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Government Affairs Update June 2018

Posted on: June 7th, 2018 by MCA

State of Illinois

The 100th Illinois General Assembly concluded its work last week. The following is an update on measures we have been monitoring on behalf of MCA of Chicago.

SB 3052 (Retainage)

Last week, IMSCA’s legislative initiative, SB 3052, retainage reform PASSED the House of Representatives!  The final vote was 63 yes, 48 no, 4 present and 3 not voting.  It now goes to the Governor’s office.

This accomplishment would not have been possible without the support of all of the IMSCA members who reached out to their legislators and union representatives.  Thanks to your support and participation, the AFL-CIO and the entire labor industry joined us in this fight.  Together – we made this happen!

Government Affairs Note: An incredible accomplishment holding off the Bankers and Realtors. We will reach out to the Governor’s office to make sure that he signs this legislation.

(SJRCA 4) Equal Rights Amendment

Also last week, the House ratified the Equal Rights Amendment (SJRCA 4) making Illinois the 37th state to ratify.  The final vote was 72 yes, 45 no.

The amendment declares that equality of rights will not be denied by the U.S. or any state on account of sex. It was originally introduced in Congress in 1923 and was sent to the states for ratification 46 years ago. While the vote may be symbolic — the country needs one more state to ratify the amendment — the state’s passage creates a window of opportunity for the embattled constitutional amendment.

Government Affairs Note: An incredible accomplishment long overdue. The Constitutional Amendment still needs one more state to ratify.

FY19 Budget

And last Thursday, the House approved the FY19 budget bills – HB 109 (FY19 operating budget) and HB 3342 (FY19 BIMP) Budget Implementation – by votes of 99-15-0 and 100-14-0, respectively.  The bills will now go to the Governor for final action, and the Governor signed on Monday, June 4, 2018 the FY19 budget bills into law.  It will be the first fully-funded, full year state budget signed by Governor Rauner.

Government Affairs Note: Since we have a FY 2019 budget, the General Assembly will reconvene in the Veto Session in November 2018.

SB 2480 (Hazardous Materials Workforce)

Creates the Illinois Hazardous Materials Workforce Training Act. Provides that the Environmental Protection Agency shall develop by rule a curriculum of approved advanced safety training for workers at high hazard facilities. Provides that an owner or operator, when contracting for the performance of construction work at the stationary source, shall require that its contractors and any subcontractors use a skilled and trained workforce to perform all onsite work within an apprenticeable occupation in the building and construction trades. Provides a penalty for violation of the Act. Creates the Illinois Hazardous Materials Workforce Training Fund as a special fund in the State treasury. Makes corresponding changes in the State Finance Act. Effective immediately.

Government Affairs Note: While this bill was held over in the Senate, it could be brought back later this year during the Veto Session. We will continue to monitor.

House Bill 5201 creates the Mechanics Lien Demand and Refer Program. This is an initiative brought by the Cook County Recorder of Deeds Office. It is intended to assist homeowners in removing defective liens from residential properties. It would allow the Cook County Recorder’s Office to institute an administrative law program outside of the court system to remove liens on residential properties that are defective for various reasons. In some cases, the lien has not been enforced within the statutory deadline or the lien has been enforced but not removed from the title. In conjunction with IMSCA, we have communicated to the Recorder’s Office that the bill is too broadly drafted and they have agreed to an amendment to meet our concerns. HB 5201 passed the House and Senate last week.

Government Affairs Note: This measure passed both the House and Senate with Amendments.

Design/Build and Performance Contracting: Measures to expand the design/build and performance contracting construction models continue to advance through the General Assembly. At the Board’s direction, MCA will continue to monitor them from a neutral position.

Government Affairs Note: We continue to monitor from a neutral position.

Economic Indicators

Unemployment Rate April U.S. 3.9%ii, Illinois 4.4% (35th) Labor Participation Rate April 2018
CPI (All Urban Consumers) April 2018 versus April 2017 = 2.40%
CPI Chicago All Items April 2018 versus April 2017 = 2.05%
Union Membership 2017 = 10.7% (Private Sector 6.5%), 2016 = 10.7%
Rate of Unionized Construction Workers = 14.0%

30 Year Fixed Mortgage April 4.47%, up 0.03% from March 4.44%
15 Year Fixed Mortgage April 3.93%, up 0.02% from March 3.91%

Brent Crude Oil Price $ 75.50 per barrel (as of May 29, 2018)
$ 145.61 per barrel all time high July 2008
$ 2.23 per barrel all time low May 1970

DJIA 24,369.52 as of May 29, 2018 (10:59 a.m.)
26,616.71 All Time High

This is the last report for this session. We will continue to monitor activity in Springfield and report back over the summer if necessary. Have a great summer!

