The Illinois Mechanical & Specialty Contractors Association was established in 1967 to provide legislative representation to Illinois subcontractors. IMSCA successfully represents subcontractors by being a part of every aspect of the public policy making process. This includes introducing legislation, testifying in committees, working with the administrative branch, participating in policy making bodies such as the Capitol Development Board, and cultivating relationships with elected officials.
IMSCA successfully led the charge to amend the Contractor Prompt Payment Act to allow retainage to be withheld at a rate of 10% for the first half of a construction project, but has to be reduced to 5% once the project is 50% complete. This law only applies to private, commercial construction projects. Public Act 101-0432 was signed in to law August 20, 2019.
IMSCA has successfully defeated any attempts to increase notification requirements for sub-contractors in the Mechanics Lien Act. We were also successful in bringing about a change to the Act which allowed for an award of attorney's fees for successful lien claimants. In addition, IMSCA worked eight years to pass legislation establishing mechanics liens rights for rental equipment used on construction sites. Most recently, IMSCA successfully passed legislation that increased Mechanic Lien Rights' from three years to five years on commercial projects.
IMSCA led the effort to establish Illinois jurisdiction and mandated the application of Illinois laws in disputes arising from contracts for construction of Illinois real estate. In an effort to ease difficulty for Illinois contractors, IMSCA introduced and passed legislation that resolved the jurisdiction issue in favor of Illinois contractors, providing substantial cost savings and increasing uniformity in decisions involving Illinois construction law.
To promote faster payment of contractors and subcontractors pay requests, IMSCA introduced and passed legislation that required payment within 15 days after invoice approval. It obligated owners to notify contractors within 25 days of receiving a pay request or, it is presumed the invoice is approved and it must be paid within 15 days. For partially approved invoices, only the unapproved portion may be withheld, while the remainder of the invoice must be paid within 15 days. The law contains interest as a penalty for slow pay, and the contractor is permitted to cease work for a violation by the owner.
IMSCA worked with other construction industry groups in drafting and passing legislation that established the Illinois Building Commission.
IMSCA participated in negotiations to assure IMSCA members' interests were recognized in the requirements established in the Green Building Act of 2009.
IMSCA worked with the proponents of legislation that would have allowed unlicensed plumbers to install lawn irrigation systems to require such installers to be licensed under the Illinois Plumbing Code and to require the installation of a back flow prevention device on the system by a licensed plumber.
IMSCA has been successful in defeating attempts to abolish the multiple prime contracting system in Illinois.
IMSCA introduced and passed legislation which provided that the right to sue under the Public Construction Bond Act is in addition to, and independent of any other rights and remedies provided at law or equity and, that a waiver of mechanics lien rights shall not be a waiver of rights under the Public Construction Bond Act unless expressly stated in the waiver.
IMSCA successfully passed legislation requiring the registration of all plumbing contractors in Illinois with the Department of Public Health.
IMSCA worked with other interest groups in securing the repeal of the Structural Work Act. Since that time, we have continued to work successfully in defeating all attempts to re-establish a Structural Work Act in Illinois.
IMSCA introduced legislation that requires an employer to have a substance abuse prevention policy and prohibits use of illegal substances on prevailing wage jobs. During hearings on the bill in the Senate, IMSCA worked in cooperation with the unions to promote modifications to the bill to resolve union reservations. IMSCA was able to successfully negotiate amendments to the bill, passed through both chambers and was signed into law by the Governor.
IMSCA introduced and successfully passed a bill that allows the Department of Public Health to order the disconnection of telephone numbers used in advertisements for unlicensed plumbers
IMSCA has voiced the concerns of contractors that regulated utility companies should not be permitted to unfairly compete against private contractors. We believe IMSCA's efforts in this area caused the Illinois Commerce Commission to scrutinize more carefully the use of ratepayer funds by utilities to compete against private contractors.
IMSCA took the lead in securing the ability of the construction industry to take part in negotiations on Workers Compensation issues. Because of IMSCA's leadership, the construction industry now has a voice, and a seat at the table to participate in all negotiations for changes to Workers Compensation that affect the construction industry.
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