Archive for the ‘legislative affairs’ Category

Your Weekly News from the Aurora Chamber

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015
Here is this week’s newsletter to members of the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce. If you have Member News to include,
please send it to us by Wednesday the week prior to publication. For more information, contact the Chamber at (630) 256-3180.
Header
April 21, 2015
In This Issue

 

Quick Links

Follow Us!
Facebook Twitter Blog

Elite Members

For more information contact the chamber.

95.9 The River
Accurate Personnel
Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Aurora University
Bad Monkey Circus Agency: Websites-Video
Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston
Basils Greek Dining
BKD, LLP
BMO Harris
CARSTAR North Aurora Collision Center
Caterpillar, Inc.
Chicago Premium Outlets
ComEd
Continental Acura of Naperville
Continental Audi of Naperville
Continental Mazda of Naperville
DiGiovine Hnilo Jordan + Johnson Ltd.
Global Data Sciences
Green Buddha Life Books dba E3HRA, LLC
Ice Miller LLP
Idilus, LLC
ieple, LLC.
Junior Achievement of Chicago – Western Division
K-Rise Systems, Inc.
Kluber Architects & Engineers
Konen Insurance Agency
Leave Me Bee Pest Control, Inc.
Magnetrol International, Incorporated
Martin Whalen Office Solutions
McKesson
Mind and Body Chiropractic
Mitutoyo America Corporation
Mooney & Thomas P.C.
Northwestern Medicine
Cadence Fitness & Health Center
Cadence Health Convenient Care & Medical Offices
Central DuPage Hospital
Delnor Glen Senior Living
Delnor Hospital
LivingWell Cancer Resource Center
Old Second National Bank
Painters District Council 30
Paramount Arts Centre
Pipe Fitters Local 597
Plum Landing Retirement Community
Presence Mercy Medical Center
R.C. Wegman Construction Company
Rasmussen College
Resurrection Lutheran Church/School
Rich Harvest Farms
Rush-Copley Medical Center
Ryland Homes – Ingham Park
S&S Metal Recyclers II
Safeguard Construction Company, Inc.
Sign*A*Rama – Aurora
Sleepy’s – Farnsworth
Sleepy’s – North Aurora
Sleepy’s – Rt. 59
SmithAmundsen, LLC
St. Charles Bank & Trust
State Farm Insurance Companies
Stumm Insurance, LLC
The UPS Store – Kirk & Butterfield
The Voice
Two Brothers Roundhouse
Valley Fastener Group, LLC
Waubonsee Community College
Weldstar Company
WIT-Enterprises, LLC
WSPY
Zippy Shell Fox Valley

Welcome New Members

HACIA Scholarship Foundation
Cristina Aguirre
650 W. Lake St. Ste. 415
Chicago, IL 60661
(312) 575-0389
Construction Services

Dee’s Place
Kareem Abdullah
1271 N. Lake St.
Aurora, IL 60506
(312) 905-4044
Restaurant

 

Contact Us

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

 

State of the City Address Recap
Thank you to Mayor Tom Weisner for joining us at the annual State of the City address last week. For those wishing to view the address, please click on http://www.aurorausa.com/.And, again, we would like to thank the generous Chamber members who sponsored the event, including:

Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Cadence Health
Centrue Bank
Chicago Premium Outlets
Cordogan, Clark & Associates
Dreyer, Foote, Streit, Furgason & Slocum
Engineering Enterprises, Inc.
FHP-O-Cedar
First Midwest Bank
Heartland Recycling
Hollywood Casino – Aurora
HRGreen
Mitutoyo America Corporation
Old Second National Bank
OnLight Aurora
Presence Mercy Medical Center
R.C. Wegman Construction Company
Rasmussen College
Republic Services
Restoration Techs
Rush-Copley Medical Center
SmithAmundsen
Walter E. Deuchler Associates, Inc.
Waubonsee Community College

 

IMSA Invites You to Innovation Breakfast
IMSA invites you to share in the discussion and planning for their Center for Innovation & Inquiry (IN2). The state-of-the-art innovation center is designed to ignite collaboration and entrepreneurial activity among students, educators, business and the community to solve real-world problems. This renovated 6400-square-foot physical space, due to open May of 2016, will be the home to IN2 a cross generational STEM community hub at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora. Your input helps plan for future programming and operations.Please Join IMSA leadership as well as Chamber and community leaders for the discussion.

Friday, May 1, 2015
7:15 a.m. Registration
7:30 a.m. Breakfast
9:00 a.m. Conclusion

Register

2015 Golf Classic presented by FirstMerit Bank
Tuesday, June 23, at Orchard Valley Golf CourseThank you to FirstMerit Bank for their continued support of the Golf Classic as a Presenting Sponsor. Sponsorships are available – ranging from $250 to $1,500 – and feature a number of great benefits at a remarkable value. Please contact info@aurorachamber.com for details.

Watch your email this Friday when we will announce the opening of registration.

