Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SB1548
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Full Text of SB1548  103rd General Assembly




State of Illinois
2023 and 2024


Introduced 2/8/2023, by Sen. Jil Tracy


20 ILCS 608/5
20 ILCS 608/7 new
20 ILCS 608/10
20 ILCS 608/15
20 ILCS 608/25 new
20 ILCS 608/30 new

    Amends the Business Assistance and Regulatory Reform Act. Modifies requirements concerning the Office of Business Permits and Regulatory Assistance. Provides that the Office shall implement reforms to improve interagency coordination and encourage expeditious permit issuance. Provides that the Office shall use information technology tools to track project schedules and metrics in order to improve transparency and accountability of the permitting process, reduce uncertainty and delays, and reduce costs and risks to taxpayers. Modifies and adds requirements concerning the expediting of permit reviews. Provides for the creation of an Interagency Permitting Advisory Committee. Provides additional requirements to improve the coordination of permit reviews. Defines terms. Makes other changes.

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SB1548LRB103 27560 DTM 53935 b

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
6Sections 7, 25, and 30 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. Definitions. As used in this Act:
17    "Authorization" means any license, permit, approval,
18finding, determination, or other administrative decision that
19is issued by a State agency and any interagency consultation
20that is required or authorized under State law in order to
21site, construct, reconstruct, or commence operations of a
22covered project administered by a State agency or, in the case



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1of a unit of local government that chooses to participate in
2the environmental review and authorization process in
3accordance with subparagraph (A) of paragraph (3) of
4subsection (c) of Section 30, a local permitting authority.
5    "Committee" means the Interagency Permitting Advisory
6Committee established under Section 25.
7    "Covered project" means any activity in Illinois that
8involves construction of infrastructure for renewable or
9conventional energy production, electricity transmission,
10surface transportation, aviation, ports and waterways, water
11resource projects, broadband, pipelines, or manufacturing and
12that requires authorization or environmental review by a State
13agency, is subject to permitting requirements pursuant to the
14Environmental Protection Act, and is likely to require a total
15investment of more than $20,000,000.
16    "Project sponsor" means an entity, including any private
17entity, public entity, or public-private entity, seeking an
18authorization for a covered project.
19    (20 ILCS 608/10)
20    Sec. 10. Executive Office. There is created an Office of
21Business Permits and Regulatory Assistance (hereinafter
22referred to as "office") within the Department of Commerce and
23Community Affairs (now Department of Commerce and Economic
24Opportunity) which shall (i) consolidate existing programs
25throughout State government, provide assistance to businesses



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1with fewer than 500 employees in meeting State requirements
2for doing business, (ii) consolidate existing programs
3throughout State government, and (iii) perform other functions
4specified in this Act. The office shall implement reforms to
5improve interagency coordination that allow for expeditious
6permitting issuance. The office shall use information
7technology tools to track project schedules and metrics in
8order to improve transparency and accountability in the
9permitting process, reduce uncertainty and delays, and reduce
10costs and risks to taxpayers. The By March 1, 1994, the office
11shall complete and file with the Governor and the General
12Assembly a plan for the implementation of this Act.
13Thereafter, the office shall carry out the provisions of this
14Act, subject to funding through appropriation.
15(Source: P.A. 98-463, eff. 8-16-13.)
16    (20 ILCS 608/15)
17    Sec. 15. Providing Information and Expediting Permit
19    (a) The office shall provide an online information system
20using a website toll-free business assistance number. The
21number shall be advertised throughout the State. Interested
22businesses shall If requested, the caller will be sent a basic
23business kit, describing the basic requirements and procedures
24for doing business in Illinois. If requested, the caller shall
25be directed to one or more of the additional services provided



