This Week in Springfield – 100-29

In This Issue:

PLASTIC BAGS
PROMPT PAYMENT
ENERGY
BUSINESS DAY

PLASTIC BAGS

In 2012, under the sponsorship of Sen. Terry Link, D- Gurnee and former Rep. Mike Tryon, R- Crystal Lake, the General Assembly approved legislation that would have imposed a uniform statewide recycling program for plastic bags and plastic wrap. Plastic wrap makes up 85% of plastic in the waste stream. The fees collected would have been used to fund household hazardous waste operations statewide and the definition of household hazardous waste was expanded to allow for the collection of many more items, including polystyrene. The legislation passed both chambers. However, at the last moment, environmental groups switched their position, convinced then-Governor Pat Quinn to switch his, and he ultimately vetoed the bill. Illinois missed a golden opportunity to divert hundreds of tons of plastic each year from landfills.

 

Two weeks ago, Sen. Link filed Senate Amendment #3 to SB 1597. Under the proposal, a $0.05 fee would be collected by the retailer for every plastic or paper bag used by the consumer. The fee would not apply to reusable bags which are bags with handles, specifically designed for reuse with a minimum lifetime capability of 125 or more uses, carrying 22 or more pounds over a distance of at least 175 feet, and capable of being washed so as to be cleaned and disinfected at least 100 times. Two-cents of the fee would be retained by the retailer as a partial reimbursement for their carrying and administrative costs. One-cent would flow into the state’s General Revenue Fund. The remaining $0.02 would go into a new fund called the Carryout Bag Fee Fund to the county where the original $0.05 was paid. That county could use their funds to implement a county or municipal join action agency solid waste management plan. SB 1597 was reported out of the Senate Environment and Conservation Committee.

 

This week, the sponsor held a meeting to try and bring the sides together. The environmental groups are once again the obstacle as they want to impose a statewide fee but want to allow local governments to continue to impose additional fees on myriad items. Additional discussions are expected in the coming weeks.

 
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PROMPT PAYMENT

 

This week, Senate Amendment #1 to SB 44  (Sen. Laura Murphy, D-Des Plaines) was filed and originally scheduled to be heard in the Senate State Government Committee. As filed, Senate Amendment #1 would allow the state to lower the interest rate the state owes vendors for the state’s failure to pay its vendors on a timely basis. Under the proposal, the Comptroller would have been given the authority to determine the interest rate on late payments from July 1st using the following formula: the greater of (a) 0.25% per month/3% annually; or (b) an annual rate of 2 times the percentage increase, if any, in the Consumer Price Index during the 12-months immediately preceding July 1st. This would remove the incentive for the state to pay its vendors on time while turning vendors into unwilling banks thereby encouraging the state to continue fiscal mismanagement. Currently, vendors who are owed money don’t start earning interest until at least 90-days.

 

In short, should something like this be adopted, the state will have fiscally abused its vendors and escaped responsibility for the mismanagement. The floor amendment was not heard in the Senate’s State Government Committee but we expect further consideration at some point.

 
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ENERGY

Project Next Grid is a study launched by the Illinois Commerce Commission. Its purpose is to proactively address issue Illinois’ electric utilities will confront in the future. The focus will be on technological advancements, contributions to economic development, and environmental impacts. The stated goal is not to provide specific recommendations but layout concepts that could be used by policy makers in future decisions. IRMA is involved with Project Next Grid.
Eight working groups have been formed to help facilitate effective discussion.

 

The first study update will be held on Jun 14th from 1:00 – 3:30 p.m. at the ICC’s offices in Chicago (160 N. LaSalle, Room C-800) or via teleconference at the ICC’s Springfield offices (527 East Capitol). The agenda for the update can be found here. A public comment session will be included. Interested participants need to register in advance. Those wishing to testify must also register in advance. IRMA members can also provide feedback to IRMA who will be happy to submit it.
 
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BUSINESS DAY SOLD OUT

We look forward to seeing everyone next Wednesday, May 9th, for another sold out Business Day 2018 hosted by IRMA and the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association. Business Day 2018 is the largest annual gathering of Illinois employers and gives you the opportunity to network with fellow business leaders, meet directly with your legislators, and directly share the impact policies they are considering have had or will have on your investment, employees, and customers. The day will start with the opening luncheon keynoted by Jim VandeHei, the founder and CEO of Axios and the founder of POLITICO.

