This Week’s Chamber News

August 21st, 2017
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August 21, 2017
In This Issue

 

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95.9 The River
Above Board Indoor Environmental
Accurate Personnel
Advance Auto Parts
Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Aurora Bank & Trust
Aurora University
Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston
Caterpillar, Inc.
City Segment
ComEd
Company 251
Copy King Office Solutions, Inc.
CyrusOne
Do or Dye Designs
Dolan & Murphy
Downtown Auroran Magazine
Eagle Digital Marketing
Endiro Coffee
First Secure Community Bank
Ice Miller LLP
Kluber Architects & Engineers
Konen Insurance Agency, Inc.
Magnetrol International, Inc.
Meyer Wealth Advisors
Mitutoyo America Corporation
Mooney & Thomas P.C.
Old Second National Bank
OnLight Aurora
Painters District Council 30
Paramount Arts Centre
Pilmer Real Estate
Pipe Fitters Local 597
Plum Landing Retirement Community
Presence Mercy Medical Center
R.C. Wegman Construction Company
Rasmussen College
Rich Harvest Farms
Rush-Copley Medical Center
S&S Metal Recyclers II
ServPro of Aurora
Sign*A*Rama
SmithAmundsen, LLC
Steffes & Associates Language and Translation (SALT)
Two Brothers Roundhouse
Valley Fastener Group, LLC
The Voice
Waubonsee Community College
Weldstar Company
WSPY

Welcome New Members

Rationall Food Rescue
Joseph Izzo
(331) 305-3960
Community-Based Organization

Tritan Plumbing
Mickey Owano
10051 Bode Street, Plainfield
(815) 630-1024
Plumbing

Chicago Steel Hockey Team
Kyle Kreger
1996 S. Kirk Road, Geneva
(855) 51-STEEL
Entertainment

Thermamax, Inc.
Dirk Balthasar
1207 Bilter Road, Aurora
(630) 340-5682
Manufacturers

TriCity Family Services
Miranda Barfuss
1120 Randall Court, Geneva
(630) 256-3180
Community-Based Organization

 

Contact Us

Mail: 43 W. Galena Blvd.
Aurora, Illinois 60506
Phone: (630) 256-3180
Fax: (630) 256-3189
www.aurorachamber.com

 

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Behind the Scenes at the Chamber
Behind the Scenes

Last Friday, Endiro Coffee and the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce welcomed Gov. Bruce Rauner to Aurora to discuss job creation, workforce development, and education funding. Following the meeting, the Governor visited Aurora University to sign the extension of the River Edge Redevelopment Zone tax credit through 2021. SB 1783 was sponsored by Sens. Linda Holmes, Karen McConnaughay, and Dave Syverson as well as State Reps. Linda Chapa LaVia, Stephanie Kifowit, Mike Fortner, Keith Wheeler, and Steve Andersson. Reps. Kifowit, Wheeler, and Andersson joined the Governor at the signing.

If you would like to know more about any of these activities – or more of what we are working on to support our business members, please reach out and let us know: jhenning@aurorachamber.com or (630) 256-3180.

Have a great week.

 

What You Need to Know: Healthcare Reform
Healthcare Reform

Premier Members
Premier Members
Calendar of Events
WYNTK Current AHCA Legislation
Tuesday, August 29, 8:00 – 9:30 a.m.
Aurora Chamber offices, 43 W Galena Blvd, Aurora
Please pre-register

Fox Valley Networking Professionals
Thursday, August 31, 8:00 – 9:30 a.m.
Pomegranate Restaurant, 55 S. Commons Dr.
Sponsorships Available

Grand Re-Opening: Sharp Business Systems
Wednesday, Sept. 6, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
1815 S. Meyers Road, Ste. 100, Oakbrook Terrace
Ribbon Cutting @ 11:30 a.m.

Grand Opening: Java Plus
Thursday, Sept. 7, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
1677 Montgomery Rd, Ste. 106, Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 11:30 a.m.

Grand Opening: 500 Station Blvd.
Wednesday, Sept. 14, 4 – 8 p.m.
675 Station Blvd., Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 4:30 p.m.

2017 Wellness Works Conference
Friday, Sept. 15, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Prisco Community Center, Aurora

Grand Opening: Garage 31
Monday, Sept. 18, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
102 S. Lincolnway, North Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 11:30 a.m.

Coffee & Connections
Tuesday, Sept. 19, 8:30 – 10:15 a.m.
Painters District Council #30, 1905 Sequoia Drive, Aurora

35th Anniversary: Lindstrom Chiropractic
Wednesday, Sept. 20, 3:30 – 7 p.m.
1965 W, Downer Pl., Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 4 p.m.

