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Springfield Highlights

Springfield Highlights – Jan. 25, 2019

Governor Pritzker Signs EO on Climate Change

This week, Governor Pritzker announced the signing of an Executive Order aimed at recognizing climate change and declaring that he, on behalf of the State of Illinois, will join the U.S. Climate Alliance. The U.S. Climate Alliance is a collection of states that have joined together in committing to policies geared towards reducing greenhouse emissions, reducing carbon pollution and promoting clean energy.   States started joining this collection after President Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Accord.  By joining the U.S. Climate Alliance, Illinois is offering a non-binding commitment to reduce carbon emissions by approximately 27% below 2005 levels by the year 2025 and to do so by promoting low-carbon technologies, creating green jobs, and access to clean energy.  Governor Pritzker makes the 18th Governor, including Puerto Rico, to have signed on to the Alliance. Illinois now joins states such as California, New York and Oregon in committing to developing, passing and enforcing regulations aimed at combating climate change. 

In addition to joining the US Climate Alliance, the Executive Order also specifically declared that Illinois would commit to the principles of the Paris Climate Agreement and called on the IEPA to protect Illinoisans from dangerous federal environmental policy.  

On the Executive Order, the IMA released the following statement:

“Manufacturers are committed to a strong, healthy, and sustainable environment.  For many years, manufacturers have led the way in reducing emissions, conserving resources, limiting waste, and providing innovative solutions and safe products. The choice between environmental protection and a strong economy is not an either/or proposition.  However, there needs to be balance with policymakers considering the comprehensive impact of their laws and regulations. Our industry employs nearly 580,000 men and women in Illinois producing the single largest share of the state’s gross domestic product. Smart policies that allow for manufacturing ingenuity and innovation are far better than poorly planned mandates that can harm jobs and impede prosperity.”

Legislation Continues to Build

As the first full week of session prepares to kick-off in Springfield next week, the number of bills being filed by members of the 101st General Assembly continues to grow at a rapid rate.  To date, 902 House bills, 115 Senate bills, and 137 resolutions have been filed.  Here is a sample of some of the bills that have been filed this week that could impact the manufacturing sector:

HB 0813 / SB 0105 – Repeals an annual commercial distribution fee on vehicles of the second division weighing more than 8,000 pounds.

HB 0826 – Allow local governments to impose a 5 percent tax on natural gas.

HB 0834 / SB 0073 – Prohibits an employer from using wage or salary history when making hiring or promotional decisions.

HB 0838 – Initiates a “claw back” program that requires companies who move jobs out of the State of Illinois to pay the State back for any economic development assistance it had previously received.

HB 0840 – Provides that beginning April 1, 2020, and on a bi-annual basis thereafter, the Illinois Commerce Commission shall issue a report to the General Assembly concerning the decommissioning of nuclear power plants in this State.

HB 0876 – Requires a public utility to disclose certain property and rate information to a customer upon request.

HB 0881 – Prohibits an employer from requiring an employee to sign a contract or waiver that would prohibit the employee from disclosing or discussing the employee’s wage or salary.  Further provides employer defense to liability. 

SB 0098 – Attempts to speed asbestos trust payments to claimants while addressing the disconnect that exists between the civil liability system and the asbestos bankruptcy trust system.

Legislation Filed to Mandate Publicly Held Company’s Board Structure

This week, Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) filed SB 0076, that requires a publicly held domestic or foreign corporation whose principal executive offices are located in Illinois to have a certain numbers of female directors on their boards.  Specifically, the bill requires these companies to have: (i) no later than July 31, 2020, a minimum of one female director on its board; and (ii) no later than December 31, 2022, a minimum of 3 female directors if its number of directors is 6 or more, a minimum of 2 female directors if its number of directors is 5, or a minimum of one female director if its number of directors is 4 or fewer.

Castro’s legislation is similar to legislation (SB 826) that was signed into law in California by Governor Jerry Brown in October of 2018.  Notably, when Governor Brown signed the bill into law, he stated that there were “serious legal concerns” with the law because it would displace board members solely on the basis of gender.  California has joined several European countries in requiring gender representation on corporate boards.  Most recently, Belgium passed a law requiring 33% female directorship for state-owned and publicly traded corporations by 2018.

Senator Castro’s SB 0076 has been assigned to the Senate Commerce and Economic Development Committee, which is slated to meet on Thursday, January 31.

Representative Ammons Files Cannabis Legalization Legislation

Today, Representative Carol Ammons (D-Champaign) filed legislation to legalize the use of cannabis in the State of Illinois.  The bill, HB 0902, provides that for persons 21 years of age or older: (1) possessing, consuming, using, displaying, purchasing, or transporting cannabis accessories; (2) possessing, growing, processing, or transporting on one’s own premises no more than 24 mature cannabis plants and possession of the cannabis produced by the plants on the premises where the plants were grown; (3) possessing outside one’s premises no more than 224 grams of cannabis; and (4) assisting another person who is 21 years of age or older in any of the acts described in items (1) through (3) are no longer a criminal or civil offense. The bill goes all to call for a 10% tax on cannabis and requires a majority of cannabis cultivation facilities and retail cannabis stores must be in communities where a majority of residents are black or African America, American Indian or Alaska Native, or Hispanic or Latino.

