Capitol News Report: March 2019

General Assembly Focus on Committee Action this Month

With the deadline for introduction having passed, the Illinois House has introduced nearly 3400 measures and the Illinois Senate has an additional over 2200 bills in the mix. Now, sorting through the legislation is the job of the standing committees. Lawmakers will be spending the next several weeks in their committees deciding which proposals to advance to the floor of their respective chamber. Some have already been advanced and one increasing the minimum wage has been signed into law. Your ABC lobbying team is following 88 bills from training to new regulations and liabilities for construction contractors:

 

Below are a few key issues

 

HB 27 VOCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY ACT (Rep. Thapedi-D) Creates 2 vocational academies, one located in Cook County and the other in a downstate county, which shall be residential institutions. Each academy shall be a State agency, funded by State appropriations, private contributions, and endowments. The academies shall be governed by a single Board of Trustees for the collective operation and oversight of the academies. Each academy shall be empowered to lease or purchase real and personal property on commercially reasonable terms for the use by the academy. House Third Reading

 

HB 102 LOCAL GOV – RESPONSIBLE BIDDER/MOTOR FUEL TAX (Rep. Zalewski-D) House Amendment 1: Provides that, in addition to any other tax that may be imposed, if a municipality adopts a responsible bid ordinance that is approved by the Department of Transportation, then the municipality may also impose a tax on motor fuel at a rate not to exceed $0.03 per gallon. Effective January 1, 2020. ABC OPPOSED

 

HB 173 PROCUREMENT CD-SMALL BUSINESS (Rep. Lilly-D) Provides that a small business subcontractor may enter into an agreement with the Department of Transportation to receive direct payments from the Department on a construction project. When a State official or agency responsible for administering a contract submits a voucher to the Comptroller for payment to a small business subcontractor who enters into a specified contract under the Department of Transportation Law, that State official or agency shall make available electronically the voucher information. If a contractor is assessed liquidated damages from the State, the contractor is still responsible to each subcontractor under subcontracts. Contractors are responsible for reasonable attorneys' fees if an administrative law judge finds in favor of the subcontractor. If a contractor with the Department or a small business subcontractor claims that additional payment is due under the terms of the contract, and the Department of Transportation has not agreed that payment is due, the contractor or subcontractor desiring to pursue additional compensation shall file a claim according to the requirements and procedures specified by the Department. Scheduled Hearing: House State Government Administration Committee on March 6 at 2:30pm

 

HB 249 HAZARDOUS MATERIALS WORKFORCE (Rep. Walsh-D) Creates the Illinois Hazardous Materials Workforce Training Act providing that the Environmental Protection Agency shall develop by rule a curriculum of approved advanced safety training for workers at high hazard facilities. Provides that an owner or operator, when contracting for the performance of construction work at the stationary source, shall require that its contractors and any subcontractors use a skilled and trained workforce to perform all onsite work within an apprenticeable occupation in the building and construction trades. Scheduled Hearing: House Labor & Commerce Committee on March 6 at 2:30pm ABC OPPOSED

 

HB 834 EQUAL PAY ACT-WAGE HISTORY (Rep. Moeller-D) Amends the Equal Pay Act prohibiting an employer from: (i) screening job applicants based on their wage or salary history, (ii) requiring that an applicant's prior wages satisfy minimum or maximum criteria, and (iii) requesting or requiring as a condition of being interviewed or as a condition of continuing to be considered for an offer of employment that an applicant disclose prior wages or salary. Prohibits an employer from seeking the salary, including benefits or other compensation or salary history, of a job applicant from any current or former employer, with some exceptions. Limits defenses. Provides for penalties and injunctive relief. House Third Reading ABC OPPOSED

 

HB 1653 ANTI-WAGE THEFT-STATE CONTRACT (Rep. Villanueva-D) Prohibits any person or business that violates the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act, the Minimum Wage Law, the Illinois Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, the Employee Classification Act, the Day and Temporary Labor Services Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, or any comparable state statute or regulation of any state which governs the payment of wages to do business with the State or any State agency or enter into a subcontract that is subject to the Code for a period of 5 years. Amends the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act to provide that an employer that is able to pay wages and who refuses to pay is guilty of a Class 4 felony with respect to amounts of $5,000 or less (rather than a Class B misdemeanor) and of a Class 3 felony with respect to amounts greater than $5,000 (rather than a Class A misdemeanor). Provides that a subsequent failure to pay within 5 years (rather than 2 years) of a prior conviction is a Class 3 felony (rather than a Class 4 felony). Scheduled Hearing: House Labor & Commerce Committee on March 6 at 2:30pm ABC OPPOSED

 

HB 2343 MANDATED PAID SICK LEAVE (Rep. Gordon-Booth-D) Requires employers to provide specified paid sick days to employees. Sets forth the purposes for and manner in which the sick days may be used. Contains provisions regarding employer responsibilities, unlawful employer practices, and other matters. Provides that the Department of Labor shall administer the Act. Authorizes the imposition of civil penalties. Authorizes individuals to file civil actions with respect to violations. Scheduled Hearing: House Labor & Commerce Committee on March 6 at 2:30pm ABC OPPOSED

