Illinois – This Week in Springfield – 99-1

January 16, 2015

 

This Week In Springfield witnessed the inauguration of Governor Bruce Rauner, the Sine Die adjournment of the 98th General Assembly, and the opening days of the 99th General Assembly. With the opening of the 99th Assembly, legislative introductions also began.

 

GOVERNOR RAUNER TAKES OFFICE

In a speech brimming with optimism over the daunting challenges ahead and extolling the virtues of Illinois, Governor Bruce Rauner used his inauguration speech to call for cooperation to restore the confidence of Illinoisans and restore Illinois to greatness. “We need a booming economy that is pro-growth, pro-business, pro-job creation or we won’t have the money to solve any of our other problems. Our state must become competitive again. In the weeks ahead, I’ll be asking the legislature to work with me to pass a comprehensive jobs and economic package that will get Illinois working again. Let’s get our sons and daughters to return home!”

His inaugural speech included creating a competitive economy; creating world class educational opportunities; and enhancing accountability and transparency. Governor Rauner appeared to extend an olive branch by noting that the problems the State is facing have been building for decades and the blame falls on both Republicans and Democrats.

Leading up to the inauguration, Governor Rauner and his team assessed the State’s financial condition which includes, billions in unpaid bills, one of the worst credit rating in the nation, $100 billion pension shortfall, and a multi-billion dollar budget deficit—which his team has described as a phony budget filled with gimmicks.

He highlighted that Illinois’ financial uncertainty, bad management and bad practices created by both parties has hampered Illinois’ competitiveness. This uncertainty has discouraged businesses and people from locating in Illinois while at the same time encouraging people and businesses to leave Illinois. Much like his campaign, he touted creating an economy that is pro-growth, pro-business and pro-job creation that makes Illinois competitive while creating revenue to solve other problems. To begin this process of revitalization, he urged lawmakers to work with him to pass a comprehensive jobs and economic package that will make Illinois competitive and get Illinois residents back to work.

Rauner made it clear that in order for Illinois to thrive, it needs to prepare the next generation for success.  This includes supporting and developing world class educational opportunities.  He explained the need to invest in all areas of schooling including K through 12, vocational and technical training. He stated that to become competitive Illinois needs to reform the education bureaucracy, roll back costly mandates, support teachers, and give students better access to great schools.

Rauner warned that achieving his goals for Illinois would take sacrifice.  “Sacrifice by all of us – politicians and interests groups, business and labor, those who pay for government and those who depend on government’s services.”

Illinois elected a Governor who is a self-proclaimed nobody that nobody sent and he pledges bi-partisan cooperation to solve bi-partisan issues to move Illinois forward.  In the months to come, IRMA looks forward to working on the specifics with Governor Rauner and his administration and the General Assembly.

98TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADJOURNS

 

As is always the case at the end of an Assembly, we want to say goodbye to those members of the House and Senate who served during all or a significant portion of the 98th Assembly who will not be serving in the 99th Assembly. On behalf of the members of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, we extend our gratitude for your service and sacrifice and wish you the best in your new endeavors!

House

Mike Bost (R-Carbondale) – elected to U.S. Congress

Tom Cross (R-Plainfield)

Keith Farnham (D-Elgin)

Brad Halbrook (R-Charleston)

Josh Harms (R-Watseka)

Kay Hatcher (R-Yorkville)

Naomi Jakobsson (D-Champaign)

Charles E. Jefferson (D-Rockford)

Renee Kosel (R-Mokena)

JoAnn Osmond (R-Gurnee)

Dennis Reboletti (R-Addison)

Darlene Senger (R-Naperville)

Jil Tracy (R-Quincy)

Senate

Mike Frerichs (D-Champaign) – elected as State Treasurer

Mike Jacobs (D-Moline)

 

99th GENERAL ASSEMBLY CONVENES

 

At Noon on Wednesday, January 14th, the 99th General Assembly convened and organized. The 99th brings with it substantial changes. There are 19 new members in the Assembly including 16 new members in the House and three new members in the Senate. The Democrats continue to hold veto-proof majorities in both chambers with 39 members in the Senate and 71 in the House.

Over the course of the last several years as the Democrats have held both chambers of the Assembly and the Governor’s Office, Republican votes on the state budget have been non-existent. During his opening remarks to the 99th General Assembly, House Speaker Madigan welcomed the Republican’s back to active participation of the State government and signaled his expectations that with the election of Governor Rauner Republican votes would be required to pass a state budget. .  Speaker Madigan believes the budget is the number one priority facing the new General Assembly. During the budget negotiations, Speaker Madigan has vowed to protect the working class. Additionally, he commented that the State must focus on education, from early childhood education to higher education.  With the election of Governor Rauner, House Minority Leader Jim Durkin noted the citizens of Illinois have voted for a change in the direction of Illinois. He also pointed out that the issues that face the State are profound but they are not Republican nor are they Democrat and the people of Illinois expect the General Assembly to come together to demonstrate they can implement changes that will make Illinois prosperous again.

