Nov. 30: This Week in Illinois in Springfield

Employment Law

Both chambers were successful in overriding the Governor’s amendatory veto to SB 904 (Hastings/Hoffman), a bill that would have had drastic implications for workers’ compensation costs. The Illinois Chamber’s Employment Law Council was able to negotiate and concerns were addressed with the passage of HB 3452 (Hoffman/Hastings) and HB 200 (Hoffman/Hastings).

The General Assembly was also successful in overriding the Governor’s amendatory veto to SB 1737(Munoz/Hoffman). This bill made changes to the workers’ compensation insurance rates overseen by the Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI) and also addressed short term health insurance plans. The Illinois Chamber considered the provisions on captive insurance an overall net positive and supported overriding the Governor’s veto. The bill now becomes law.

The General Assembly overrode the Governor’s amendatory veto to HB 4743, (Ford/Lightford). This legislation amends the Equal Pay Act providing that no employer may discriminate between employees by paying wages to an African-American employee at a rate less than the rate at which the employer pays wages to another employee who is not African-American for the same or substantially similar work on a job that requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility and is performed under similar working conditions. An unjustified pay differential based on race already is a form of discrimination under the Illinois Human Rights Act. The bill now becomes law.

 

Energy

Both chambers passed SB 849 (Zalewski/McGuire) this week. The bill prohibits home rule units of government from taxing or imposing a fee on the generation of electricity or the emissions from electric generation. The bill extended the sunset to Jan. 1, 2021. Amendment 2 was an initiative of the Illinois Chamber Energy Council. The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk.

 

Environment

The House Environment Committee continued to hold hearings this week on proposed amendments to SB 3101 (Sente). The bill’s amendments sought to regulate the use of ethylene oxide (EtO) in Illinois. However, given the high profile nature and complexity of the issue, the sponsor decided to pull the bill from moving during veto. The US EPA held a town hall hearing on EtO in Willowbrook last night. Expect this issue to be picked up in 2019.

 

Business Regulation

The House failed to override SB 2332 (Morrison/Lilly) this week. This bill would raise the age to purchase tobacco products to 21. The bill also eliminates the penalties for underage possession of tobacco products. We expect this legislation to resurface in 2019.

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