Regulatory Alert

CURRENT PROPOSED STATE OF ILLINOIS RULES AFFECTING SMALL BUSINESS

If any of the following proposed regulations impact your business, let us know!  Click here to submit comments on how the proposed rulemakings will impact your business or industry.   

Following are proposed rules of possible interest to small businesses published in the Illinois Register.  During the comment period, individuals have an opportunity to express their support or opposition to the rule. To submit comments or to learn more about the proposed rules, contact Katy Khayyat at the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Business Information Center via e-mail at Katy.Khayyat@Illinois.gov  or call 800.252.2923 or 217.558.0190. 

To get more information on Illinois Rules and Regulations, how to file a complaint about a burdensome or excessive state rule, go to www.ilsmallbiz.biz/regflex
 

The Department of Revenue proposed amendments which will impact individuals and businesses with unpaid income tax, sales tax, use tax or other tax liabilities from eligible tax periods:      


The Illinois Department of Revenue proposed amendments to the Part titled Amnesty Regulations (86 IAC 520; 43 Ill. Reg. 8677) implementing Public Act 101-9, a recently enacted short-term tax amnesty program that will be in effect from October 1 through November 15, 2019.  Eligible Illinois income tax liabilities based on income earned or received in calendar years 2011 through 2017, and other eligible tax liabilities incurred from 7/1/11 through 6/30/18, can be paid without penalty during the amnesty period.  The rulemaking abolishes the “200% sanction” that doubles rates of penalty and interest on certain tax liabilities for taxpayers who could have qualified for the amnesty program but failed to participate.  Additionally, tax liabilities that are in the process of being reviewed by the Illinois Independent Tax Tribunal or are the subject of Fast Track Resolution Program Audits during the amnesty period will be eligible for amnesty under certain conditions.  If DOR ultimately determines that a deficiency for a particular tax period was greater than the amount the taxpayer paid during the amnesty period, the 200% sanction will no longer be imposed on the unpaid amount. 

Bottom Line:  The rulemaking updates the amnesty regulations to implement the upcoming amnesty program created by PA 101-9.  The rule provides guidance that will be helpful to small businesses on the application of the law regarding the upcoming amnesty program. 

This rule is open for public comment until 9/30/19.  Questions/requests for copies/ comments through 9/30/19 may be directed to Brian Fliflet, Acting General Counsel, Illinois Department of Revenue, Legal Services, 101 West Jefferson Street, MC 5-500, Springfield, IL 62794, 217/782-2844 or email Brian.Fliflet@illinois.gov. You may also click here to submit comments to the Department of Commerce Office of Regulatory Flexibility.

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The Department of Revenue proposed amendments which will impact individuals and businesses with late tax payments or that have incurred interest and penalties on Illinois tax liabilities: 

The DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE proposed amendments to Uniform Penalty and Interest (86 IAC 700; 43 Ill Reg 9010) implementing various amendments to the Uniform Penalty and Interest Act [35 ILCS 735]. The rulemaking adds definitions of terms such as “accelerated tax payment”, “final assessment”, and “unprocessable return”; adds and clarifies examples; and clarifies the periods to which various interest rate and penalty calculations for late payments, etc. apply.

Bottom Line:  This rulemaking provides guidance that is helpful to small businesses on the application of the law regarding penalties, interest on underpayments and interest on overpayments.  This rulemaking updates the Uniform Penalty and Interest Act regulations to reflect amendments to the UPIA in Pas 91-203, 93-32, 93-1068, 98-425, and 99-335. 

This rule is open for public comment until 10/7/19.  Questions/requests for copies/ comments through 10/7/19 may be directed to Brian Fliflet, Acting General Counsel, Illinois Department of Revenue, Legal Services, 101 West Jefferson Street, MC 5-500, Springfield, IL 62794, 217/782-2844 or email Brian.Fliflet@illinois.gov. You may also click here to submit comments to the Department of Commerce Office of Regulatory Flexibility.

