|PRESIDENT||Hillary Clinton||Donald J. Trump|
|US SENATE||Tammy Duckworth||Mark Kirk*|
|IL COMPTROLLER||Susana Mendoza||Leslie Geissler Munger*|
|6||Peter Roskam*||Amanda Howland|
|8||Raja Krishnamoorthi (Schaumburg)||Peter DiCianni (Elmhurst)|
|11||Bill Foster* (Naperville)||Tonia Khouri (Aurora)|
|14||Jim Walz (Gurnee)||Randy M. Hultgren* (Winfield)|
|IL STATE SENATE|
|25||Corinne Pierog (St. Charles)||Jim Oberweis* (Sugar Grove)|
|35||—||Dave Syverson* (Rockford)|
|38||Christine Benson (Ottawa)||Sue Rezin* (Morris)|
|48||Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant* (Shorewood)||Michelle Smith (Plainfield)|
|IL STATE HOUSE|
|41||—||Grant Wehrli* (Naperville)|
|50||—||Keith Wheeler* (Oswego)|
|65||—||Steven Andersson* (Geneva)|
|70||—||Robert Pritchard* (Hinckley)|
|75||Martha Shugart (Morris)||John Anthony* (Plainfield)|
|81||Greg Hose (Downers Grove)||Ron Sandack* (Downers Grove)|
|82||—||Jim Durkin* (Western Springs)|
|83||Linda Chapa LaVia* (Aurora)||—|
|84||Stephanie Kifowit* (Aurora)||Mike Strick (Naperville)|
|97||—||Mark Batinick* (Plainfield)|
|Coroner||Tao Martinez||Rob Russell*|
|Board District 2||Theresa Barreiro*||—|
|Board District 4||Angela Clay Thomas||—|
|Board District 6||Brian Dahl*||—|
|Board District 8||Barbara Hernandez||—|
|Board District 10||Todd Zies||Susan Starrett*|
|Board District 18||—||Drew Frasz*|
In addition to the Presidential primary and convention delegate selection on Tuesday, March 15, there are a number of statewide and local primaries of importance to the region.
U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R) faces a challenge from James Marter. For the Democratic nomination, U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth faces challenges from State Rep. Napoleon Harris and Andrea Zopp.
In the sixth district, Congressman Peter Roskam (R) faces challenger Gordon Kinzler while Democrats Robert Marshall and Amanda Howland seek to challenge him in November.
Congressman Bill Foster (D) has no challengers in the primary, however Tonia Khouri, Herman White, and Nick Stella face each other next month for the Republican nomination.
Democrats Jim Walz, John Hosta, and Jesse Maggitt seek a primary win to challenge Congressman Randy Hutlgren (R-14) in the November election.
As for the General Assembly, no primary challengers have filed for local races. However, some local state legislators will face opposition in November:
|Senate 25||Jim Oberweis (i)||Corinne Pierog|
|Senate 35||Dave Syverson (i)|
|Senate 38||Sue Rezin (i)||Christine Benson|
|Senate 49||Michelle Smith||Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (i)|
|House 41||Grant Wehrli (i)|
|House 49||Mike Fortner (i)|
|House 50||Keith Wheeler (i)|
|House 65||Steven Andersson (i)|
|House 70||Robert Pritchard (i)|
|House 75||John Anthony (i)||Marth Shugart|
|House 83||Linda Chapa LaVia (i)|
|House 84||Mike Strick||Stephanie Kifowit (i)|
|House 97||Mark Batinick (i)|
To see if you are registered to vote – or to locate your primary location, visit the State Board of Elections website at https://www.elections.il.gov/infoforvoters.aspx.
Arkadiy Konyukhov, MD, has joined Advocate Dreyer in the neurology department. Konyukhov obtained his medical education at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit and completed his neurology residency and neurophysiology fellowship at Detroit Medical Center.
Jean Walsh, DO, has joined Advocate Dreyer in the family medicine department. Walsh completed her medical education and residency training in family practice at Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine in Downers Grove. She is board certified in family practice as well as in hyperbaric medicine which is used in wound care.
Better Transit for Fox Valley started last month which means traveling with Pace has gotten easier with later, more frequent service and routing designed to better serve passengers in the region. The streamlined network with more direct routes is easier to understand and simplifies transfers between routes. New destinations are included; most service now runs until 8:00 p.m. or later. A map of the restructured Fox Valley network may be viewed by clicking this link.
