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 Illinois Emergency Management Agency proposed amendments which will impact Small businesses if they possess chemical substances and are required to complete a chemical safety contingency plan pursuant to the Illinois Chemical Safety Act:     

The Department of Natural Resources proposed amendments to the Part titled The Illinois Oil and Gas Act (62 IAC 240; 43 Ill Reg 6113) implementing Public Act 100- 1172. A nearly identical emergency rule (43 Ill Reg 4650) was adopted effective 4/4/19 for a maximum of 150 days and a public hearing on the proposed rule has been scheduled. The proposed rulemaking defines a “natural gas incident” as any release of gas from an underground storage facility that results in loss of at least 3 million cubic feet of gas, or that releases at least 500,000 cubic feet of gas and occurs within ¼ mile of an inhabited dwelling; results in death or personal injury requiring hospitalization; causes property damage in excess of $10,000; or causes emergency shutdown of an underground natural gas storage facility. Such incidents must be reported to DNR within 24 hours and all residents or businesses within 1 ½ miles of the incident must be notified as soon as practically possible. Any gas release of more than 500,000 cubic feet must be reported by the 10th day of the following month and records of these releases must be kept for the life of the facility. Operators of underground gas storage facilities must include in the maps they submit annually to DNR every gas storage field under their control, with the top and bottom depths of the applicable lease or storage rights agreement and any known geological faults in the storage area. Gas storage operators must include in their applications for a well drilling permit an e-mail address to which notices of probable violations may be delivered. A permit will be denied to any applicant that has failed to abate a previous violation of the Act, is delinquent in payment of annual well fees, or if State funds have been expended to plug one or more abandoned wells owned by the applicant and have not been reimbursed from the DNR Plugging and Restoration Fund.  A permit will also be denied if any officer, director, agent, or other person with an ownership interest of more than 5% in the applicant entity had a similar stake in another entity that met those criteria. Gas operators must file inspection and maintenance plans for underground storage facilities on an annual basis; DNR will determine if the plan is adequate and require revisions if the plan is not adequate (a determination that a plan is not adequate may be contested at an administrative hearing). DNR may request action by the Attorney General against an entity whose violations create a “substantial and imminent danger” to public health or safety, threaten to contaminate surface or ground water supplies, or have a history of improper disposal, releases or discharges within the previous 2 years. DNR may also order immediate cessation of operations if an operator’s actions threaten public health and safety, create an immediate threat of significant environmental harm or damage to property, or if the operator has failed to meet other requirements (e.g., payment of annual well fees). DNR shall conduct annual inspections of all gas storage fields lying within the footprint of an aquifer that serves as the sole or primary source of drinking water in an area and will assess an annual inspection fee upon affected permit holders. Fees collected will be deposited into DNR’s Underground Resources Conservation Enforcement Fund. Permittees may contest the amount of their annual fees by submitting a written objection within 30 days after receiving their assessment. Fees not paid within 90 days after assessment are considered delinquent; permittees with delinquent fees will be barred from operating or transferring wells until all fees and penalties are paid. Other provisions address determination of civil penalties; compromise agreements that reduce or eliminate civil penalties; enforcement hearings; cessation orders and temporary relief hearings; and waivers.

Bottom Line:  Businesses must provide their chemical safety contingency plan and all updates to local
emergency management agencies, local emergency planning committees and local response agencies and coordinate with those agencies in regard to the emergency operations plan. This rule is open for public comment until 7/22/19.  Questions/requests for copies/ comments through 7/22/19 may be directed to Traci Burton, Paralegal Assistant, IEMA, 1035 Outer Park Drive, Springfield, IL 62704, 217.785.9860 or email Traci.Burton@Illinois.gov. The Department of Commerce would also like to know how this rule will impact your business.  You may click here to submit comments to the Department of Commerce, Office of Regulatory Flexibility.

 

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The Department of Human Services proposed amendments which will impact child care providers participating in CCAP (Child Care Assistance Program):
 

The DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES proposed amendments to Child Care (89 IAC 50; 43 Ill Reg 7361) implementing a tiered income eligibility scale for new and continuing enrollees in the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) along with annual fiscal year updates to copayment scales. The rulemaking
establishes a gross income threshold of 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (e.g., $4,292/month for a family of 4) for new applicants and 225% FPL (e.g., $4,829/mo. for a 4-person family) for existing clients whose eligibility is being redetermined. Families whose income upon redetermination exceeds 225% FPL but does not exceed 85% of the State Median Income (SMI; currently, for a family of 4, the 85% level is $6,333/mo.) may remain eligible for CCAP for no more than 90 days, after which they must reenroll and meet the 200% FPL threshold to qualify. Families whose income exceeds 85% of SMI will be terminated from the program within 10 calendar days. The rulemaking also implements federal regulations clarifying that children who turn 13 years old (19 for children with special needs) remain eligible for CCAP for the remainder of the eligibility period, instead of only through the end of their birthday month. Finally, the rulemaking stipulates that a client’s grade point average for an educational program may fall below a “C”, or below 2.0 or 2.5 on a 4.0 scale, for no more than one eligibility period (currently, one semester) in order to maintain satisfactory progress toward a diploma, certificate or degree.

