News from the ITA

March 2, 2018


 Legislative Update

The House and Senate were in Session this week. The main issue of focus this week for the General Assembly was a series of gun control and anti-violence measures. The House returns for Session next week and then will be on a spring break until after the general primary election March 20 and Easter. The House will return April 9. The Senate is off next week and returns for session March 13-15 before a spring break through the March 20 primary election and Easter. The Senate will also return April 9. The deadline in the House and Senate for bills to be passed out of Committees is March 13. Summaries and the status of legislation the ITA is tracking and working on can be found on our website.

Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act

ITA President, Randy Nehrt, testified against HB 4081 (Halpin) in the House Economic Opportunity Committee this week. The bill requires any business employing 50 or more persons in customer service or back-office operations that intends to relocate a call center to another state or foreign country to notify the State Treasurer 120 days prior to the relocation. Failure to report is subject to a civil penalty up to $10,000 for each day the company fails to notify the State Treasurer. The State Treasurer shall compile and post a list of all employers that relocate a call center. Any company that relocate a call center is ineligible for any state grants or state guaranteed loans for 5 years and must pay back any grant, guaranteed loans, tax benefits or any other government support it previously received from the state. State agencies must ensure all state-business-related call center and customer service work be performed by state contractors entirely within the state. 

The ITA opposed the legislation because it would undermine job creation and economic development in Illinois by sending a clear signal that Illinois has an environment that is unfriendly and costly to businesses. Further, the overly broad and confusing definition of call center in this legislation, coupled with the excessive financial penalties, acts as a significant disincentive for any business to locate call center and customer service workers here. Randy also pointed out that the legislation would impair the efforts of businesses to appropriately manage and maintain the quality of call center services they provide as it is critical to handle call volumes by moving traffic from one call center to another. The bill passed out of committee on a partisan vote.

Wage Equality

HB 4163 (Moeller) passed the House this week. The legislation prohibits an employer from (i) screening job applicants based on their wage or salary history, (ii) requiring that an applicant's prior wages satisfy minimum or maximum criteria, (iii) requesting or requiring as a condition of being interviewed or as a condition of continuing to be considered for an offer of employment that an applicant disclose prior wages or salary, and (iv) seeking the salary, including benefits or other compensation or salary history, of a job applicant from any current or former employer. The legislation now heads to the Senate.

Cell Phone Lemon Law 

Only one bill pertaining to the telecommunications industry is posted for a committee hearing in the House next week. HB 4767 (Arroyo) is scheduled for a hearing in the House Consumer Protection Committee, Tuesday March 6. The bill, known as the cell phone lemon law, provides that if a wireless telephone sold in conjunction with a contract for wireless telephone service requires repair or replacement on 3 or more occasions within the period of a contract for wireless telephone service, the consumer may choose to cancel the contract for wireless telephone service without paying any early termination fee, penalty, or charge; or elect to upgrade or downgrade the telephone. The ITA is Opposed.  

Illinois Telecommunications Association

312 S. 4th Street, Suite 100

           Springfield, IL 62701             

 (217) 572-1262