Simon Sinek to Discuss Team Successes
The Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce has invited members of the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce to attend renowned leadership expert and best-selling author, Simon Sinek on Tuesday, May 5, from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at Community Christian Church – Yellow Box,1635 Emerson Lane in Naperville.Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Come Together and Others Don’t

Simon will explain what it takes to create an environment in which people work as they were designed-together. It is under these conditions we are at our natural best.

When registering, click on Chamber Member registration, and add “Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce” in the comments.

Register

Premier Members
Premier Members
Mark Your Calendars & Save the Dates
Business Leads Group 2
Wednesday, April 22, at 8:00 a.m.
Chamber officesBusiness Leads Group 1
Tuesday, April 28, at 7:45 a.m.
Chamber offices

Fox Valley Networking Professionals
Thursday, April 30, at 8:00 a.m.
Pomegranate Restaurant
55 S. Commons Dr., Aurora
Sponsored by Leave Me Bee Pest Control, Inc.
Register

Ribbon Cutting: Smart Beginnings
Thursday, April 30, at 3:30 p.m.
4105 Healthway Dr., Aurora

Save these dates:
May 19: Coffee & Connections
June 11: Multi-Chamber Business After Hours at Mooseheart
July 8: ACA Compliance Program

Member News
Check out this week’s news from your fellow Aurora Chamber members.
Business Poll: Veterans Council Seeks Input
The City of Aurora Veterans Advisory Committee wants to know whether your business offers a discount on programs, services, or products for our Veterans. To participate in the survey, please take the following brief survey: Take Survey
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 Email Patron on behalf of Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce.

General Assembly: Illinois House

Monday, April 20th, 2015

First of two weeks of Illinois House floor action. The two weeks in mid-April ending on April 24 are the weeks set aside for floor action and final passage of House bills out of the House of Representatives. In many cases, including the fourteen House Republican members who are serving their first full terms, this is a time of intense participation in the lawmaking process as final questions are asked and answered, a bill is debated on the floor, and the final roll call taken that decides whether the bill will survive and be sent to the state Senate for further action.

House members spent long hours on the House floor this week. 444 bills had been advanced from House committees and placed on the chamber’s calendar for possible final action. The Illinois House streams live audio and video feeds of its floor action to the general public.

Local Government Consolidation Task Force

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Sanguinetti Task Force continues meetings. The Task Force on Local Government Consolidation and Mandate Reform, chaired by Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti, continued to hold meetings this week dedicated to the cause of reduction of burden on Illinois local governments. At a hearing in Carbondale on Monday, April 13, Sanguinetti and her colleagues continued to learn that many of these burdens are caused by mandates imposed on local governments and school districts from Springfield.

The General Assembly may well be asked, before the end of the 2015 spring session, to look at specific legislative proposals aimed at reducing these burdens. These proposals could include not only mandate reductions, but also suggested changes on local governmental labor-management relations and the consolidation of specific units of local government into efficiency-sized units.

This Week’s Newsletter: State of the City, More

Monday, April 13th, 2015
Here is this week’s newsletter to members of the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce. If you have Member News to include,
please send it to us by Wednesday the week prior to publication. For more information, contact the Chamber at (630) 256-3180.
Header
April 13, 2015
In This Issue

 

Quick Links

Follow Us!
Facebook Twitter Blog

Elite Members

For more information contact the chamber.

95.9 The River
Accurate Personnel
Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Aurora University
Bad Monkey Circus Agency: Websites-Video
Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston
Basils Greek Dining
BKD, LLP
BMO Harris
CARSTAR North Aurora Collision Center
Caterpillar, Inc.
Chicago Premium Outlets
ComEd
Continental Acura of Naperville
Continental Audi of Naperville
Continental Mazda of Naperville
DiGiovine Hnilo Jordan + Johnson Ltd.
Global Data Sciences
Green Buddha Life Books dba E3HRA, LLC
Ice Miller LLP
Idilus, LLC
ieple, LLC.
Junior Achievement of Chicago – Western Division
K-Rise Systems, Inc.
Kluber Architects & Engineers
Konen Insurance Agency
Leave Me Bee Pest Control, Inc.
Magnetrol International, Incorporated
Martin Whalen Office Solutions
McKesson
Mind and Body Chiropractic
Mitutoyo America Corporation
Mooney & Thomas P.C.
Northwestern Medicine
Cadence Fitness & Health Center
Cadence Health Convenient Care & Medical Offices
Central DuPage Hospital
Delnor Glen Senior Living
Delnor Hospital
LivingWell Cancer Resource Center
Old Second National Bank
Painters District Council 30
Paramount Arts Centre
Pipe Fitters Local 597
Plum Landing Retirement Community
Presence Mercy Medical Center
R.C. Wegman Construction Company
Rasmussen College
Resurrection Lutheran Church/School
Rich Harvest Farms
Rush-Copley Medical Center
Ryland Homes – Ingham Park
S&S Metal Recyclers II
Safeguard Construction Company, Inc.
Sign*A*Rama – Aurora
Sleepy’s – Farnsworth
Sleepy’s – North Aurora
Sleepy’s – Rt. 59
SmithAmundsen, LLC
St. Charles Bank & Trust
State Farm Insurance Companies
Stumm Insurance, LLC
The UPS Store – Kirk & Butterfield
The Voice
Two Brothers Roundhouse
Valley Fastener Group, LLC
Waubonsee Community College
Weldstar Company
WIT-Enterprises, LLC
WSPY
Zippy Shell Fox Valley