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1by the office. All persons providing advice to callers on
2behalf of the office and all persons responsible for directly
3providing services to persons visiting the office or one of
4its branches shall be persons with small business experience
5in an administrative or managerial capacity.
6    (b) (Blank).
7    (c) Any applicant for permits required for a business
8activity may confer with the office to obtain assistance in
9the prompt and efficient processing and review of
10applications. The office shall may designate an employee of
11the office to act as a permit assistance manager to:
12        (1) facilitate contacts for the applicant with
13    responsible agencies;
14        (2) arrange conferences to clarify the requirements of
15    interested agencies;
16        (3) consider with State agencies the feasibility of
17    consolidating hearings and data required of the applicant;
18        (4) assist the applicant in resolution of outstanding
19    issues identified by State agencies; and
20        (5) coordinate federal, State and local regulatory
21    procedures and permit review actions to the extent
22    possible.
23    (d) The office shall publish an online a directory of
24State business permits and State programs to assist small
26    (e) The office shall attempt to establish agreements with



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1local governments to allow the office to provide assistance to
2applicants for permits required by these local governments.
3    (f) (Blank). Interested State agencies shall, to the
4maximum extent feasible, establish procedures to expedite
5applications for infrastructure projects. Applications for
6permits for infrastructure projects shall be approved or
7disapproved within 45 days of submission, unless law or
8regulations specify a different period. If the interested
9agency is unable to act within that period, the agency shall
10provide a written notification to the office specifying
11reasons for its inability to act and the date by which approval
12or disapproval shall be determined. The office may require any
13interested State agency to designate an employee who will
14coordinate the handling of permits in that area.
15    (g) In addition to its responsibilities in connection with
16permit assistance, the office shall provide general regulatory
17information by directing businesses to appropriate officers in
18State agencies to supply the information requested.
19    (h) The office shall help businesses to locate and apply
20to training programs available to train current employees in
21particular skills, techniques or areas of knowledge relevant
22to the employees' present or anticipated job duties. In
23pursuit of this objective, the office shall provide businesses
24with pertinent information about training programs offered by
25State agencies, units of local government, public universities
26and colleges, community colleges, and school districts in



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2    (i) The office shall help businesses to locate and apply
3to State programs offering to businesses grants, loans, loan
4or bond guarantees, investment partnerships, technology or
5productivity consultation, or other forms of business
7    (j) To the extent authorized by federal law, the office
8shall assist businesses in ascertaining and complying with the
9requirements of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.
10    (k) The office shall provide confidential on-site
11assistance in identifying problems and solutions in compliance
12with requirements of State and federal environmental
13regulations. The office shall work through and contract with
14the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center to provide
15confidential on-site consultation audits that (i) assist
16regulatory compliance and (ii) identify pollution prevention
18    (k-5) Until July 1, 2012, the office shall provide
19confidential on-site assistance, including, but not limited
20to, consultation audits, to identify problems and solutions
21regarding compliance with the requirements of the federal
22Occupational Safety and Health Administration. On and after
23July 1, 2012, the Department of Labor shall provide
24confidential on-site assistance, including, but not limited
25to, consultation audits, to identify problems and solutions
26regarding compliance with the requirements of the federal



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1Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
2    (l) The office shall provide information on existing loan
3and business assistance programs provided by the State.
4    (m) Each State agency having jurisdiction to approve or
5deny a permit shall have the continuing power heretofore or
6hereafter vested in it to make such determinations. The
7provisions of this Act shall not lessen or reduce such powers
8and shall modify the procedures followed in carrying out such
9powers only to the extent provided in this Act.
10    (n) (1) Each State agency shall fully cooperate with the
11office in providing information, documentation, personnel or
12facilities requested by the office.
13    (2) Each State agency having jurisdiction of any permit to
14which the master application procedure is applicable shall
15designate an employee to act as permit liaison office with the
16office in carrying out the provisions of this Act.
17    (o) (1) The office shall identify, develop, and track
18metrics for timeliness of permit reviews, permit decisions,
19and project outcomes has authority, but is not required, to
20keep and analyze appropriate statistical data regarding the
21number of permits issued by State agencies, the amount of time
22necessary for the permits to be issued, the cost of obtaining
23such permits, the types of projects for which specific permits
24are issued, a geographic distribution of permits, and other
25pertinent data the office deems appropriate.
26    The office shall administer and expand the use of online



