Legislative Ratings: June 2019
2019 Session Review
The General Assembly finished its business June 2nd with the Senate concurring to House actions from the day before. They adjourned until the fall Veto Session scheduled to start October 28th.
House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (Western Springs) and his 44-member caucus was able to negotiate a few key issues for the business community and salvage an otherwise disastrous session for merit shop contractors. Unfortunately, it’s clear that the keys of the state have been handed over to the leaders of organized labor. This year, whatever LABOR wanted LABOR got.
It began early in the session following the inauguration of JB Pritzker as Governor. The democrat super-majorities in both chambers approved a four-year phase in of a $15 per hour minimum wage (SB 1). That was followed a few months later with Gov. Pritzker’s signing of SB 1596, a measure that undermines the protections for employers from being sued by an employee under the Occupational Diseases Act. The legislative session ended with labor taking a chunk out of nearly every issue. Consider the following:
Recreational Marijuana: construction of both growing facilities and dispensaries require union labor;
Coal Ash Cleanup: requires union labor;
Right to Work Zones: prohibits local government regulation of private collective bargaining agreements;
Data Center Tax Incentives: to be eligible for a new tax incentive for construction of a data center, you must use union labor;
Municipal Water & Bridge Painting: requires compliance with state responsible bidder provisions; and
Capital bills: the Governor’s Executive Order requiring PLAs on IDOT & CDB projects eliminates competition.
ABC’s lone significant victory was stopping SB 1407. Our lobbying and grassroots efforts slowed the issue down in the Illinois Senate and allowed Leader Durkin to include holding SB 1407 for House Republican support of the gas tax increase necessary for the capital bill. It likely will reappear in the fall veto session.
ABC member support of Contractors for Free Enterprise now is important as we work to help legislators who support ABC. Also, the 2020 election primary is only 9 months away.