Lawmakers returned to Springfield this week for the final week of fall veto session.  For a recap of this week’s legislative activities, please see below.
Energy Debate
By far the largest bill before the General Assembly this week was SB 2814 (Rose/Rita), also known as the Future Energy Jobs Bill. The bill received several amendments this week and eventually passed the House 63-38-0 and the Senate 32-18-0. The Chamber ultimately opposed the legislation as the bill has significant impacts on the business community.
In short, the bill is designed to keep two downstate nuclear facilities from closing, increase energy efficiency programs and improve the Renewable Portfolio Standard. The outcome of SB 2814 is disruptive to competitive electricity markets and exacerbates Illinois’ anti-business climate by raising electricity rates on all ratepayers – threatening Illinois’ ability to retain businesses.
Moving forward, the Chamber will continue to work with members to analyze the bill and continue to measure the unintended consequences in the bill.
Prevailing Wage

After being previously overridden in the Senate, SB 2964(Harmon/Hoffman) failed to be overridden in the House by two votes 70-42-2.  The Chamber supported the governor’s veto and opposed any motion to override the veto.  SB 2964 would have required the prevailing wage rate to be calculated as the rate that prevails for similar work on public works projects when the work is performed under a collective bargaining agreement or understanding between an employer and bona-fide labor organizations in a locality where 30% or more of the workers are involved.  After an uphill roll call, the Chamber appreciates those who supported the business community and voted no on the override.

EPA Fast Rack Rulemaking
The Chamber supported SB 1673, which passed both houses of the General Assembly unanimously this week.  The bill creates a new section of the Illinois Environmental Protection Act which creates a regulatory relief mechanism known as a “time-limited water quality standard.”  This statutory provision provides industrial facilities and other permitted dischargers with relief from water quality standards that present compliance issues.  The Chambers’ affiliate, the Illinois Environmental Regulatory Group, with input from the Chambers’ Environmental Affairs Committee lead negotiations on this bill on behalf of the business community.
Economic Development Corporation Bills
The Chamber is glad to report that the Senate did not take action on overriding the Governor’s veto on SB 2531 or SB 2600 this week.  Do to the sponsors’ inaction on the bills, both of them are officially dead.
These two bills, would have required any economic development corporation or commission which receives public money must have at least two members from a labor council serve on its board or commission – free of charge.  Such members shall be full members with all rights and privileges and need not pay any membership fees or dues for such membership.
Lame Duck Tax Increase
HJRCA 62 (Franks) passed the House this week 84-18-2.  This constitutional amendment would require a 3/5’s majority for a tax increase to pass during lame duck session (currently simple majority).  Chamber President and CEO, Todd Maisch testified in support of the measure this week in the House State Government Committee.  The amendment now heads to the Senate, where it will have to pass during the lame duck session for it to be approved for the 2018 ballot.
Salvaged Vehicle Titles
This week, the Illinois Chamber supported SB 2808 (Turner) which would align Illinois with surrounding states as it pertains to salvage title thresholds to companies that self insure their vehicles.  Illinois currently has one of the toughest salvage title laws in the Midwest.  Under the bill, the cost of repairing a damaged vehicle, labor included, would not render a vehicle salvaged until the costs exceed 70%, rather than the current law of 50%. The bill now heads to the governor’s desk.
Yesterday, the House and Senate released their 2017 spring legislative calendars.  Most notably, members of the 99th General Assembly will return to Springfield Jan. 9 – 10 for two days of what is considered ‘lame duck session.’  The newly elected lawmakers will be sworn in on Jan. 11 and will kick off the 100th GA at that time.
The Senate calendar may be found here and the House calendar may be found here.
Original story from the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, click here to view more.