Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. - Illinois Chapter
Your Merit Shop Voice Across Illinois

Capitol News Reports

By Shattuck & Associates Consulting, Inc.

Capitol News Report: April 2019

House & Senate Committee Deadline Passes

The deadlines for committee action in the Illinois Senate and House have occurred and it appears that the leaders are sticking to them. With the passing of the deadline, we have a better view of what legislation is forthcoming the remaining 6 weeks of the legislative session.  Due to the many “shell” bills on the Senate and House floors, we will be monitoring floor amendments.

There are many construction specific measures as well as general business issues that work against ABC members and increase the cost of doing business pending in Springfield. The new General Assembly has too many lawmakers with good intentions but little concern for the warnings about the unintended consequences of their proposals. One of the biggest obstacles facing ABC and other business interests is that organized labor provided enormous political contributions for the 2018/2019 elections. According to the Daily Line, “Chicago’s biggest and most politically active labor organizations spent approximately $9.7 million to sway voters, with various SEIU locals and associated political action committees accounting for close to half that amount in the past eight months, according to records led with state officials.” Laborers accounted for over $2.1 million (22%) and operating engineer locals another 4.4% or approximately $450,000.

 

There remain many outstanding issues requiring attention prior to the scheduled May 31st adjournment. Issues such as the budget and how to balance it, adult cannabis, graduated income tax, and a capital construction program will dominate the legislature’s time.

 

Below are some of the key issues we are working on for ABC members:

 

HB 249 (Rep. Walsh-D)/ SB 1407 (Sen. Hastings-D) Hazardous Materials Workforce Senate Amendment 001: Creates the Illinois Hazardous Materials Workforce Training Act which requires the Department of Labor to develop by rule a curriculum of approved advanced safety training for workers at high hazard facilities (refineries and chemical plants). 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. Requires prevailing wage rates for work performed at these private facilities. Senate Amendment 002: adds ethanol plants to the meaning of "owner or operator". Senate Third Reading; Senate Amendment 2 adopted in Senate Executive Committee

The House version was Re-referred to House Rules Committee ABC High Priority-OPPOSE

 

HB 2838 (Rep. Gong-Gershowitz-D) New Wage Liabilities for Contractors: Amends the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act adding liability for a construction contractor 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 contractor for the wage claimant's performance of labor included in the subject of the contract between the contractor and the owner. Allows 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 contractor. House Third Reading ABC High Priority-OPPOSE

 

HB 1653 (Rep. Villanueva-D) Anti-Wage Theft – State Contract 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. 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). House Second Reading ABC OPPOSE

 

HB 2565 (Rep. Stava-Murray-D) Prohibits all covenants not to compete. House Second Reading ABC OPPOSE

 

HB 2975 (Rep. Evans-D) Prohibits all employment waiver of rights. Prohibits an employer to require as a condition or precondition of employment that an employee or person seeking employment waive, arbitrate, or otherwise diminish any future claim, right, or benefit to which the person would otherwise be entitled under State or federal law. Passed House/Senate Assignments ABC OPPOSE

 

SB 1474 (Sen. Villivalam-D/Rep. Yednock-D) Collective Bargaining: Sets as state policy 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 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. House Second Reading ABC OPPOSE

 

HB 834 (Rep. Moeller-D/Sen. Castro-D) Equal Pay – Wage History Amends the Equal Pay Act of 2003 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. Passed House/Referred to Senate Assignments ABC OPPOSE

 

HB 2343 (Rep. Gordon-Booth-D) Mandates paid time off: Requires employers to provide up to 40 hours per year of paid time off to employees. Sets forth the purposes for and manner in which the time 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. Re-referred to House Rules Committee ABC OPPOSE

 

SB 161 (Sen. Curran-R) Attorney General – Worker Protection Unit Creates the Worker Protection Unit within the Office of the Illinois Attorney General to intervene in, initiate, enforce, and defend all criminal or civil legal proceedings on matters and violations relating to specified statutes. The Unit shall be dedicated to combatting businesses that underpay their employees, force their employees to work in unsafe conditions, and gain an unfair economic advantage by avoiding their tax and labor responsibilities. Specifies that the Unit shall have the power and duty to intervene in, initiate, and enforce all legal proceedings on matters related to the payment of wages, the safety of the workplace, and fair employment. Senate Second Reading; Senate Amendment 1 adopted in Senate Judiciary Committee ABC OPPOSE

 

SB 1483 (Sen. Harris-D) Project Labor Agreements Threshold: Amends the Project Labor Agreements Act to exempt from project labor agreements public works projects totaling $15,000,000 or more in costs. Effective immediately. Re-referred to Senate Assignments ABC INITIATIVE

 

SB 1570 (Sen. Rezin-R) Ground Utility Damage Prevention: Amends the Illinois Underground Utility Facilities Damage Prevention Act. Provides for additional required activities for an excavator who engages in nonemergency excavation or demolition under the Act. Modifies the requirements for an excavator who engages in emergency excavation or demolition under the Act. Provides notice requirements for damaged, dislocated, and exposed underground utility facilities. Provides additional requirements for record of notice and the marking of underground utility facilities. Modifies Sections concerning liability, financial responsibility, negligence, and penalties for violating the provisions of the Act. Repeals a Section concerning preconstruction conferences. Makes certain provisions apply to home rule municipalities with a population over 1,000,000. Restores a provision specifying that all units of local government, including home rule units that are not municipalities of more than 1,000,000 persons, must comply with the provisions of the Illinois Underground Utility Facilities Damage Prevention Act. Adds a January 1, 2020 effective date. Senate Second Reading ABC NO POSITION

 

SB 1589 (Sen. Tracy-R) Public Works Substance Abuse Amends the Substance Abuse Prevention on Public Works Projects Act to allow oral fluid tests and hair tests to be administered to test for drug use. Re-referred to Senate Assignments ABC INITIATIVE

 

SB 1636 Contract Prompt Pay Retainage (Sen. Mulroe-D/Rep. Arroyo-D) Amends the Contractor Prompt Payment Act allowing a retainage of 10% of the payment to be withheld from a payment under a construction contract prior to the completion of 50% of the contract. After 50% of the contract is completed, the amount of retainage for any subsequent payment may not exceed 5%. Passed the Senate/House Rules Committee ABC NEUTRAL

 

SB 2024 (Sen. Gillespie-D/Rep. Guzzardi-D) Apprenticeship Study Act: Requires the Department of Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) to conduct a study on the potential expansion of apprenticeship programs in this State and produce a report on its findings. Defines "Illinois Apprenticeship Plus Framework". Passed the Senate/House Rules Committee ABC MONITORING

 

SR 259 (Sen. Koehler-D) Business Diversity Task Force Creates the Diversity Task Force on Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs), Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) and Women Business Enterprises (WBEs) to identify major issues, remove impediments, and create a fair opportunity for DBEs, MBEs, and WBEs to do business with the State of Illinois, specifically the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), the Illinois Capital Development Board (CDB), and the Illinois Tollway Authority. Resolution Adopted on March 28, 2019; 44-0-0 ABC SUPPORTS

Elisa Fox