Bottom Line:  To comply with federal regulation, 45 CFR 98, this rulemaking allows children who turn age 13 (19 for children under court order or with special needs) during an approved eligibility period to remain in the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) through the entire eligibility period, instead of only through the month that their birthday falls.  This rulemaking also provides a 3-tier income eligibility structure that sets initial application income levels at 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), 225% of FPL for existing cases that are having their eligibility redetermined, and a 3-month graduated phase-out period for families whose income fall between 225% FL and 85% of the State Medium Income (SMI).  In addition, this rulemaking adjusts the amounts of the maximum monthly income and the parent co-payment fee for CCAP.  Finally, this rulemaking extends the GPA grace period for clients in educational activities from one semester to one Child Care Assistance Program eligibility period. 

This rule is open for public comment until 8/19/19.  Questions/requests for copies/ comments through 8/19/19 may be directed to Tracie Drew, Chief, Bureau of Administrative Rules and Procedures, Department of Human Services, 100 South Grand Avenue East, Harris Building, 3rd Floor, Springfield, IL 62672, or call (217) 785-9772. You may click here to submit comments to the Department of Commerce, Office of Regulatory Flexibility.

 

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The Department of Agriculture proposed amendments which will impact small businesses that custom slaughter or process meat:

The DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE proposed amendments to the Part titled Meat and Poultry Inspection Act (8 IAC 125; 43 Ill Reg 7323) implementing Public Act 100-1185. The rulemaking establishes the process by which Type I custom exempt establishments (those that slaughter or prepare meat or meat products for specific customers, in place of or in addition to preparing meat for general retail sale) may request the custom exemption on an annual basis. Animals intended for custom exemption slaughter must be segregated for those intended for inspected slaughter. Portions of a cattle carcass that
may carry bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease) cannot be used in any custom meat product.   All custom exemption products must be completely physically separated from inspected products throughout the production process and clearly stamped as “Not For Sale – Not Inspected”.  Records of each custom slaughtered animal and of meat processing procedures (e.g., smoking or curing) must be kept for at least 2 years and made available upon request to inspection personnel. All exemption approvals expire annually on December 31. Type I establishments that have an existing custom exemption and wish to slaughter, receive or process uninspected meat outside of approved hours may do so if they notify DOA after each occurrence.  

Bottom Line:  The proposed amendments complete the Department’s responsibilities to establish new rules as required by PA 100-1185.  This act modifies the inspection requirements for Type 1 licensees by creating a custom exemption process.  A custom exempt licensee is a Type 1 licensee that has provided the Director with notice of intent to use a custom exemption and received approval from the Director.  Type 1 licensees working under a custom exemption may not need to get certain products inspected by Department inspectors. 

This rule is open for public comment until 8/19/19.  Questions/requests for copies/ comments through 8/19/19 may be directed to Albert Coll, Illinois Department of Agriculture, State Fairgrounds, PO Box 19281, Springfield, IL 62794-9281, or call (217) 524-6905.  You may 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 law firms or small businesses involved in DOR administrative hearings:

The Department of Revenue proposed amendments to Practice and Procedure for Hearings Before the Illinois Department of Revenue (86 IAC 200; 43 Ill Reg 7379) updating various notices and hearing procedures. Notices, orders, and office dispositions may be served by e-mail if the involved parties agree to such service. A Director’s decision or an administrative law judge’s recommendation that is approved by the Director can be delivered by personal service or regular U.S. mail (currently, registered or certified U.S. mail) if the decision or recommendation is completely in the taxpayer’s favor. Decisions or recommendations not completely favorable to the taxpayer must still be delivered in person or by registered or certified mail. Copies of decisions/recommendations may be sent by e-mail but will not
be considered official for administrative review purposes. Other amendments address late discretionary hearings (held after a final assessment or Notice of Tax Liability has been issued) concerning amounts large enough to qualify for review by the Illinois Independent Tax Tribunal; clarify that property tax exemption decisions for hearings that are open to the public will not be redacted to remove taxpayer
identifying information when the decisions are posted on DOR’s website (since this information is already public record); and remove obsolete provisions for providing electronic documents via floppy disk.

