Illinois legislative speed read: Senate fleshes out budget

The Illinois Senate convened executive hearings this week in the hopes of forging consensus over the bargain package to end the state’s budget impasse, though no votes were taken by the chamber.

The Senate Revenue Committee held a subject matter hearing on SB 9, which received an amendment with a potential additional amendment being introduced later this week Under Senate Amendment No. 1, the new provisions include:

  • Removal of the soda tax and is replaced by the Business Opportunity Tax Act. This tax is a tax imposed on businesses based on the number of Illinois employees of the business.
  • Raises corporate income tax rate to 7% and personal income tax rate to 4.99%.
  • Establishes the following service taxes; storage services, amusements, repair and maintenance services, landscaping services, and laundry and dry-cleaning services.
  • Establish a tax on cable television services and direct broadcast satellite services.
  • Decouples from the Domestic Production Activities Deduction.
  • Eliminates the unitary business noncombination rule.
  • Makes the research and development credit permanent.
  • Redefines manufacturing to include graphic arts production and includes items formerly included in the manufacturers purchase credit in the manufacturing machinery and equipment exemption.
  • Provides that False Claims Act cases may not be brought with respect to any taxes imposed, collected, or administered by the State of Illinois.
  • Repeals the Adult Entertainment Tax effective January 1, 2018.
  • Modifies pollution control facilities valuation under the Property Tax Code.

The Senate Executive Committee held a subject matter hearing on a number of bills in the package, including SB 12, the workers’ compensation proposal. Illinois Chamber and several of other business groups and insurance associations all opposed the bill for various reasons.

HOUSE

The House activity was primarily focused on the passage of the House Rules, which are passed at the beginning of every General Assembly. At this point, no committee assignments have been announced nor committee hearings scheduled.

Sine Die in Illinois

The Illinois State House of Representatives and Senate adjourned sine die on Tuesday for the final day of the 99th General Assembly, leaving dead all bills filed this session, including a slate of budget compromise bills.

It is expected, however, that Senate Pres. John Cullerton will reintroduce those bills as early as Wednesday when the new General Assembly is sworn in.

House

The House passed SB 513 HA-3, which extends the sunset date of the EDGE tax credit program to April 30, 2017. The bill passed 101-12.

The House also voted on HB 6630, sponsored by Rep. Batnick, which would freeze property taxes beginning with the 2016 levy year. The bill passed 76-24-6.

SB 2799, sponsored by Rep. Breen and Sen. Collins, passed the House unanimously. This agreed bill would amend the Employee Sick Leave Act by cleaning up several provisions in the Act. Among the changes included exempting collective bargaining agreements and clarifying paid and unpaid employees are covered under the Act.

Senate

The Senate concurred on House amendments to SB 550, sponsored by Sen. Steans, which requires lead testing of the water in schools and daycare facilities.

The Senate also concurred unanimously on House amendments to SB 2799, sponsored by Sen. Collins and Rep. Breen, which again is an agreed bill that makes changes to the Employee Sick Leave Act as specified above.

The final Senate concurrence was taken on the EDGE tax credit sunset extension, HA-3 to SB 513 . The bill passed 48-7.

Governor Rauner issues Executive Order to help ensure Illinois minority businesses are on level playing field

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner  last week signed an Executive Order to help ensure equal opportunity is provided to all Illinois businesses looking to contract with the State. Executive Order 16-08 directs the Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS) to oversee the implementation of the recommendations from a 2015 Disparity Study. It also directs CMS to investigate and, if needed, take appropriate steps to implement a sheltered markets initiative, to increase the number businesses owned and controlled by minorities, women, and persons with disabilities doing business with the State.

Executive Order 16-08 directs CMS to institute a number of reforms to how it currently administers State of Illinois Business Enterprise Program (BEP) to address the problems highlighted by a 2015 Disparity Study.  Many of these reforms are common sense administrative fixes to make it easier for BEP businesses to understand and access state markets, including: creating an electronic data collection and monitoring system to track BEP utilization; reviewing CMS’ own process for setting BEP goals on state contracts; and, reviewing the time it takes to get procurements out to the public and the time bidders have to submit responses to these procurements.

The Executive Order also mandates CMS to determine whether the creation of “Sheltered Markets” can reduce disparities and, if so, take appropriate steps to establish sheltered markets in industry-specific areas. Sheltered markets may be created when certain State procurement solicitations are specifically set aside for BEP-eligible businesses. These initiatives are able to target areas where discriminatory practices have prevented progress towards parity in contracting. They also complement and bolster the efforts of other BEP measures such as the state goal of 20 percent of contracts awarded to minority businesses.