URGENT: Retainage Bill SB 3052

Posted on: May 30th, 2018 by MCA

Fellow IMSCA members –

We are excited to advise you … the Retainage Bill (SB 3052) was narrowly APPROVED by the House Executive Committee last week! We are now faced with the most significant moment for the most important IMSCA initiative of the last five years – the bill has been sent to the House floor for consideration by the full House of Representatives where a vote could take place as early as Wednesday. Retainage reform has been a priority of the Illinois construction industry for many years. The possibility of passing a law to provide meaningful retainage reform is now a realistic possibility. This is a great accomplishment for all of us in the construction industry – but the real battle will take place over the next three days. The construction industry will win the battle with YOUR help! We will lose the battle without your help.

The Illinois Realtors Association is opposing the construction industry’s quest for needed retainage reform with a well-financed all-out attack on our industry. Its 50,000 members around the state are calling and writing members of the Illinois House to ask for a “No” vote on SB 3052. The Realtor’s head lobbyist told the Executive committee yesterday that the construction industry’s request for help on retainage was “BALONEY.” We are offended by that claim, and you should be too! We must let our House members know retainage reform is important to us. Though we do not have the financial resources of the Realtors, House members really are influenced by calls and emails from their constituents.

What IMSCA needs all of our members to do:

  • Call or email your Representative and ask for a “yes” vote on SB 3052. Tell your legislator how important passage of SB 3052 is to YOUR business! If you don’t know who your legislator is, please use this link to identify him or her.
  • Contact your union representative and ask for their assistance in contacting legislators and ask for a “yes” vote on SB 3052.
  • Contact your friends, especially those in the construction industry, and ask them to contact their House members.
  • I cannot stress enough how important it is for IMSCA members to contact their House members today to ask for a “yes” vote on this very important bill. We are close to passing SB 3052, but we cannot let the well-financed Realtor lobby defeat us in this crucial battle. Even if you have never contacted your House member before, now is the time to come to the assistance of your industry and, together, we will bring meaningful retainage reform to Illinois!

    Find more information on the Retainage Bill here.

    Government Affairs Update March 2018

    Posted on: March 8th, 2018 by MCA
    State of Illinois

    MCA’s Government Affairs Committee met on Friday, March 2, 2018 to review legislation of interest to MCA. At the Committee’s direction, several pieces of legislation will be “slipped” on MCA’s behalf. The legislature has an online system which allows interested parties to indicate their position on a bill, and their name and position is read into the record when the bill is called. MCA is joining with the Illinois Pipe Trades Association in their opposition to several anti-pipeline bills, and supporting IMSCA’s bill prohibiting the withholding of retainage in excess of 5%.

    The Illinois House met this week and will return in April after the primary election. The Senate is in next week, and likewise will return after the primary. All eyes are on March 20th, as Governor Rauner faces Representative Jeanne Ives in the Republican primary, and on the Democratic side, frontrunners J.B Pritzker, Chris Kennedy and Senator Daniel Biss face off.

    The next legislative deadline of interest is Friday, April 13. On that date, all legislation must have moved out of committee in the chamber of origination. That is, all House Bills must be out of House Committees, and all Senate Bills out of Senate Committees. This does not apply to appropriation bills, however. We will continue to keep you informed about legislation we are monitoring.

     

    Cook County

    There is currently a Cook County ordinance seeking to require commercial/industrial property receiving Cook County property tax incentives to pay prevailing wage on private construction projects. There is a public hearing on March 14th for this matter to be debated. We will keep you apprised of this. (If you would like a copy of the full ordinance, drop dday@mca.org a note to have a copy forwarded to you.)

     

    Important Dates
    • The Primary Election is on Tuesday, March 20th. Get out and vote!
    • IMSCA Lobby Day is April 24 in Springfield. Please join us. Invites going out shortly.

