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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!