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Government Affairs Recap for the Week of March 13, 2023

The HCBA's goal with our Government Affairs recaps are to provide you with a summary of what is happening on a state, local, and national level - especially those items that may have an effect on your business. We will continue to update this page as meetings happen and as official minutes are released.

Village of Lemont

Village Board Meeting
Monday, March 13

Public hearing on Village's FY24 Operating Budget.  They are still working on trimming the budget, and will talk about it at the Committee of the Whole on March 20.  Village Administrator mentioned that some projects are starting to appear, such as the watertower budget.

[8:53] Amended permit for special use for outdoor dining area in Downtown district (The Bridge).  Details available in the video.  Motion approved.  [10:30]  Approving a plot of easement - related to The Bridge, subject to a hold harmless from the owners.  Motion approved.

State of Illinois

This Week in Illinois - from the Illinois Chamber

Session Update

The House was in Springfield this week for three days of session while the Senate was out.

For the first time in the 103rd General Assembly, floor action was robust this week. 19 bills passed out of the House on Wednesday and 21 passed out on Thursday. Even more bills were moved to 3rd reading. Committee action was mostly limited to subject matter hearings each day.

The House and Senate will both return next Tuesday, March 21st.

The third reading deadline for House bills is Friday, March 24th. The third reading deadline for Senate bills is March 31st. View the Senate session calendar for 2023. View the House 2023 calendar.

Illinois Chamber of Commerce Files Amicus in Important Manufacturing Liability Case

Last week the Illinois Chamber of Commerce filed an amicus brief in the case of Muhammad v. Abbott and Abbvie. This case threatens longstanding failure-to-warn product liability law.

This case is a medical malpractice case where the plaintiffs argue the pharmaceutical warning was insufficient to warn of danger. The appellate court agreed, despite the physician testifying under oath that a different warning would not have changed their course of action.

The Chamber has a strong interest in this case because it dramatically expands and alters the scope of longstanding product liability jurisprudence in Illinois- not only for Illinois’ vibrant pharmaceutical industry- but for many other industries as well. Under the appellate court’s reimagined liability rubric, with divorces proximate cause from summary judgment standards, it will be all but impossible for manufacturer-defendants to extricate themselves from costly litigation over failure-to-warn claims. Given the litigation costs and risk associated with jury trials, this is of paramount concern to Illinois’ manufacturing industry.

Great work from our friends at Hinshaw & Culbertson on this. I encourage you to read the full brief HERE.

Illinois Chamber Joins US Chamber Coalition in Call for Federal Permitting Reform

This week, the Illinois Chamber signed-on to the US Chamber's Coalition letter calling for federal permitting reform. In part, the letter says the following.

Today, the single biggest obstacle to building the infrastructure of the future is a broken permitting system. That is why the undersigned list of diverse groups across the country and economy is calling on Congress to Permit America to Build by enacting meaningful, durable legislation to modernize America’s permitting processes before the end of the summer.

We are pleased to see support for modernizing our permitting process from across the ideological spectrum, and a recognition that the current system is broken. We know there are differing perspectives in Congress on how best to address current challenges. Our organizations will not agree on every issue. We are committed, however, to working with Congress to find solutions and pass meaningful and durable legislation.

As a starting point, we are united on the following principles:

· Predictability – Project developers and financers must have an appropriate level of certainty regarding the scope and timeline for project reviews, including any related judicial review.

· Efficiency – Interagency coordination must be improved to optimize public and private resources while driving better environmental and community outcomes.

· Transparency – Project sponsors and the public must have visibility into the project permitting milestones and schedule through an easily accessible public means.

· Stakeholder Input – All relevant stakeholders must be adequately informed and have the opportunity to provide input within a reasonable and consistent timeframe.

Floor Action of Note:

HB 47, Insurance/Cybersecurity passed out of the House by a vote of 114-0-0. This bill amends the Illinois Insurance Code. Provides that if the entry of an Order of Liquidation occurs on or after January 1, 2023, then the obligations shall not exceed $500,000 or exceed without any deduction $50,000 for any unearned premium claim or refund under any one policy. Provides that in no event shall the Fund be obligated to pay an amount in excess of $500,000 in the aggregate for all first-party and third-party claims under a policy or endorsement providing cybersecurity insurance coverage and arising out of or related to a single insured event, regardless of the number of claims made or number of claimants. Provides that the Illinois Insurance Guaranty Fund shall have the right to appoint or approve and to direct legal counsel and other service providers under any other insurance policies subject to the provisions, regardless of any limitations in the policy. Provides that the Fund may employ or retain such persons as are necessary to provide policy benefits and services. Provides that the Fund may, at its sole discretion and without assumption of any ongoing duty to do so, pay any cybersecurity insurance obligations covered by a policy of an insolvent company on behalf of a high net worth insured.

