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1    AN ACT concerning State government.
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4    Section 5. The Business Assistance and Regulatory Reform
5Act is amended by changing Sections 5, 10, and 15 and by adding
6Section 7 as follows:
7    (20 ILCS 608/5)
8    Sec. 5. Goal. The goal of this Act is to improve the
9State's business climate by making it easier for small and
10mid-size businesses to deal with State requirements for doing
11business. This goal will be achieved through providing quick,
12accurate information on existing requirements, and avoiding
13unnecessary requirements, and expediting permit issuance.
14(Source: P.A. 88-404.)
15    (20 ILCS 608/7 new)
16    Sec. 7. Covered project. As used in this Act, "covered
17project" means any activity in Illinois that: (1) involves the
18construction of infrastructure for renewable or conventional
19energy production, electricity transmission, surface
20transportation, aviation, ports and waterways, water resource
21projects, broadband, pipelines, or manufacturing; (2) requires
22authorization or environmental review by a State agency; and



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1(3) is likely to require a total investment of more than
3    (20 ILCS 608/10)
4    Sec. 10. Executive Office. There is created an Office of
5Business Permits and Regulatory Assistance (hereinafter
6referred to as "office") within the Department of Commerce and
7Community Affairs (now Department of Commerce and Economic
8Opportunity) which shall consolidate existing programs
9throughout State government, provide assistance to businesses
10with fewer than 500 employees in meeting State requirements
11for doing business and perform other functions specified in
12this Act. The office shall implement reforms to improve
13interagency coordination that allow for expeditious permit
14issuance for covered projects. The office shall use
15information technology tools to track schedules for covered
16projects and metrics in order to improve transparency and
17accountability in the permitting process, reduce uncertainty
18and delays, and reduce costs and risks to taxpayers. The By
19March 1, 1994, the office shall complete and file with the
20Governor and the General Assembly a plan for the
21implementation of this Act. Thereafter, the office shall carry
22out the provisions of this Act, subject to funding through
24(Source: P.A. 98-463, eff. 8-16-13.)



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1    (20 ILCS 608/15)
2    Sec. 15. Providing Information and Expediting Permit
4    (a) The office shall provide an online information system
5using a website toll-free business assistance number. The
6number shall be advertised throughout the State. Interested
7businesses shall If requested, the caller will be sent a basic
8business kit, describing the basic requirements and procedures
9for doing business in Illinois. If requested, the caller shall
10be directed to one or more of the additional services provided
11by the office. All persons providing advice to callers on
12behalf of the office and all persons responsible for directly
13providing services to persons visiting the office or one of
14its branches shall be persons with small business experience
15in an administrative or managerial capacity.
16    (b) (Blank).
17    (c) Any applicant for permits required for a business
18activity may confer with the office to obtain assistance in
19the prompt and efficient processing and review of
20applications. The office shall may designate an employee of
21the office to act as a permit assistance manager to:
22        (1) facilitate contacts for the applicant with
23    responsible agencies;
24        (2) arrange conferences to clarify the requirements of
25    interested agencies;
26        (3) consider with State agencies the feasibility of



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1    consolidating hearings and data required of the applicant;
2        (4) assist the applicant in resolution of outstanding
3    issues identified by State agencies; and
4        (5) coordinate federal, State and local regulatory
5    procedures and permit review actions to the extent
6    possible.
7    (d) The office shall publish an online a directory of
8State business permits and State programs to assist small
10    (e) The office shall attempt to establish agreements with
11local governments to allow the office to provide assistance to
12applicants for permits required by these local governments.
13    (f) (Blank). Interested State agencies shall, to the
14maximum extent feasible, establish procedures to expedite
15applications for infrastructure projects. Applications for
16permits for infrastructure projects shall be approved or
17disapproved within 45 days of submission, unless law or
18regulations specify a different period. If the interested
19agency is unable to act within that period, the agency shall
20provide a written notification to the office specifying
21reasons for its inability to act and the date by which approval
22or disapproval shall be determined. The office may require any
23interested State agency to designate an employee who will
24coordinate the handling of permits in that area.
25    (g) In addition to its responsibilities in connection with
26permit assistance, the office shall provide general regulatory