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The Department of State Police proposed a new Part which will impact any small business engaging in the sale of firearms:

The DEPARTMENT OF STATE POLICE proposed a new Part titled Firearm Dealer License Certification Act (20 IAC 1232; 43 Ill Reg 9084) implementing Public Act 100-1178, which requires all Illinois holders of a Federal Firearms License (FFL) to additionally receive certification from the State to sell, lease or otherwise transfer firearms. The new Part sets forth the conditions and process for obtaining State certification of an FFL as follows.

Applications
Every FFL licensee shall file with DSP a copy of its FFL, along with a sworn affidavit indicating that the license is currently valid and belongs to the licensee. This State certification must be renewed every 3 years when the FFL is renewed. DSP may, in lieu of requiring an affidavit, verify the validity of an FFL via any authentication system or website approved by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Applicants for certification must also submit an affidavit listing the name and Firearm Owner’s Identification Card (FOID) number of each owner, employee, or other agent who sells or transfers firearms for the licensee and attesting that each of these persons is at least 21 years old, holds a currently valid FOID card and (if a certification is being renewed) has completed the training required by the Firearm Dealer License Certification Act.

Fees
For FFL licensees without a retail location, the application fee is $300 for initial certification and $100 for a renewal certification. For licensees with retail locations, the application fee is $1,500 for initial certification and $500 for renewal.    Total fees for certification of multiple licenses (e.g., retail stores at different locations) to a single applicant cannot exceed $40,000. Initial certification fees for new applicants shall be prorated based on the number of months remaining on the applicant’s current FFL. An overpayment will be credited toward the cost of the licensee’s next renewal or may be refunded to the licensee upon written request.

Inspections
All certified licensees (CLs) must allow inspection of their place of business by DSP and other law enforcement agencies during all hours of operation when firearms are sold, leased or transferred. All records, documents and firearms shall be made accessible upon request of DSP or the LE agency. No more than one unannounced inspection may be conducted per year without good cause. A CL that is not open to the public, does not keep regular business hours or operates by appointment only shall advise DSP in writing of its hours of operation.

Security
No later than 1/2/20, CLs that maintain an inventory of firearms for sale or transfer must be connected to an alarm system or service that notifies local law enforcement of any unauthorized intrusion. This system must include features such as duress/holdup silent alarms and backup electrical power. By 1/2/21, all CLs operating retail locations must have a 24/7 closed circuit video surveillance system in place. The system must monitor all entrances and exits, parking areas, alleys adjacent to the building, and any inside areas (including areas not open to customers) where firearms are stored, displayed, handled, sold or transferred. Cameras must operate in a manner that permits facial recognition of anyone entering or leaving the retail location and that records license plates of vehicles in the parking area. Video recording systems shall be digital, include date and time stamps, and be able to alert the CL of any failure in the system. Security videos must be kept for at least 90 days (longer if needed to investigate a loss/theft of inventory or other incident) and must be backed up offsite via a server or cloud storage.

Records
CLs operating retail locations on or after 1/2/20 must use electronic based recordkeeping for all acquisition and disposition records currently required by federal law. Retail sales and purchases must be recorded within 24 hours after the transaction. Shipments from manufacturers or wholesalers must be recorded within 24 hours after unpacking or 5 business days after shipping, whichever is earlier. Inventory, acquisition and disposition records must be made available to DSP or local law enforcement upon request.

Storage
CLs with retail locations must develop and submit to DSP (using a form and method provided on the Department’s website) their written and detailed plans for safe storage of firearms and ammunition during retail hours, after closing, and in the event of a disaster. Storage procedures must include: keeping all inventoried firearms in a safe, vault, secured room or locked display and in a location accessible only to specifically authorized personnel; insuring that all keys, lock combinations, passwords or other security measures are accessible only to specifically authorized personnel; keeping ammunition stored separately from the firearms inventory and out of the reach of customers; and taking a complete firearms inventory, conducted by at least two persons, at least once per quarter. Any loss, theft or diversion of inventoried firearms from a retail location must be reported to ATF and local law enforcement within 48 hours and a copy of the notification must also be submitted to DSP.

