Archive for the ‘legislative affairs’ Category

Aurora Chamber Member Events, News

Monday, June 19th, 2017
Header
June 19, 2017
In This Issue

 

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Elite Members

For more information contact the chamber.

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.
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
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
State Farm Insurance Companies
Steffes & Associates Language and Translation (SALT)
Two Brothers Roundhouse
Valley Fastener Group, LLC
The Voice
Waubonsee Community College
Weldstar Company
WSPY

Welcome New Members

Xplore Tumbling and Gymnastics
Michelle Masciola
223 S. Lincolnway, North Aurora
(630) 229-6115
Gymnastics

 

Contact Us

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

 

 

Register Today for July Golf Classic
Golf Sponsors
Jump Start Your Member Profile
Join us Tuesday, June 27, at 3:00 p.m. to see and hear about all of the benefits of your membership profile on AuroraChamber.com. Increase your visibility. Gain more referrals. Motivate your target audience.

This hands-on workshop will guide you through:

• Setting up your login with user name and password;
• Posting jobs to increase the candidate pool;
• Submitting events to increase traffic and sales;
• Offering hot deals to members and the community;
• Sending communications to others within the database;
• Making changes to your representatives and contact listings; and
• Tracking your ROI by reviewing available metrics.

We encourage you to bring your laptop, tablet, or smartphone to update your listing while at the workshop. We will answer questions and help trouble-shoot any difficulties you may encounter. This program is for new members as well as those who may want a refresher on using www.ChamberLogin.com.

For questions, contact Reba Morgan Osborne, director of membership, at (630) 256-3184.

http://business.aurorachamber.com/Events/details/jump-start-your-member-profile-14439

Behind the Scenes at the Chamber
Golfer registration remains open for the 2017 Golf Classic at Aurora Country Club presented by Meyer Wealth Advisors. Registration for members is $175 through June 30. For information on sponsorships, contact Maureen Gasek at (630) 256-3182.

In addition to several meetings with Chamber members as well as prospective members, the team supported Sky Zone’s ribbon cutting. There was a great turnout for the Trade Forum at Waubonsee Community College’s downtown Aurora campus where we shared what is necessary for our local exporters to obtain a certificate of origin.

We were happy to support a number of our members in the several processes and meetings with various local government organizations. There is a great deal of development occurring in our region and we’re looking forward to announcing some job creating projects in the near future.

Workforce and education were a major theme of the week as we participated in a Mayor’s Transition Team meeting on Education and Workforce Development, attended the national association’s annual meeting on education attainment, and continued organizing a resource fair for parents and students with disabilities (including services, opportunities, and career support).

This week we are looking forward to meeting with members and employers and preparing for next week’s programs, including a ribbon cutting for AAA on Monday and Fox Valley Networking Professionals on Thursday, June 29.

Don’t forget: “Jump Start Your Member Profile” workshop is scheduled for June 27 at 3:00 p.m. Members – whether new to the Chamber or wanting a refresher – will learn how to maximize their directory listing and the additional benefits available online.

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.

Did You Know?
As a member of the Aurora Chamber, we are available to assist you in coordinating and working with our elected and municipal officials. For instance, we can help you plan, coordinate, and celebrate a ribbon cutting, grand opening, or groundbreaking. We can help coordinate meetings to discuss various public policy topics with our elected officials to explain the impact of these policies on growth, job creation, and expansion. Our goal is to help you succeed; give us a call or email if there is something we can do to help. For questions, contact Reba Morgan Osborne, director of membership, at (630) 256-3184
Calendar of Events
Grand Opening: AAA
Monday, June 26, 3:30-6:00 p.m.
35 S. Route 59, Aurora
Ribbon Cutting 4:00 p.m.

