SENATE PACKAGE UPDATE
Since reported last week there are no new developments or new language filed to the Senate’s grand bargain package. In order for the Chamber to withdraw opposition from the package, the Senate must adopt pro-growth, pro-job creation reforms. This would include both meaningful reforms to the state’s workers’ compensation system and incentives to the business community that incentivize the expansion and creation of jobs in Illinois.
The Chamber has been in involved in productive conversations on workers’ compensation this week that include constructive measures to the state’s system. In addition to workers’ compensation reform, the Senate should also adopt incentives for business growth and expansion, capital expenditures, and small to medium size business training credits.
An unsung portion of the Senate’s package is how the state will curtail its spending. Any part of this package must require the state to return to fiscal sanity. Once the Senate’s package reflects spending restraints and has adopted job creation measures, can we then talk about new revenues.
There has been a feeling among many in the Senate that there has been to quick of a rush towards new revenues and not enough concentration on addressing spending and implementing pro-growth reforms.
Outlined in Senate Amendment 1 and 2 to SB 9 is a newfound tax on jobs otherwise being dubbed as the “opportunity tax.” This tax on jobs is conceptually offensive and the Chamber remains adamantly opposed to any such idea. Under the proposed tax, Illinois employers with annual payrolls under $3 million per year would be contributing to 75% of the estimated $750 million in new revenues.
As always, the Chamber will continue to update members on any breaking advancements that may occur out of this package.
NEXT WEEK’S LEGISLATIVE SESSION PREVIEW
Both the House and the Senate are scheduled to be in Tuesday through Thursday next week. Aside from the Senate’s grand-bargain package, there are plenty of committees scheduled next week with plenty of legislation to be heard. Below is a few bills that are worth mentioning that have been either filed this week or are posted for committee next week.
HB 818 (Zalewski) was filed in the House earlier this week. This bill provides that the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity shall issue certificates of exemption to qualified Illinois data centers. The bill provides that qualified tangible personal property used in the construction or operation of a certified data center is exempt from the taxes imposed under the Use Tax Act, the Service Use Tax Act, the Service Occupation Tax Act, the Retailers’ Occupation Tax Act. Provides that certified data centers are exempt from the tax imposed under the Electricity Excise Tax Law. A Senate version will be filed next week.
HB 1814 (K. Wheeler) was filed in the House. This bill amends the Illinois False Claims Act and provides that no court has jurisdiction over a civil action relating to or involving a false claim regarding certain tax acts administered by the Department of Revenue unless the action is brought by the Attorney General. Provides that the Department of Revenue has the sole authority to bring an administrative action and that the Attorney General has the sole authority to bring a judicial action under the Act for a false claim, statement, or record pertaining to certain taxes administered by the Department of Revenue.
SB 61 (Righter) has been posted for Senate Judiciary Committee for Wednesday. This bill would streamline employment discrimination investigations.
HB 262 (Flowers) is posted for House Labor & Commerce Committee on Wednesday. This bill would increase the minimum wage in Illinois to $15 per hour. The Chamber is opposed.
HB 371 (Mayfield) and HB 386 (Beiser) are both posted in the Hose Transportation: Regulation, Roads and Bridges Committee for Wednesday. These two identical bills would repeal the annual commercial distribution fee on vehicles weighing more than 8,000 lbs. The Chamber is in support.
SJRCA 1 (Harmon) is posted for Senate Executive Committee on Wednesday. Upon voter approval in the next general election, this resolution would amend the Illinois Constitution to allow for the tax on income to be measured at a non-graduated rate. The Chamber is opposed to this measure and plans on testifying in opposition.
HB 497 (Costello II) has been assigned to the House Revenue & Finance Committee. This bill would make the current sales tax exemption for equipment used in mining permanent by removing the sunset provision. The Chamber is in support.
HB 1796 (G. Harris) was filed late this week. This bill is otherwise known as the Health Insurance Claims Assessment Act. The Illinois Chamber opposed this legislation last session. The legislation imposes an assessment of 1% on claims paid by a health insurance carrier or third-party administrator. The moneys received and collected under the Act would be deposited into the Healthcare Provider Relief Fund and used solely for the purpose of funding Medicaid services provided under the medical assistance programs administered by the Department of Healthcare and Family Services.
The Senate Human Services Committee will be conducting a subject matter hearing on Medicaid Manage Care Network Adequacy in the Central Illinois Region on Wednesday.
Energy & Environment
HB 613 (Guzzardi) has been posted for the House Environment Committee on Wednesday. This bill would make it unlawful to apply any neonicotinoid insecticides on any public lands owned or maintained by the state.
HJR 3 (Thapedi) has been posted for the House International Trade & Commerce Committee. This joint-resolution would create the Trade Policy Task Force within the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to (1) analyze important issues relative to the growth of international trade from and to Illinois; (2) make recommendations to Congress, the United States Trade Representative, and the White House National Trade Council regarding trade policies that best serve Illinois; and (3) promote the exportation of goods and services from Illinois and the importation of goods and services into Illinois. The Chamber is in support of this task force.
HOUSE COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS
This week the House of Representatives announced the committee assignments for members. To view, please click here.