It is hard to believe that it is Wednesday already. With the holiday on Monday and the amount of information that came out over the weekend and was reported yesterday, we’re moving right along this week. So, today’s update will be somewhat brief.
Illinois Funding Assistance
It has been announced that Illinois will receive $286 million through the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act. The funds will allow Illinois to increase contact tracing and testing for coronavirus. It also enables programs for surveillance, reporting, information exchange, and developing strategies for keeping communities healthy and safe.
Illinois Legislation Error
We had reported yesterday in our update that SB 471 passed with language covering a paid sick leave minimum of 40 hours per year. Good news for employers, that language was stripped from the bill before passing. It certainly will come up again in the future, maybe as soon as the fall veto session.
County Funding Assistance
The Will County Board will have about $120 million in federal aid to disburse that was earmarked from the CARES Act. The funds are supposed to go to local governments, business, and social agencies
The Will County ad hoc CARES Funding Committee met and determined that government bodies should receive about 55% of funds, businesses are to get 20%, shelter and food related expenses will total 10%, 5% to non-profits to cover non-shelter expenses, and 4% for miscellaneous expenses. The remaining funds would go to a consulting company with federal aid experience to assist with the disbursement to make sure all is done legally within the CARES Act guidelines.
Unemployment Insurance Webinar
The Workforce Center of Will County in cooperation with the Illinois Department of Employment Security will be presenting a webinar focusing on “Processing Unemployment Insurance Protests” on Thursday, June 4. The webinar will run from 8:00 to 9:00 am. This is an extremely valuable topic for those that have been dealing with employees unwilling to return to work and those that utilize 1099 workers. You can register here: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/2960477245977470479
While we are on the topic of Unemployment Insurance, here is the link to the IDES web page that has resource and frequently asked questions. https://www2.illinois.gov/ides/Pages/FAQ_COVID-19.aspx
Liability Protection Update
A group of moderate Senate Democrats say they are open to considering liability protection for businesses in the next round of coronavirus relief legislation. Senator Christopher Coons (Delaware) spoke about the inclusion on the angle of an enforceable standard of protection for employees and customers. He urged clear regulatory guidance and suggested it come from OSHA on a national level. The federal government could then provide businesses with liability protection in exchange for companies following national standards to protect their workers and make it easier for those operating across state lines.
Senator Jones (Alabama) indicated interest in a compromise on protection of businesses with an appropriate balance so that blanket immunity does not exist, but rather for those following standards.
Illinois Senator Dick Durbin said some moderate liability protections may be in order and that it makes sense to hold large companies and small businesses to different standards for coronavirus related liability.
It is anticipated that Senator Cornyn (Texas) will release details of a bill soon that doesn’t necessarily include blanked immunity, but rather requiring “higher standards of proof” for coronavirus related lawsuits.
Finally, we close out today with another round of frequently asked questions for lenders and borrowers for the Paycheck Protection Program. You can view the document here and as an attachment to this message. https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/2020-05/Paycheck-Protection-Program-Frequently-Asked-Questions_05%2027%2020.pdf
Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce & Industry Staff and Board of Directors
Vice President – Government Affairs
Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce & Industry