Jump Start Your Member Profile
Tuesday, June 27, 3:30 – 5:00 p.m.
Aurora Chamber offices, 43 W. Galena Blvd., Aurora

Fox Valley Networking Professionals
Thursday, June 29, 8-9:30 a.m.
Pomegranate Restaurant, 55 S. Commons Dr., Aurora
Sponsorships Available

Register Today: Chamber Golf Classic
Presented by Meyer Wealth Advisors
Monday, July 10, 2017
Aurora Country Club, 1548 Prairie St., Aurora

 

Premier Members
Premier Members
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:

May Unemployment Drops Slightly

Budget Threatens Lottery Games

Transportation: Construction Shutdown Looms

Higher Education, No Budget Impact

Gov. Calls for Special Session

Illinois Budget Update

Minimum Wage Increase a Bad Bet for Job Creators

Local Government: Ill. Township Consolidation

Ill. Budget: Debt Rating

Budget: Ill. General Assembly

Pre-K effort that advances ’21st Century skills’

End-of-Session Wrap Up in Springfield

Ill. Chamber Shares Springfield Update

Ill. House GOP on Budget

Springfield Update

Illinois Budget: An Opion From State Rep. Keith Wheeler

Equal-Pay Act Changes Limit Employer Defenses

‘Grand Bargain’ Update

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.

Mayor Recruits Execs to Lead City’s Innovation, Technology Efforts

Tee Times Available for Golf for Kids Outing at Orchard Valley on June 26

With Groundbreaking Event, Construction of Blackhawk Park Begins

VNA Health Care and Fox Valley Park District host “Summer HealthFest” on June 21

CMT Employee Anniversaries

Aurora Chamber Awarded Five-Star Accreditation by U.S. Chamber

Mayor’s Transition Team to Host Town Hall Meetings

Meyer Wealth Honors Two East High Grads with Scholarships

You’re Invited: Mayor Irvin to Make Special Announcement

Park District, City, Illinois DCFS Team Up to Promote Water Safety, Prevent Drowning

VNA Health Care Announces New Chief Financial Officer Don Klink

Community Initiative to Combat Gangs and Drugs

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.

Budget Threatens Lottery Games

Sunday, June 18th, 2017

Powerball, Mega Millions to drop Illinois due to state’s budget crisis. The popular Powerball lottery and Mega Millions games will drop Illinois at the end of June without a budget agreement, Illinois Lottery officials said Thursday.

Concern over the state’s fiscal condition prompted the Multi-State Lottery Association to drop Powerball in Illinois, according to internal Illinois Lottery communications obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Mega Millions also plans to drop the state unless a budget agreement comes together, state officials confirmed. Without a budget in place, the state isn’t authorized to make payments to Mega Millions or the association.

Greg Smith, acting director of the Illinois Lottery, called the development “disappointing.”

“The Legislature’s inability to pass a budget has led to this development and will result in Illinois Lottery players being denied the opportunity to play these popular games,” Smith said. “This is why it’s so critical the General Assembly deliver a balanced budget to the governor’s desk that he can sign.”

The state reported $99.4 million in Mega Millions sales and $208 million in Powerball sales within the 2016 budget year. Lottery officials indicated that Illinois retains about 40 percent of that money for education funding.

Transportation: Construction Shutdown Looms

Sunday, June 18th, 2017

IDOT will shut down roadwork if no budget is passed by July 1. Roadwork projects across Illinois could be on the chopping block as the state’s historic budget impasse continues.

The Illinois Department of Transportation will shut down roadwork statewide if lawmakers don’t pass a budget by the end of the month, officials announced Wednesday.

“Due to the General Assembly’s refusal to pass a balanced budget, the Illinois Department of Transportation loses its ability to pay contractors starting July 1,” IDOT communications director Guy Tridgell said in an email.

“While we are hopeful the situation is resolved before then, the department is notifying contractors that all construction work is to shut down on June 30. Contractors will be advised to secure work zones to ensure their safety during any potential shutdown. As always, the safety of the traveling public will be the top priority as the department works through this process​,” Tridgell said.

Roadwork projects were put in jeopardy by the budget impasse last year as well, but a stopgap bill passed in the final hour secured roadwork funding.

Higher Education, No Budget Impact

Sunday, June 18th, 2017

Moody’s downgrades seven Illinois public universities. Moody’s Investors Service announced sweeping credit downgrades for seven Illinois universities on June 9 over concerns about the state’s nearly two-year budget impasse. Five of those seven – Southern Illinois University, Northern Illinois University, Governors State University, Northeastern Illinois University and Eastern Illinois University – now have junk credit ratings.