Grand Opening: Huntington Bank
Thursday, Sept. 21, 8 – 10 a.m.
2430 W. Indian Trail Rd., Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 8:30 a.m.

5th Anniversary: McLaughlin & Associates
Thursday, Sept. 28, 3:30 – 7:00 p.m.
495 N. Commons Dr. Ste. 103, Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 4:15 p.m.

Fox Valley Networking Professionals
Thursday, Sept. 28, 8 – 9:30 a.m.
Pomegranate Restaurant, 55 S. Commons Dr., Aurora Sponsorships Available

Public Policy Update
For the latest in public policy news, be sure and like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Visit the Chamber blog:

Three More Lawmakers Announce Retirement

Revised EDGE Credit Bill Heads to Gov’s Desk

This Week in Springfield

Ill. Local Government Consolidation

Fight to Control $13.5 Billion Medicaid Program

Ill. Budget

Ill. Chamber: This Week in Springfield

Ill. Chamber: This Week in Springfield

General Assembly: Special Session Report

Statement in Response to 2017 State Budget Passage

Member News
If you have news to share with your fellow members, please forward to info@aurorachamber.com. Be sure and check out our blog and social media for what’s happening in our region.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month Theme Announced: ‘Inclusion Drives Innovation’

Park Renovations Coming to Meadow Lake; New Park at Randall Highlands

Thermamax, Inc. Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Don’t Take the Bait: Watch Out for the W-2 Email Scam

How to Transition to ISO 9001:2015

Cloud 9 Infosystems Named Microsoft Partner of the Year

WYNTK: Common Uses, Scenarios of the Cloud

Engineering Enterprises Announces New Staff Member

City Announces Grants for Local Non-Profits

Aurora Retailers Rank First in Mall, Apparel Sales

Registration Opens: Wellness Works Conference Sept 15

Presence Announces ‘Take Charge of Your Health’ Workshop

Aurora Library to Welcome Author Elizabeth Berg

Registration for Park District Fall Programs Begins Aug. 5

Aurora’s St. Charles Senior Living Center Earns Top Statewide Preservation Award

Countdown to the Launch of National Health Center Week 2017 Begins

Bernabei Gillan Joins Old Second

Lane Closures at Broadway and Galena Begin Monday

Mandatory Pre-Application Block Grant Meeting Set for Sept. 8

Realtors Rank Aurora as Top City in the Nation for Affordable Homes, Best Schools

Aurora, Naperville Receive $1.3 Million to Collaborate on Terrorism Training

Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce | 43 W. Galena Blvd. Aurora, Illinois 60506
Phone: (630) 256-3180 Fax: (630) 256-3189 | www.aurorachamber.com
This email was sent by Bee Atomic on behalf of Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Three More Lawmakers Announce Retirement

August 19th, 2017

This week saw yet another group of lawmakers announcing their intentions to not run for re-election.  Democratic State Senator Bill Haine, who has been undergoing cancer treatment this spring announced his intentions to not seek re-election. Haine has served in the Senate since 2002.  He also served as a great business ally in the Senate Democratic Caucus, sponsoring the Chamber’s successful Safe Roads Amendment in the Senate.

Also announcing their intentions not to run again this week from the House Republicans include Representatives Steve Andersson and Sara Wojicki-Jimenez.

Adding to the list of House Republicans not seeking re-election include Representatives Mike Fortner (not seeking re-election), Patti Bellock, Bob Pritchard (not seeking re-election), Bill Mitchell (not seeking re-election), Chad Hays (not seeking re-election), and Barb Wheeler (not seeking re-election).  Senate Republicans include Senators Christine Radogno (resigned), Tim Bivins (not seeking re-election) and Kyle McCarter (self imposed term limits).  House Democrats include Representatives Emily McAsey (resigned), Scott Drury (running for Governor), Cynthia Soto (running for another office), Laura Fine (running for state Senate), and Elaine Nektriz (not seeking re-election).  And lastly, Senator Daniel Biss will be leaving the Senate Democrats to run for governor.

Revised EDGE Credit Bill Heads to Gov’s Desk

August 19th, 2017

On Sunday, the Senate also took up action on the Chamber-backed revised EDGE credit program.   HB 162 would reinstate the state’s main job creation incentive program, EDGE, for five years. In addition, it would make several changes to enhance the program including providing credits for training new employees and for investing in underserved areas of the state.

The legislation also makes changes concerning the capital investment and employment requirements for credits under the Act. These changes may provide for a greater level of participation by small and mid-sized businesses – something the previous version of EDGE did not have.

The bill also provides for greater accountability by strengthening the claw-back provision by specifying that if a taxpayer ceases principal operations with the intent to shut down a project permanently during the term of the agreement, then the credit amount is to be returned to the state and be reallocated to the local workforce investment area in which the project was located.

