121 CRMA Report – July 2018

Chicago City Council Ordinance and Resolution Introductions

 

INTRODUCTIONS

RESOLUTION – TASKFORCE TO STUDY A CHICAGO GUARANTEED INCOME PROGRAM AND THE VIABILITY OF A CHICAGO EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT

Sponsor: Ald. Ameya Pawar (47th Ward), Ald. Derrick Curtis (18th Ward), Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th Ward) and 33 additional co-signers)

Committee: Workforce Development and Audit

Entitled the “Chicago Resilient Family Initiative”, this resolution seeks to create a taskforce that would study two issues. First, it would research and develop a Universal Basic Income (UBI) model for 1000 families that could be provided with a minimum of $500/month that could be used for any purpose. UBI, also known as “guaranteed income” is being tested in other countries. Specifically, the Netherlands, Canada and Iran are all running pilot programs for segments of their populations. Finland (which ran a program in 2017) is ending its program among concerns about its actual benefits. In the US, a pilot program is currently running in Oakland, CA. Such programs are being explored partly in response to the automation of the workforce, which is beginning to leave sectors of the workforce unemployed. The thought is if people are guaranteed an income, then it might allow them to be creative in how they will contribute to an economy that is quickly becoming more automated.

The second initiative would be to “smooth” EITC payments currently received by the 1000 test families from an annual lump sum payment , to distributing those payments on a monthly basis instead. There has been some research into this issue which studies the premise that if low-income families were allowed to access the money in smaller sums on a more frequent basis, they would possibly accumulate less debt over time, as their budgets would experience less volatility. In addition, this initiative would consider the viability of Chicago creating its own version of EITC.

The taskforce would deliver a report to the committee by October 1, 2018.

 

RESOLUTION – PUBLIC QUESTION REGARDING BANNING THE USE OF PLASTIC STRAWS

Sponsor: Edward M. Burke (14th Ward)

Committee: Committees, Rules and Ethics

 

In advance of the next election to be held on November 6, 2018, the City Council considers 3 questions to present to the public for consideration on the ballot. The responses will produce non-binding results, but are generally used to check the temperature of Chicagoans on hot-button issues. We have seen these questions turn into ordinances depending on the response. The first two questions consider whether future marijuana sales should be directed to the public school system and mental health services, and whether the city should urge the state to push for an additional homeowner’s tax exemption.

The third question asks if the use of plastic straws should be banned in the city. This is a hot issue around the country as there has been a push in the environmental advocacy community to ban the straws that it says has damaging effects to marine life. Seattle recently banned food service businesses from using and giving away plastic straws, utensils and cocktail picks in favor of compostable products. Seattle also mandates and provides residential composting services for a fee.

ORDINANCE – SIGNS IN OVERLAY DISTRICTS

SPONSOR: Ald. Proco Moreno (1st Ward)

COMMITTEE: Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards

 

This proposal would allow signs in overlay districts that exceed the size limit to exist without a permit as long as the ordinance specifically waives the area/height restrictions.

 

ORDINANCE – $15 MINIMUM WAGE

SPONSORS: Ald. Proco Moreno (1st Ward), Ald. Ameya Pawar (47th Ward), Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd Ward) and 8 additional co-sponsors

COMMITTEE: Workforce Development and Audit

 

This would amend Chicago’s Minimum Wage ordinance which is scheduled to increase to $13.00/hour on July 1, 2019 and then scheduled to increase with inflation thereafter. The proposal would increase the wage to $15/hour instead of $13/hour and continue to increase annually with inflation.

The proposal came out at the same time as a study was produced regarding the first two increases of Chicago’s minimum wage. The study claims that there was essentially no effect on the local economy as a result of those increases and subsequently advocates for a higher minimum wage in the city, at the state level and for the 80+ municipalities in Cook County that opted out of an increase in the minimum wage to now opt in. The premature study either de-emphasizes or outright fails to account for what the Mayor has done to achieve record tourism levels which have helped to take the sting out of rising costs to employers, attract headquarter moves, and shift more manufacturing and retail opportunities to the south side. In addition, the Mayor has attempted to encourage growth in development in neighborhoods by shifting money from downtown projects to specific areas of the city that have had challenges with attracting commercial growth. The study equates the growth in transportation and warehouse jobs to the minimum wage and not to the obvious reason, a significant change in the way consumers make purchases…through e-commerce. The advocate community would have you believe that minimum wage increases, on their own, have no effect on the economy. But people paying close attention to how the economy actually works know that there have to be other policy decisions made to help ensure that employers are able to continue profitability in the wake of significant government mandates. The Mayor has worked to help create opportunities for growth in the wake of more mandates.

It is difficult to draw conclusions from the first two years of the minimum wage increase, when the increase is going up fairly significantly for three years in a row that are not included in the study. We are monitoring this issue carefully.

 

ORDINANCE – DIVERSITY BID INCENTIVE

SPONSORS: Ald. Sophia King (4th Ward), Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd Ward), Ald. Walter Burnett (27th Ward) and 29 additional co-sponsors

COMMITTEE: Budget and Government Operations

This proposal would change bid preferences for contracts valued at $100,000 or more for bidders that agree to hire a larger base of city residents, or if the bidder agrees to hire a larger base of city residents of socio-economically disadvantaged areas.