Congressman Bill Foster will be holding a panel discussion on dealing with emerging cybersecurity threats. With the advanced tactics used by hackers and new threats constantly emerging, it can be difficult for businesses to ensure their clients’ data is secure. Join Congressman Foster for a discussion on best practices to make sure your business is safe Tuesday, Nov. 10, from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. at 4245 Meridian Parkway, second floor, Aurora. To register for this event visit foster.house.gov/cybersecurity
Engineering Enterprises, Inc. has announced the addition of Christa L. Van’t Hul, EI, project engineer, to their environmental group. A graduate of Iowa State University, she holds bachelor’s of degree in civil engineering with an environmental emphasis and environmental studies. She brings previous environmental permitting and research work experience with her.
Join Digital Alliance for a Ribbon Cutting and Open House on Wednesday, Nov. 18, from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. with the ribbon cutting at 3:45 p.m. at 971 W. Industrial Dr. Aurora. Refreshments, raffles and tours will be held. Excited to be in Aurora, they look forward to sharing a creative experience with you and invite you to bring your family and friends and help celebrate. Digital Alliance is a turn-key creative branding agency with in-house production company capabilities. The Alliance is comprised of emerging media entrepreneurs who specialize in providing individuals and businesses with four principal services; in a rapidly evolving media landscape, Digital Alliance is an invaluable resource for clients that cuts the middle-man out of creative work and provides a custom, near “in-house” marketing experience.
On Wednesday, Nov. 18, Rep. Keith Wheeler welcomes NFIB/Illinois State Director Kim Maisch to Alarm Detection Systems to discuss the ongoing battle to reform Illinois’ economic and fiscal policies. There is no cost to attend the Nov. 18 event which will be held from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. at Alarm Detection Systems Training Center, 1115 Church Rd, Aurora.
Oswego School District #308 works hard to be a primary source of information for the communities it serves, and those efforts are paying off according to experts in school public relations. The school district recently won four awards from the Illinois Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association (INSPRA) for communication efforts with employees, parents, and the public.
SCORE Fox Valley will be holding a workshop on “Is Twitter Right for Your Business” on Tuesday, Nov. 10, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Illinois Institute of Technology, Wheaton.
VNA Health Care is seeking volunteers to provide assistance for its wellness programs at 400 N. Highland Avenue in Aurora. Volunteers are needed to make and deliver soup to homebound patients, lead walking clubs, teach fitness classes, and assist with administrative tasks at the wellness classes. VNA also needs a volunteer to assist with volunteer coordination and scheduling. Bi-lingual in English and Spanish is preferred. Volunteers will provide their own transportation to deliver the soup. A short training session is required to work in the kitchen. For more information, call (630) 892-4355, ext. 8058.
Weblinx, Inc. of Oswego, has received a Gold Davey Award by The Academy of Interactive and Visual Art to honor the firm’s work on the redesigned Chicago Meat Authority website. More than 4,000 entries were submitted, and 34 agencies were honored with gold awards in the website design category. CEO Andy Clements credited the firm’s creative team for the award-winning website. “We are honored that our work was selected by The Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts to receive a Gold Davey Award,” Clements said. “Our creative team deserves the credit for a successful launch of the redesigned Chicago Meat Authority website. Many thanks to the Chicago Meat Authority for partnering with Weblinx.”
It’s fair to say Illinois’ taxpayers are well-versed in the art of paying taxes, but how much does the state government collect in taxes per capita? And how do we compare to other states?
The Tax Foundation, a non-partisan research think tank, answered these questions by calculating how much each state collects in state taxes per person. While Illinois has the second highest property tax rate in the U.S., the Tax Foundation did not include property taxes in its analysis since they’re assessed and collected at the local level.
Even when local taxes are excluded, Illinois still rakes in more taxes per person than all of its neighboring states at $3,008 — the 14th highest in the U.S. It’s important to note the data used by the Tax Foundation is from fiscal year 2013, which is the most recent available and also when the 5 percent temporary income tax hike was in effect.
From the Tax Foundation:
Tax collections per capita is not a measure of tax burdens per se. (We look at tax burdens separately.) In a state with high per capita incomes, a higher per capita tax burden may work out to similar burden as a percentage of income as experienced in a state that is less well off. It does, however, offer us a window on the cost of government in any given state. If we think of each resident as a consumer of state services, per capita tax collections gives us the per person cost. Individual taxpayer liability will, of course, vary—especially if the state can export its collections.
Here’s how much Illinois and its neighboring states collect in taxes per capita:
As mentioned above, these figures don’t take into consideration property taxes nor state-local tax burdens. The latter measures the percentage of income taxpayers in each state pay in state and local taxes. Additionally, Truth in Accounting’s latest “Financial State of the States” report shows Illinois — at $45,000 — has the highest “Taxpayer Burden” in the Midwest and third highest in the nation.
