ITA News

May 31, 2019


Legislative Update

The Illinois General Assembly concluded its 2019 legislative session following bipartisan approval of a $40.1 billion state budget for the upcoming fiscal year and capital infrastructure plans for transportation projects and other state infrastructure needs.

$400 million in capital 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 Runs the Table on Aggressive 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
  • 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
  • Established a Property Tax Relief Task Force
  • Passing a $xx.x billion horizontal capital infrastructure plan to improve roads, bridges and mass transit
  • Passing a $xx.x billion vertical capital infrastructure plan for needed repairs to state facilities, hospitals, schools and broadband access
  • Expanding gaming with 6 new casinos and legalized sports betting to create $xx million in new revenue
  • Legalized the recreational use of marijuana

Telecom Legislation

No major initiatives were proposed my the ITA, any member companies or the telecommunications industry this year. In all, the ITA tracked and worked on just over 40 bills this legislative session including 13 bills 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 Senate Bill 1624 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 the report to the AG in the most expedient time possible and without delay (which is the current standard reporting timeline to report breaches to affected consumers). With the sponsor’s willingness to amend the legislation, the ITA moved to a neutral position.

Summaries of all the telecom legislation can be found on the ITA website.


We look forward to seeing everyone in Margaritaville 

June 9-11 for the 114th Annual Convention!

Illinois Telecommunications Association

312 S. 4th Street, Suite 100

           Springfield, IL 62701             

 (217) 572-1262