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Catching up with some new laws

Tuesday, Aug 31, 2021 - Posted by Rich Miller

* My in-box is filled with bill signing announcements, so let’s try to clear some of them out today. The governor signed this bill into law on Friday

Prior to the 2017 tax law changes effectuated by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), an individual could take an unlimited deduction on its federal income tax return for SALT payments. However, the TCJA capped such SALT tax deduction at $10,000 for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, and before January 1, 2026.

Senate Bill 2531, [signed] by Gov. Pritzker, provides owners of partnerships or S corporations with a workaround to the federal $10,000 SALT deduction cap effective for tax years ending on or after December 31, 2021, and beginning before January 1, 2026.

Under the legislation, a partnership or S corporation (each a “pass-through entity”) may elect to pay Illinois income tax at the entity level (which will be allowed as a deduction by the pass-through entity on its federal income tax return), and each owner of the pass-through entity may claim a credit on its Illinois individual income tax return equal to its share of the amount paid by the pass-through entity, effectively bypassing the $10,000 SALT deduction cap.

The IRS issued a notice in 20201 blessing this type of workaround late last year. Approximately a dozen other states have enacted similar workarounds.

* More from Crain’s

“The IRS came out with guidance last year that basically blessed the concept,” [sponsoring Sen. Win Stoller, R-Peoria] said. “It evens the playing field with C-Corps”—or big corporations.

Since the IRS gave the green light, at least 20 other states have enacted or proposed similar steps, including not only New York and Connecticut but our neighbors Wisconsin and Minnesota, said Keith Staats, executive director of the chamber’s Tax Institute. He pointed to a national group, Main Street Employers, that has been actively tracking the introduction and passage of such workaround legislation

The legislation passed both houses of the Illinois Legislature unanimously, a tribute to the fact that shorting Uncle Sam has bipartisan appeal.

Stoller said Illinois now receives about 400,000 individual returns a year that potentially would qualify for the higher deductions on companion federal filings. If each of those can deduct an additional $10,000, they’d save about $80 million in taxes, by one off-hand accounting rule that deductions reduce tax liability by about 2 percent.

* Sun-Times

Legislators and advocates of removing the state’s lead service lines said Monday a newly signed law moves the state closer to removing that “toxic infrastructure” and ensuring all Illinoisans have clean water to drink.

State Sen. Melinda Bush, a lead sponsor of the legislation, said the lines are a “health threat that not only costs us billions of dollars, but poisons our children and undermines our residents’ confidence” in their water supply.

“Passing this bill with strong bipartisan support demonstrates a fundamental truth about lead in our drinking water — it affects all of us, and every single one of us, especially our children, deserve clean, safe drinking water,” the Grayslake Democrat said.

* Scott Reeder

Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed legislation allowing terminally ill or incapacitated inmates to be released early from prison, after their case is assessed by the Illinois Prisoner Review Board.

It’s a measure that can be best described as merciful. Illinois is the 49th state to enact such legislation, leaving only Iowa without such a provision in its statutes.

“Unfortunately, so many of these people lose their lives, locked away behind bars without being able to spend their last moments with their family,” state Rep. Will Guzzardi, D-Chicago, told me Monday. “And so many of those folks, especially the people who have been very sick, or are permanently disabled are people who don’t pose any kind of public safety risk to their community.”

Guzzardi was the House sponsor of the legislation. I confided in him that I was stunned that it passed. After all, for most of the time I’ve covered politics a majority of legislators have had a lock ‘em up and throw away the key mindset.

* Press release…

Residents in nursing homes across the state who have not been able to connect with their loved ones or join religious events during the COVID-19 pandemic must now be given a virtual visitation option, thanks to a measure signed into law by Gov. JB Pritzker Friday. Senator Donald DeWitte (R-St. Charles) was the leading Senate Republican sponsor of the bill.

Senate Bill 2137 includes a provision that allows nursing home residents to connect virtually with family members, loved ones, and to religious or recreational activities when in-person visits are prohibited or restricted due to federal or state rules or guidance. Prior to its signing into law, SB 2137 passed with unanimous, bipartisan support in the Senate and House.

“The passage of this bill represents bi-partisanship at its best,” said State Sen. DeWitte. “This last year-and-a-half has been incredibly difficult for seniors who have been largely unable to touch or hug their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic, and SB 2137 will ensure that moving forward we place more of a balance between physical and social-emotional health.”

The law comes in the wake of 2020 research that shows that the harsh consequences of isolation and loneliness on a resident’s quality of life are alarming: 50 % increased risk of developing dementia, a 32% increased risk of stroke, and a nearly fourfold increased risk of death among heart failure patients.