 
We would like to thank our sponsors for their support!
 
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This Week in Springfield – 100-30

BUSINESS DAY 2018

Over 350 employers converged on Springfield Wednesday for Business Day 2018 co-hosted by IRMA and the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association. These employers from throughout Illinois were eager to share their concerns over the direction of the state and the future of employment in Illinois directly with policymakers on both sides of the aisle.

 

This year, the opening luncheon featured Jim VandeHei, the founder and CEO of Axios and the founder of POLITICO. Mr. VandeHei argued that with the exception of the bluster and seemingly perpetual crisis that pervades the White House, the accomplishments of the Trump Administration to-date are not small and not outside what would be expected from a more traditional Republican nominee. VandeHei particularly focused on the way President Trump uses social media to end-run main-line media and actually control their narrative. He also noted that voters on both sides of the political divide are getting the politics they desire as everyone consistently isolates themselves and seek only opinions that affirm their opinions. He noted that of the 20 top stores shared on Facebook last year, 19 were fake and 60% forwarded stories without even reading them. The way Facebook is designed, it reinforces how we use it meaning Facebook users wound up with even more content that simply reinforced opinions.

 

Mr. VandeHei does not believe President Trump acts without thinking. In fact Mr. VandeHei explains that Trump is quite adept at manipulating the media. He explained that Trump uses a very specific formula for manipulating the media and hijacking the Twitter/cable/conventional media industrial complex. Trump sets this formulaic trap increasingly often and news organizations keep falling for it. In the end, they are talking about him and keeping his base active as reflected consistently in polling.

 

After the luncheon, attendees made their way to an afternoon at the Statehouse to share insights on specific issues with legislators. Members of IRMA’s Board met with three of the legislative leaders and Governor Bruce Rauner. Each shared their insight into the ongoing budget and reform impasse in addition to hearing concerns of attendees. IRMA would like to thank Governor Bruce Rauner, Senate President John Cullerton, Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady and House Republican Leader Jim Durkin for their time and insights.

 

The day ended with the themed Party Under the Tent where policy makers, staff, and employers mixed in a casual atmosphere enjoying the many food and drink offerings provided by IRMA members and the outstanding live band covering an array of 80’s and 90’s hit songs.
IRMA would like to thank the co-hosts, sponsors, and reception caterers who made Business Day 2018 possible and an outstanding success.

 
 

 
 

 RESTRICTIVE SCHEDULING

A second subject matter hearing on the restrictive scheduling mandate was held this week in a joint House and Senate Labor and Commerce Committee. A subject matter hearing was already held in the House in April. As introduced, HB 5046 (Rep. Chris Welch, D-Westchester) and SB 202 Floor Amendment #1 (Sen. Cristina Castro, D-Elgin) would, among other provisions, require a 72-hour notice of an employee’s weekly schedule and would impose statutory penalties if any part of the employee’s schedule is reduced or canceled after the notice. It applies to part time, full time, non-salaried, and salaried employees. Over 40 different employer sectors which include but are not limited to, retail, agriculture, accounting, manufacturing, energy, security, education, automotive, distribution, construction, hospitality, law enforcement, et., all oppose a restrictive scheduling mandate that negatively impacts employers and employees.

 

Restrictive scheduling assumes that every employer can schedule or operate in the exact same manner and that every employee wants the same schedule. Different employers have unique business, employee, and regulatory variables to consider when providing schedules that promote and support their employees while still allowing the business providing the jobs to operate effectively and efficiently. These proposals undermine the ability of each employer to properly manage their business and support the various flexibility preferences of employees.
The issue will certainly re-emerge in November or next year.

 

121 CRMA Report – May 2018


The following proposals of interest to retail have been introduced before the Chicago City Council.