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1transparency tools providing:
2        (i) tracking and reporting metrics;
3        (ii) development and posting of schedules for permit
4    reviews and permit decisions;
5        (iii) the sharing of best practices relating to
6    efficient project permitting and reviews; and
7        (iv) the visual display of relevant geospatial data to
8    support the permitting process. make such data and any
9    analysis of the data available to the public.
10    (2) The office shall has authority, but is not required,
11to conduct or cause to be conducted a thorough review of any
12agency's permit requirements and the need by the State to
13require such permits. The office shall draw on the review, on
14its direct experience, and on its statistical analyses to
15prepare recommendations regarding how to:
16        (i) eliminate unnecessary or antiquated permit
17    requirements;
18        (ii) consolidate duplicative or overlapping permit
19    requirements;
20        (iii) simplify overly complex or lengthy application
21    procedures;
22        (iv) expedite time-consuming agency review and
23    approval procedures; or
24        (v) otherwise improve the permitting processes in the
25    State.
26    The office shall submit copies of all recommendations



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1within 5 days of issuance to the affected agency, the
2Governor, the General Assembly, and the Joint Committee on
3Administrative Rules.
4    (p) The office shall has authority to review State forms
5on its own initiative or upon the request of another State
6agency to ascertain the burden, if any, of complying with
7those forms. If the office determines that a form is unduly
8burdensome to business, it may recommend to the agency issuing
9the form either that the form be eliminated or that specific
10changes be made in the form.
11    (q) Not later than March 1 of each year, beginning March 1,
121995, the office shall submit an annual report of its
13activities during the preceding year to the Governor and
14General Assembly. The report shall describe the activities of
15the office during the preceding year and shall contain
16statistical information on the permit assistance activities of
17the office.
18(Source: P.A. 97-787, eff. 7-13-12; 98-346, eff. 8-14-13.)
19    (20 ILCS 608/25 new)
20    Sec. 25. Interagency Permitting Advisory Committee.
21    (a) The Director of each permitting agency shall designate
22a representative of the agency to serve on the committee and
23represent the agency as the agency chief environmental review
24and permitting officer as required by this Act.
25    (b) In addition, the following officials, or their



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1designees, shall serve as ex officio members of the committee:
2        (1) the head of the Office of Business Permits and
3    Regulatory Assistance;
4        (2) the Director of the Environmental Protection
5    Agency;
6        (3) the Secretary of Transportation;
7        (4) the Director of Natural Resources;
8        (5) the Chairman of the Illinois Commerce Commission;
9        (6) the State Fire Marshal; and
10        (7) the Director of Public Health.
11    (20 ILCS 608/30 new)
12    Sec. 30. Permitting process improvement.
13    (a) Project initiation and designation of participating
15        (1) Notice.
16            (A) A project sponsor of a covered project shall
17        submit to the office notice of the initiation of a
18        proposed covered project.
19            (B) Each notice described in subparagraph (A)
20        shall include:
21                (i) a statement of the purposes and objectives
22            of the proposed project;
23                (ii) a concise description, including the
24            general location of the proposed project and a
25            summary of geospatial information, if available,



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1            illustrating the project area and the locations,
2            if any, of environmental, cultural, and historic
3            resources;
4                (iii) a statement regarding the technical and
5            financial ability of the project sponsor to
6            construct the proposed project;
7                (iv) a statement of any financing and
8            authorizations anticipated to be required to
9            complete the proposed project; and
10                (v) an assessment that the proposed project
11            meets the definition of a covered project under
12            Section 7 and a statement of reasons supporting
13            the assessment.
14        (2) Invitation.
15            (A) Not later than 21 calendar days after the date
16        on which the office makes a specific entry for the
17        project on the Permitting Dashboard under paragraph
18        (1) of subsection (b), the office, with input from the
19        agency chief environmental review and permitting
20        officer, shall:
21                (i) identify agencies and governmental
22            entities likely to have financing, environmental
23            review, authorization, or other responsibilities
24            with respect to the proposed project; and
25                (ii) invite all agencies identified under
26            clause (i) to become a cooperating agency, in the