* Press release…

On Friday, August 27th Governor Pritzker signed Representative Eva-Dina Delgado’s bill into law to open up opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses by cutting red tape on state projects.

Currently, entrepreneurs need to certify with the State of Illinois that their business is minority- or woman-owned, even if they are already certified with the City of Chicago or Cook County. This needless, intrusive paperwork has closed the door for thousands of businesses from working on State or public university projects. Today, with HB132 signed into law, all businesses certified by Chicago or Cook County are automatically eligible to work on State or public university projects as part of their minority participation program.

* Press release…

Illinois today became the first state in the United States to place modest guidelines on how law enforcement can access personal information captured by so-called “smart devices” in our homes after Governor JB Pritzker signed the Personal Household Privacy Act (PHPA) into law. The new law, passed unanimously in both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly this spring, is being called critical by the sponsors and the ACLU of Illinois in light of the popularity and expansion of these devices – including virtual assistants, Ring doorbells and smart appliances.

The PHPA requires law enforcement agencies to obtain a warrant in order to get data gathered by a personal device from a private third party. Law enforcement can also obtain the data in an emergency situation or when the owner of the data voluntarily consents to it being shared. The devices capture a significant amount of information since the microphones are nearly always “on” awaiting a new command.

* Press release…

Earlier today, Governor JB Pritzker signed Senate Bill 2323 concerning the restraint and shackling of youth in DCFS care while being transported. The following statement can be attributed to Nora Collins-Mandeville, Director of Systems Reform Policy at the ACLU of Illinois:

With his signature today, Governor Pritzker significantly improved safety, dignity and respect for youth in the care of DCFS. Illinois now prohibits the use of physical and chemical restraints when DCFS, or private agencies, arrange transport for young people in DCFS’ custody.

Past incidents of DCFS youth being shackled during transports led to an agreement in federal court where DCFS promised not to shackle children, or use drugs to restrain them, unless restraints were ordered by a judge or DCFS first obtained high level medical and practice approvals. The new law goes further – no restraints are permitted for pre-arranged transports of DCFS youth. And in emergencies, DCFS youth will be treated like everyone else, and cared for according to the best judgment of responding medical professionals.

* Press release…

In an effort to lower recidivism rates among formerly incarcerated people, State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) sponsored a new law that would provide these individuals with information to help them in their reintegration into society.

“Recidivism is caused by instability, period,” Peters said. “When a person is released from prison, they have to reenter a life they’ve been away from for months, years or decades. If they’re not given an opportunity to live their best lives, then they may face challenges that risk further destabilization.”

House Bill 3235 concerns incarcerated individuals who are scheduled to be released from an Illinois Department of Corrections facility. The law requires IDOC to provide these individuals with information on various topics, including how to obtain an ID card, voter registration, job listings, available housing, and any other information the department believes could help prevent recidivism within 45 days of their release.

“The point of a prison sentence ending in the first place is that the person gets to reintegrate into society,” Peters said. “If we make it difficult to do that, we’re only perpetuating the dangerous cycle of recidivism.”

* WREX

Illinois will no longer be home so-called “puppy mills” after Governor JB Pritzker signed a piece of legislation into law on Friday.

A puppy mill is a large-scale, for-profit pet pet breeding company that often leaves animals in dangerous conditions and subject to disease.

The new law restricts the retail sale of dogs and cats to animal control and shelters only. This means stores couldn’t take and sell pets from certain breeders.

* Press release…

Governor JB Pritzker signed SB 1833 into law, allowing for the designation of cultural districts across the state. Managed by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), this distinction will promote economic development and empower communities to honor their unique identities and economic contributions to Illinois.

“Illinois’ strength lies in our diversity and this legislation helps protect the rich history of cultural communities across the state while providing them with the tools they need to grow and thrive,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Thanks to the efforts of the Latino Caucus, cultural districts in Illinois can now receive an official designation status, opening the door to economic investment and protecting cultural traditions for generations to come.”

Championed by the Latino Caucus, Senate Bill 1833 allows DCEO to establish criteria and guidelines for the creation of state-designated cultural districts. These designations aim to support economic development, preserve historic traditions and landmarks, and encourage cultural education by providing technical assistance such as promotional support and resources for small businesses.

* Press release…

Adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities will have expanded supports to make their own decisions about their daily lives under a new law sponsored by State Representative Lindsey LaPointe (D-Chicago) and State Senator Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago).

“Making your own decisions about the way you live your own life is a basic human right,” LaPointe said. “Under the new Supported Decision-Making Agreement Act, adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities will be able to get support from a trusted advisor when making important life decisions. This new law recognizes the rights and capabilities of people with disabilities in Illinois and creates an alternative to the often-inappropriate restrictions of legal guardianship.”

