Despite intense lobbying by NFIB and other significant opposition, Governor J.B. Pritzker, on Friday, June 10, signed into law legislation that makes primary contractors financially liable for the payment of wages to the employees of subcontractors. NFIB, Associated Builders and Contractors, Home Builders Association of Illinois, and many other Construction trade associations adamantly requested a VETO of HB5412. However, Governor Pritzker, last Friday, approved both HB 5412 and HB4600.
HB 5412 mandates that prime (or general) contractors are liable for payment of unpaid wages and benefits to employees of subcontractors, even when the prime contractor pays the subcontractor for the work performed by those workers. HB 4600 was a feeble attempt by legislators to address serious and significant concerns of opponents. However, the legislation fell far short of appropriate and requested changes. NFIB participated in coalition opposition, including:
Associated Builders and Contractors
Home Builders Association of Illinois
Illinois Chamber of Commerce
Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
Black Contractor Owners and Executives
Federation of Women Contractors
Hispanic American Construction Industry Association (HACIA)
Chicago and Downstate Roofing Contractors
NFIB is disappointed that the Governor and General Assembly would choose to enact legislation that completely fails to address the actual practice, and enables bad contractors to continue to fail to pay workers. This legislation provides a significant barrier to the growth and expansion of women and minority contractors, who will disproportionately pay higher rates for insurance and surety bonds, as well as limit access to large prime, general contractors. This new law adds hundreds of millions of dollars in annual increased construction costs across Illinois.