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1            environmental review and authorization management
2            process described in this Section.
3            (B) Each invitation made under subparagraph (A)
4        shall include a 14-calendar-day deadline for a
5        response to be submitted to the office.
6        (3) Cooperating agencies.
7            (A) An agency invited under paragraph (2) shall be
8        designated as a cooperating agency for a covered
9        project, unless the agency informs the office in
10        writing before the deadline under subparagraph (B) of
11        paragraph (2) that the agency:
12                (i) has no jurisdiction or authority with
13            respect to the proposed project; or
14                (ii) does not intend to exercise authority
15            related to, or submit comments on, the proposed
16            project.
17            (B) On request and a showing of changed
18        circumstances, the office may designate an agency that
19        has opted out under subparagraph (A)(ii) of this
20        paragraph (3) of being a cooperating agency.
21        (4) The designation described in paragraph (3) shall
22    not:
23            (A) give the cooperating agency authority or
24        jurisdiction over the covered project; or
25            (B) expand any jurisdiction or authority a
26        cooperating agency may have over the proposed project.



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1    (b) Permitting Dashboard.
2        (1) Requirement to maintain.
3            (A) The office, in coordination with the
4        Department of Innovation and Technology, shall
5        maintain an online database to be known as the
6        "Permitting Dashboard" to track the status of
7        environmental reviews and authorizations for any
8        covered project.
9            (B) If the office determines that the project is
10        not a covered project, the project sponsor may submit
11        a further explanation as to why the project is a
12        covered project not later than 14 days after the date
13        of being notified of the determination.
14            (C) Not later than 14 days after receiving an
15        explanation described in subparagraph (B), the office
16        shall:
17                (i) make a final and conclusive determination
18            as to whether the project is a covered project;
19            and
20                (ii) if the office determines that the project
21            is a covered project, create a specific entry on
22            the Permitting Dashboard for the covered project.
23        (2) Postings by agencies.
24            (A) For each covered project added to the
25        Permitting Dashboard under paragraph (1), the office
26        and each cooperating agency shall post to the



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1        Permitting Dashboard:
2                (i) a hyperlink that directs to a website that
3            contains, to the extent consistent with applicable
4            law:
5                    (I) the notification submitted under
6                paragraph (1) of subsection (a);
7                    (II) where practicable, the applications
8                and supporting documents that have been
9                submitted by a project sponsor for any
10                required environmental review or authorization
11                or a notice explaining how the public may
12                obtain access to such documents;
13                    (III) a description of any agency action
14                taken or decision made that materially affects
15                the status of a covered project;
16                    (IV) any significant document that
17                supports the action or decision described in
18                subclause (III); and
19                    (V) a description of the status of any
20                litigation to which the agency is a party that
21                is directly related to the project, including,
22                if practicable, any judicial document made
23                available on an electronic docket maintained
24                by a federal, State, or local court; and
25                (ii) any document described in clause (i) that
26            is not available by hyperlink on another website.



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1            (B) The information described in subparagraph (A)
2        shall be posted to the website made available by
3        hyperlink on the Permitting Dashboard not later than 5
4        business days after the date on which the agency
5        receives the information.
6        (3) Postings by the office. The office shall publish
7    to the Permitting Dashboard:
8            (A) the permitting timetable established under
9        paragraph (2) of subsection (c);
10            (B) the status of the compliance of each agency
11        with the permitting timetable;
12            (C) any modifications of the permitting timetable;
13            (D) an explanation of each modification described
14        in subparagraph (C); and
15            (E) any memorandum of understanding established
16        under subparagraph (C) of paragraph (3) of subsection
17        (c).
18    (c) Coordination and timetables.
19        (1) Coordinated project plan.
20            (A) Not later than 60 days after the date on which
21        it makes a specific entry for the project on the
22        Permitting Dashboard, the office, in consultation with
23        each agency chief environmental review and permitting
24        officer, shall establish a concise plan for
25        coordinating public and agency participation in, and
26        completion of, any required environmental review and



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1        authorization for the project.
2            (B) The coordinated project plan shall include the
3        following information and be updated by the office, as
4        applicable, at least once per quarter:
5                (i) A list of all entities with environmental
6            review or authorization responsibility for the
7            project and their roles and responsibilities.
8                (ii) A permitting timetable, as described in
9            paragraph (2), setting forth a comprehensive
10            schedule of dates by which all environmental
11            reviews and authorizations and, to the maximum
12            extent practicable, other jurisdictions' permits,
13            reviews, and approvals must be made.
14                (iii) A discussion of potential avoidance,
15            minimization, and mitigation strategies, if
16            required by applicable law and known.
17                (iv) Plans and a schedule for public outreach
18            and coordination, to the extent required by
19            applicable law.
20            (C) The coordinated project plan described in
21        subparagraph (A) may be incorporated into a memorandum
22        of understanding.
23        (2) Permitting timetable.
24            (A) As part of the coordination project plan under
25        paragraph (1), the office, in consultation with each
26        agency chief environmental review and permitting