Meanwhile, in the Senate, Senate President Cullerton was straight forward when he called for an immediate increase in the minimum wage. To ease the burden on Illinois businesses he pledged to streamline the often maligned start up paperwork. Finally, he mentioned that it was time for lawmakers to back up their rhetoric on education and work to create a positive change in policy. Senate Minority Leader, Christine Radogno urged members of both parties to listen to one another’s ideas and warned the Assembly should not to fall back into the comfort of partisan rhetoric and run for the cover of special interests when there are obstacles or disagreements.

NEW MEMBERS

 

Below is a listing of the members in each chamber who are new to their respective chamber or were appointed to fill an unexpired term and were elected to a term in their own right last November – not necessarily new to the Assembly. On behalf of the members of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, we welcome these new members, wish them every success, and look forward to working with them as the 99th Assembly unfolds.

 House

Carol Ammons (D-Champaign)

Steve Andersson (R-Geneva)

Mark Batnick (R-Plainfield)

Thomas Bennett (R-Gibson City)

Peter Breen (R-Lombard)

Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro)

Randy Frese (R-Paloma)

Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago)

Sheri Jesiel (R-Gurnee)

Margo McDermed (R-Mokena)

Anna Moeller (D-Elgin)

Reginald Phillips (R-Charleston)

Pamela Reeves-Harris (D-)

Litesa Wallace (D-Rockford)

Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville)

Keith Wheeler (R-Oswego)

Christine Winger (R-Wood Dale)

Senate

Neil Anderson (R-Rock Island)

Scott Bennett (D-)

Chris Nybo (R-Westmont)

 

ASSEMBLY LEADERSHIP

The four leaders have announced their respective leadership teams for the 99th General Assembly. IRMA congratulates these leaders.

Senate Democratic Caucus

Senate President  –  Sen. John Cullerton (D-Chicago)

Majority Leader   –   Sen. James Clayborne (D-East St. Louis)

Assistant Majority Leader  –    Sen. Donne Trotter (D-Chicago)

Assistant Majority Leader   –   Sen. Terry Link (D-Gurnee)

Assistant Majority Leader   –   Sen. Kimberly Lightford (D-Westchester)

Assistant Majority Leader    – Sen. Antonio Munoz (D-Chicago)

Assistant Majority Leader   –  Sen. John Sullivan (D-Quincy)

Majority Caucus Chair  –   Sen. Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago)

President Pro Tempore  –  Sen. Don Harmon (D-Oak Park)

Majority Caucus Whip   –   Sen. William Haine (D-Alton)

Majority Caucus Whip   – Sen. Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago)

Majority Caucus Whip  –  Sen. Iris Martinez (D-Chicago)

 

Senate Republican Caucus

 

Senate Republican Leader  –  Sen. Christine Radogno (R-Lemont)

Deputy Leader –  Sen. Matt Murphy (R-Palatine)

Assistant Leader –  Sen. Bill Brady (R-Bloomington)

Assistant Leader   –  Sen. Dave Luechtefeld (R-Okawville)

Assistant Leader   –  Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Peru)

Assistant Leader   –  Sen. Dave Syverson (R-Rockford)

Caucus Chair –  Sen. Pam Althoff (R-McHenry)

Republican Whip  –  Sen. Chapin Rose (R-Champaign)

 

House Democratic Caucus

Speaker of the House – Rep. Michael J. Madigan (D-Chicago)

Majority Leader  –  Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago)

Deputy Majority Leader  – Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie)

Deputy Majority Leader – Rep. Frank Mautino (D-Spring Valley)

Assistant Majority Leader – Rep. Edward Acevedo (D-Chicago)

Assistant Majority Leader – Rep. Dan Burke (D-Chicago)

Assistant Majority Leader –  Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago)

Assistant Majority Leader  – Rep. Al Riley (D-Hazel Crest)

Assistant Majority Leader   – Rep. Arthur Turner (D-Chicago)

Assistant Majority Leader – Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth (D-Peoria)

Assistant Majority Leader – Rep. John Bradley (D-Marion)

Assistant Majority Leader   – Rep. Elaine Nekritz (D-Buffalo Grove)

 

House Republican Caucus

House Republican Leader – Rep Jim Durkin (R-Burr Ridge)

Deputy Leader –  Rep. Patti Bellock (R-Westmont)

Deputy Leader – Rep. David Leitch (R-Peoria)

Assistant Leader – Rep. Dan Brady (R-Normal)

Assistant Leader  – Rep. Chad Hays (R-Danville)

Assistant Leader – Rep. Bill Mitchell (R-Decatur)

Assistant Leader – Rep. Ed Sullivan (R-Mundelein)

Assistant Leader  – Rep. Mike Tryon(R-Crystal Lake)

Two remaining House Republican Caucus leadership positions will be appointed at a later date.

IRMA would like to congratulate these leaders and we look forward to continuing to work with them as the 99th Assembly unfolds.

LEGISLATIVE INTRODUCTIONS

A new General Assembly brings old, new and developing initiatives. The following are samples of legislative proposals of interest to retail introduced to date. Assuming they are not changed, the deadline to introduce legislation is February 20th in the Senate and February 27th in the House. Legislation may be introduced on any regular session day or perfunctory day. A perfunctory day is a day when a chamber is not meeting formally but is in session to process paper.