Moody’s downgrades come less than a month after S&P’s own mass downgrade of six universities in April.

Eastern Illinois University was the lowest rated university, downgraded from B2 to Caa2 with a negative outlook. That denotes speculative-grade credit quality. It is the lowest of the universities according to a separate Moody’s rating research document.

The University of Illinois’ new rating is A1 with a negative outlook. That’s down from Aa3 negative and still considered superior credit quality.

Gov. Calls for Special Session

Sunday, June 18th, 2017

Governor Rauner Calls Lawmakers Back to Springfield to Pass Compromise Balanced Budget Plan. One day after House and Senate Republicans unveiled a compromise balanced budget plan to end the budget impasse, Governor Bruce Rauner called lawmakers back to Springfield for a 10-day special session from Wednesday, June 21, through the June 30 fiscal year deadline.

“Republicans in the General Assembly have laid out a compromise budget plan that I can sign,” Governor Rauner said in a video announcing special session. “It provides a true path to property tax reduction and it reforms the way our state operates to reduce wasteful spending. It will fund our schools and human services, while spurring economic growth and job creation. It is a true compromise – and one I hope the majority in the General Assembly will accept.”

For two weeks, the majority in the General Assembly ignored repeated calls to return to Springfield since adjourning on May 31 without passing a full-year balanced budget. If no action is taken by the General Assembly to pass the compromise balanced budget plan by June 30th, the ramifications for our state will be devastating and long-lasting. In order to find a resolution, Governor Rauner issued 10 proclamations calling for special sessions every day starting Wednesday, June 21, at noon. The proclamations direct the General Assembly to consider legislation that will reach a balanced budget with changes to our broken system, including property tax relief, job creation, term limits and spending caps. Should the General Assembly enact the compromise balanced budget plan prior to June 30th, the Governor will cancel any remaining special session days.

“We have tough, urgent choices to make, and the legislature must be present to make them,” Governor Rauner said. “In the days ahead, let’s show the people of Illinois we have their best interests in mind, not our own. And together, we will move our state forward to a better and brighter future.”

House Republican Leader Jim Durkin applauded the Governor for calling the special session.

“With the fiscal year coming to a close and the House Democrats’ failure to produce a budget during session warrants the Governor’s action today. We can break this impasse if the House Democrats are willing to negotiate in good faith.”

Illinois Budget Update

Sunday, June 18th, 2017

House Minority Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs), Senate Republican Caucus Whip Karen McConnaughay (R-St. Charles), Assistant Senate Republican Leader Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington), Sen. Dale Righter (R-Mattoon), Deputy House Republican Leader Patti Bellock (R-Hinsdale) and House Republican Conference Chairperson Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) today introduced a package of bills to end the budget impasse. The bills represent a compromise balanced budget and reforms that address the priorities of both parties, and urged the General Assembly to return to Springfield to vote on this proposal.

“Time is running out before the fiscal year ends, and we must act now! Where is the sense of urgency with Speaker Madigan to end this stalemate? Lawmakers should be in Springfield working around the clock until our job is finished. This comprehensive budget package with structural reforms that we are proposing today is the path forward to breaking the budget impasse,” said Durkin.

The comprehensive proposal includes a truly balanced budget, a four-year hard spending cap, lasting property tax relief, and changes to our regulatory system that will create jobs and grow the economy. The bills also include a $250 million increase for the new school funding formula, and fulfilling commitments to restore child care eligibility to 185% of the federal poverty level and a wage increase to Direct Support Professionals. It also includes term limits on legislative leaders and constitutional officers.

“These proposals continue the important work already done in the Senate, where we’d seen significant progress on these issues. I am confident there is still an opportunity for bipartisan compromise on a balanced budget, as well as the critical reforms that will bring a much-needed economic boost to our state,” said State Senator Karen McConnaughay. “We need to act expediently to get Illinois back on a path to fiscal stability and security.”