This legislation comes after newly elected Governor JB Pritzker campaigned on the premise of legalizing and taxing marijuana in the state as a way of raising funds for education and public safety programs.  In his inaugural address last week, Governor Pritzker proclaimed “In the interests of keeping the public safe from harm, expanding true justice in our criminal justice system, and advancing economic inclusion, I will work with the legislature to legalize, tax and regulate the sale of recreational cannabis in Illinois.”

Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) and Representative Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) have been leading efforts to pass recreational marijuana legislation in Illinois, so it unlikely that HB 0902 will be the proposal moving forward.

The IMA has met with multiple lawmakers involved in the negotiations to insist that any bill must include employer protections, including the right to drug test and maintain a safe and drug free workplace.  Changes to the Workers’ Compensation Act may need to be made so that employers are not held responsible for accidents occurring due to alcohol or drug impairment.

Senate and House Announce Committees, Committee Chairs

As the General Assembly prepares for session next week, the Senate has announced both the Democrat Committee Chairs and Republican Minority Spokespersons for their committees:

CommitteeCommittee ChairMinority Spokesperson
AgricultureSen. Scott BennettSen. Craig Wilcox
Appropriations ISen. Heather SteansSen. Dale Righter
Appropriations IISen. Andy ManarSen. Dan McConchie
Assignments            Sen. Kimberly LightfordSen. Dale Righter
Commerce and Economic DevelopmentSen. Laura MurphySen. Dale Fowler
Criminal LawSen. Elgie SimsSen. Brian Stewart
EducationSen. Jennifer Bertino-TarrantSen. Chuck Weaver
Energy and Public UtilitiesSen. Bill CunninghamSen. Sue Rezin
Environment and ConservationSen. Melinda BushSen. Jim Oberweis
ExecutiveSen. Michael HastingsSen. Dale Righter
Executive AppointmentsSen. Antonio MuñozSen. Jason Plummer
Financial InstitutionsSen. Jacqueline CollinsSen. Chapin Rose
Government Accountability/PensionsSen. Omar AquinoSen. Donald DeWitte
Higher EducationSen. Pat McGuireSen. Steve McClure
Human ServicesSen. Julie MorrisonSen. Dave Syverson
InsuranceSen. Napoleon HarrisSen. Dave Syverson
JudiciarySen. John MulroeSen. Jason Barickman
LaborSen. Thomas CullertonSen. Jim Oberweis
Licensed ActivitiesSen. Emil JonesSen. Neil Anderson
Local GovernmentSen. Linda HolmesSen. John Curran
Public HealthSen. Patricia Van PeltSen. Dave Syverson
RevenueSen. Toi HutchinsonSen. Sue Rezin
State GovernmentSen. Steven LandekSen. Dan McConchie
Telecommunications & InfoTechnologySen. Steve StadelmanSen. Jil Tracy
TransportationSen. Martin SandovalSen. Donald DeWitte
Veterans AffairsSen. Cristina CastroSen. Paul Schimdf

The House, which is only scheduled to have a Rules Committee hearing next week, has yet to formally announce their committees and Republicans are still deciding on Minority Spokesperson positions, but the following is expected:

CommitteeCommittee Chair
Adoption & Child WelfareRep. Sara Feigenholtz
Agriculture & ConservationRep. Jerry Costello
Capital – AppropRep. Luis Arroyo
Child Care Access & Early Childhood Educ.Rep. Melissa Conyears-Ervin
Cities & VillagesRep. Anthony DeLuca
Consumer ProtectionRep. Elizabth Hernzndez
Counties & TownshipsRep. Sam Yingling
Cybersecurity, Data Analytics & ITRep. Jaime Andrade
Economic Opportunity & EquityRep. Sonya Harper
Elem/Sec Education: Administration, Licensing & Charter SchoolsRep. Sue Scherer
Elem/Sec Education: Curriculum & PoliciesRep. Michelle Mussman
Elementary & Secondary Education – AppropRep. Rita Mayfield
Energy & EnvironmentRep. Ann Williams
ExecutiveRep. Emanuel Chris Welch
Financial InstitutionsRep. Camille Lilly
General Services – AppropRep. Bob Rita
Health Care Availability & AccessRep. Mary Flowers
Health care LicensesRep. Anna Moeller
Higher EducationRep. Carol Ammons
Higher Education – AppropRep. LaShawn Ford
Human ServicesRep. Frances Hurley
Human services – AppropRep. Robyn Gabel
InsuranceRep. Thaddeus Jones
International Trade & CommerceRep. Andre Thapedi
Judiciary – CivilRep. Andre Thapedi
Judiciary – CriminalRep. Justin Slaughter
Labor & CommerceRep. Marcus Evans
Mental HealthRep. Deb Conroy
Museums, Arts & Cultural EnhancementsRep. Camille Lilly
Personnel & PensionsRep. Robert Martwick
Prescription Drug Affordability & AccessRep. Will Guzzardi
Public Safety – AppropRep. Kelly Cassidy
Public UtilitiesRep. Larry Walsh
Revenue & FinanceRep. Michael Zalewski
State Government AdministrationRep. Stephanie Kifowit
Transportation: Reg, Roads & BridgesRep. Marty Moylan
Transportation: Vehicle SafetyRep. John D’Amico
Veterans AffairsRep. Stephanie Kifowit