More from the Tax Foundation:
State tax collections per capita can vary for a variety of reasons, and sometimes collections are modest in states with above-average state products. Lower taxes in some states may correlate with greater economic growth, and beyond that, states where the majority of residents are well-off may have fewer governmental expenses than those which need to dedicate more resources to anti-poverty programs, even after federal transfers are taken into account.
Proposed DOL Changes Impact Small and Large Businesses Alike; Now What Do You Do?
The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) recently announced a proposed rule to increase the minimum salary requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act for exempt employees. Do you have employees that make under $50,000? Do they ever answer emails at night? If you answered yes, and the rule goes into effect, you may have to pay overtime for that email. Whether you have 10 or 10,000 employees the proposed changes will substantially impact the way you do business. The proposed rule sets forth guidance and requests comment on the following proposed changes:
The proposed rule is subject to a required comment period and will not go into effect until that period has ended. However, employers must be cognizant of the proposed salary increases and begin contemplating how this is going to affect your current workforce.
In light of the proposed regulations, employers should analyze the following:
Employers have options regarding these Proposed DOL Changes; however, in order to determine which options are the most financially and operationally feasible, it is important to begin the review process now during the budgeting period and before end of the year reviews. The legwork now will save your pocketbook some heartache later.
Julie Proscia is an equity partner at SmithAmundsen who assists business owners and management with their Labor and Employment needs. For more information or assistance, please contact Julie.
The Illinois Senate has approved a bill, SB 2042, to appropriate the federal funds allocated to Illinois in FY16 for spending and use. Programs that operate senior centers, Women, Infants and Children supplemental nutrition efforts, adult education programs, and home weatherization assistance offices are among the programs funded by federal grants that are funneled through the State. These programs may be able to maintain some of their operations with the help of this bill.
SB 2042, as amended, is scheduled to be voted on by the Illinois House next week. Complex appropriations issues may make it necessary to further amend the measure in the House. These federal funds, which total nearly $5 billion, are separate from the money paid by Illinois taxpayers to the State. This State of Illinois “general funds” budget remains approximately $4 billion out of balance, with no solution to this section of the State’s budget woes in sight. The Senate voted unanimously (57-0-0) on Tuesday, August 4, to pass the bill. Action by the Illinois House would be required to further move this bill forward.
President Ronald Reagan once said that the nine most terrifying words in the English language are “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.”
Indeed, what the government may see as a helping hand often winds up being a ham-handed effort to impose its will on America’s job creators, resulting in more harm than good. Such is the case with the Department of Labor’s proposed overtime rule, which the administration claims will extend eligibility for overtime pay to some 5 million workers.
Under current regulations, a worker qualifies for overtime pay if his or her wages for 40 hours of work per week fall below a $23,660 threshold. The proposed rule would more than double that threshold, making employees earning up to $50,440 eligible for overtime when the regulation takes effect in 2016. In addition, this threshold is scheduled to go up each year so that it continues to reflect the 40th percentile of earners.
In this arbitrary and intrusive way, the administration has decided that Washington knows best when it comes to how each job should be classified and how much employees should be paid. And, as usual, the administration fails to consider the impact on employers and the potentially harmful consequences for workers.
Many employers–especially small and midsize businesses–wouldn’t be able to absorb the increased labor and litigation costs. These added costs would mean fewer opportunities for growth and could even result in a curb on hiring. And employees–those who the rule purports to “help”–may gain overtime eligibility, but they are likely to lose hours, health care and retirement benefits, opportunities for advancement, flexible work schedules, and actual income earned. Members of the U.S. Chamber are already saying that to stay in business they will be keeping overall employee compensation at the same level.
Government wage mandates are no substitute for economic growth, and contrary to the administration’s assertions, they do little to lift the middle class. If our leaders want to see hiring accelerate and incomes climb, they should pursue pro-growth policies that enable employers to expand, invest, and create more high-paying opportunities for workers.
That’s why the U.S. Chamber continues to advocate for commonsense regulatory and legal reform, a simplified tax code that lowers rates for businesses and individuals, long-term investment in infrastructure, and policies that will allow the United States to capitalize on its vast energy resources.
In the meantime, we’ll use every tool at our disposal to fight onerous rules and regulations that hurt workers and employers more than they help them.
This past weekend was one of interest, patience, and disappointment. Last November, the citizens of Illinois voted for change in the status quo and change in the state’s operations — and future. Alas, that has not happened.
Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner is calling the Legislature’s spring session “stunningly disappointing” after Democrats passed a budget despite an impasse over how to fully fund it.
Democrats want Rauner to approve a tax increase to help balance a 2016 budget that’s more than $3 billion short of anticipated revenues.