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1information by directing businesses to appropriate officers in
2State agencies to supply the information requested.
3    (h) The office shall help businesses to locate and apply
4to training programs available to train current employees in
5particular skills, techniques or areas of knowledge relevant
6to the employees' present or anticipated job duties. In
7pursuit of this objective, the office shall provide businesses
8with pertinent information about training programs offered by
9State agencies, units of local government, public universities
10and colleges, community colleges, and school districts in
12    (i) The office shall help businesses to locate and apply
13to State programs offering to businesses grants, loans, loan
14or bond guarantees, investment partnerships, technology or
15productivity consultation, or other forms of business
17    (j) To the extent authorized by federal law, the office
18shall assist businesses in ascertaining and complying with the
19requirements of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.
20    (k) The office shall provide confidential on-site
21assistance in identifying problems and solutions in compliance
22with requirements of State and federal environmental
23regulations. The office shall work through and contract with
24the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center to provide
25confidential on-site consultation audits that (i) assist
26regulatory compliance and (ii) identify pollution prevention



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2    (k-5) Until July 1, 2012, the office shall provide
3confidential on-site assistance, including, but not limited
4to, consultation audits, to identify problems and solutions
5regarding compliance with the requirements of the federal
6Occupational Safety and Health Administration. On and after
7July 1, 2012, the Department of Labor shall provide
8confidential on-site assistance, including, but not limited
9to, consultation audits, to identify problems and solutions
10regarding compliance with the requirements of the federal
11Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
12    (l) The office shall provide information on existing loan
13and business assistance programs provided by the State.
14    (m) Each State agency having jurisdiction to approve or
15deny a permit shall have the continuing power heretofore or
16hereafter vested in it to make such determinations. The
17provisions of this Act shall not lessen or reduce such powers
18and shall modify the procedures followed in carrying out such
19powers only to the extent provided in this Act.
20    (n) (1) Each State agency shall fully cooperate with the
21office in providing information, documentation, personnel or
22facilities requested by the office.
23    (2) Each State agency having jurisdiction of any permit to
24which the master application procedure is applicable shall
25designate an employee to act as permit liaison office with the
26office in carrying out the provisions of this Act.



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1    (o) (1) The office shall identify, develop, and track
2metrics for the timeline of permit reviews, permit decisions,
3and project outcomes for covered projects has authority, but
4is not required, to keep and analyze appropriate statistical
5data regarding the number of permits issued by State agencies,
6the amount of time necessary for the permits to be issued, the
7cost of obtaining such permits, the types of projects for
8which specific permits are issued, a geographic distribution
9of permits, and other pertinent data the office deems
11    The office shall administer and expand the use of online
12transparency tools providing:
13        (i) tracking and reporting metrics;
14        (ii) development and posting of schedules for permit
15    reviews and permit decisions;
16        (iii) the sharing of best practices relating to
17    efficient project permitting and reviews; and
18        (iv) the visual display of relevant geospatial data to
19    support the permitting process. make such data and any
20    analysis of the data available to the public.
21    (2) The office shall has authority, but is not required,
22to conduct or cause to be conducted a thorough review of any
23agency's permit requirements and the need by the State to
24require such permits. The office shall draw on the review, on
25its direct experience, and on its statistical analyses to
26prepare recommendations regarding how to:



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1        (i) eliminate unnecessary or antiquated permit
2    requirements;
3        (ii) consolidate duplicative or overlapping permit
4    requirements;
5        (iii) simplify overly complex or lengthy application
6    procedures;
7        (iv) expedite time-consuming agency review and
8    approval procedures; or
9        (v) otherwise improve the permitting processes in the
10    State.
11    The office shall submit copies of all recommendations
12within 5 days of issuance to the affected agency, the
13Governor, the General Assembly, and the Joint Committee on
14Administrative Rules.
15    (p) The office shall has authority to review State forms
16on its own initiative or upon the request of another State
17agency to ascertain the burden, if any, of complying with
18those forms. If the office determines that a form is unduly
19burdensome to business, it may recommend to the agency issuing
20the form either that the form be eliminated or that specific
21changes be made in the form.
22    (q) Not later than March 1 of each year, beginning March 1,
231995, the office shall submit an annual report of its
24activities during the preceding year to the Governor and
25General Assembly. The report shall describe the activities of
26the office during the preceding year and shall contain



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1statistical information on the permit assistance activities of
2the office.
3(Source: P.A. 97-787, eff. 7-13-12; 98-346, eff. 8-14-13.)