     

    Economic Indicators*

    Unemployment Rate

  • January 2018 U.S. 4.1%, Illinois 4.9% (45th)
  • Labor Participation Rate

  • January 2018 = 62.7%, December 62.7%
  • CPI Chicago All Items

  • January 2018 versus January 2017 = 1.77%
  • Union Membership                       

  • 2017 = 10.7% (Private Sector 6.5%), 2016 = 10.7%
  • Rate of Unionized Construction Workers = 14.0%
  •  

    30 Year Fixed Mortgage               

  • January 4.03%, up 0.08% from December 3.95%
  • 15 Year Fixed Mortgage               

  • October 3.48%, up 0.09% from September 3.39%
  •  

    Brent Crude Oil Price               

  • $ 65.78 per barrel (as of February 28, 2018)
  • $ 145.61 per barrel all time high July 2008
  • $ 2.23 per barrel all time low May 1970
  •  

    DJIA                                 

  • 25,455.44 as of February 28, 2018
  • 26,149.39 as of January 31, 2018
  •  

    MIPAC Contributions for March

    • Friends for Mulroe – $250
    • Tickets to Suzy Glowiak Event – $360

     

    Download this report here.

    IMSCA Update February 16, 2018

    Posted on: February 21st, 2018 by MCA

    The Illinois General Assembly convened in Springfield this week and the highlight of the week was Governor Rauner’s budget address. The budget address received reaction from legislators along partisan lines. Senate President John Cullerton stated the budget plan is “intentionally deceptive” while Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady described it as a “fair and balanced” plan.

    The framework of the FY 2019 budget plan outlined this week is focused on shifting some pension costs to local school districts and health insurance costs to state workers to achieve savings. These ideas aren’t new, and have previously been met with opposition from members of the Illinois General Assembly. The budget also proposed a pension reform plan that would require state workers to choose between having their pay raises count toward their pensions or receiving annual increases in the pension benefits after retirement. Governor Rauner stated that if his proposed pension reform plan is approved by legislators, it will be coupled with a reduction in the state’s personal income tax rate from 4.95% to 4.7%. Governor Rauner’s pension reform plan has also been floated before, but has never passed the legislature. Many legislators believe if it were to pass, it would likely be challenged in court.

    The budget plan also proposed $7.8 billion on a new capital construction plan. These funds include $50 million for capital improvements to the Quincy Veterans home in an effort to address the Legionella outbreak, and $30 million to repair the Coliseum building at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. The capital budget allocates nearly $2 billion to the Illinois Department of Transportation and $1 billion to the Capital Development Board. However, it was unclear in Governor Rauner’s budget address how the construction plan will be paid for. The proposed budget plan requires legislation to be passed, and IMSCA staff will monitor the budget bills as session progresses this spring.

    IMSCA’s legislative initiative seeking retainage reform was introduced this week. SB 3052 is sponsored by Senator John Mulroe. Our bill amends the Contractor Prompt Payment Act, and seeks to cap retainage on private, commercial projects at 5%. Please be on the lookout for Calls to Action on our bill as it moves through the legislative process.

    Other bills of interest to our industry that have been identified include:

    HB 4234 (Rep. Welch) – This bill has been around for a couple of years and was previously sponsored by Leader Currie. HB 4234 creates a lien right for unpaid wages in the real and personal property of employers and those acting in interest of the employer. As proposed, the lien can be equal to the amount of unpaid wages to an employee. This bill continues to generate heavy opposition from the business community.

    HB 4268 (Rep. Thapedi) – Amends the Home Repair and Remodeling Act by modifying language in the mandatory consumer brochure to inform consumers of their right to obtain a sworn statement from their contractor listing subcontractors and amounts due to them. This is an initiative of the IL State Bar Association, and has received opposition from the Home Builders Association of IL. Interested parties, including IMSCA, are engaged on this issue and an amendment to the original filed bill will likely be introduced. Rep. Thapedi has said he will not move the bill forward if there is continued opposition from the construction industry.

    SB 2621 (Sen. Mulroe) – This is an initiative of ICIC and amends Section 24 of the Mechanics Lien Act which requires subcontractors to serve a notice of lien on the owner of the property and others. Currently,the notice must be served within 90 days of a subcontractors’ last date of furnishing labor or materials. SB 2621 would permit the notice to be served within 90 days of the completion of the contractor’s contract with the owner. This change is intended to give more time for filing liens for subcontractors who work earlier in the project cycle. IMSCA supports this legislation.