EXPANSIVE DATE REGULATION
CELL-PHONE AND MOBILE DEVICE MERCHANTS
OFFICE OF LABOR STANDARDS
WATER COST SHIFT

EXPANSIVE DATA REGULATION

An ordinance introduced by Aldermen Ed Burke, Brian Hopkins, and Brendan Reilly seeks to regulate websites, data breaches, data brokers, cell phone and mobile device sellers, and geolocation information.

It seeks to prohibit anyone who owns a website from using, disclosing, selling or permitting access to customer personal information and includes additional requirements for data breaches and data brokers and mobile phone privacy. “Customer personal information” includes:

  • name and billing information;
  • government-issued identifiers;
  • information that would permit the physical or online contacting of an individual such as physical address, email, phone, or IP address;
  • demographic information such as date of birth, age, gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, or sexual orientation;
  • financial information;
  • health information;
  • information pertaining to minors;
  • geolocation information;
  • information from use of the service including web browsing history, application usage history, content of communications, and origin and destination IP addresses of all traffic;
  • device identifiers, such as media access control (MAC) address or Internet mobile equipment identifier (IMEI);
  • information concerning a customer or user of the customer’s subscription or account that is collected or made available and is maintained in personal identifiable form.

However, if the customer gives the operator prior opt-in consent. The customer can revoke this option at any time and the operator must provide a clearly available option to do so at all times. The request for consent must disclose the following:

  • the types of customer personal information for which the operator is seeking customer approval to use, disclose, sell, or permit access;
  • the purposes for which the customer personal information will be used;
  • the categories of entities to which the operator intends to disclose, sell, or permit access to the customer personal information.

Interestingly, the operator cannot refuse to serve a customer, or in any way limit services to a customer, who does not provide consent or charge a customer a penalty, or penalize a customer in any way, or offer a customer a discount or another benefit based on the customer’s decision to provide or not provide consent.

An operator can use, disclose, or permit access to customer personal information without customer consent, but only to the extent necessary to achieve the stated purpose, in the following circumstances:

  • to provide the operator service from which information is derived, or services necessary to the provision of that service;
  • to comply with legal process or other laws, court orders, or administrative orders;
  • to initiate, render, bill for, and collect for the operator’s service;
  • to protect the rights or property of the operator, or to protect customers of those services and other operators from fraudulent, abusive, or unlawful use of, or subscription to, those services;
  • to provide location information concerning the customer in emergency situations.

Data breaches must be reported, without delay, to the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection and affected Chicago residents.

Data brokers that maintain personal information shall register with the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.

In terms of cell phones and mobile devices, the proposed ordinance, requires retailers who sell cell phones or mobile devices to provide notices to customers with a notice that customers can disable such services. The notice must also be prominently displayed at any point of sale where phones or mobile devices are sold or leased. The content of the notice is proscribed in the proposed ordinance.

Finally, the proposed ordinance seeks to regulate the collection, use, storage, or disclosure of geolocation information without affirmative express consent. It does provide some exemptions from affirmative express consent.

In all the above instances, there are various penalties and courses of action available and regulatory authority is granted to the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection. The ordinance will take effect 180-days after passage.

Please share with us your thoughts on these various proposals as soon as possible.

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CELL-PHONE AND MOBILE DEVICE MERCHANTS

Several years ago, the City of Chicago enacted an ordinance regulating food trucks including how far they had to be from an existing restaurant. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has proposed an ordinance to regulate mobile merchants. A few years ago, temporary regulations were put in place. To date, only six licenses for such truck have been issued. This proposal would formalize that licensure and regulation. Regulations include truck size restrictions, when and who can operate, and where they can park and for how long (2 hours). The major difference is unlike the regulations for food trucks there are no provisions restricting how far such trucks have to be from a retailer selling similar merchandise.

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OFFICE OF LABOR STANDARDS

Currently, there is no one agency responsible for the enforcement of labor laws within the City of Chicago. Alderman Ameya Pawar has introduced a proposal to combine such enforcement under an Office of Labor Standards. The new office would be empowered to:

1.     Promote Chicago’s labor standards through outreach, education, technical assistance and training for employees and employers;

2.     Collect and analyze federal, state, and local data on workforce and workplaces and coordinate enforcement;

3.     Engage in worker education, safety, and protection;

4.     Recommend efforts to achieve workplace equity for women, communities of color, immigrants, refugees, and other vulnerable workers;

5.     Otherwise enforce labor laws.

The Office will generate reports regarding complaints, cases, results of cases and enforcement actions, and anything else the Director deems appropriate. To the extent allowed by law, civil penalties and fines shall be allocated to the Office.

