.  When the U.S. EPA adopts certain federal regulations, the IL Pollution Control Board uses a streamlined process to adopt those same standards at the state level.  This is a Chamber initiative.

Healthcare

Bill: HB0289 Health Insurance Rate Review
Sponsor: Rep. Flowers (D-Chicago)
Status: Failed in Committee
Position: Oppose
Description: Creates the Health Insurance Rate Review Act. Creates the independent quasi-judicial Health Insurance Rate Review Board to ensure insurance rates are reasonable and justified. Sets forth duties and prohibited activities concerning the Board. Creates the Health Insurance Rate Review Board Nomination Panel to provide a list of nominees to the Governor for appointment to the Health Insurance Rate Review Board. Sets forth the procedures for nomination. Provides requirements and procedures for health carriers to file current and proposed rates and rate schedules with the Health Insurance Rate Review Board. Provides that the Board shall review and approve or disapprove all rates and rate schedules filed or used by a health carrier. Sets forth provisions concerning rate standards, public notice, hearings, and the disapproval and approval of rates and rate schedules.

Bill: HB2065 Insurance Assessments
Sponsor: Rep. Flowers (D-Chicago)
Status: 3rd Reading 
Position: Oppose
Description: Insurance must cover all services ordered by a physician and provided in a hospital.

Bill: HB2977 Medical Loss Ratio
Sponsor: Rep. Flowers (D-Chicago)
Status: Insurance Committee
Position: Oppose
Description: Companies that issue accident and health insurance policies must disclose to each policy holder whether and to what extent that company has complied during the previous year with the medical loss ratio provisions of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Provides that the disclosure shall be issued to each policy holder upon enrollment and annually thereafter and shall include information explaining the rights of the policy holder under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Bill: SB2945 Smoke Free Privacy Exemption
Sponsor: Sen. Duffy (R-Barrington)
Status: 3rd Reading
Position: Support
Description: Amends the Smoke Free Illinois Act and the Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act to exempt from certain prohibitions against discrimination any employer that, as its primary purposes or objectives, provides medical or hospital treatment to patients who have a cancerous condition.

Taxes

Bill: HB2064/HB5010 State Community Bank
Sponsor: Rep. Flowers (D-Chicago)
Status: Financial Institutions Committee
Position: Oppose
Description:
Establishes a state-run community bank of Illinois.

Bill: HB3934 EDGE Grants
Sponsor: Rep. Franks (D-Woodstock)
Status: Failed in committee
Position: Oppose
Description: Requires legislative approval for EDGE credits.

Bill: HB5167 Ammunition Tax
Sponsor: Rep. Cassidy (D-Chicago)
Status: 3rd Reading
Position: Oppose
Description: Imposes a 2% surcharge on firearms ammunition.

Bill: SB1829 Tobacco Tax
Sponsor: Sen. Kotowski (D-Park Ridge)
Status: Local Government Committee
Position: Oppose
Description: Allows municipalities to impose a tax on tobacco.

Bill: SB3215 Net Operating Loss Restoration
Sponsor: Sen. Garrett (D-Highwood)
Status: Revenue SubCommittee on Special Issues
Position: Support
Description: Restores the net operating losses taken away in 2011 for 2012-2014. Chamber initiative.

Bill: SB3253 Enterprise Zone Extension
Sponsor: Sen. Frerichs (D-Champagin)
Status: 2nd Reading
Position: Support
Description: Extends enterprise zones for an additional 20 years.  Chamber initiative.

Bill: SB3526 Income Tax-Transportation
Sponsor: Sen. Hutchinson (D-Chicago)
Status: 2nd Reading
Position: Support
Description: Defines which multi-state companies are considered transportation companies for distributing income taxes between the states.

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