121 CRMA Report – October 2017

In this issue

CHICAGO BUDGET ADDRESS
COOK COUNTY BUDGET PREVIEW
CITY COUNCIL UPDATES

CHICAGO BUDGET ADDRESS

Earlier this morning, Mayor Rahm Emanuel delivered his budget address for the upcoming 2018 budget year. Much of the speech focused in on the importance of investing in communities, from using the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund to develop and expand neighborhood retail and restaurant businesses to hiring more police officers and getting them better training, to investing in education and increased local job opportunities for teens and young adults. As for the city’s finances, the Mayor noted that all of the pensions are on a direct path to solvency, that he is balancing the budget without raiding the rainy day fund, selling assets or borrowing money to pay off existing loans. Through tough negotiations, the city has been able to keep its healthcare costs relatively flat and decreased its structural deficit since the Mayor’s been in office by 82%. He highlighted how important it was to eliminate the head tax during his first term, and announced that unemployment over the last six years has been cut in half.

The city’s $9 billion budget for 2018 will build on these successes but will not be without some additional revenue. The next installment from the previously approved increases in the property tax will hit next year as well as an increased amusement tax for large venues. Ride share fees will also increase in order to tackle public transportation modernization and address lost revenue from the parking garage tax and the flailing taxi industry. Outside of the previously scheduled property tax increase, the retail and restaurant industry should be able to survive next year’s budget largely unscathed. This will give us some time to figure out how to adjust to the next increase in the minimum wage, find ways to address the complexities of the paid sick leave and FMLA ordinance and prepare for any additional proposed regulations on the workforce.

The departmental budget overview will kick off on Monday, October 23rd with a public hearing on the budget scheduled for Wednesday, November 8th directly after the City Council meeting. CRMA will attend all departmental hearings that affect the retail industry and continue to update you on the budget process. All relevant budget documents can be found here.

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COOK COUNTY BUDGET PREVIEW

Cook County Board President, Toni Preckwinkle, issued her annual budget recommendation prior to the vote on the sweetened beverage tax (SBT) repeal. The $5 billion budget for 2018 originally included $200 million in revenue from the SBT. Before the vote to repeal the tax, President Preckwinkle warned each department that they would have to find 11% in cuts in their departments to make up the “lost” revenue. It is hard to imagine how in a $5 billion budget, a lost $200 million would necessitate cuts that deep, but it made headlines. Now that the SBT repeal vote is over, and the tax will actually be repealed on December 1, 2017, the Finance Chairman is asking each department to find 10% in cuts to kick off actual budget discussions.  

It is clear from the speeches made during the SBT repeal vote that Commissioners will be looking for ways to make the county leaner and more efficient before pursuing another tax. With 85% of the voters in Cook County expressing their opposition to the SBT, and frankly, to more taxes, Commissioners have their marching orders. They must find ways to maintain essential services, collaborate with the city of Chicago to save money and consolidate. The days of telling taxpayers that the County needs more revenue from them in order to survive, and then turning around and approving generous pay raises, increased benefits and future step pay increases are over. The taxpayers want a proper accounting for how the money is spent and for how the County plans to hold the line on spending. Employers want the same thing.

The County will be engaging in meetings through mid-November to hear from each department on how it plans to make cuts and increase savings. The budget will be adjusted throughout this process until a compromise is reached. Generally the County issues its budget before the Thanksgiving holiday, but this year, it may extend that process. Depending on how negotiations proceed, the County could issue its budget in February which is allowed by state law. We will keep members informed on the progress.

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CITY COUNCIL ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS

INTRODUCTIONS

ORDINANCE – BAN ON REFUSING CASH AS PAYMENT FOR GOODS/SERVICES

Sponsors: Alderman Edward M. Burke (14th Ward) and Alderman Walter Burnett (27th Ward)

Committee: License and Consumer Protection

A recent Chicago Tribune article highlighted the “trend” of some retailers and restaurants moving away from allowing customers to pay with cash and instead only accepting card and mobile payments. The proposal cites concerns with escalating credit card balances and unnamed studies that suggest that when consumers pay with credit cards they are more likely to spend more. It also refers to a promotion offered by VISA that offered financial rewards to restaurants that met its “Cashless Challenge” by converting exclusively to cashless transactions. The proposal suggests that going cashless is a ploy to help enrich credit card companies while giving merchants access to consumer data with every swipe of the card. This data, according to the proposal, can then be susceptible to a breach, or it can be shared/sold for marketing purposes.