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WATER COST SHIFT

Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa has introduced a proposal to provide discounted or free water for residents of Chicago called “Water-For All”. The credit will vary by resident and will depend on a formula based on the resident’s income. Like property taxes, these costs will be universalized over the other rate-payers.

 

Rob KarrROB KARR
President & CEO
217-544-103-03
rkarr@irma.org

This Week in Springfield – 100-28


IN THIS ISSUE:

SALES TAX INFORMATION
PHARMACY BENEFIT MANAGERS
WAGE LIEN
PLASTIC BAGS
TOBACCO 21
LIQUOR
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

This Week In Springfield (TWIS), both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly reached their first Third Reading Deadline. Unless a bill has its final consideration deadline specifically extended, the legislation will be considered ‘held’. However, any idea could emerge later in the session as an amendment to another bill.
 

SALES TAX INFORMATION

The latest chapter in a multi-year debate over whether or not to grant a private company access to the confidential financial information of businesses was closed this week when the House decisively defeated HB 2717 (Rep. Chris Welch, D- Westchester). The vote was 42-61-3.

When the debate began just over two years ago, a private company, Azavar, was advocating for the bill. Within the last six months, the company faded into the background and was replaced by a new organization called the Illinois Coalition of Local Governments. The primary rationale behind HB 2717 was that the Illinois Department of Revenue is making mistakes in the locating of businesses within the proper municipality. As a result, the municipality in which the business is actually located goes without the sales tax collected and remitted by that business. However, those problems are solved by simply providing the municipalities with the business name and address. They can share that information with anyone. Access to financial information is simply not needed. Three compromises offered by the opponents, led by IRMA, to help local governments address this problem were rejected by the proponents.

Last Monday, a coalition of groups, including IRMA, revealed the results of a request for documents under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) from a limited number of municipalities. This request uncovered incidents of municipalities breaking current law by providing the financial information of businesses to third parties as well as Azavar directing municipalities on how to break the law and evade detection.

 

This is the third time this issue has been addressed and subsequently defeated by the Assembly. The Senate twice rejected a similar proposal last year. IRMA would like to thank the members of the House who took the time to thoroughly understand a very complicated issue and voted “no” or “present”. IRMA would also like to thank our members, and those of the very broad coalition of opponents, who took the time to contact their elected officials and express their opposition.

While this was a substantial accomplishment, we remain vigilant for its return.

 
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PHARMACY BENEFIT MANAGERS

A confluence of developments has ignited a debate over the treatment of retail pharmacies by PBM’s and the fair reimbursement of pharmacies independently as well as within the confines of Illinois’s recent move to Managed Care Organizations (MCO) for Medicaid. HB 3479 (Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, D- Chicago) would require MCOs to have fair and reasonable reimbursement rates for prescriptions as well as patient care services. The reimbursement rates could not be below the acquisition cost of the pharmacy and the current reimbursement rate utilized for fee-for-services under Medicaid. HB 3479 was approved by the House 87-16-1 and now moves to the Senate for additional consideration.

 

On a directly related front, a Medicaid Working Group has been formed comprised of legislators from both chambers. This group has indicated PBMs, reimbursement, and MCOs will be considered. IRMA has already begun discussions with the members of this group.

WAGE LIEN

An agreement was reached to address wage theft. As introduced, HB 4324 (Rep. Chris Welch, (D-Westchester) would have allowed any employee to file a lien against an employer’s current and future acquired real and personal property based on a wage dispute—not an administrative or judicial finding of guilt. The wage lien would also take priority over any other financial obligation, debt, or mortgage. It is meant to address the situation where unscrupulous companies, usually temporary businesses, dissolve and reorganize before a wage claim is brought or adjudicated.

