Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker issued a shelter-in-place Executive Order on March 20, 2020, the latest in a series of restrictive statewide actions that he has implemented in the effort to prevent further spread of COVID-19, commonly known as the coronavirus. Governor Pritzker’s Executive Order follows the imposition of statewide restrictions on the size of public gatherings, a suspension for bars and restaurants offering dine-in service, and school closures. It currently extends through April 7, 2020.
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The Illinois Contractor Prompt Payment Act, 815 ILCS 603/1, et seq. (the “Act”) was first enacted in 2007 and designed to safeguard contractors and subcontractors on private projects by providing a mechanism to expedite payments for work performed. The Act applies to all private construction projects in Illinois, except those involving single family residences or multiple family residences with twelve or fewer units in a single building. With the Act, Illinois joined a growing number of states that had enacted similar legislation.

On August 20, 2019, Illinois amended the Act and again joined a growing number of states that are expanding their protections for contractors, this time by restricting the amount of retainage that may be withheld on a construction project. The amendment, codified at 815 ILCS 603/20, imposes a ten percent (10%) cap on the amount of retainage that may be withheld and reduces that cap to five percent (5%) once the project is fifty percent (50%) complete. Specifically, the Act provides:
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