Under the new law, HB 3849, adults with disabilities can choose to enter into formal decision-making agreements, which identify trusted advisors to help them gather and interpret information, weigh their options, and communicate their decisions about health care, life choices and financial matters.

“Studies have indicated that, when persons with disabilities have increased self-determination, they experience better health and well-being,” LaPointe said. “I am proud that Illinois is joining the ranks of states that are protecting the rights of people with disabilities by passing supported decision-making statutes.”

The law, which takes effect in February 2022, requires the Guardianship and Advocacy Commission to post training and education materials on its website for individuals with disabilities and their identified supporters.

* Press release…

On Friday, pension board legislation introduced by State Representative Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) was signed into law by Governor Pritzker. This bipartisan legislation was co-sponsored by Rep. Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) in the House and taken up by Senator John Connor (D-Lockport) in the Senate with Senators Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) and Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) also co-sponsoring the bill.

“I am happy to have worked with Senator Connor to pass this important legislation,” said Rep. Batinick. “House Bill 3004 will bring necessary ethics reform and transparency to pension boards in our state. This bill is one small step towards a more ethical Illinois.”

House Bill 3004 prohibits members of pension funds, investment boards, and retirement systems from being employed by the same fund, board, or system during their service and for 12 months after stepping down from their board membership roles. It also allows board members to temporarily serve in a senior administrative staff position if such a position becomes vacant. However, this service would only be permissible under a certain circumstance and would be served on an interim basis with conditions.

* More…

* Pritzker Vetoes Ambulance Reimbursement Bill; Ambulance Group To Seek Override

* Pritzker signs bill removing witness requirement for end-of-life care

* Illinois home-based food products can be sold directly to customers in 2022 under new law

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8 Comments
  1. - Sue - Tuesday, Aug 31, 21 @ 12:54 pm:

    The Pritzker tax work around is likely to benefit folks who are financially well off including the Governor himself. The people who can use the benefit the most are apt to be working middle class types who suffer the most from our highest in the nation property tax bills and won’t benefit from the legislation


  2. - MisterJayEm - Tuesday, Aug 31, 21 @ 1:11 pm:

    “Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed legislation allowing terminally ill or incapacitated inmates to be released early from prison, after their case is assessed by the Illinois Prisoner Review Board.”

    Can someone smarter than I am explain how this legislation differs from/changes Illinois’s current clemency system?

    – MrJM


  3. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Aug 31, 21 @ 1:32 pm:

    The SALT deduction cap was put in place to financially hinder blue states and teach them a fiscal responsibility lesson, by the people blowing up national debt and deficits and being blue state tax dependent for decades. Good to see us starting to claw this back. Hopefully the cap will be fully repealed if it’s in the Biden budget plan and it passes in some form.


  4. - JoanP - Tuesday, Aug 31, 21 @ 1:55 pm:

    = Can someone smarter than I am explain how this legislation differs from/changes Illinois’s current clemency system? =

    While I certainly would never claim to be smarter than MrJM, I’ll try.

    The clemency system is still in place. When a prisoner files for clemency, the PRB reviews the petition and sends a recommendation to the governor, who has the final say.

    This legislation, first of all, applies only to medical conditions, and the governor is not involved. It’s strictly a decision of the PRB. There’s also a requirement that a hearing be held and a decision made within a set period of time. Unlike clemency where the governor could sit on the petition forever.


  5. - Anyone Remember - Tuesday, Aug 31, 21 @ 2:12 pm:

    Women and Minority owned business certifications from Chicago / Cook County will now be accepted. Since the BEP Program has an income cap, why can’t it be merged into the various small business programs at DCEO?


  6. - MisterJayEm - Tuesday, Aug 31, 21 @ 2:17 pm:

    Thank you, JoanP*

    Those were exactly the answers that I was looking for.

    – MrJM

    *forbidden punctuation


  7. - Bigtwich - Tuesday, Aug 31, 21 @ 3:42 pm:

    ==a majority of legislators have had a lock ‘em up and throw away the key mindset.==

    Back in the last century when I was in a State’s Attorneys office we made an effort to get sick prisoners out of the county jail. When in custody they were not covered by Medicaid. The medical expenses were covered by the county while in the county jail. The state covered the expenses when they were in a state prison. I believe it is the same today. That may have had some effect.


  8. - Bourbon Street - Tuesday, Aug 31, 21 @ 4:05 pm:

    ==a majority of legislators have had a lock ‘em up and throw away the key mindset==

    So true, and they’ve had that mindset for decades now, thereby necessitating Rep. Guzzardi’s bill.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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