Signage
Each location where a CL conducts business must post two signs (templates are provided in the rule and at DSP’s website). One sign must notify patrons that the premises are under video surveillance and that their images may be recorded. The other sign must advise patrons that the following actions are unlawful: storing or leaving unsecured firearms where children can access them, selling or transferring firearms to someone else without receiving approval from DSP, and failing to report the loss or theft of a firearm to local law enforcement within 72 hours.

Training
Every CL and employees who sell or transfer firearms must complete DSP-approved training prior to certification and annually thereafter. Newly hired employees must complete this training before selling or transferring any firearms or ammunition. The CL must submit an affidavit to DSP verifying that the licensee and any applicable employees have completed this training.

Penalties and Appeals
Disciplinary actions for violations of the Act or this Part may include a reprimand, refusal to renew or restore a certification, or suspension or revocation of license certification. A fine may also be imposed based on the seriousness and frequency of the violation. Fines range from a maximum of $200 for a first-time petty violation up to $10,000 per offense for repeated major violations. Procedures by which DSP will notify CLs of violations and for CLs to request hearings or appeals are included in the Part.

Bottom Line:  The proposed regulation implements the Firearm Dealers License Certification Act [430 ILCS 68] by establishing an application process for individuals and entities subject to regulation under the Act, describing enforcement mechanisms by law-enforcement agencies, and identifying licensee obligations relating to security and storage plans, record-keeping requirements and training mandates.  Additionally, the proposed regulations set forth eth fee schedule for license applicants and disciplinary fines and sanctions for violations of the Act.  Finally, the proposed regulations create administrative processes for investigating alleged violations of the Act and establish an appeal process for licensees and applicants to formally challenge determinations of the Department. 

This rule is open for public comment until 10/7/19.  Questions/requests for copies/ comments through 10/7/19 may be directed to Mr. Matthew R. Rentschler, Chief Legal Counsel, Illinois State Police, 801 South 7th Street, Suite 1000-S, Springfield, IL 62703, or call (217) 782-7658. You may also click here to submit comments to the Department of Commerce Office of Regulatory Flexibility.

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The Illinois Gaming Board proposed amendments which will impact businesses such as restaurants, taverns, and truck stops; fraternal and veterans organizations; and persons employed as terminal handlers and technicians:

The ILLINOIS GAMING BOARD adopted emergency amendments to Video Gaming (General) (11 IAC 1800; 43 Ill Reg 9261) effective 8/13/19 for a maximum of 150 days. Identical proposed
amendments appear in this week’s Illinois Register at 43 Ill Reg 9209. The emergency and proposed rules implement provisions of Public Act 101-31. It increases the licensing fee for terminal handlers from $50 to $100 and states that IGB shall apply the occupational licensing criteria in Section 9 of the Illinois
Gaming Act (which prior to the PA applied only to riverboat casinos) to all occupational license applicants. Definitions and provisions are added f or progressive jackpot video games in which the top prize increases with each play until the prize is won. A new licensing category is created for licensed large truck stop establishments that sell at least 50,000 gallons of diesel or biodiesel fuel per month. Additional
responsibilities of licensed terminal operators include: purchasing keys and locks for video gaming terminals; installing and maintaining digital surveillance cameras in all areas where gaming takes place and vouchers are redeemed; and creating a receipt form for winners of progressive jackpots to claim their
prizes. Additional responsibilities of licensed technicians and terminal handlers include complying with all requests by IGB agents to access the logic box within a video gaming terminal; recording the details of   any instance in which a terminal is accessed, possessed or controlled; and informing the central communications system before clearing meters on a video gaming terminal. Applicants for video gaming   licenses must disclose all persons with significant influence or control over the applicant or licensee. The
definition of “person with significant influence or control” is expanded to include each person directly
owning an applicant or licensee as well as each person with an indirect ownership interest of 5% or more. Finally, the Administrator of IGB shall have authority to direct and oversee the installation, maintenance or improvement of any technology needed to implement the Act or this Part, and the applicant or licensee may be required to reimburse the Board for the cost of testing, certification, training, and other tasks
associated with such implementation. 