 

ORDINANCE – PERMITTING OF SANDWICH BOARD SIGNS

SPONSORS: Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd Ward), Ald. Proco Moreno (1st Ward), Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th Ward) and 25 additional co-sponsors

COMMITTEE: License and Consumer Protection

 

One of the best ways to attract attention to small, neighborhood stores and restaurants is through the use of small, removable signs set out on the sidewalk right by the door of the business. They catch the eye of passers-by, and are an inexpensive way to advertise specials likely to draw in more customers. Such signs have been used in the city for many years, although technically, the signs are unlawful. There have been a number of attempts over the years to change the law to allow these signs to no avail. This current proposal would allow business owners to have such signs as long as they first seek a permit and have proof of insurance. There are size, location and appearance restrictions for the signs.

 

ORDINANCE – DELIVERIES BY COMMERCIAL VEHICLES IN LOADING ZONES

SPONSOR: Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd Ward)

COMMITTEE: Transportation and Public Way

 

As deliveries increase, especially in already congested areas of the city, it has become a priority to ensure that commercial loading zones are used purely for servicing local businesses and that commercial vehicles don’t remain parked in a loading zone indefinitely while attempting to service an entire neighborhood. Therefore, to keep traffic moving and to continue to provide space for all of the necessary deliveries, an amendment is being proposed that would limit standing time to 30 minutes for pick-ups and deliveries in curb loading zones.

 

ORDINANCE – HOURS OF OPERATION FOR OUTDOOR PATIOS IN THE CBD

SPONSOR: Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd Ward)

COMMITTEE: Licensing and Consumer Protection

 

Ald. Reilly has introduced his annual ordinance to temporarily extend the hours of operation for outdoor patios in the Central Business District. Such establishments will be able to sell/serve alcohol for immediate consumption until midnight until December 1, 2018.

 

ORDINANCE – RESTRICTIVE SCHEDULING

SPONSOR: Ald. John Arena (45th Ward), Ald. Susan Sadlowski Garza (10th Ward), Ald. Derrick Curtis (18th Ward) and 27 additional co-sponsors

COMMITTEE: Workforce Development and Audit

 

This is the same proposal that was sent out to the membership earlier by email with a detailed description of how it proposes to mandate how employees are scheduled, sets out a system of penalty pay for changes made by an employer after a schedule has been issued (while allowing employees to change schedules freely after those schedules have been issued), mandates premium pay for employees that close and open, (even if they desire to work that kind of schedule), and takes away an employer’s ability to designate how many part-time employees will be on staff at any given time. It also purports to add an exemption for businesses that employ less than 50 employees (more than likely added as a tacit admission that the mandate is far too complicated and expensive for most businesses to comply with), but that exemption is far from clear as it mentions that the 50 employees must be “in the aggregate” in any location. We do not understand how the term “in the aggregate” can refer to an individual location, but we presume that the advocates will clarify at some point.

 

ORDINANCE – EXTENSION OF SIDEWALK CAFÉ PERMITS AND FEE REDUCTION FOR CERTAIN BUSINESS LICENSES

Sponsor: Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Committee: License and Consumer Protection

 

This proposal would allow sidewalk café permits to be valid for one year, instead of the 9 month permit that currently exists. If people want to sit out in the snow in January…so be it! It would extend the operation dates to all permits issued for the 2018 season.

In addition, the Mayor is proposing to reduce the fee for new, two-year business licenses from the current $250 to $125 for all licenses issued between July 1, 2018-June 30, 2019.

 

PASSED LEGISLATION

RESOLUTION – RECONFIGURATION OF STANDING COMMITTEES OF THE CITY COUNCIL

Sponsor: Alderman Edward M. Burke (14th Ward)

EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY

 

With the recent retirement of Ald. Michael Zalewski (23rd Ward), the City Council reconfigured the membership of some of its standing committees to create new Chairmanships and to ensure that the new Alderman of the 23rd Ward, former State Representative Silvana Tabares, was granted membership to committees. Of the committees in which CRMA has frequent interaction, the following changes were made:

 

Committee on Aviation

The new Chair is Ald. Matt O’Shea (19th Ward). Ald. Nicholas Sposato (38TH Ward) moved from Vice Chair to member, and Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36th Ward) moved to Vice Chair.

 

Committee on the Budget and Government Operations

Ald. Tabares replaces Ald. Zalewski.

 

Committee on Committees, Rules and Ethics

Ald. Tabares replaces Ald. Zalewski.

 

Committee on Economic, Capital and Technology Development

Ald. Tabares replaces Ald. Zalewski.

 

Committee on Finance

Ald. Zalewski is replaced by Ald. Michael Scott, Jr. (24th Ward)

 

Committee on Health and Environmental Protection

Ald. Tabares replaces Ald. Zalewski

 

Committee on Human Relations

Ald. Raymond Lopez (15th Ward) becomes Vice Chair and Ald. Tabares is added to the committee.

 

Committee on Workforce Development and Audit

Ald Tabares replaces Ald. Zalewski.

Tanya TricheCONTACT:

Tanya Triche Dawood
vice President, General Counsel
Illinois Retail Merchants Association
312-726-4600
ttrichedawood@irma.org