121 Report – CRMA – April 2017

In This Issue

Legislative Initiatives

CHICAGO CITY COUNCIL   

ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS

INTRODUCTIONS

HEAD TAX
Sponsors: Ald. Carlos Ramirez Rosa (35th Ward), Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36th Ward), Ald. Proco Joe Moreno (1st Ward) and 15 other co-sponsors
Committee: Committees, Rules and Ethics

This proposal would implement the Employers’ Expense Tax (Head Tax) and funnel the revenue to the Chicago Public School system to support their operations. The tax would be placed on any business that has at least 50 full-time employees or commission merchants. Full-time employees are defined as anyone who accrues at least $1000 in wages in any calendar quarter of a year from the same employer.

The tax, which would be back-dated to April 1, 2017, would be in the amount of $33/month for each commission merchant or full-time employee employed by the employer. The tax cannot be passed on to employees. It must be paid by the employer. In calculating the tax, the employer shall not include any employees that are permanent residents of a City of Chicago Community Area listed in the top 20 for incidences of violent crime in the previous calendar year as listed in the hardship index created by the UIC Great Cities Institute.

The tax is temporary. It would sunset after two years with the final payment due on July 1, 2019.

IRMA is OPPOSED.

 

ALDERMANIC RECOMMENDATIONS FOR BUSINESS LICENSES

Sponsors:  Ald. Greg Mitchell (7th Ward), Ald. Michelle Harris (8th Ward), Ald. Willie Cochran (20th Ward) and 14 additional co-sponsors

Committee:  License and Consumer Protection

This proposal would give Aldermen an opportunity to give their recommendation on whether a business should be granted a license by the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection. Currently, once an applicant submits their information to the department, that information is shared with other relevant departments or boards for investigation and inspection. The proposal calls for that information to then be passed along to the local Alderman who will then have 20 days to submit a recommendation on whether the license should be approved. If an Alderman does not recommend approval, the Alderman must submit the reasons for the negative recommendation in writing to the Commissioner.

It is our understanding that the Alderman is concerned about businesses that have their license taken away for various ordinance violations and/or illegal activity and those same businesses are re-opened within a week under a different LLC, but with the same management and employees. The same issues that caused the former business owner to lose their license continue to occur.  We have had initial discussions with the Alderman and expect to continue to work together along with the Mayor’s office to find a workable resolution.

In its current form, IRMA is OPPOSED.

 

EMERGENCY RESTROOM USE
Sponsors: Ald. David Moore (17th Ward), Ald. Ariel Reboyras (30th Ward), Ald. Ricardo Munoz (22nd Ward) and 25 other co-sponsors
Committee: License and Consumer Protection

This proposal would require businesses that have restrooms available for customer use to allow non-patrons to use those facilities in cases of emergency. The proposal does not define qualifying emergencies, nor does it dictate which party determines the emergency.

IRMA is OPPOSED.

 

BAN ON THE SALE AND USE OF COAL TAR SEALANTS
Sponsors: Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd Ward) and Ald. John Arena (45th Ward)
Committee: Health and Environmental Protection

This proposal would ban the sale and use of coal tar sealants. These sealants are most commonly used in commercial and residential parking lots and driveways. Most retail locations no longer sell sealants with these chemicals. The environmental community has been trying to get a similar bill (HB 2958 Amendment #2) passed in the state legislature, but has been unsuccessful to date.

IRMA is currently determining its position.
PASSED LEGISLATION

 

TOBACCO DEALER ORDINANCE REVISION

Sponsor: Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Periodically, the Mayor’s office takes a look at existing city Code and attempts to modernize various sections to update terms, bring sections up to date with changes in state law, revise definitions to reflect current industry terms, etc. The changes are generally non-substantive in nature, and more an attempt to help re-order things so that it is easier for the affected industry to both understand and comply. The city has decided to re-work the tobacco ordinance, as there have been many changes to the tobacco law in the last few years. As we have been very sensitive to these changes, I reviewed and did not see any substantive changes, but members should review to ensure that they understand what is required of them as tobacco sellers.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2017

 

HOURS FOR DOWNTOWN OUTDOOR PATIOS
Sponsor: Alderman Brendan Reilly (42nd Ward)

As in past years, the Code has been temporarily adjusted to allow operators of outdoor patios in the Central Business District to sell and serve alcoholic beverages until midnight for the duration of the outdoor patio season.

EFFECTIVE DATE: May 23, 2017

Return to Top

The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, May 24, 2017.

Tanya TricheTanya Triche Dawood
Vice President Government Affairs/General Counsel
ttrichedawood@irma.org
217-544-1003

 

121 REPORT-CRMA – February 2017

February 27, 2017          

In This Issue

Legislative Initiatives

CHICAGO CITY COUNCIL AND COOK COUNTY BOARD 

ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS

INTRODUCTIONS

Proposal to Implement Pharmacy Work Rules

Sponsors: Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th Ward) and Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th Ward)

Committee: Finance

This initiative is modeled after a bill in the State Legislature to implement work rules under the Pharmacy Practice Act (PPA). That bill received a subject matter hearing last week and IRMA testified in opposition. As those members with pharmacies may already be aware, we are set to renegotiate the PPA during this legislative session since the entire Act is scheduled to sunset at the end of the year.