Bottom Line:  The legislation adds the following definitions to 11 Ill. Adm. Code 1800.110:

"In-location bonus jackpot game" and "in-location jackpot game." Consistently with the amended statute, these terms are identically defined as a video game in which the value of the top prize increases each time the game is played, and the top prize is not won. 

"Licensed large truck stop establishment" is defined identically as in PA 101- 0031, namely, as a facility located within 3 road miles from a freeway interchange that: (i) is at least a 3-acre facility with a convenience store, (ii) with separate diesel islands for fueling commercial motor vehicles, (iii) that sells at retail more than 50,000 gallons of diesel or biodiesel fuel per month, and (iv) has parking spaces for commercial motor vehicles.

The definition of "licensed video gaming location" is amended to include licensed large truck stop establishments.

A redundant definition of "person with significant interest or control" (PSIC) is deleted, as a definition of this term is contained in 11 Ill. Adm. Code 1800.430 (d). "Progressive jackpot" is defined as the top prize in an in-location bonus jackpot game or in-location bonus jackpot game.

The title of 11 Ill. Adm. Code 1800.250 is changed from "Licensed Video Terminal Operators" to "Terminal Operators" to be consistent with the terminology of the Video Gaming Act. The following new duties are imposed on terminal operators:

Purchase keys and locks for video gaming terminals (VGTs) that are approved by the Board and are specific to the terminal operator. The keys shall be numbered, reported to the Board and available for audits. The Board shall be provided with access to the logic box of a video gaming terminal upon request. If a terminal operator's actions necessitate a rekeying, the costs of rekeying shall be at the terminal operator's expense. A terminal operator shall immediately inform the Board if a key is lost or stolen (new subsection (v)).

Provide, at the terminal operator's expense, digital surveillance cameras that record at all times that video gaming terminals are operational at all locations where video gaming is being conducted. The camera surveillance shall extend to all areas where video gaming is being conducted and where vouchers are
redeemed. The rulemaking establishes specific technical requirements for surveillance recordings (new subsection (w)).

Create a form for the use of licensed video gaming locations that will be used as a receipt for progressive jackpot winners. Forms must be approved by the Administrator. The terminal operator shall distribute the approved forms to all licensed video gaming locations operating progressive games with which the terminal operator has a use agreement. The form shall have payment instructions for the winning patron, provide contact information for the terminal operator, and be capable of having the following information recorded, in triplicate:

Winner's name and address;
Date and time the progressive jackpot was won;
Amount of the progressive jackpot won;
Identification number and location of the video gaming terminal on which the progressive jackpot was won; and Game outcome (for example, reel symbols, card values or suits) (New subsection (x))


11 Ill. Adm. Code 1800.260 (Duties of Licensed Technicians and Licensed Terminal
Handlers) is amended to impose the following new duties on licensed technicians and
licensed terminal handlers:

Comply with all technical standards and requirements imposed by the Board
(previously, this compliance requirement applied to "specifications and
standards") (subsection (d)).

Comply with all requests by Board agents for identification or for access to the
logic box within a video gaming terminal (new subsection (j)).

Following any access, possession or control of a video gaming terminal, provide
information on a project sheet that shall include, at a minimum, the name of the
licensed technician or terminal handler, time of access, possession or control, and
nature of any servicing or repairs (new subsection (k)).

Inform the central communications system before clearing meters on a video
gaming terminal.

11 Ill. Adm. Code 1800.420 (Qualifications for Licensure) is amended by adding a new subsection (b) providing that in considering applications for licenses under the Video Gaming Act, the Board shall apply the same criteria set forth in Section 9 of the Illinois Gambling Act (IGA) [230 ILCS 10/9]. If the applicant is not an individual, the Board may not license until it is satisfied that the applicant's owners and PSICs meet the requirements of Section 9 of the IGA.

11 Ill. Adm. Code 1800.430 (Persons with Significant Influence or Control) is amended at subsection (d) by expanding the definition of PSIC to include each person directly owning an applicant or licensee as well as each person who holds an indirect ownership interest of at least 5 percent in an applicant or licensee.