LABOR

HB 124 (Rep. Mary Flowers, D-Chicago) increases the minimum wage to $15 per hour on October 1, 2015.

HB 166 (Rep. Mary Flowers, D-Chicago) creates the family leave insurance program. The legislation requires the Department of Labor to establish and administer a Family Leave Insurance Program that provides family leave insurance benefits to eligible employees who take unpaid family leave to care for a newborn child, a newly adopted or newly placed foster child, or a family member with a serious health condition.

SB 9 (Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, D-Plainfield) prohibits any person from selling, offering to sell, giving away, or providing free samples of powdered pure caffeine to any person under age 18 located in the State or to any person under age 18 making the purchase from within the State.

SB 11 (Sen. Kimberly Lightford, D-Westchester) increases the minimum wage from $8.25 to $9.00 beginning July 1, 2015 and increases it by $0.50 each July 1 until July 1, 2019, at which point the minimum wage will be $11.00. The legislation provides that the establishment of a minimum wage that employers must pay their employees is an exclusive power and function of the State and is a denial and limitation of the home rule powers and functions, except that the limitation on home rule powers does not apply to a specified ordinance adopted by the City Council of City of Chicago. Additionally, the legislation creates a credit against the withholding tax liability of employers with fewer than 50 employees, calculated based on the increase in the minimum wage. Effective immediately.

FOOD AND LIQUOR

HB 132 (Rep. Mike Tryon, R-Crystal Lake) and SB 49  (Sen. David Koehler, D-Peoria) provides that the provisions and rules set forth in a Section concerning farmers’ markets only apply to that Section (currently, the entire Act).

HB 133 (Rep. Andre Thapedi, D-Chicago) provides that any label of fresh, frozen, or processed fish or shellfish, wild or farm raised, offered for sale at wholesale or retail shall be clearly identified. It also requires that a retail food facility that sells or offers for sale any fresh, frozen, or processed fish or shellfish, wild or farm raised, may not knowingly misidentify or misbrand the product.

SB 46 (Sen. Iris Martinez, D-Chicago) provides that any individual seeking a food service sanitation manager certificate or a food service sanitation manager instructor certificate must receive a passing score on the examination set by the certification exam provider accredited under standards developed and adopted by the Conference for Food Protection or its successor organization (rather than a score of at least 75% on the examination).

SB 67 (Sen. Ira Silverstein, D-Chicago) provides that no person shall sell, offer for sale, or deliver, receive, or purchase for resale in this State any product consisting of or containing powdered alcohol. It defines “powdered alcohol” as any powder or crystalline substance containing alcohol produced for human consumption.

TAXES

SB 61 (Sen. Martin Sandoval, D-Cicero) provides that the tax on diapers and baby wipes shall be imposed at the rate of 1%. Makes changes concerning the distribution of the proceeds from the tax imposed on diapers and baby wipes.

LOSS PREVENTION

SB 66 (Sen. Ira Silverstein, D-Chicago) creates the Smart Phone Theft Protection Act and requires wireless communications device dealers to maintain a written record of every purchase or acquisition of a used wireless communications device for resale. The legislation provides that a law enforcement agency that has probable cause to believe a device has been stolen or is evidence of a crime may place an investigative hold on or confiscate the device. Additionally, the legislation requires the installation of video security cameras at a dealer’s physical location.

REGULATION AND LICENSING

SB 68 (Sen. Ira Silverstein, D-Chicago) provides that a person may not operate a motor vehicle while wearing a mobile computing headset. It provides limited exceptions to this prohibition for (1) law enforcement officers or emergency vehicle operators in the performance of their official duties; (2) drivers using a mobile computing headset to communicate with emergency personnel; and (3) drivers that are parked on the shoulder of a roadway.

SB 32 (Sen. Julie Morrison, D-Deerfield) provides that a person under 18 years of age shall not possess an alternative nicotine product.

HB 125 (Rep. Mary Flowers, D-Chicago) removes a provision requiring the Department of Healthcare and Family Services to impose limitations on prescriptions drugs such that the Department shall not provide reimbursement for more than 4 prescriptions, including 3 brand name prescriptions, for distinct drugs in a 30-day period, unless prior approval is received for all prescriptions in excess of the 4-prescription limit; and removes certain exemptions to the 4-prescription limit.

HB 108 (Rep. Mary Flowers, D-Chicago) creates the Illinois Universal Health Care Act and provides that all individuals residing in the State are covered under the Illinois Health Services Program for health insurance. Creates the Pharmaceutical and Durable Medical Goods Committee to negotiate the prices of pharmaceuticals and durable medical goods with suppliers or manufacturers on an open bid competitive basis. Sets forth provisions concerning patients’ rights.

ENVIRONMENT AND UTILITIES

SB 35 (Sen. Pamela Althoff, R-McHenry) provides that, if manufacturers meet their recycling goals prior to the end of the year and recyclers no longer pick up CEDs and EEDs without charge, municipalities, townships, and other units of local government that are acting as collectors shall be allowed to collect a fee from consumers who drop off CEDs and EEDs for recycling.

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