The proposal continues on to suggest that cashless transactions have a disproportionate effect on children under the age of 18 who are unable to apply for credit cards, as well as undocumented immigrants, the homeless and low-income consumers who are un-banked or under-banked. As evidence of this trend, the proposal names several restaurant chains where the price of a cup of tea can run $4.00 and a salad or sandwich averages $10.00. Hardly a place where the homeless or customers on a fixed income are frequenting.

Suggesting that this is a solution in search of a problem, the only other jurisdiction that has passed a law requiring merchants to pay with any acceptable form of legal tender is Massachusetts. That law was passed in 1978, prior to the internet being invented.

CRMA is currently developing its position on this matter.

 

ORDINANCE – EMPLOYEE DISCRIMINATION

Sponsors: Alderman Gilbert Villegas (36th Ward) and Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th Ward)

Committee: Human Relations

This proposal would prohibit employers from discharging, or otherwise discriminating against, an employee for changing or attempting to change their name, SSN or federal employment authorization document. It is unknown at this time if this is related to the city developing its own ID card for use with city services, but this section is being added to that section of the Municipal Code.

CRMA is currently developing its position on this matter.

 

ORDINANCE – ELECTRICAL CODE AMENDMENTS

Sponsor: Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Committee: Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards

Most of the changes made here are not substantive and look like an attempt to clean up some of the Code and ensure that the correct citations to other parts of the Code are noted by reference. There is new language governing branch circuits, feeders, PVC, RTRC, luminaires, lampholders and lamps. Please ensure that persons in control of your building operations review the changes.

CRMA takes no position.

 

ORDINANCE – ENERGY PERFORMANCE RATING SYSTEM

Sponsor: Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Committee: Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards

This proposal would set in place an energy performance rating system for covered buildings which assigns stars based on performance. A four star rating would be the highest and zero being the lowest. Buildings would be provided their rating on an annual basis and must disclose their score in any advertisement to sell the building. Water usage information could be made readily available to the public.

CRMA takes no position at this time. Please let us know if you have concerns.

The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, November 8, 2017.

The next Cook County Board meeting is scheduled for November 15, 2017.

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Tanya TricheTanya Triche Dawood
Vice President, General Counsel
IL Retail Merchants Association
312-726-4600
ttrichedawood@irma.org

121 Report – CRMA – August 2017

CITY COUNCIL ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS

INTRODUCTIONS

 

RESOLUTION – CALL FOR CITY TO FILE REQUEST FOR REVISED PROPERTY TAX ASSESSMENTS

Sponsor:  Alderman Anthony Beale (9th Ward)

Committee:  Finance

 A recent Chicago Tribune investigative report raised concerns that property in Cook County was being over-assessed in poor neighborhoods and under-assessed in more wealthy neighborhoods.  Suggesting that the system used to evaluate a property’s value was fundamentally flawed, the report indicated that a more fair and accurate system, developed by professors at the University of Chicago, was never implemented.  The report set off a media blitz questioning the direction of the Assessor’s office, led by Joe Berrios.  Subsequently, the Cook County Board held a meeting to question the Assessor regarding the allegations made in the Tribune report and have vowed to make changes.

This resolution asks for the city to file a request for the Assessor’s office to revise assessments made on Chicago’s homes and businesses if the assessment resulted in a more than 7% negative variance from the market value of the property.  In addition, the resolution requests that the assessor’s office write rules for how it will address the inequities highlighted in the report.  Lastly, it directs the city’s Corporation Counsel to review whether there were any civil rights violations as a result of the current assessment system.