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1        officer, the project sponsor, and any unit of local
2        government in which the project is located, and,
3        subject to subparagraph (C), with the concurrence of
4        each cooperating agency, shall establish a permitting
5        timetable that includes intermediate and final
6        completion dates for action by each cooperating agency
7        on any environmental review or authorization required
8        for the project. The final completion dates shall be
9        based on relevant historical data but with the aim of
10        completing all required authorizations within 2 years.
11            (B) In establishing the permitting timetable under
12        subparagraph (A), the office may vary the timetable
13        based on relevant factors including:
14                (i) the size and complexity of the covered
15            project;
16                (ii) the resources available to each
17            participating agency;
18                (iii) the regional or national economic
19            significance of the project;
20                (iv) the sensitivity of the natural or
21            historic resources that may be affected by the
22            project;
23                (v) the financing plan for the project; and
24                (vi) the extent to which similar projects in
25            geographic proximity to the project were recently
26            subject to environmental review or similar



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1            procedures under State law.
2            (C) Dispute resolution.
3                (i) The office, in consultation with
4            appropriate agency chief environmental review and
5            permitting officers and the project sponsor,
6            shall, as necessary, mediate any disputes
7            regarding the permitting timetable referred to
8            under subparagraph (A).
9                (ii) If a dispute remains unresolved 30 days
10            after the date on which the dispute was submitted
11            to the office, the Director of the Governor's
12            Office of Management and Budget shall facilitate a
13            resolution of the dispute and direct the agencies
14            that are parties to the dispute to resolve the
15            dispute by the end of the 60-day period beginning
16            on the date of submission of the dispute to the
17            office.
18                (iii) Any action taken by the Director of the
19            Governor's Office of Management and Budget in the
20            resolution of a dispute under clause (ii) shall:
21                    (I) be final and conclusive; and
22                    (II) not be subject to judicial review.
23            (D) Modification after approval.
24                (i) The office may modify a permitting
25            timetable established under subparagraph (A) only
26            if:



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1                    (I) the affected cooperating agencies,
2                after consultation with the project sponsor,
3                agree to a different completion date;
4                    (II) the affected cooperating agency
5                provides a written justification for the
6                modification; and
7                    (III) in the case of a modification that
8                would necessitate an extension of a final
9                completion date under a permitting timetable
10                established under subparagraph (A) to a date
11                more than 30 days after the final completion
12                date originally established under subparagraph
13                (A), the office shall consult with the project
14                sponsor and make a determination on the
15                record, based on consideration of the relevant
16                factors described under subparagraph (B),
17                whether to make such modification.
18                (ii) A completion date in the permitting
19            timetable may not be modified within 30 days after
20            the completion date.
21                (iii) Limitation on length of modifications.
22                    (I) Except as provided in subclause (II),
23                the total length of all modifications to a
24                permitting timetable authorized or made under
25                this subparagraph (D), other than for reasons
26                outside the control of federal, State, local,



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1                or tribal governments, may not extend the
2                permitting timetable for a period of time
3                greater than half of the amount of time from
4                the establishment of the permitting timetable
5                under subparagraph (A) to the last final
6                completion date originally established under
7                subparagraph (A).
8                    (II) The Director of the Governor's Office
9                of Management and Budget, after consultation
10                with the project sponsor, may permit the
11                office to authorize additional extensions of a
12                permitting timetable beyond the limit
13                prescribed by subclause (I). In such a case,
14                the Director of the Governor's Office of
15                Management and Budget shall transmit, not
16                later than 5 days after making a determination
17                to permit an authorization of extension under
18                this subclause (II), a report to the General
19                Assembly explaining why such modification is
20                required. Such report shall explain to the
21                General Assembly with specificity why the
22                original permitting timetable and the
23                modifications authorized by the office failed
24                to be adequate. The office shall transmit to
25                the Director of the Governor's Office of
26                Management and Budget, a supplemental report



