Monday, February 4, 2013

Illinois Legislative Update

Here is the first blog coming, thanks to the assistance of ILSHRM’s blogger in chief, on some proposed legislation in Illinois for 2013 (98th Session).  We as HR professionals in Illinois, are attempting to become more involved in actions up front to provide information on the impact to our employees of upcoming legislation.  So, as the first few days of introduction of legislation begins – here are some of the things we will be watching:

We are looking forward to input from you (individually or via your chapter legislative chairs) on some of the actions being proposed.  How will it impact your organization?  Should we continue to follow the item?  How can you get more information? Etc. etc.

In the Illinois General Assembly, we have new acts being proposed for use of medical cannabis, the establishment of a Department of Minority and Women Inclusion, and a requirement for hospitals to develop and publish nurse-to-patient staffing ratios to include a description of essential functions (which will take precedence over the Hospital and Nurse Licensing Acts).

Amendments suggested would allow unmarried dependents to be covered until age 29 under medical benefit programs; expand the definition of “minority” in several acts to include those of Middle Eastern origin.  There is also a proposed amendment to the Unemployment Act to delete language on discharge for misconduct regarding requirement of a violation of reasonable rule or policy of unit be deliberate and willful and deletes language requiring an instruction from employing unit be explicit.

In addition there are already three “shell” bills in the House and two in the Senate.  These are proposals for a “technical change” to the existing Act.  The proposed bill acts as a placeholder until enough interest can be garnered for a better description of what is intended.  These are interesting as they can sometimes become the “overnight” actions taken late in the session!

The process is interesting to watch and requires that as HR professionals we step up to provide information to our elected representatives (non-political) on how some of the proposals may impact our organizations and how the issues may be addressed to better meet the goal of the proposal (or, sometimes, why the idea is not a good one because of unexpected implications that were not intended).

This is a good time to remind you of our upcoming Legislative Conference on April 10 and 11 where YOU can learn more about the process – and have an opportunity to meet with your senator or representative in person. Our registration page is here

Watch for a legislative update from our lobbyist in the next day or two.

-Kay Titchenal State Government Affairs Director ISC SHRM

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