11 Ill. Adm. Code 1800.540 (Application Fees) is amended to conform with provisions in PA 100-1152 and PA 101-0031 that establish a $100 application fee for licensed establishments, licensed truck stop establishments, licensed large truck stop establishments, licensed fraternal establishments or licensed veterans establishments and raise the application fee for terminal handlers from $50 to $100. 

11 Ill. Adm. Code 1800.580 (Renewal Fees and Dates) is amended to raise the renewal fee for terminal handlers from $50 to $100 as provided by PA 100-1152.

A new Subpart R is added, entitled "Implementation of Technology." This subpart gives the Administrator authority to direct and oversee the installation, maintenance or improvement of technology that, in the Administrator's discretion, is needed to implement the provisions of the Video Gaming Act or the Video Gaming (General) Part of the Illinois Administrative Code. An applicant or licensee may be billed directly or be required to reimburse the Board for any expenses, including third-party expenses, associated with the testing, certification, installation, training, review or approval of video gaming-related technology or technological enhancements to a video gaming operation (new Section 1810).

This rule is open for public comment until 10/14/19.  Questions/requests for copies/ comments through 9/30/19 may be directed to Agostino Lorenzini, IGB, 160 N. LaSalle Street, Chicago, IL 60601, fax (312) 814-7253 or email Agostino.Lorenzini@igb.illinois.gov.  You may also click here to submit comments to the Department of Commerce Office of Regulatory Flexibility.

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The Department of Revenue proposed amendments which will impact businesses and individuals who operate vehicles or watercraft on public roads or waterways:       

The DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE proposed amendments to the Part titled Motor Fuel Tax (86 IAC 500; 43 Ill Reg 9345) reflecting two Public Acts. Under PA 101-32, the rulemaking raises the general motor fuel tax from 19 to 38 cents per gallon and the tax on diesel fuel from 21.5 to 45.5 cents per gallon effective 7/1/19; these rates will be increased by the rate of inflation annually beginning 7/1/20. In accordance with PA 100-9, the rulemaking also expands the definition of “motor fuel” to include combustible gases used in motor vehicles and recreational watercraft, including, but not limited to, liquefied petroleum gas/propane (LPG), compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG). For purposes of determining the per gallon tax on combustible gases on and after 7/1/17, a gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) for CNG is defined as 5.66 pounds; the diesel gallon equivalent (DGE) for LPG is 6.41 pounds and for LNG is 6.06 pounds.

Bottom Line:  These rules implement the provisions of PA 100-9, which became effective July 1, 2017. PA 100-9 requires that compressed natural gas (CNG) be sold and taxed at 19 cents per gasoline gallon equivalent. This change was initiated because CNG is not sold by the gallon like gasoline. It is instead sold per GGE, which is the amount of CNG that has the equivalent energy content of a gallon of gasoline. A GGE of CNG is 5.660 pounds of CNG. Similarly, PA 100-9 requires that liquefied natural gas (LNG) and propane be sold and taxed at 19 cents per diesel gallon equivalent (DGE), rather than by the gallon. A DGE of LNG is 6.06 pounds of LNG and a DGE of propane is 6.41 pounds of propane. These changes bring Illinois on track with national trends and with the rules governing the IFTA program (i.e., IFTA Full Track Ballot, #05-2015, requires LNG to be reported on a DGE basis beginning July 1, 2017). The rules also implement the recent motor fuel tax increase imposed by PA 101-32. As part of those changes, PA 101-32 changed taxation of LNG and propane from 19 cents per DGE to 45.5 cents per DGE (the total tax rate established for diesel fuel under subsection 2 (b) of the Motor Fuel Tax Law). Additionally, the rules are amended to fully reflect the statutory definition of “commercial motor vehicle” used in administration of the IFTA program and related penalties.

This rule is open for public comment until 10/21/19.  Questions/requests for copies/ comments through 9/30/19 may be directed to:  Jerilyn Gorden Deputy General Counsel Illinois Department of Revenue Legal Services Office 101 West Jefferson Springfield IL 62794 217/782-2844.  You may also click here to submit comments to the Department of Commerce Office of Regulatory Flexibility.