We are glad to see bipartisan support from lawmakers on HB 162, especially in a time at the Capitol where there is widespread debate over many complex issues. The legislation serves as a vital economic tool to propel Illinois’ business climate on a pathway to success.

This Week in Springfield

August 19th, 2017

The Illinois House and Senate were both in this week.  The Senate came into town on Sunday and took up a motion to override the governor’s amendatory veto on SB 1, the school funding reform bill.  The motion to override in the Senate passed favorably with Republican Senator Sam McCann joining with every Senate Democrat  in favor of the override.

The House returned to town on Wednesday (Governor’s Day at the State Fair) to take up its action (or lack thereof) on SB 1.  However, there currently remains an insufficient amount of votes required to override the governor in the House. A House vote on SB 1 has been scheduled for Aug. 23.  The House has until August 29 to override the governor’s veto.  House Speaker Michael Madigan held a press conference on Wednesday where he said he “would not abandon SB 1.”  If they do not meet the August 29th deadline of overriding the governor, then SB 1 is officially dead.  In that event, HB 3163, will become the new vehicle for education funding reform.

Aug. 21: Solar Eclipse

August 19th, 2017

Path of total solar eclipse will cross southern Illinois. In the rare phenomenon, the new moon will completely cover the daylight Sun. Parts of fourteen states will see the sun disappear briefly, but Southern Illinois University astronomers predict that the sun will be hidden longer (2 minutes and 41.6 seconds) over southern Illinois than in any other state. The nationwide championship spot to see the eclipse (weather permitting) will be a location just south of Carbondale, Illinois. Other Illinois towns and county seats where the sun will be dark include Chester and Marion. The Illinois eclipse will take place between 1:18 p.m. and 1:24 p.m., depending on the viewer’s location.

This will be the first solar eclipse visible in the 48 contiguous United States since 1979. This could lead to traffic jams and other challenges in the “path of totality,” and law enforcement will be stepping up their presence in affected Illinois areas.

Ill. Local Government Consolidation

August 19th, 2017

Governor signs local government consolidation bills. On Monday, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed Senate Bill 3 and House Bill 607, two bills that enable local officials to consolidate units of local government.

The bills, which reflect five of the 27 recommendations made by Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti’s Task Force on Local Government Consolidation and Unfunded Mandates, had bipartisan support. They empower local officials to begin reducing the nearly 7,000 local units of government in Illinois – 1,800 more than any other state. The exorbitantly high number of local governmental agencies puts an enormous burden on taxpayers, who primarily pay for these local governments via property taxes.

“People are fleeing our state in droves. Our property taxes are crushing the people of Illinois, and we’ve got to start making reforms so people can afford to stay here,” Gov. Rauner said. “Part of reforming and turning around Illinois includes empowering local communities. By signing these bills, local governments will be able to control their futures and tax dollars more efficiently. However, a key component to empowering local communities is missing from these bills. Neither one includes real taxpayer empowerment. While today is a step in the right direction, we must continue to fight to give every resident the right to choose how their local government operates.”

Since 2015, Lt. Gov. Sanguinetti has spearheaded a task force charged with identifying opportunities to streamline government in Illinois and, ultimately, reduce costs to taxpayers. In the report detailing the task force’s findings, Lt. Gov. Sanguinetti recommended giving local officials and residents the power to consolidate local government agencies.

“These bills provide a starting point for minimizing the massive amount of unnecessary government in the local communities of our state, but these bills don’t do enough to bring real change to the people of Illinois,” Lt. Gov. Sanguinetti said. “Where I live in Wheaton, I am represented by 16 units of local government. That’s a lot of hands in the pockets of our taxpayers. In Illinois, we are forced to pay the highest property taxes in the nation. We need to put the power to consolidate back at the local level and in the hands of the people.”

Specifically, SB 3 expands DuPage County’s consolidation pilot program to all 102 counties of Illinois, giving each the authority to dissolve or consolidate some government units whose boards are appointed by the county. It also will allow townships in the state to consolidate with coterminous municipalities via referendum.

HB 607 amends the Illinois Highway Code and allows the board of trustees of any township located in a county with less than 3 million inhabitants to submit a proposition during a general or consolidated election to abolish the road district in their county, a power already extended to townships in Cook County.

Fight to Control $13.5 Billion Medicaid Program

August 19th, 2017

House Republicans, Gov. Rauner fight to control $13.5 billion Medicaid program; Democrats seek to oppose controls. Under the federal Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”), Medicaid covers the healthcare expenses of a swelling number of Illinois residents. One estimate says that Illinois may have as many as 4.5 million Medicaid patients by 2019. Swelling patient numbers are one reason why this program’s annual costs have now entered eleven figure sums.

