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the tax will be transferred to support Chicago Public School operations.CRMA members will note that Mayor Rahm Emanuel repealed this tax back in 2013 after the industry advocated for years against the tax first implemented under former Mayor Richard M. Daley.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

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”