 

ORDINANCE – REGULATION OF AUTOMATIC SHUT-OFF VALVES AT GAS STATIONS

Sponsor:  Alderman Raymond Lopez (15th Ward)

Committee:  Finance

Concerned that gas station owners are not being diligent in ensuring that the automatic shut-off valves in their pumps are in good working order, Ald. Lopez introduced this proposal to require more frequent inspections of gas stations and greatly increasing fines specifically for not having an appropriately operational automatic shut-off valve.  Today the fine is not less than $500 and no more than $1000 for each offense.  The new fine for automatic shut-off valves would increase to $2500 per offense per day until the problem is fixed.

 

ORDINANCE – REVISION TO THE ELECTRICAL CODE

Sponsor:  Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Committee:  Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards

This over 200-page document seeks to update and revise the city’s electrical code.  It is an attempt to bring the code in line with the National Electrical Code.  The city’s code has not been updated in about 14 years, and as you can imagine, much has changed.  We encourage your real estate professionals and building teams to review the changes and contact us with questions or concerns.

The City Council and Cook County Board do not meet in the month of August.  The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, September 6, 2017 and the Cook County Board is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, September 13, 2017.

 

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

121 Report – CRMA – July 2017

In this issue

  • City Council Updates

More about CRMA

CITY COUNCIL ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS

INTRODUCTIONS

RESOLUTION 

REGULATION OF EMPLOYEE SCHEDULES

Sponsors:  Alderman Scott Waguespack (32nd Ward) and Alderman Toni Foulkes (16th Ward)

Committee:  Human Relations

This resolution calls for hearings to help alleviate what the sponsors consider to be unfair employee scheduling and employment practices.  It particularly highlights employees being “forced” to work part-time, employees’ inability to provide input or exercise control over their schedules and employer-initiated changes to schedules.  It concludes that such practices harm productivity.  This issue was originally discussed as part of Mayor Emanuel’s Taskforce on Working Families.  IRMA was a member of that taskforce.  CRMA members will recall that the taskforce ultimately decided not to move forward with a mandate.

ORDINANCE

REGULATION OF EMPLOYEE SCHEDULES

Sponsors:  Alderman Scott Waguespack (32nd Ward), Alderman Toni Foulkes (16th Ward), Alderman Ameya Pawar (47th Ward) and 14 additional co-sponsors

Committee:  Committees, Rules and Ethics

The proposal seeks to mandate the following:

• Provide employees with a “good faith estimate” in writing of the employee’s work schedule that would include minimum hours and would presumably include more information such as what days per week an employee would expect to work

• The employee can request to modify the estimated work schedule prior to commencement of employment, and the employer can accept/reject the request as long as the communication is in writing

• Provide employees with a 2-week schedule by either posting it in the workplace or posting electronically as long as all employees are given access to the schedule at the workplace or remotely.  The employee can choose how they want their electronic schedule issued.  Upon initial hire, employers must provide employees an initial schedule to cover until the new schedule is issued

• If the employee changes their schedule after the schedule has been posted, there will be no ramifications under this ordinance

• Employees have the right to decline additional, previously unscheduled hours once the schedule has been issued; if the employee accepts the additional hours the employer must further compensate the employee with an additional hour of pay for the shift, including cases where an employee is asked to extend their current shift

• If an employer subtracts hours from a shift after the schedule has been issued or cancels a shift altogether, with less than 24 hours advanced notice, then the employer must pay the equivalent of 4 hours or the number of hours in the employee’s scheduled shift, whichever is less*

• If an employer moves a shift after the schedule has been issued, then the employee must be compensated*

• Penalty pay is not required when changes to schedules are made as a result of threats to employers, employees, property, or when civil authorities have recommended that work not continue; when the location is closed or business is interrupted due to public utilities’ failure to supply electricity, water or gas; failure in the sewer system; acts of nature, war, civil unrest, strikes or other issues outside of the employer’s control that cause operations to discontinue or mutually agreed upon shift swaps among employees

• Before hiring new employees, the employer must offer existing hours to current employees that are qualified to do the work; an employer is prohibited from not offering the hours because it may cause the employee to become eligible for employer-provided benefits under the ACA

• Employees have 72 hours to accept/decline the hours before the employer can hire for the position; if the offer of additional work is for an expected duration of 2 weeks or less, then the employee will have 24 hours to accept/decline the offer; all offers must be in writing or posted wherever schedules are posted; acceptance must be in writing; such writings and acceptance must be kept for 3 years