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The Illinois Gaming Board proposed amendments which will impact independent gaming equipment testing labs and gaming equipment manufacturers:  

The ILLINOIS GAMING BOARD adopted emergency amendments to Video Gaming (General) (11 IAC 1800; 43 Ill Reg 9788) effective 8/19/19, and to Riverboat Gambling (86 IAC 3000; 43 Ill Reg 9801) effective 8/23/19, both for a maximum of 150 days. Identical proposed amendments appear in this week’s Illinois Register at 43 Ill Reg 9312 and 9315, respectively. These amendments implement Public Act 101-31, which requires IGB to license independent testing laboratories and accept test reports from any such laboratory chosen by a gaming machine or gaming equipment manufacturer, whether or not that laboratory has a contract with the State. (Formerly, testing was performed only by laboratories that had entered contracts with IGB via the procurement process.) The rulemaking establishes the application process and criteria for independent testing laboratories to obtain IGB licensure. Laboratories that are accredited and are authorized to perform testing services in a gaming jurisdiction similar to Illinois may be licensed by IGB. A “jurisdiction similar to Illinois” includes any jurisdiction in which video gaming or casino gambling is permitted, or any jurisdiction deemed similar by the IGB Administrator. Those affected by these emergency rules include independent gaming equipment testing labs and gaming equipment manufacturers.

Bottom Line:  This emergency rulemaking implements amendments to the Illinois Gambling Act contained in PA 101- 31, effective June 28, 2019, that change how the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB or Board) obtains independent testing laboratory services. Before the enactment of this legislation, the IGB was required to contract with one or more testing laboratories through the State's procurement process, even though the cost of these services was passed on to the licensees. PA 101-31 provides that upon the finalization of required rules, the IGB "shall license independent testing laboratories and accept the test reports of any independent testing laboratory of the video gaming machines or associated equipment manufacturer's choice, notwithstanding the existence of contracts between the Board and any independent testing laboratory" [230 ILCS 40/15]. The present rulemaking establishes licensing criteria, application procedures and duties of a licensed independent testing laboratory. The rulemaking also authorizes the Administrator of the IGB to create technical standards that the testing laboratories must include in their reports for video game testing.

This rule is open for public comment until 10/21/19.  Questions/requests for copies/ comments through 9/30/19 may be directed to:  Agostino Lorenzini, General Counsel, Illinois Gaming Board, 160 North LaSalle Street, Chicago, IL 60601 fax: 312/814-7253, or email  Agostino.lorenzini@igb.illinois.gov.  You may also click here to submit comments to the Department of Commerce Office of Regulatory Flexibility.

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The Elevator Safety Review Board proposed amendments which will impact businesses with elevators and other regulated conveyances, and municipalities that inspect regulated conveyances:

The ELEVATOR SAFETY REVIEW BOARD proposed an amendment to Illinois Elevator Safety Rules (41 IAC 1000; 43 Ill Reg 9304) incorporating updated editions of nationally recognized elevator safety codes as required by statute. The rulemaking also implements safety testing procedures that require all test activations of initiating devices (e.g., buttons, switches) to be witnessed by an Illinois-licensed elevator inspector. Witnessed tests of initiating devices in the hoistway and machine room must be conducted annually to ensure proper operation of the fireman’s recall system. Witnessed tests of initiating devices on higher floors shall be conducted every two years, with odd numbered floors tested in odd-numbered years and even numbered floors in even numbered years. Buildings on triennial inspection schedules shall have witnessed tests of initiating devices every 3 years.

Bottom Line:  This proposed amendment changes would incorporate nationally recognized technical codes which were recently published and are required by Section 35(a) of the Elevator Safety and Regulation Act ("Act") to be incorporated into the rule promulgated under that Act, [225 ILCS 312/35(a)].

This rule is open for public comment until 10/21/19.  Questions/requests for copies/ comments through 9/30/19 may be directed to:  Nancy Robinson, Legal Division, Office of the State Fire Marshal, 1035 Stevenson Drive, Springfield IL, 62703 217/785-7629 fax: 217/524-5487. You may also click here to submit comments to the Department of Commerce Office of Regulatory Flexibility.