 

A business and banking coalition led by IRMA worked with Rep. Chris Welch and Rep. Jay Hoffman, (D-Belleville) to reach an agreement adopted in Floor Amendment #2 that addresses the issues presented by the advocates. Currently, the Illinois Department of Labor (DOL) is taking 18 months to adjudicate a claim. The agreed upon language requires the DOL to adjudicate wage claims within 30 days of receiving the claim. This would address the issue of companies dissolving, reorganizing, or disappearing before a claim is adjudicated. If the company is found guilty, exhausts its appeals, and still does not pay, a lien will be placed on it assets according to current lien practices. Finally, if a claim is verified an employer will be required to submit an escrow of 10% of the claim for the duration of the 30 day adjudication. If, after the 30 days the employer is found innocent, the funds will be returned to the employer. This agreement passed the House by a vote of 88-3. IRMA would like to thank Representative Chris Welch and Representative Jay Hoffman for their efforts in reaching this agreement.

 
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PLASTIC BAGS

 

In 2012, under the sponsorship of Sen. Terry Link (D- Gurnee) and former Rep. Mike Tryon, (R- Crystal Lake), the General Assembly approved legislation that would have imposed a uniform statewide recycling program for plastic bags and plastic wrap. Plastic wrap makes up 85% of plastic in the waste stream. The fees collected would have been used to fund household hazardous waste operations statewide and the definition of household hazardous waste was expanded to allow for the collection of many more items including polystyrene. The legislation passed both chambers. However, at the last moment, environmental groups switched their position, convinced then-Governor Pat Quinn to switch his, and he ultimately vetoed the bill. Illinois missed a golden opportunity to divert hundreds of tons of plastic each year from landfills.

 

This week, Sen. Link filed Senate Amendment #3 to SB 1597. Under the proposal, a $0.05 fee would be collected by the retailer for every plastic or paper bag used by the consumer. The fee would not apply to reusable bags which are bags with handles, specifically designed for reuse with a minimum lifetime capability of 125 or more uses, carrying 22 or more pounds over a distance of at least 175 feet, and capable of being washed so as to be cleaned and disinfected at least 100 times. Two-cents of the fee would be retained by the retailer as a partial reimbursement for their carrying and administrative costs. One-cent would flow into the state’s General Revenue Fund. The remaining $0.02 would go into a new fund called the Carryout Bag Fee Fund to the county where the original $0.05 was paid. That county could use their funds to implement a county or municipal join action agency solid waste management plan. SB 1597 was reported out of the Senate Environment and Conservation Committee.

 

The sponsor told IRMA he intends to hold additional discussions in the coming weeks.

 
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TOBACCO 21

SB 2332 (Sen. Julie Morrison, D-Deerfield) prohibits anyone below the age of 21 from purchasing tobacco from a licensed Illinois retailer while removing any penalties for the underage possession or consumption of tobacco. The initiative passed the Senate with a vote of 35-20-0 and moves to the House for further consideration.
As currently drafted SB 2332 makes it legal, subject to no penalties, for a person under the age of 21 to: (1) possess tobacco, (2) consume tobacco, (3) sell tobacco, (4) buy tobacco from an unlicensed Illinois retailer or individual, or (5) buy tobacco from a licensed out-of-state retailer or online. Additionally, the bill protects unlicensed, unregulated, and, untaxed individuals selling tobacco to minors while prohibiting licensed retailers from selling tobacco products to anyone below the age of 21.

 

Advocates argue that the brain is still developing until the age of 21 and a person under that age cannot be expected to fully understand the decision they are making when choosing to use tobacco products. This makes an interesting argument since persons under age 21, among other things, are allowed to vote, join the military, enter into legally binding contracts, drive, serve on a jury, sue someone, get a tattoo or piercing, become a blood or organ donor, adopt a child, etc.
Raising the age from 18 to 21 may not make as big of a difference as lawmakers hope, given that most smokers — nine out of 10 according to the Surgeon General— have already begun smoking by the age of 18. Additionally, the vast majority obtain their tobacco products from older family and friends. Three out of four minor smokers will become adult smokers. Ironically, SB 2332 may actually encourage this behavior by removing the current statutory penalties for underage use and consumption of tobacco. And if it is a good idea to remove underage penalties for tobacco products should the state also remove underage use and consumption penalties for other age restricted products such as alcohol?
IRMA is opposed to the bill which will drive sales away from licensed retailers to illegal sellers and to out-of-state retailers.