The summary of the bills are as follows:

Budget Bill: Comprehensive budget proposal that includes real spending cuts and a four-year spending cap, while providing funding to state agencies like the Department of Human Services to care for our state’s most vulnerable and the Department of Transportation to continue important infrastructure projects.

Property Tax Relief: Four-year freeze for all taxing districts, but would allow residents, through voter referendum, to lower or increase their taxes. Allows for an exemption on existing debt service payments as requested by Senate Democrats.

Local Government Consolidation: Strengthens and improves the already passed SB 3, and will allow for citizens-initiated consolidation on units of local government.

Education Funding: Changes to the K-12 education funding formula that treats every district equitably that is consistent with the bipartisan framework of the Governor’s School Funding Commission. Funding for early childhood education, K-12 education, community colleges and universities.

Workers’ Comp: Uses previously negotiated language between Senate GOP and Senate Democrats, like changes to the medical fee schedule, but does not reduce benefits to workers or include a causation standard.

Pension Reform: Accepts SB 16, which has previously passed the Senate, including President Cullerton’s consideration model and the state’s pickup of Chicago Public School’s pension payments.

Term Limits: Constitutional amendment to impose 10-year term limits on legislative leaders in the General Assembly and eight-year limit on Constitutional Officers (Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Comptroller, Treasurer, and Secretary of State)

“We all agree that we need to fix our broken school funding formula right now,” said State Senator Jason Barickman. “This legislation contains much of the priorities Democrats advanced in Senate Bill 1, provides meaningful help for Chicago, ensures that no districts lose money, and treats all of our schools fairly and equitably under the evidence based model.”

“Passing an unbalanced budget like the Senate Democrats did and the House Democrats choosing to not even take up a budget is beyond unacceptable and a complete failure from the majority party,” State Sen. Dale Righter said. “We must return to Springfield, put party differences aside, work together, and pass an actual budget that is not only balanced, but moves Illinois forward economically and fiscally. The fact we need 3/5 vote now to pass a budget is a good thing in that it forces Democrats to finally work with Republicans in complete good faith to pass a true and real balanced budget – one that is good for schools, social services, and taxpayers.”

“The comprehensive balanced budget we are offering today will provide care for our state’s most vulnerable citizens,” said Deputy Republican Leader Patti Bellock. “With last week’s court ruling on the $2 billion backlog of unpaid Medicaid bills, it is critically important we take immediate action to address this backlog. Our plan includes more than $4 billion in bonding to help pay off old bills. We must address this crisis now. The consequences of not taking action now would be devastating to human services.”

“Our plan will allow for citizens-initiated consolidation of units of local government,” State Rep. Tom Demmer said. “Our nearly 7,000 units of local government contribute to why Illinois residents pay some of the highest local government taxes in the nation, including the 2nd highest in property taxes. On pension reform, we accept Senate Bill 16, which has previously passed the Senate and includes President Cullerton’s consideration model. Pension reform and local government consolidation will save taxpayers billions of dollars.”

Check Out Chamber News for Members

Friday, June 16th, 2017
Header
June 12, 2017
In This Issue

 

Quick Links

Follow Us!
Facebook Twitter Blog

Elite Members

For more information contact the chamber.

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.
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
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
State Farm Insurance Companies
Steffes & Associates Language and Translation (SALT)
Two Brothers Roundhouse
Valley Fastener Group, LLC
The Voice
Waubonsee Community College
Weldstar Company
WSPY

Welcome New Members

Call Flawless
Lillian Harris
Aurora, IL
(630) 742-6492
Janitorial Services

 

Contact Us

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

 

 

Aurora Chamber Awarded Five-Star
Accreditation by U.S. Chamber
Great news! The Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce that after a comprehensive self-review, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has awarded us with 5-Star Accreditation. This prestigious honor puts us among the top 1% of chambers nationwide.

“Accreditation with the U.S. Chamber is the only program of its kind that defines excellence in chamber planning and recognizes chambers for outstanding contributions toward positive change in their communities,” explains Joseph B. Henning, IOM, CAE, president and CEO of the Aurora Chamber. “The purpose of the program is to facilitate continuing excellence in the industry and to foster a pro-business environment across the nation.”

