Advocacy Updates: Illinois Legislature on Pace for Busy Year

February 19, 2019

When the deadline for bill introduction came on February 15, Illinois senators and representatives had filed over six thousand pieces of legislation for consideration in the 101st General Assembly.  Add to that substantive amendments and there will be 10,000 to 12,000 legislative proposals to be reviewed and tracked over the next several months. With one party controlling the Governor’s Office and supermajorities in both chambers of the legislature, both the pace and the tenor of the Spring Session is expected to be far different than the bottlenecked process of the last four years.  

BOMA/Chicago’s legislative team will be monitoring all legislation that affects members and will be meeting with legislators and other stakeholders to support, oppose or amend the proposals being deliberated by lawmakers.

Here are just a few that have already gotten a great deal of attention:

Minimum Wage

Even before the filing deadline, the House and Senate had already passed Senate Bill 001 that will phase in an increase in the Illinois minimum wage.  The increase was a priority of Governor Pritzker who is expected to sign the bill today.  The law will increase the current state minimum wage from $8.25 an hour to $9.25 in January, and then to $10 an hour on July 1, 2020.  Afterwards it will increase each year by $1 an hour until it hit $15 an hour in 2025.   The law does not pre-empt home rule authority,  so current local ordinances with differing rates and schedules, such as Chicago and Cook County, will remain intact and increase according to those rates and timelines. Chicago had already previously passed a $13 per hour minimum wage that will take effect in July.

Energy Legislation

With the ICC under an injunction that prohibits it from releasing a final NextGrid report, utilities are looking for the legislature to take action on major energy legislation.  Although still in vehicle bill form and lacking any substantive language, there are indications that lawmakers will be asked to consider some sweeping proposals including extending the zero emissions credit subsidies to additional Exelon nuclear plants and granting the utility some favorable status in the capacity market.  Other concepts that were raised by ComEd in the NextGrid study are also likely to find homes in proposed legislation.  Recently completed quantitative analysis that was done to gauge the cost impact of various proposals on BOMA/Chicago members will serve as a basis for advocacy efforts on legislation as it winds its way through the process.

Changes to Data Collection for Property Tax Assessment

BOMA/Chicago is closely watching a proposal filed on behalf of the new Cook County Assessor, Fritz Kaegi, which seeks to change what data the assessor can demand for income producing properties during the initial stages of the assessment process. House Bill 2217 gives the Cook County Assessor the ability to require taxpayers of income producing property to submit income and expense data related to the property annually and allows the assessor to consider all relevant information pertaining to the fair cash value of the property, including, but not limited to, income and expense data, sales data, property characteristics data, construction cost data, appraisals, and other valuation information.  There is a monetary penalty for not complying.  Identical legislation is contained in Senate Bill 1379.  BOMA/Chicago has met with the Assessor to discuss the proposal and will be meeting with him again to discuss specific concerns with the legislation.

Be sure to follow the Blueprint and other publications for updates on legislative developments. Contact BOMA/Chicago’s Director of Government Affairs Ron Tabaczynski at rtabaczynski@bomachicago.org with any questions.

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