Exercising his administrative-rule powers, Gov. Rauner and his administration are taking steps to reduce ballooning Medicaid costs. The administration’s primary target at this time is to complete the transition of many Medicaid patients from a fee-for-service model to the managed-care model already used by most private-sector insurance programs. The Rauner administration has already named six managed-care organizations (MCOs) as finalists for the future process of administering Medicaid benefits to recipients. The administration’s goal is to reduce the amounts of money spent by Illinois Medicaid on administrative costs and burdens not directly related to hands-on patient care.

House and Senate Democrats in the General Assembly, who are increasingly oriented towards all-out war with the Rauner Administration, are trying to block this managed-care reorganization. They have used their partisan-majority powers to send legislation to the Governor, which Rauner is expected to veto, that would repeal his ability to use streamlined means to move Medicaid care to a managed-care model. It would threaten the process of trying to bring this $13.5 billion-a-year budget item under taxpayer-friendly control.

Ill. Budget

August 19th, 2017

The Week In Review: Ill. House GOP:

Following the Senate’s vote on Sunday to override Governor Rauner’s Amendatory Veto of Senate Bill 1, the Illinois House met in session on Wednesday, ostensibly to act on education funding reform.

Unfortunately, Wednesday’s House session was nothing more than political theatre.

Rather than negotiate a compromise to achieve fair and equitable funding for schools throughout Illinois, Speaker Madigan once again chose to do nothing.

The House did not take action on SB 1. Instead, the Speaker called for a vote on a fake bill, sponsored by his Majority Leader who didn’t even support the language of her own bill.

House Republicans refused to participate in this charade by voting “Present” on SB 1947, because it wasn’t about reform; it was about political retribution.

The State missed its August 10th deadline to distribute the first State aid payment to schools.

The General Assembly should be working to ensure that schools open on time and remain open for the full school year.

House Republicans and Governor Rauner again urged the Democrat leadership to work with us on true education funding reform. The four legislative leaders were scheduled to meet on Friday to continue discussions on education funding.

We need a negotiated solution that treats all Illinois school children equally, regardless of where they live and go to school. A fair and equitable school funding formula is in the best interest of all Illinoisans and we will continue to work towards that goal.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month Theme Announced: ‘Inclusion Drives Innovation’

August 19th, 2017

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy announced today that “Inclusion Drives Innovation” will be the theme of National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October 2017.

“Americans of all abilities must have access to good, safe jobs,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta. “Smart employers know that including different perspectives in problem-solving situations leads to better solutions. Hiring employees with diverse abilities strengthens their business, increases competition, and drives innovation.”

Every October, NDEAM celebrates individuals with disabilities and their contributions and achievements to the American workforce.

ODEP created this year’s theme with input from a wide variety of its partner organizations, including those representing employers, people with disabilities and their families, and federal, state, and local agencies.

In 1945, Congress declared the first week of October as ‘National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.’ In 1962, the word “physically” was dropped to acknowledge individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to NDEAM. In 2001, ODEP was established and formally began selecting the NDEAM theme.

Park Renovations Coming to Meadow Lake; New Park at Randall Highlands

August 19th, 2017

The Fox Valley Park District Board of Commissioners gave the green light to two park projects during its monthly meeting Monday, approving bids for new playground equipment at Meadow Lake and development of a new park in the Randall Highlands subdivision in North Aurora.

George’s Landscaping, Inc. was awarded a $152,888 bid for renovations at Meadow Lake, a 10.6-acre neighborhood park located near the intersection of Route 59 and Montgomery Road. George’s Landscaping was also awarded a $175,102 bid for park construction at Randall Highlands, a 5.29-acre undeveloped site near the intersection of Orchard and Randall roads.

For both projects, the Park District purchased the playground equipment directly through the national purchasing cooperative to receive the greatest possible discount, with the purchase price of $84,349 for Meadow Lake and $69,839 for Randall Highlands.

Meadow Lake Park is a “walk-to” neighborhood park surrounded primarily by single-family homes, featuring a 4-acre lake, full-court basketball area and an 18-year-old playground that has reached the end of its life cycle.

The new playground will designate separate play areas for children ages 2 to 5 and children ages 5 to 12, in keeping with best playground design and safety practices. Guided by resident input and feedback, the playground design includes modular play structures that have proved quite popular in other District park projects.

Resurfacing of the asphalt basketball court, new backboards and hoops and additional shade tree plantings are part of the plan as well.

Randall Highlands will have similar, age-specific playground areas and a large, open free-play area for informal games and exercise. Surrounded by townhomes and single-family homes, the park site is accessible by asphalt trails from three directions, providing safe entry for neighbors. Eight parking spaces are available as well.

Through the bidding and purchasing process, both projects came in under budget. Completion is expected in late October.