For full article, visit the Aurora Chamber blog.

Register Today for July Golf Classic
Golf Sponsors
Jump Start Your Member Profile
Join us Tuesday, June 27, at 3:00 p.m. to see and hear about all of the benefits of your membership profile on AuroraChamber.com. Increase your visibility. Gain more referrals. Motivate your target audience.

This hands-on workshop will guide you through:

• Setting up your login with user name and password;
• Posting jobs to increase the candidate pool;
• Submitting events to increase traffic and sales;
• Offering hot deals to members and the community;
• Sending communications to others within the database;
• Making changes to your representatives and contact listings; and
• Tracking your ROI by reviewing available metrics.

We encourage you to bring your laptop, tablet, or smartphone to update your listing while at the workshop. We will answer questions and help trouble-shoot any difficulties you may encounter. This program is for new members as well as those who may want a refresher on using www.ChamberLogin.com.

For questions, contact Reba Morgan Osborne, director of membership, at (630) 256-3184.

http://business.aurorachamber.com/Events/details/jump-start-your-member-profile-14439

Behind the Scenes at the Chamber
Golfer registration remains open for the 2017 Golf Classic at Aurora Country Club presented by Meyer Wealth Advisors. Registration for members is $175 through June 30. For information on sponsorships, contact Maureen Gasek at (630) 256-3182.

Jump Start Your Member Profile” workshop is scheduled for June 27 at 3:00 p.m. Members – whether new to the Chamber or wanting a refresher – will learn how to maximize their directory listing and the additional benefits available online.

The Chamber team conducted more than a dozen visits with members to check in and ensure awareness of Chamber events, services, and benefits – to see how we could support their needs.

Oh, and just so we can say it one more time: We received notification from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that we were reaccredited with five-star distinction for another five years. Nearly 200 chambers throughout the country are accredited. In Illinois, there are only five other accredited chambers.

This week, join us for the Trade Forum on Thursday at Waubonsee’s downtown campus and at Sky Zone’s ribbon cutting that afternoon.

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.

Did You Know?
Did you know research shows consumers are more likely to think positively of the reputation of businesses who are members of their local chamber of commerce? You can proudly display our member logo on your website and other promotional materials through your login profile. Under “company” on left-hand lists go to “membership badge” for instructions on how to download the member logo. This will be one of many topics covered in the “Jump Start Your Member Profile” workshop on Tuesday, June 27, at 3:30 p.m. Get more information at http://business.aurorachamber.com/Events/details/jump-start-your-member-profile-14439

For questions, contact Reba Morgan Osborne, director of membership, at (630) 256-3184.

Calendar of Events
Grand Opening: Sky Zone Aurora
Thursday, June 15, 4-5:30 p.m.
87 Executive Drive, Suite 100, Aurora
Ribbon Cutting: 4:30 p.m.

Grand Opening: AAA
Monday, June 26, 3:30-6:00 p.m.
35 S. Route 59, Aurora
Ribbon Cutting 4:00 p.m.

Jump Start Your Member Profile
Tuesday, June 27, 3:30 – 5:00 p.m.
Aurora Chamber offices, 43 W. Galena Blvd., Aurora

Fox Valley Networking Professionals
Thursday, June 29, 8-9:30 a.m.
Pomegranate Restaurant, 55 S. Commons Dr., Aurora
Sponsorships Available

Register Today: Chamber Golf Classic
Presented by Meyer Wealth Advisors
Monday, July 10, 2017
Aurora Country Club, 1548 Prairie St., Aurora

 

Premier Members
Premier Members
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:

Minimum Wage Increase a Bad Bet for Job Creators

Local Government: Ill. Township Consolidation

Ill. Budget: Debt Rating

Budget: Ill. General Assembly

Pre-K effort that advances ’21st Century skills’

End-of-Session Wrap Up in Springfield

Ill. Chamber Shares Springfield Update

Ill. House GOP on Budget

Springfield Update

Illinois Budget: An Opion From State Rep. Keith Wheeler

Equal-Pay Act Changes Limit Employer Defenses

‘Grand Bargain’ Update

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.