• If an employee works during the 11 hours following the end of a shift, the employee must agree to such a schedule in writing and must be compensated one and a half times the employee’s regular rate for the hours that are scheduled less than 11 hours from the end of the last shift

• Employees have the right to request numerous adjustments to their schedules, whether it be changes in hours, job sharing arrangements, or even part-year employment.  The employer cannot retaliate against the employee for exercising this right

• A notice of employee rights in the ordinance must be posted at the workplace and written notification must be given at time of hire along with the employer’s name, address and telephone number

• Private right of action is included and fines will be assessed

A covered employee does not include anyone who is paid on a salary basis and whose rate of pay per week is greater than the 40th percentile of weekly earnings of full-time non-hourly workers in the Midwest Census Region as determined by the USDOL.  Regardless, it will include all employees making less than $50,000/year or less than $962 per week.

CRMA is opposed.

DRUG PRICING TRANSPARENCY

Sponsors:  Alderman Edward M. Burke (14th Ward) and Alderman Sophia King (4th Ward)

Committee:  Finance

Citing the rising costs of prescription drugs and recent cases of drug manufacturers involved in what some consider to be price-fixing and/or price-gouging, this proposal seeks to establish a Chicago Prescription Drug Price Review Board convened by the Commissioner of the Department of Public Health.  The Board would review trend anomalies in the list price of medications and highlight those trends in an annually published report.  That report might also suggest the need for legislative action on certain issues as informed by the data.  The Board will also issue public advisory opinions on its findings and establish a Pharmaceutical Price Watch Hotline for consumers to report increased prices.

The proposal would compel manufacturers that allow their products to be sold in Chicago to report all brand-name and generic drugs sold, and for brand-name drugs, the must report any WAC increase of 10% or more, or a 12-month price increase of $10,000 or more or a drug that has a 12-month WAC of $30,000 or more.  For generic drugs, WAC increases need to be reported if they are 25% or more, have a 12-month increase of $300 or more, or for new drugs, have a 12-month WAC of $3000 or more.  The city must be notified at least 90 days before a new drug is introduced to the market or before a price increase is instituted.  Justification for the price increase must also be produced.  Manufacturers found to be in violation of the ordinance shall have their names posted publicly by the department.

CRMA is developing its position.

 

ADOPTED ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS

PUBLIC COMMENTS AT COUNCIL MEETINGS

Sponsors:  Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th Ward), Ald. Michelle Harris (8th Ward), Ald. Patrick O’Connor (40th Ward) and 3 additional co-sponsors

The city is amending its Rules of Order and Procedure to allow for the public to comment on any matter being considered at any full City Council meeting.  Comments will occur at the beginning of the meeting immediately after the roll call and invocation.  All persons requesting to speak must be physically present within the Council Chambers and must keep comments focused on a subject that appears on the agenda.  Remarks will be limited to 3 minutes.  The public comment period will last for 30 minutes.  This comment period will be in addition to the public comments period already in place for committee meetings.  Written comments can also be submitted to the full Council through the Sergeant-at-Arms.

EFFECTIVE DATE:  The ordinance will be in effect for the July City Council meeting.

 

MAINTAINING THE PREPAID WIRELESS 911 SURCHARGE

Sponsor:  Budget Director

As the May 31st deadline for the end of the legislative session came and went without passing a budget, the city received word that unless it proactively passed its own ordinance, it would no longer be able to collect revenue from the 911 surcharge.  The 7% tax on cell phones was scheduled to increase to 9% and the landline surcharge was scheduled to increase from $3.90 to $5.00 but the increases were tied up in the budget bill.  The Mayor moved to pass an ordinance to preserve the surcharge before the deadline of July 1st, so that the city could continue to collect the revenue regardless of whether the legislature passes a budget.  The legislature has since passed a budget that was vetoed by Governor Rauner and later overridden by both houses.

EFFECTIVE DATE:  Increases will occur beginning on September 1st. 

