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HB 5412 (from IMSCA Executive Director, Jessica Newbold Hoselton)

IMSCA has been engaged in negotiations with the proponents of HB5412 (Leader Marcus Evans, Jr.) for many weeks.  IMSCA’s focus has been seeking an exemption for signatories of collective bargaining agreements from the requirements of HB 5412.  Earlier this week Amendment 3 was introduced by the proponents in an effort to remove opposition from associations who represent union contractors, such as IMSCA.  Amendment 3 includes the following exemption language:

(g) Primary contractors who are parties to a collective bargaining agreement on the project where the work is being performed shall be exempt from this Section.

After thorough review and discussion, IMSCA agreed to move our position from oppose to neutral, with the adoption of Amendment 3 to HB 5412.  This was not a decision that was taken lightly.  Late last night, the amendment was adopted.  After the adoption of the amendment, HB 5412 was debated and called for a vote – twice.  After the first round of voting, HB 5412 only received 58 votes, coming up short of the 60 votes needed for approval.  As a result, the sponsor moved the bill to “postponed consideration”.  About an hour later, the sponsor called the bill back for another round of debate and a vote.  During the second round of debate, the sponsor was asked if the legislation “provides an exemption for union contractors” – and the answer was “yes”.  Leader Jay Hoffman also provided discussion in support of exempting union contractors from HB 5412.  The legislation was approved by a vote of 62-36-0.  The voting record can be read here: HB 5412 House Vote

This bill now heads to the Illinois Senate for consideration and approval.  It is important to note that the proponents of HB 5412 still have their work cut out for them.  Many of the arguments against HB 5412 outlined by opponents such as IMSCA were discussed on the House floor last night.  IMSCA and others who vehemently opposed this legislation did a great job of making the proponents work extremely hard to make this bill move. Unlike the fall veto session, the proponents do not have an easy path to victory on this issue.  The remaining opponents of HB 5412 are well organized and have good arguments on their side to continue fighting against HB 5412.  For those reasons – HB 5412 still has a big hill to climb as this fight will continue to the next chamber.

IMSCA members should be proud for the role we played in making this issue difficult and uncomfortable for the proponents.  We should also be proud for the progress we made in our negotiations on HB 5412.  It is understood the language included in HB 5412 as amended isn’t exactly what IMSCA requested.  However, the exemption language is more broad than what was included in previous drafts we reviewed.  The broadened exemption will benefit more union contractors and will add a layer of protection to signatories of collective bargaining agreements from increased and unknown liability, that will undoubtedly be created as a result of HB 5412.  While this language may not be perfect, it puts our members in a better position than what we would be without it.


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