Mayor’s Transition Team to Host Town Hall Meetings

Meyer Wealth Honors Two East High Grads with Scholarships

You’re Invited: Mayor Irvin to Make Special Announcement

Park District, City, Illinois DCFS Team Up to Promote Water Safety, Prevent Drowning

VNA Health Care Announces New Chief Financial Officer Don Klink

Community Initiative to Combat Gangs and Drugs

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.

Minimum Wage Increase a Bad Bet for Job Creators

Saturday, June 10th, 2017

Another piece of anti-business legislation heads to Gov. Rauner’s desk.

SB 81 would increase the minimum wage in Illinois to $15/hr by 2022. This would put Illinois’ minimum wage two-times higher than our neighboring states, continuing our trend of being noncompetitive and anti-business. No other state in the country has a wage as high as what’s been passed in SB 81.

Businesses are already being hit with too many regulations and mandates from Springfield and a minimum wage increase during this time, will only make it that much harder for businesses to thrive in Illinois.

This minimum wage increase will hit small businesses the most, who are already surviving on the slimmest of margins to keep their businesses afloat here in Illinois. Job creators need the flexibility to increase jobs but this bill will crush any job growth that’s expected.

Jobs for young workers will get harder and harder to find as businesses will favor more experienced workers to justify the higher wage.

Springfield has created a hostile business climate in Illinois and an increase of this magnitude to the minimum wage will only add to the hostility.

We need pro-growth reforms that will allow businesses and Illinois to flourish. We need to reject anti-business legislation that will force more and more job creators out of Illinois.

Visit Illinois Prosperity to share your thoughts.

Local Government: Ill. Township Consolidation

Saturday, June 10th, 2017

Township consolidation bill passes. SB 3 will create a process to be used by township governments to consolidate with one another or with municipalities to which they are conterminous.

Townships are units of local government within counties. They operate everywhere in Illinois except within the city of Chicago. In a few cases, such as the Chicago suburb of Cicero, the town is also a municipality; in most cases, however, the township government has jurisdiction over unincorporated areas within a county. These areas are usually rural areas. Township governments often participate actively in road and highway maintenance within their jurisdictions. As time has passed, however, townships have become lightly populated in relation to other units of Illinois government. Some townships could consolidate with each other, or with conterminous or nearby municipalities, without any loss to the quality of services they provide to their taxpayers.

Illinois has nearly 7,000 units of local government, more than any other state in the nation. This proliferation of units is seen as playing a role in our state’s property tax crisis. Township consolidation is hoped by many to be a good beginning for an ongoing push for overall local government modernization throughout Illinois. SB 3’s enactment by the House and Senate made it possible for this measure to be sent to the Governor Bruce Rauner for final action. The House vote on Wednesday, May 31, was 75-34-1.

Ill. Budget: Debt Rating

Saturday, June 10th, 2017

Illinois debt downgraded again by two of three major credit agencies. The downgrades imposed by Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s, move Illinois to the brink of “junk bond” status. The rating status, which in Moody’s terminology is “Baa3” and in S&P’s wording is “BBB-“, comes with a “negative outlook,” a formal warning by both debt-rating firms that a further demotion of Illinois’ status to non-investment-grade is both possible and relatively imminent. The moves, announced on Thursday, June 1, followed the Democrat-controlled General Assembly’s failure to enact a FY18 budget by the May 31 deadline.

Should Illinois’ debt be demoted to below investment-grade status, the consequences would go beyond higher interest costs to Illinois taxpayers. Many segments of the investment industry, such as pension funds, are partially or totally barred from taking positions in non-investment-grade securities. The State of Illinois might find itself increasingly unable to sell debt at all, a fate which is already affecting the non-investment-grade bonds issued by Chicago Public Schools. Furthermore, economic experts warn that a further reduction in Illinois’ debt to below investment grade would serve as a signal to the global private sector that Illinois is diminishing its commitment to policies that make the State an acceptable place to invest money and create jobs.