 

LICENSING OF MASSAGE ESTABLISHMENTS

Sponsors:  Ald. Matt O’Shea (19th Ward), Ald Michelle Harris (8th Ward), Ald. Michael Scott, Jr. (24th Ward) and 5 additional co-sponsors

This ordinance will require businesses that offer massage services to obtain a regulated business license in addition to their limited business license.  The license, approved by the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, requires each applicant to submit information on the types of massages offered, proof that employees are at least 18 years old, employment history of each applicant for the 3 years preceding the application, the previous experience of each applicant in the massage business, evidence of any previous business licenses for massage establishments revoked in any other jurisdiction, history of criminal violations and any lease information (if applicable).  Licenses will be denied to any person found to have violated certain sections of the Municipal Code, offenses involving sexual misconduct with children, trafficking of persons, other sexual offenses or any other felony not excused by the Commissioner.

As a condition of the license, licensees must keep the premises clean and sanitized, display prices in a written price list, require employees to wear nontransparent clothing of all sensitive areas, require clients to cover sensitive areas, launder sheets and towels after each use, refrain from touching any client in a sexual/genital area, keep physical facilities in good repair, keep a year’s worth of records of services rendered, have clear glass entrances to the establishment, separate entrances/exits from residences, post a sign identifying the name of the establishment, post an advisory notice for the benefit of customers, disinfect all massage tables, lavatories and floors, provide a toilet facility and provide closed cabinets for storage for towels and linens.

Massage therapists must be licensed by the state in order to work in the establishment, and licensees must keep a list of all employed massage therapists along with a copy of their license and state-issued photo ID.  The license must be displayed in the establishment and any advertisements must also show the city license number.  Licenses cannot be transferred.

EFFECTIVE DATE:  October 13, 2017

The next City Council meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 26, 2017.

CONTACT

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

 

121 Report – CRMA – May 2017

In This Issue

Council Initiatives

CHICAGO CITY COUNCIL

ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS

 

INTRODUCTIONS

HEAD TAX
Sponsors: Ald. Carlos Ramirez Rosa (35th Ward), Ald. Ariel Reboyras (30th Ward), Ald. Proco Joe Moreno (1st Ward) and 11 additional co-sponsors
Committee: Committee on Finance –

 

After filing a notice that he would motion to discharge his proposal to re-implement the Employer’s Expense Tax (Head Tax) from the Committee on Committees, Rules, and Ethics, Alderman Ramirez Rosa expected to take the matter up at last week’s City Council meeting. Instead, the committee scheduled a meeting to discharge the item to the Committee on Finance where it now sits.This proposal would assess a new tax on any business that has at least 50 full-time employees, commission merchants or any combination of the two. 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 would be in the amount of $16/month for each commission merchant or full-time employee that works at least 50% of their time in the city of Chicago. The tax cannot be passed on to employees. It must be paid by the employer. The revenue from the tax will be transferred to support Chicago Public School operations.CRMA members will note that Mayor Rahm Emanuel repealed this tax back in 2013 after the industry advocated for years against the tax first implemented under former Mayor Richard M. Daley. The repeal, championed vigorously by Ald. Tom Tunney (44th Ward) and Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd Ward), was a huge win for employers and was a signal that the Mayor put a high priority on removing barriers to hiring and encouraged businesses to grow in the city. This proposal is anti-growth, anti-hiring and anti-consumer. CRMA is OPPOSED.

 

MOBILE PHONE PRIVACY AWARENESS ACT
Sponsors: Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th Ward) and Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th Ward)
Joint Committee: Economic, Capital and Technology Development and FinanceCiting the inefficiency of pop-up consent advisories and notifications included in privacy policies, this proposal seeks to inform purchasers of mobile phones of the possibility that location services on the phone may be enabled and that data obtained through the use of those services may be retained, used and/or shared with 3rd parties. Retailers of mobile phones must include a notice to this effect at the point of sale/lease. The notice, which appears in the proposal, must also tell consumers to read agreements, privacy notices, user manuals and the phone’s instructions to learn about location services and how they can be disabled. Retailers would be subject to fines of between $150-$250 per violation. CRMA opposes any effort to clutter our POS areas with more notices that customers don’t read.

