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.
PHARMACY BENEFIT MANAGERS