    HB 4363 (Rep. Wojcicki Jimenez) – Would require certain reporting requirements by any contractor awarded a contract under the Business Enterprise for Minorities, Females and Persons with Disabilities Act. This bill also allows for the contracting state agency to have access to a contractors’ books and records for compliance purposes.

    SB 2279 (Sen. Murphy) – provides the state must not enter into any contracts unless the money to pay for it has been appropriated.

    HB 4513 (Rep. Conyears-Ervin) – Rep. Conyears-Ervin proposed this bill last year and it stalled in the Senate. HB 4513 amends the procurement code to provide any project under a construction contract, at least 10% of man-hours performing construction services be performed by individuals who reside in areas of poverty. This bill would require the Department of Central Management Services to annually release a list of areas of poverty that meet the requirements.
    Today (Feb. 16) is the bill introduction deadline.

    If you have any questions about this information, please don’t hesitate to contact Jessica Newbold by calling 217.523.4361 or jnewbold@boldnewstrat.com.

    February 14, 2018

    Posted on: February 20th, 2018 by MCA

    Governor Bruce Rauner presented his Fiscal year 2019 Budget Address today before the Illinois General Assembly. He stressed “making tax spenders accountable” and included in pension reform and employee health insurance reform among his budget priorities.

    The Governor promised a $1 billion tax cut, and to eventually roll back last year’s income tax increase. He stated that revenue would be freed up at the state level by making school districts and higher education pay all of their own pension costs. Such a cost shift would probably have the result of increasing local property taxes or closing schools. He stated that the Board of Higher Education is looking for ways to streamline Illinois’ higher education system which may possibly include closing schools. The Governor mentioned reducing worker’s compensation costs but did not provide any details.

    The MCA and the Illinois PipeTrades Association are holding their joint event in Springfield this evening. Already in attendance is MCA of Chicago Government Affairs Committee Board Liaison Jim Jacobsen, Jr. We hope to see you this evening!

    DECEMBER 13, 2017

    Posted on: January 3rd, 2018 by MCA

    Illinois’ primary election is less than 100 days away and several of the gubernatorial candidates are reporting record-breaking amounts of campaign funds.  Governor Rauner currently has over $65 million available after raising more than $72 million.  JB Pritzker, Democratic candidate and heir to the Hyatt Hotels chain, has self-funded to the tune of more than $42 million and has $21 million available.  Both Governor Rauner and Mr. Pritzker have spent a significant amount of money on television ads which have been running statewide for some time.

    Governor Rauner’s primary opponent, Representative Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton), only recently declared her candidacy.  It will be an uphill fight for Representative Ives, who has less than $500,000. at this time.  However, her staunchly conservative platform is to the right of Governor Rauner’s and she is likely to draw significant support away from the Governor on issues such as immigration.

    The remaining viable candidates for the Democratic primary nomination are Christopher Kennedy and Senator Daniel Biss.  Senator Biss (D-Evanston) has raised about $3.7 million and has $2.8 million on hand.  Mr. Kennedy has raised about $3.1 million and has about $1.6 million on hand.  Mr. Kennedy and Senator Biss are expected to begin airing campaign commercials after the New Year.

    DECEMBER 6, 2017

    Posted on: January 3rd, 2018 by MCA

    2018 promises to be an exciting election year. The following offices are up for election:

    • All constitutional officers – Governor/Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, Comptroller, Treasurer and Attorney General (the Governor and Lt. Governor must run as a team);
    • All 118 districts of the Illinois House and 39 of the 59 Senate districts;
    • All of Illinois’ 18 congressional districts;
    • All county offices: county boards, clerks, treasurers, sheriffs and assessors; and
    • All sanitary district elected positions, including the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Chicago.

    The deadline to file candidate petitions to be on the ballot for the March 20, 2018 primary election was Monday, December 4, 2017. There are a record number of sitting members of the General Assembly that have announced that they will not run again, and there are a record number of petition filings at the State Board of Elections: 340 candidates for the 157 districts at play. The next step in the process is the objection period; once that is concluded, the ballot names will be finalized and we will update you on the major races.

    For now, the primary race for Governor is gaining the most attention. Governor Rauner is running for reelection and faces Jeanne Ives, a very conservative member of the Illinois House from Wheaton. On the Democratic side, the candidates include multibillionaire JB Pritzker of Chicago; Chris Kennedy of the storied Kennedy family; Daniel Biss, a sitting state Senator from Evanston; downstate educator Robert Daiber; and anti-violence advocate Tio Hardiman.