 

RENEWAL FEES FOR REGISTERED, VACANT BUILDINGS
Sponsor: Ald. George Cardenas (12th Ward) 
Committee: Finance
Owners of vacant buildings must currently register the building with the Department of Buildings within 30 days of the building becoming vacant and must renew the registration every 6 months. This proposal would change the renewal fee from the current $250 to an increased fee based on the amount of time the property has been vacant according to the following schedule:* $500 for properties that are vacant for at least one year but less than 2 years
* $1,000 for properties that are vacant for at least 2 years but less than 3 years
* $2,000 for properties that are vacant for at least 3 years but less than 5 years
* $3,500 for properties that are vacant for at least 5 years but less than 10 years
* $5,000 for properties that are vacant for at least 10 years, plus an additional $500 for each yearIf the owner is found to be in violation of the building or fire codes at the time of renewal, all fines have been increased. In the case that the owner defaults on the mortgage and the building becomes vacant and unregistered, the mortgagee is already required to register and renew if applicable. The renewal fee, which is either $400 or $700 annually, depending on the reason for the initial registration, will increase according to the following schedule:* $1,000 for properties that are vacant for at least one year but less than 2 years
* $1,500 for properties that are vacant for at least 2 years but less than 3 years
* $2,500 for properties that are vacant for at least 3 years but less than 5 years
* $4,500 for properties that are vacant for at least 5 years but less than 10 years
* $6,000 for properties that are vacant for at least 10 years, plus an additional $500 for each year in excess of 10 yearsCRMA is currently considering its position.

LICENSING OF MASSAGE ESTABLISHMENTS
Sponsors: Ald. Matt O’Shea (19th Ward), Ald. Michelle Harris (8th Ward), Ald. Michael Scott, Jr. (24th Ward) and 5 additional co-sponsors
Committee: License and Consumer Protection

This proposal would require businesses that offer massage services to obtain a regulated business license. Currently, such establishments are only required to obtain a general, limited business license. The  Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection would approve the license which would require each applicant to submit information on the types of massages offered, proof that employees are at least 18 years old, employment history of each applicant for the 3 years preceding the application, the previous experience of each applicant in the massage business, evidence of any previous business licenses for massage establishments revoked in any other jurisdiction, history of criminal violations and any lease information (if applicable). Licenses will be denied to any person found to have violated certain enumerated sections of the Municipal Code, and state offenses involving sexual misconduct with children, trafficking of persons, other sexual offenses or any other felony not excused by the Commissioner.

As a condition of the license, licensees must keep the premises clean and sanitized, display prices in a written price list, require employees to wear nontransparent clothing of all sensitive areas, require clients to cover sensitive areas, launder sheets and towels after each use, refrain from touching any client in a sexual/genital area, keep physical facilities in good repair, keep a year’s worth of records of services rendered, have clear glass entrances to the establishment, separate entrances/exits from residences, post a sign identifying the name of the establishment, post an advisory notice for the benefit of customers, disinfect all massage tables, lavatories and floors, provide a toilet facility and provide closed cabinets for storage for towels and linens.

Massage therapists must be licensed in order to work in the establishment, and licensees must keep a list of all employed massage therapists along with a copy of their license and state-issued photo ID. The license must be displayed in the establishment and any advertisements must also show the city license number. Licenses cannot be transferred. CRMA is currently considering its position.

PUBLIC COMMENTS AT COUNCIL MEETINGS
Sponsors: Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th Ward), Ald. Michelle Harris (8th Ward), Ald. Patrick O’Connor (40th Ward) and 3 additional co-sponsors
Committee: Committees, Rules and Ethics

The city is amending its Rules of Order and Procedure to allow for the public to comment on any matter being considered at the meeting. Comments will occur at the beginning of the meeting after the roll call and invocation. Remarks will be limited to 3 minutes after a formal request is submitted to the Sergeant-at-Arms. The public comment period will last for 30 total minutes. This comment period will be in addition to the public comments period already in place for committee meetings. Written comments can also be submitted to the full Council through the Sergeant-at-Arms.

The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 28, 2017.

Contact Information
Tanya Triche Dawood
Vice President & General Counsel

312/726-4600

ttrichedawood@irma.org

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

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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