 

HB 2619 INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR PAYMENT (Rep. Martwick-D) Creates the Independent Contractor Payment Protection Act providing that the agreed work terms between an independent contractor and a client shall be: (1) reduced to writing; (2) sufficiently detailed in describing how compensation earned and payable shall be calculated; (3) signed by the independent contractor; (4) signed by the client; (5) kept on file by the client for a period of not less than 6 years. Provides that an independent contractor shall be paid the compensation earned in accordance with the agreed work terms not later than the last day of the month following the month in which the compensation is earned. Provides that an independent contractor may file a complaint with the Department of Labor alleging a violation of the Act. Provides for enforcement of the Act by the Department. Establishes civil and criminal penalties. Scheduled Hearing: House Labor & Commerce Committee on March 6 at 2:30pm

 

HB 2838 WAGE PAYMENT-DIRECT CONTRACTOR (Rep. Gong-Gershowitz-D) Amends the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act providing that, for contracts entered into on or after July 1, 2019, a direct contractor making or taking a contract in the State for the erection, construction, alteration, or repair of a building, structure, or other private work shall assume, and is liable for, any debt owed to a wage claimant or third party on the wage claimant's behalf, incurred by a subcontractor at any tier acting under, by, or for the direct contractor for the wage claimant's performance of labor included in the subject of the contract between the direct contractor and the owner. Provides for enforcement by the Department of Labor. Provides authorization for third parties owed fringe or other benefits or a joint labor-management cooperation committee to bring a civil action to enforce liability against a direct contractor. Provides exemptions for work done by an employee of the State or any political subdivision of the State. Provides requirements and guidelines for notice, awards, filing, and records retention. Provides that the new provisions are severable, and that the obligations and remedies provided are in addition to any obligations and remedies otherwise provided by law. Provides that nothing the Section shall alter specified obligations and penalties set forth in the State Prompt Payment Act. Effective immediately. Scheduled Hearing: House Labor & Commerce Committee on March 6 at 2:30pm ABC OPPOSED

 

HB 2916 CONTRACT PROMPT PAY RETAINAGE (Rep. Arroyo-D) Amends the Contractor Prompt Payment Act. Provides that a retainage of 10% of the payment may be withheld from a payment under a construction contract prior to the completion of 50% of the contract. Provides that after 50% of the contract is completed, the amount of retainage for any subsequent payment may not exceed 5%. Effective immediately. Assigned to the House Executive Committee

 

HB 3316 PREVAILING WAGE TRUCKING (Rep. Connor-D) Amends the Prevailing Wage Act providing that the transportation of ready-mixed concrete and aggregate materials shall be deemed to be employment upon public works. Includes additional trucking related activities within the scope of the Act. Includes in the calculation of the prevailing wage rate, rental costs for trucks and equipment provided by owner-operators. Defines terms. Effective immediately. House Rules Committee ABC OPPOSED

 

HB 3418 CONSTRUCTION SAFETY ACT (Rep. Andrade-D) Creates the Construction Safety Act. Defines: "entity" as a person, firm, public or private corporation, owner, contractor, or subcontractor; and "work" as the overall or specific erection, construction, repair, alteration, removal, painting, maintenance, or cleaning of any building, bridge, viaduct, or other structure. Provides that if an entity has overall charge of or retains authority to control the work, exercises control of the overall work, or undertakes the responsibility to make the work safe, then a private right of action shall lie against the entity by or on behalf of any worker injured or killed in the course of the work. House Rules Committee ABC OPPOSED

 

HJR 35 RESPONSIBLE BIDDER ORDINANCE (Rep. Hoffman-D) Supports local governments and municipalities that adopt Responsible Bidder Ordinances. House Rules Committee

 

 

SB 1 MINIMUM WAGE/INCOME TAX CREDIT (Sen. Lightford-D/Rep. Guzzardi-D) Senate Amendment 001: Replaces everything after the enacting clause. Amends the Illinois Income Tax Act and the Minimum Wage Law. Provides for an increase in the minimum wage and for a credit against withholding payments in relation to the increase. Increases the minimum wage to $9.25 per hour beginning January 1, 2020. Provides for annual increases in the minimum wage culminating in a minimum wage of $15 per hour beginning on January 1, 2025. Provides to employers with 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees a credit against tax withheld beginning January 1, 2020. Reduces the credit beginning January 1, 2021. Provides employers may claim the credit amount in effect on January 1, 2025 until December 31, 2026 and that employers with no more than 5 employees may claim that credit until December 31, 2027. Authorizes the Department of Labor to perform random audits of employer to ascertain compliance with the Minimum Wage Law. Authorizes a penalty of $100 per employee for failure to maintain required records. Effective immediately. P.A. 101-1