Illinois’s financial crisis deepened Sunday as the Democratic-controlled legislature and Republican Governor Bruce Rauner failed to reach an accord over a spending plan for the budget year beginning July 1.
The collapse of negotiations occurred hours before the scheduled end of the legislature’s budget session, meaning any compromise to close a $6.2 billion deficit now will require a tougher-to-obtain three-fifths vote to approve. The stalemate leaves the nation’s lowest-rated state in danger of another downgrade.
As a summer showdown looms between Democrats in the Legislature and Rauner over just how much the state should spend on what, here’s a look at the Legislature’s actions, or lack thereof, this session.
Leaders of the Illinois General Assembly say lawmakers will be in “continuous session” throughout the summer.
Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton made the announcements Sunday, the last day of the spring session.
While we continue to examine where initiatives and priorities stand — including pension reform, a balanced budget, worker’s compensation reform, and more — we have some initial reports and headlines.
We’ll continue to update the post as more is learned. In the meantime, feel free to share your thoughts on the gridlock.
UPDATE 1: June 1 @ 3:37 PM
From Illinois Retail Merchants Association:
SESSION CONTINUES…TENSIONS RISE
As noted above, an FY 16 budget for the State of Illinois has not been approved. The Governor proposed a budget of just over $32 billion in February that was out-of-balance by $2.2 billion due to a pension reform program most considered to be unrealistic. In return, the House and Senate developed and passed a $36 billion budget that is $3-$4 billion out-of-balance. A parliamentary motion was utilized to hold the passed budget in the Assembly. That motion can be removed at any time by the filer and, once removed, the budget is then transmitted to the Governor. It is widely anticipated that this will not occur until very close to July 1st – the start of the next fiscal year. The effect of the holding motion is two-fold. First, it does give all parties time to negotiate further. Second, if nothing is agreed to by the deadline, it gives the Governor very little time to act. His choices are to either Reduction Veto the budget or apply a Total Veto. However, the Governor has already stated he intends to exercise a Total Veto immediately upon receiving the Democratic budget.
TWIS readers know that the Governor submitted a Turnaround Agenda and has publicly stated that he is willing to consider additional tax revenues for the state so long as portions of his Turnaround Agenda are approved. For example, the Governor is seeking reforms in Illinois’ workers’ compensation and tort systems as well as a property tax freeze, redistricting reform, and term limits. However, the Democratic-majorities in the House and Senate put significant pieces of the Governor’s proposals (i.e. workers’ comp, tort, and property tax freeze) to votes where, predictably, they failed to receive majorities necessary for passage. In the case of the House, the Republicans voted “present” to signify their displeasure with what they perceived as a contrived process and the fact they did not consider the proposals ‘real’ as they had not actually been introduced on behalf of, or written by, the Governor. Additionally, the House voted down the Governor’s human service cuts included in his budget proposal. In the Senate, Republican Leader Christine Radogno introduced significant portions of the Turnaround Agenda which were written by the Governor’s Office. These proposals were heard in long and often contentious hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee and then voted down along party.
At this writing, the prospects of agreement in the near future appear dim. Earlier this week, the Governor promised a $20-$40 million full-scale campaign to attack Democrats, particularly Speaker of the House Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton, for what the Governor believes are their unwillingness to compromise, failing to protect the middle-class and ominous statements that the two leaders have enriched themselves. For their part, Speaker Madigan and Senate President Cullerton claim to have been preparing for this all spring and have promised to respond in-kind painting the Governor as unreasonable, a threat to the middle-class, and bringing Washington D.C.-style politics to Illinois. Some of this has already started to emerge as they have described Governor Bruce Rauner as a Republican-version of Rod Blagojevich and have adopted a mantra that they are willing to discuss reforms they believe would help the middle class (e.g. minimum wage, paid sick leave).
Deadlines are what often help bring issues to a conclusion. In terms of deadlines, the first state paychecks will be due the second week of July. If there is not budget at that point, state workers will start to miss paychecks. The first General State Aid payment for schools is due approximately August 10th. Some schools will not be able to open if these payments are not received. Over-shadowing this entire situation are the contract negotiations with AFSCME – the union representing the vast majority of state employees. These negotiations have been widely reported to be very contentious and the word ‘strike’ has been bandied about. However, late in session, the Assembly, voting on party-lines, sent to the Governor SB 1229 (Sen. Don Harmon, D-Chicago/Rep. Mike Smiddy, D- Port Byron). This legislation would prohibit workers from striking, would keep the current contract in place until such time as a new agreement is reached, and would allow either party to invoke mediation. If a mediator is unable to bring agreement, either party can initiate impasse mediation.
It remains to be seen how this will all play out. If, indeed, both sides carry through with their threats, it is going to be a very long, hot summer in Illinois.