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1                on progress toward the final completion date
2                each year thereafter, until the permit review
3                is completed or the project sponsor withdraws
4                its notice or application or other request to
5                which this Section applies.
6                (iv) The following shall not be subject to
7            judicial review:
8                    (I) A determination by the office under
9                subclause (III) of clause (i).
10                    (II) A determination under subclause (II)
11                of clause (iii) by the Director of the
12                Governor's Office of Management and Budget to
13                permit the office to authorize extensions of a
14                permitting timetable.
15            (E) A permitting timetable established under
16        subparagraph (A) shall be consistent with any other
17        relevant time period established under law and shall
18        not prevent any cooperating agency from discharging
19        any obligation under law in connection with the
20        project.
21            (F) Conforming to permitting timetables.
22                (i) Each agency shall conform to the
23            completion dates set forth in the permitting
24            timetable established under subparagraph (A), or
25            with any completion date modified under
26            subparagraph (D).



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1                (ii) If an agency fails to conform with a
2            completion date for agency action on a covered
3            project or is at significant risk of failing to
4            conform with such a completion date, the agency
5            shall:
6                    (I) promptly submit to the office for
7                publication on the Permitting Dashboard an
8                explanation of the specific reasons for
9                failing or significantly risking failing to
10                conform to the completion date and a proposal
11                for an alternative completion date;
12                    (II) in consultation with the office
13                establish, an alternative completion date; and
14                    (III) each month thereafter until the
15                agency has taken final action on the delayed
16                authorization or review, submit to the office
17                for posting on the Permitting Dashboard a
18                status report describing any agency activity
19                related to the project.
20            (G) Abandonment of covered project.
21                (i) If the office has a reasonable basis to
22            doubt the continuing technical or financial
23            ability of the project sponsor to construct the
24            covered project, the office may request the
25            project sponsor provide an updated statement
26            regarding the ability of the project sponsor to



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1            complete the project.
2                (ii) If the project sponsor fails to respond
3            to a request described in clause (i) by the date
4            that is 30 days after receiving the request, the
5            office shall publish an appropriate notice on the
6            Permitting Dashboard.
7                (iii) On publication of a notice under clause
8            (ii), the completion dates in the permitting
9            timetable shall be tolled and agencies shall be
10            relieved of the obligation to comply with
11            subparagraph (F) until the project sponsor submits
12            to the office an updated statement regarding the
13            technical and financial ability of the project
14            sponsor to construct the project.
15        (3) Cooperating local governments.
16            (A) If the environmental review is being
17        implemented within the boundaries of a unit of local
18        government, it may choose to participate in the
19        environmental review and authorization process under
20        this subsection and to make subject to the process all
21        local authorities that:
22                (i) have jurisdiction over the covered
23            project;
24                (ii) are required to conduct or issue a
25            review, analysis, opinion, or statement for the
26            covered project; or



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1                (iii) are required to make a determination on
2            issuing a permit, license, or other approval or
3            decision for the covered project.
4            (B) To the maximum extent practicable under
5        applicable law, the office shall coordinate the
6        environmental review and authorization processes under
7        this subsection (c) with any local authority
8        responsible for conducting any separate review or
9        authorization of the covered project to ensure timely
10        and efficient completion of environmental reviews and
11        authorizations.
12            (C) Any coordination plan between the office and
13        any local authority shall, to the maximum extent
14        practicable, be included in a memorandum of
15        understanding.
16    (d) Early consultation. The office shall provide an
17expeditious process for project sponsors to confer with each
18cooperating agency involved and, not later than 60 days after
19the date on which the project sponsor submits a request under
20this subsection, to have each such agency provide to the
21project sponsor information concerning:
22        (1) the availability of information and tools,
23    including pre-application toolkits, to facilitate early
24    planning efforts;
25        (2) key issues of concern to each agency and to the
26    public; and



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1        (3) issues that must be addressed before an
2    environmental review or authorization can be completed.