 
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LIQUOR

Senate Amendment #1 to SB 3022 (Sen. Tony Munoz, D- Chicago) seeks to undo a reform made by former Governor Rod Blagojevich who undertook a reorganization of several agencies that included moving the Illinois Lottery, Gaming Commission, and Liquor Control Commission (ILCC) under the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR). Today, only the ILCC remains under IDOR. Retailer and others long-chaffed under an ‘independent’ ILCC believing it was strongly tilted toward the interests of the wholesale tier of the three-tier system. There is a belief that by having ILCC under the auspices of IDOR has restored some semblance of balance which is appropriate as the ILCC is supposed to be a neutral arbiter and regulator.

 

Senate Amendment #1 to SB 3022 was adopted and passed 43-2-3 by the full Senate and now heads to the House for additional consideration.

 
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WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

Lawmakers passed HB 4595 (Rep. Laura Fine, D-Glenview) out of the House Chamber by a vote of 62-43 that would take $10 million from the Workers’ Compensation Commission Operations Fund to create a state-run Illinois Employers Mutual Insurance Company to compete with the over 300 private insurance companies already competing in Illinois. Illinois has the most competitive workers’ compensation insurance market in the nation.

 

Illinois changed its workers’ compensation system in 2011 by limiting payments for carpal tunnel syndrome and for employees who can still work but whose injuries force them into lower-paying jobs. There was also a 30 percent cut to payments for doctors, hospitals and pharmacies treating those injured on the job. As a result, Illinois experienced a 13 percent decline in workers’ compensation medical costs between 2010 and 2014. Despite these changes, Illinois insurers’ companies paid an estimated $2.75 billion in workers’ compensation benefits in 2014, according to the National Academy of Social Insurance. Additionally, Illinois is tied for having the eighth-most expensive premiums in the nation. The experience of the commercial companies was mirrored by the reports from the self-insured companies indicating the insurance companies experience is real.
 
Supporters of HB 4595 argue that workers’ compensation costs are still high for companies because insurance companies have not passed on the savings realized from the 2011 changes. They argue that in 2015, 332 insurance companies underwrote workers’ compensation policies in Illinois, more than in any other state, collecting $2.83 billion in premiums. In 2010, insurers reported losses of nearly 11 percent; four years later, they reported the same in profits. The insurance companies contend that while the 2011 changes likely decreased the insurers’ losses, insurers in Illinois only averaged 6.1 percent profit annually between 2011 and 2014.

 

An identical bill passed last year that was vetoed by the Governor. HB 4595 now goes to the Senate for consideration.

 
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121 CRMA Report – April 2018

CHICAGO FOOD CODE RULES EFFECTIVE JULY 1st

Per previous CRMA communications, beginning July 1st, Chicago specific food safety rules take effect. Generally, they follow the federal model food code but there are some slight differences. The final rules can be found here and, for your convenience, a marked-up version noting the changes can be found here.

This is simply a reminder that they take effect July 1st. Please let us know if you have any questions.

 

INTRODUCTIONS AND ORDINANCES 

 

The following proposals of interest to retail have been introduced before the Chicago City Council.
  •        Expansive Date Regulation
  •        Cell-Phone and Mobile Device Merchants
  •        Office of Labor Standards
  •        Water Cost Shift
EXPANSIVE DATA REGULATION
An ordinance introduced by Aldermen Ed Burke, Brian Hopkins, and Brendan Reilly seeks to regulate websites, data breaches, data brokers, cell phone and mobile device sellers, and geolocation information.

 

It seeks to prohibit anyone who owns a website from using, disclosing, selling or permitting access to customer personal information and includes additional requirements for data breaches and data brokers and mobile phone privacy. “Customer personal information” includes:
  •        name and billing information;
  •        government-issued identifiers;
  •        information that would permit the physical or online contacting of an individual such as physical address, email, phone, or IP address;
  •        demographic information such as date of birth, age, gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, or sexual orientation;
  •        financial information;
  •        health information;
  •        information pertaining to minors;
  •        geolocation information;
  •        information from use of the service including web browsing history, application usage history, content of communications, and origin and destination IP addresses of all traffic;
  •        device identifiers, such as media access control (MAC) address or Internet mobile equipment identifier (IMEI);
  •       information concerning a customer or user of the customer’s subscription or account that is collected or made available and is maintained in personal identifiable form.