HB 1105, ICC Approval of Eminent Domain passed out of the House 111-0-0. This bill provides that property belonging to a public utility that provides water or sewer service and that is subject to the jurisdiction of the Illinois Commerce Commission may not be taken or damaged by eminent domain without prior approval of the Illinois Commerce Commission. Provides that the requirement does not apply to property to be acquired by a municipality with 140,000 or more inhabitants or a regional water commission formed under specified provisions of the Illinois Municipal Code or a municipality that is a member of such a regional water commission, only in furtherance of purposes authorized under the specified provisions of the Illinois Municipal Code, and limited solely to interests in real property and not improvements to or assets on the real property belonging to a public utility that provides water or sewer service and that is subject to the jurisdiction of the Illinois Commerce Commission.

HB 1117, Hospice passed out of the House 112-0-0. This bill provides that the Department of Public Health's standards for hospices owning or operating hospice residences shall address the number of persons who may be served in a hospice residence, which shall not exceed 24 (rather than 20) persons per location. Provides that the number of licensed hospice residences shall not exceed 16 (rather than 5) located in counties meeting specified population requirements.

HB 1131, SW Development Authority passed the House 112-0-0. This bill Amends the Southwestern Illinois Development Authority Act. Adds Monroe County to the territory of the Southwestern Illinois Development Authority. Provides that the Chairman of the Authority shall be elected by the Board annually from the voting members (rather than elected from the members appointed by the county board chairmen). Allows the Authority to also enter into intergovernmental agreements with Bond, Clinton, and Monroe counties, in addition to other entities (currently, the only counties included are Madison and St. Clair counties).

HB 1342, Transit passed out of the House by a vote of 91-13-4. This bill provides that the powers of the Chicago Transit Board include the power to pass ordinances or adopt rules and regulations concerning the suspension of riding privileges or confiscation of fare media. Amends the Local Mass Transit District Act and the Regional Transportation Authority Act. Provides that a local mass transit district's board and the Suburban Bus Board may adopt all ordinances and make all rules proper or necessary to regulate the use, operation, and maintenance of its property and facilities, and to carry into effect the powers granted to each board with any necessary fines or penalties, including ordinances, rules, or regulations concerning the suspension of riding privileges or confiscation of fare media, as each board deems proper. Includes similar provisions for the Chief of Police of the Metra Police Department.

HB 1384, INS/Reconstructive Services passed the House by a vote of 113-0-0. This bill provides that a managed care plan that is amended, delivered, issued, or renewed on or after January 1, 2025 may not deny coverage for medically necessary reconstructive services that are intended to restore physical appearance.

HB 1440, Pretreated Seed Ban passed out of the House 77-36-0. This bill provides that, notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person shall produce ethanol using seeds that have been treated with a pesticide.

HB 2079, Townships/Not-for-Profit Corporation passed the House 109-0-0. This bill provides that a township officer may hold a position on the board of a not-for-profit corporation that is interested in a contract, work, or business of the township if: (1) the township officer is appointed by the governing body of the township to represent the interests of the township on a not-for-profit corporation's board, then the township officer may actively vote on matters involving either that board or the township, so long as the membership on the not-for-profit board is not a paid position; or (2) the township officer is not appointed to the governing body of a not-for-profit corporation by the governing body of the township, then the township officer may continue to serve, however, the township officer shall abstain from voting on an proposition before the township governing body directly involving the not-for-profit corporation and, for those matters, shall not be counted as present for the purposes of quorum of the township governing body.

HB 2088, INS Supplier Diversity passed the House 70-38-0. This bill amends the Illinois Insurance Code. Provides that every company authorized to do business in the State or accredited by the State with assets of at least $50,000,000 shall submit a report on its voluntary supplier diversity program, or the company's procurement program if there is no supplier diversity program, to the Department of Insurance. Provides that the voluntary supplier diversity report shall set forth specified information. Provides that each company is required to submit a report to the Department on or before April 1, 2024, and on or before April 1 every year thereafter. Provides that the Department shall publish the results of supplier diversity reports on its Internet website for 5 years after submission. Provides that the Department shall hold an annual insurance company supplier diversity workshop in July of 2024 and every July thereafter to discuss the reports with representatives of the companies and vendors. Provides that the Department shall prepare a one-page template for the voluntary supplier diversity reports. Provides that the Department may adopt rules necessary to implement the provisions.

HB 2231, Common Carrier passed the House 73-36-0. This bill amends the Transportation Network Providers Act. Deletes language: (i) providing that a Transportation Network Company is not deemed to own, control, operate, or manage the vehicles used by Transportation Network Company drivers, and is not a taxicab association or a for-hire vehicle owner; and (ii) providing that Transportation Network Companies or Transportation Network Company drivers are not common carriers, contract carriers or motor carriers, as defined by applicable State law, nor do they provide taxicab or for-hire vehicle service.


View the Chamber 2023 Key Bill Report HERE.

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