 

SB 1407 HAZARDOUS MATERIALS-TECH (Sen. Hastings-D) Senate Amendment 1: Replaces everything after the enacting clause. Creates the Illinois Hazardous Materials Workforce Training Act. Provides that the Department of Labor shall develop by rule a curriculum of approved advanced safety training for workers at high hazard facilities. Provides that an owner or operator, when contracting for the performance of construction work at the stationary source, shall require that its contractors and any subcontractors use a skilled and trained workforce to perform all onsite work within an apprenticeable occupation in the building and construction trades. Provides a penalty for violation of the Act. Creates the Illinois Hazardous Materials Workforce Training Fund as a special fund in the State treasury. Makes corresponding changes in the State Finance Act. Effective immediately. Scheduled Hearing: Senate Executive Committee on March 6 at 2pm ABC OPPOSED

 

SB 1474 COLLECTIVE BARGAINING FREEDOM (Sen. Villivalam-D) Creates the Collective Bargaining Freedom Act. Provides that employers and labor organizations covered by the National Labor Relations Act may execute and apply agreements requiring membership in a labor organization as a condition of employment to the fullest extent authorized by the National Labor Relations Act. Provides that it is the policy of the State that employers, employees, and their labor organizations are free to bargain collectively. Provides that the authority to enact laws or rules that restrict the use of union security agreements between an employer and a labor organization vests exclusively with the General Assembly. Prohibits local governments from enforcing any such law or rule. Defines terms. Effective immediately. Scheduled Hearing: Senate Labor Committee on March 6 at 11am ABC OPPOSED

 

SB 1483 PROJECT LABOR AGREEMENTS (Sen. Harris-D) Amends the Project Labor Agreements Act limiting project labor agreements on public works projects totaling $15,000,000 or more in costs. Effective immediately. Assigned to Senate Labor Committee ABC INITIATIVE

 

SB 1589 PUBLIC WORKS SUBSTANCE ABUSE (Sen. Tracy-R) Amends the Substance Abuse Prevention on Public Works Projects Act allowing oral fluid tests and hair tests to be administered to test for drug use. Effective immediately. Assigned to Senate Labor Committee ABC INITIATIVE

 

SB 1636 CONTRACT PROMPT PAY RETAINAGE (Sen. Mulroe-D) Amends the Contractor Prompt Payment Act. Provides that a retainage of 10% of the payment may be withheld from a payment under a construction contract prior to the completion of 50% of the contract. Provides that after 50% of the contract is completed, the amount of retainage for any subsequent payment may not exceed 5%. Effective immediately. Scheduled Hearing: Senate Judiciary Committee on March 5 at 3pm

 

SB 1646 PREVAILING WAGE-CLASSIFICATION (Sen. Barickman-R) Amends the Prevailing Wage Act. Deletes provisions regarding investigatory hearings by the Department of Labor regarding new wage classifications. Requires the creation of any new prevailing wage classification to be promulgated by administrative rule by the Department of Labor in accordance with the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act. Assigned to Senate Labor Committee

 

SB 1783 PREVAILING WAGE TRUCKING (Sen. Hastings) Amends the Prevailing Wage Act. Provides that the transportation of ready-mixed concrete and aggregate materials shall be deemed to be employment upon public works. Includes additional trucking related activities within the scope of the Act. Includes in the calculation of the prevailing wage rate, rental costs for trucks and equipment provided by owner-operators. Defines terms. Effective immediately. Scheduled Hearing: Senate Labor Committee on March 6 at 11am ABC OPPOSED

 

SB 1848 PROCUREMENT-SINGLE PRIME (Sen. Muñoz-D) Amends the Illinois Procurement Code. Modifies the term "single prime" to mean the design-bid-build procurement delivery method for a building construction project in which the Capital Development Board or a public institution of higher education (currently, only the Capital Development Board) is the construction agency procuring 2 or more specified subdivisions of work. Provides that for building construction contracts in excess of $250,000, separate specifications must (rather than may) be prepared for all equipment, labor, and materials in connection with the 7 (currently, 5) subdivisions of the work to be performed. Provides 2 additional subdivisions of work. Modifies requirements concerning specifications to be drawn so as to permit separate and independent bidding. Provides requirements for single prime projects in which the Capital Development Board or an institution of higher education is the construction agency procuring for building construction contracts in excess of $250,000. Extends repeal and inoperative dates. Makes conforming changes. Effective December 15, 2019. Senate Assignments

 

SB 1943 INSURANCE CODE-WORKERS COMP (Sen. Holmes-D) Amends the Illinois Insurance Code. Provides that with respect to employers correctly classified within the construction industry, the amount charged to the insured for workers' compensation and employers' liability insurance shall be based upon hours worked by employees in specific job categories or classifications, not the wages or salaries paid to the employees. Makes technical changes. Scheduled Hearing: Senate Judiciary Committee on March 5 at 3pm ABC OPPOSED

Elisa Fox