The proposal attempts to regulate the following areas:

* Prescription filling limits

* Number of Pharmacy Technicians on staff during operating hours

* Prohibition on certain activities in the pharmacy such as advertising and promotions as well as certain productivity quotas put in place by the employer

* Rest breaks and meal periods

* Number of hours worked per day for pharmacists

* Record retention

it is our reading of current law that local jurisdictions, including home rule jurisdictions like Chicago, are prohibited from regulating the practice of pharmacy and any other subject covered by the PPA. Therefore, we are confident that this proposal, if passed, would be declared invalid in a court of law.

Nevertheless, we will be meeting with the sponsors to discuss the substance of the proposal.

IRMA is opposed

Establishing an Appeals Process for Prohibited Tobacco Locations

Sponsors: Ald. Edward M. Burke  

(14th Ward) and  Ald. Patrick D. Thompson (11th Ward)

Committee: Finance

This proposal would allow the Commissioner of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection to establish rules governing the appeals process for flavored tobacco retailers that the city has determined are located within 500 ft. of a secondary school and therefore unable to sell flavored tobacco including menthol cigarettes.

IRMA supports the proposal

Prohibition on Hidden Fees
Sponsor:  Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th Ward)
Committee:  Finance

This proposal would require any business licensed in Chicago or any business that has a physical location to post a sign indicating all fees related to the purchase of goods or services.  The sign would have to be posted in a conspicuous location on the premises as well as online if the business has a website.

This proposal is in response to former President Obama’s report on hidden fees included in transactions for airline purchases, telecommunications companies, banks, and other industries.

Amendment to Age Restrictions for the Sale of Alcoholic Liquor
Sponsors:  Ald. Tom Tunney (44th Ward), Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th Ward), Ald. Proco Joe Moreno (1st Ward) and 30 co-sponsors
Committee:  License and Consumer Protection

This proposal would permit adults that are at least 18 years old to sell alcoholic liquor in restaurants and supermarkets as long as they have first completed BASSET training.  When serving alcohol persons under 21 years old can served mixed drinks prepared by a bartender and wine and beer that was previously opened by a manager or co-worker that is at least 21 years old.

Supermarkets are defined as a store:

(i)   with an interior floor area of the licensed premises of not less than 10,000 square feet devoted to retail sales;

(ii)   that holds a valid package goods license;

(iii)   that sells, at retail, a variety of food and household products, including fresh, prepared, frozen and canned foods, dairy products, vegetables, fruits, meat, and poultry; and

(iv)   in which the display space for alcoholic liquor does not exceed 25 percent of the floor area devoted to retail sales.
 

PASSED LEGISLATION

Small Business Tax Payments

Sponsor: Ald. Matthew O’Shea (19th Ward)

This ordinance will allow taxpayers to remit on an annual basis (rather than making monthly or quarterly payments) if they have a total liability equal to or less than $2400 for the previous 12-month period and they filed returns for the previous 12-month period.

EFFECTIVE DATE: March 28, 2017

The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 29, 2017.


Contact Information

Tanya TricheTanya Triche Dawood
Vice President & General Counsel
312/726-4600
ttrichedawood@irma.org

 

121 Report – CRMA – December 2016

In This Issue:

City Hall Leadership Changes
Cook County Committee Changes
Upcoming Legislation Effective Dates
Legislative Initiatives

CHICAGO CHANGES LEADERSHIP ROLES

 

After winning her election for State Comptroller, former Chicago City Clerk, Susana Mendoza, was sworn in to office on December 5, 2016. A week later, Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed then Director of the Office of Legislative Counsel and Government Affairs (LCGA), Anna Valencia, to the post. Clerk Valencia will serve out the rest of the term pending City Council approval. Her first order of business will be gather information about whether the office should be combined with the city Comptroller’s office. In addition, she will be working on a municipal ID program to aid residents who traditionally have difficulty getting state-issued identification in securing certain social services and other government resources. Clerk Valencia will serve until the next city election which will be held in 2019.

Continue reading “121 Report – CRMA – December 2016”

121 Report – CRMA – November 2016

IN THIS ISSUE:

COOK COUNTY SWEETENED BEVERAGE TAX
BAG TAX
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

 

COOK COUNTY WRAPS UP 2017 BUDGET SEASON WITH 

A TAX AND A PROMISE

This week, the Cook County Board passed its 2017 budget by accounting for $100 million of its deficit with a combination of cuts to county employees, holding the line on COLA increases for non-union employees, reductions in non-essential spending and increased revenue projections. With $74 million remaining in the deficit, President Preckwinkle turned to a proposal to implement a tax on beverages sweetened with sugar or artificial sweeteners. The controversial proposal was met with fierce opposition from IRMA and all of our partners along the chain in the beverage industry. After meetings with the Commissioners, phone calls, letters, emails, a TV, radio and social media campaign and in-store efforts to alert customers to the impending tax, the measure passed by one vote.

Continue reading “121 Report – CRMA – November 2016”

Let’s Say Thank You

November 14, 2016          

***ACTION ALERT***

THEY VOTED “NO”, NOW LET’S SHOW THEM SOME GRATITUDE

These days, it has been a challenge to convince many elected officials to stand with employers and protect jobs in a meaningful way.  The sweetened beverage tax debate was a perfect opportunity for Cook County Board Members to vote against a tax that will make our border retailers vulnerable, will be very difficult and expensive to administer and ultimately cost jobs at both the retail and distribution levels.

Continue reading “Let’s Say Thank You”