 

However, if the customer gives the operator prior opt-in consent. The customer can revoke this option at any time and the operator must provide a clearly available option to do so at all times. The request for consent must disclose the following:

 

  •         the types of customer personal information for which the operator is seeking customer approval to use, disclose, sell, or permit access;
  •         the purposes for which the customer personal information will be used;
  •        the categories of entities to which the operator intends to disclose, sell, or permit access to the customer personal information.
Interestingly, the operator cannot refuse to serve a customer, or in any way limit services to a customer, who does not provide consent or charge a customer a penalty, or penalize a customer in any way, or offer a customer a discount or another benefit based on the customer’s decision to provide or not provide consent.
An operator can use, disclose, or permit access to customer personal information without customer consent, but only to the extent necessary to achieve the stated purpose, in the following circumstances:
  •        to provide the operator service from which information is derived, or services necessary to the provision of that service;
  •        to comply with legal process or other laws, court orders, or administrative orders;
  •        to initiate, render, bill for, and collect for the operator’s service;
  •        to protect the rights or property of the operator, or to protect customers of those services and other operators from fraudulent, abusive, or unlawful use of, or subscription to, those services;
  •       to provide location information concerning the customer in emergency situations.
Data breaches must be reported, without delay, to the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection and affected Chicago residents.

 

Data brokers that maintain personal information shall register with the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.

 

In terms of cell phones and mobile devices, the proposed ordinance, requires retailers who sell cell phones or mobile devices to provide notices to customers with a notice that customers can disable such services. The notice must also be prominently displayed at any point of sale where phones or mobile devices are sold or leased. The content of the notice is proscribed in the proposed ordinance.

 

Finally, the proposed ordinance seeks to regulate the collection, use, storage, or disclosure of geolocation information without affirmative express consent. It does provide some exemptions from affirmative express consent.

 

In all the above instances, there are various penalties and courses of action available and regulatory authority is granted to the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection. The ordinance will take effect 180-days after passage.

 

Please share with us your thoughts on these various proposals as soon as possible.

 

CELL-PHONE AND MOBILE DEVICE MERCHANTS

 

Several years ago, the City of Chicago enacted an ordinance regulating food trucks including how far they had to be from an existing restaurant. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has proposed an ordinance to regulate mobile merchants. A few years ago, temporary regulations were put in place. To date, only six licenses for such truck have been issued. This proposal would formalize that licensure and regulation. Regulations include truck size restrictions, when and who can operate, and where they can park and for how long (2 hours). The major difference is unlike the regulations for food trucks there are no provisions restricting how far such trucks have to be from a retailer selling similar merchandise.

 

OFFICE OF LABOR STANDARDS

 

Currently, there is no one agency responsible for the enforcement of labor laws within the City of Chicago. Alderman Ameya Pawar has introduced a proposal to combine such enforcement under an Office of Labor Standards. The new office would be empowered to:
1.     Promote Chicago’s labor standards through outreach, education, technical assistance and training for employees and employers;
2.     Collect and analyze federal, state, and local data on workforce and workplaces and coordinate enforcement;
3.     Engage in worker education, safety, and protection;
4.     Recommend efforts to achieve workplace equity for women, communities of color, immigrants, refugees, and other vulnerable workers;
5.     Otherwise enforce labor laws.
The Office will generate reports regarding complaints, cases, results of cases and enforcement actions, and anything else the Director deems appropriate. To the extent allowed by law, civil penalties and fines shall be allocated to the Office.

 

WATER COST SHIFT

 

Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa has introduced a proposal to provide discounted or free water for residents of Chicago called “Water-For All”. The credit will vary by resident and will depend on a formula based on the resident’s income. Like property taxes, these costs will be universalized over the other rate-payers.

 

Rob KarrRob Karr
President & CEO
217-544-1003
rkarr@irma.org