ITA News

June 3, 2019


Legislative Update

The Illinois General Assembly concluded its 2019 legislative session following bipartisan approval of a $40 billion state budget and capital infrastructure plans for transportation projects and other state infrastructure needs. The House and Senate were scheduled to adjourn the spring legislative session Friday, May 31, but had to work two days into overtime to complete their agendas. The House adjourned Saturday, June 1 and the Senate came back to Springfield Sunday to approve the measures the House passed on Saturday. Following the Senate's adjournment yesterday, the General Assembly is not scheduled to be back in session until the fall veto session, October 28-30 and November 12-14.

$400 Million in Capital Infrastructure Plan for Broadband Grants & Loans

The capital infrastructure plan to address vertical construction projects (projects other than roads and bridges) includes $400 million for the Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity to provide grants and loans for broadband deployment to expand and strengthen broadband network infrastructure. Improving broadband access throughout the state was one of Governor JB Pritzker's many big initiatives in his first legislative session of his first term. In addition to the funding for broadband grants and loans, the state budget for the upcoming fiscal year also includes $1 million for the administration of a broadband program within the Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity.

Pritzker Gets Approval on Aggressive Legislative Agenda

Governor JB Pritzker laid out an aggressive and politically progressive agenda for his first legislative session and was able to work with the General Assembly to pass most of his key initiatives including:

  • Raising the minimum wage in Illinois to $15 per hour, with the minimum wage increase being phased in over several years starting with the first increase January 1, 2020
  • Approving a constitutional amendment for voters to consider in the 2020 election to move from the state's flat income tax to a graduated income tax
  • Passing legislation to establish the tax rates for the graduated income tax should voters approve the constitutional amendment and establishing a property tax relief task force
  • Passing a $45 billion horizontal and vertical capital infrastructure plan to improve roads, bridges, mass transit, state facilities, hospitals, schools and broadband access
  • Expanding gambling in Illinois by adding six new casinos in Illinois, adding slot machines and table games at horse racing tracks, legalizing sports betting to pay for the vertical infrastructure program (non-transportation related). The legislation also increased the tax on cigarettes by $1/pack
  • Doubled the current 19 cent motor fuel tax and increased vehicle registration fees to pay for the horizontal capital infrastructure program (transportation related spending)
  • Legalizing the recreational use of marijuana with revenue used to for the upcoming fiscal year state budget
  • Enacting business reforms that include tax credits for developing jobs in economically distressed areas, the elimination of the state franchise tax, reinstatement of the manufacturing tax credit

Telecom Legislation

The ITA did not propose any legislative initiatives this year. In all, the ITA tracked and worked on more than 40 bills this legislative session including 13 bills aimed at imposing new data privacy and data breach regulations, 6 bills creating new penalties or regulations for robocalls and spoofing, legislation imposing net neutrality regulations at the state level, and various bills affecting 911 services, technology, rights-of-way and underground facilities damage prevention.

Of all the telecom measures the ITA worked on along with industry partners, only a couple bills passed both the House and Senate and will be sent to the Governor for his consideration. 

Senate Bill 1624 amends the state's data breach notification law to require notification of a data breach of 500 or more residents to the Attorney General.  The ITA opposed the legislation as introduced. The bill was amended to increase the threshold for reporting to the AG from 100 or more affected residents to 500 or more affected residents and the requirement to notify the Attorney General within 14 days was changed to require reporting to the Attorney General in the most expedient time possible and without delay (which is the current the requirement for reporting data breaches to affected consumers). As amended, the ITA moved to a neutral position on SB 1624.

Senate Bill 690 included language to create a tax incentive for new and existing data centers. Qualifying data centers in Illinois must meet a capital investment of at least $250 million over a 60 month period and have 20 full-time employees. The measure also includes an income tax credit of 20% of wages paid to construction employees for data centers that locate in economically distressed areas.

Newspaper Editorials & Articles on Legislative Session

Our View: Legislative session one to remember (State-Journal Register)

From ‘impasse’ to ‘get it passed,’ Illinois surges with stunning legislative session (Chicago Sun-Times)

Rookie Gov. JB Pritzker pushed an ambitious first-year agenda. Here's how he did. (Chicago Tribune)

How J.B. Pritzker got big things done — and what’s coming next (Chicago Sun-Times)

As Illinois legislative session closes, governor says: 'Illinois is back' (Southern Illinoisan)

We look forward to seeing everyone in Margaritaville Lake Resort in Osage Beach 

June 9-11 for the 114th Annual Convention!

Illinois Telecommunications Association

312 S. 4th Street, Suite 100

           Springfield, IL 62701             

 (217) 572-1262