Bottom Line:  Section 200.115 is amended to allow service of notices or orders by email per agreement
of the parties and allows the Department to require an attorney to provide an email address and accept notices and orders by email. It also describes how any acknowledgement of an email will serve as confirmation that all subsequent emails sent to that address have been delivered. If the email fails or is undeliverable, the notice or order will be sent by mail or in any other manner as provided in Illinois Supreme Court Rule 11. The rule also provides that proof of service shall be established in accordance
with Subsection (b) of Illinois Supreme Court Rule 12.  Section 200.162 is amended to allow office dispositions (case closings that are the result of a party's withdrawal or a settlement and not Department decisions or defaults) to be sent by U.S. mail or by email as provided in Section 200.115. Section 200.170 is amended to allow an administrative law judge's recommendation that is approved by the Director or a Director’s Decision to be served by personal service or by U.S. Mail (not registered or certified mail) if the decision is completely in the taxpayer's favor. An administrative law judge's recommendation that is approved by the Director or a Director's Decision that is not completely favorable to a taxpayer will
continue to be served by personal service or registered or certified mail. The amendment also allows the Department to send a copy of that decision by email, but that copy will not be considered the Department's final decision for administrative review purposes, only the copy served by personal service or registered or certified mail will be considered the Department's final decision for administrative review purposes. 

Section 200.175 is amended to describe how late discretionary hearings requests are handled for liabilities that fall within the jurisdiction of the Illinois Independent Tax Tribunal.  Section 200.225 is amended to provide that the Department does not redact property tax recommendations for publishing on the Department's website since those hearings are open to the public and removes obsolete language about providing electronic copies of hearing decisions on a floppy disk.

This rule is open for public comment until 8/19/19.  Questions/requests for copies/ comments through 8/19/19 may be directed to Terry D. Charlton, Illinois Department of Revenue, Administrative Hearings, 101 West Jefferson, Springfield, IL 62794, or call (217) 782-6995. You may click here to submit comments to the Department of Commerce, Office of Regulatory Flexibility.

        

The Department of Human Services proposed amendments which will impact businesses that provide child care services:  

The DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES adopted emergency amendments to Child Care (89
IAC 50; 43 Ill Reg 7632), effective 7/1/19 for a maximum of 150 days. Identical proposed amendments appear in this week’s Illinois Register at 43 Ill Reg 7594. The emergency and proposed rulemakings
implement a tiered income eligibility scale for new and continuing enrollees in the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) along with annual updates to copayment scales. The rulemaking establishes a gross income limit of 185% of the Federal Poverty Level (e.g., $3,970/month for a family of 4) for new applicants
and 200% FPL (e.g., $4,292/mo. for a 4-person family) for existing clients whose eligibility is being
redetermined. Families whose income upon redetermination exceeds 200% FPL but does not exceed 85% of the State Median Income (SMI; currently, for a family of 4, the 85% level is $6,333/mo.) may remain eligible for CCAP for no more than 90 days, after which they must reenroll as new applicants and
meet the 200% FPL threshold to qualify. Families whose income exceeds 85% of SMI will be terminated from the program within 10 calendar days. Monthly co-payments are also updated to be no more than 9% of the corresponding family income. (Note: A proposed rulemaking that appeared in last week’s Register implements higher income eligibility limits of 200% FPL for new applicants and 225% FPL for existing clients at redetermination. DHS indicates that it will adopt the higher income limits in that rulemaking if its budget permits.) Child care providers are affected by this emergency rule. 

Bottom Line:  Pursuant to provisions of 305 ILCS 5/9A-11, this rulemaking indexes the child care income eligibility guidelines so that the threshold for child care benefits is no less than 185% of the most current
federal poverty level for each family size effective July 1, 2019. Income ranges up to 200% FPL are included due to bifurcated income eligibility thresholds for new cases (185% FPL) and a higher level (200% FPL) for existing cases that are being redetermined for their next eligibility period. Income ranges for 85% of State Median Income (SMI) are also included as federal regulations sets that level as the uppermost income that would be eligible for federal funds. This rulemaking also adjusts the amount of the parent copayment fee to no more than 9% of a family's income for the Child Care Assistance Program.

This rule is open for public comment until 8/26/19.  Questions/requests for copies/ comments through 8/26/19 may be directed to Tracie Drew, Chief, Bureau of Administrative Rules and Procedures, Department of Human Services, 100 South Grand Avenue East, Harris Building, 3rd Floor, Springfield, IL 62672, or call (217) 785-9772. You may click here to submit comments to the Department of Commerce, Office of Regulatory Flexibility.

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