Welcome New Members

Tommy Hilfiger
Meg Coleman
1650 Premium Outlets Blvd., Ste. 745
Aurora, IL 60504
(630) 236-8749
Retail

Roundy’s Supermarket – Mariano’s
Victor Karlson
3025 E. New York St.
Aurora, IL 60504
(630) 236-0683
Grocer

Above Board Indoor Environmental
Barton Robertson
Montgomery, IL 60538
(630) 973-6099
Mold Remediation/Fire Damage Restoration

The Studio at 46 West
Wally Kilburg
46 W. New York St., First Floor
Aurora, IL 60506
(630) 235-1651
Photographer

Rocktown Adventures
Kevin Versino
107 Spruce St.
Aurora, IL 60506
(630) 506-5706
Retail/Outdoor Sports

 

Contact Us

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

 

 

State of the City this Thursday; Broadcast Available Online
Mayor Thomas J. Weisner The Hon. Thomas J. Weisner
Mayor, City of Aurora

Thursday, April 16, at 11:30 a.m.
Piper’s Banquets
1295 Butterfield Road, Aurora

To view the presentation online, visit www.aurora-il.org

Thank You to the Following Sponsors

Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Cadence Health
Centrue Bank
Chicago Premium Outlets
Cordogan, Clark & Associates
Dreyer, Foote, Streit, Furgason & Slocum
Engineering Enterprises, Inc.
FHP-O-Cedar
First Midwest Bank
Heartland Recycling
Hollywood Casino – Aurora
HRGreen
Mitutoyo America Corporation
Old Second National Bank
OnLight Aurora
Presence Mercy Medical Center
R.C. Wegman Construction Company
Rasmussen College
Republic Services
Restoration Techs
Rush-Copley Medical Center
SmithAmundsen
Walter E. Deuchler Associates, Inc.
Waubonsee Community College

 

Premier Members
Premier Members
2015 Golf Classic presented by FirstMerit Bank
Tuesday, June 23, at Orchard Valley Golf Course

Thank you to FirstMerit Bank for their continued support of the Golf Classic as a Presenting Sponsor. Sponsorships are available – ranging from $250 to $1,500 – and feature a number of great benefits at a remarkable value. Please contact info@aurorachamber.com for details.

Watch your email this Friday when we will announce the opening of registration.

IMSA Invites You to Innovation Breakfast
IMSA invites you to share in the discussion and planning for their Center for Innovation & Inquiry (IN2). The state-of-the-art innovation center is designed to ignite collaboration and entrepreneurial activity among students, educators, business and the community to solve real-world problems. This renovated 6400-square-foot physical space, due to open May of 2016, will be the home to IN2 a cross generational STEM community hub at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora. Your input helps plan for future programming and operations.

Please Join IMSA leadership as well as Chamber and community leaders for the discussion.

Friday, May 2, 2015
7:15 a.m. Registration
7:30 a.m. Breakfast
9:00 a.m. Conclusion

Register

Simon Sinek to Discuss Team Successes
The Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce has invited members of the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce to attend renowned leadership expert and best-selling author, Simon Sinek on Tuesday, May 5, from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at Community Christian Church – Yellow Box,1635 Emerson Lane in Naperville.

Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Come Together and Others Don’t

Simon will explain what it takes to create an environment in which people work as they were designed-together. It is under these conditions we are at our natural best.

When registering, click on Chamber Member registration, and add “Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce” in the comments.

Register

Public Policy Update
A collection of reports from numerous local races and referenda may be found on the Aurora Chamber blog.
Mark Your Calendars; Save the Dates
Business Leads Group 1
Tuesday, April 14, at 7:45 a.m.
Chamber offices

Ribbon Cutting- WIT-Enterprises
Tuesday, April 14, at 4:00 9.m.
481 N. Commons Dr., Ste. F
Aurora, IL

State of the City 2015
Sold Out
Thursday, April 16, at 11:30 a.m.
Piper’s Banquets
1295 Butterfield Road, Aurora
Register

Business Leads Group 2
Wednesday, April 22, at 8:00 a.m.
Chamber offices

Business Leads Group 1
Tuesday, April 28, at 7:45 a.m.
Chamber offices

Fox Valley Networking Professionals
Thursday, April 30, at 8:00 a.m.
Pomegranate Restaurant
55 S. Commons Dr., Aurora
Sponsored by Leave Me Bee Pest Control, Inc.
Register

Save these dates:
May 19: Coffee & Connections
July 8: ACA Compliance Program

Member News
Check out this week’s news from your fellow Aurora Chamber members.
Business Poll: Veterans Council Seeks Input
The City of Aurora Veterans Advisory Committee wants to know whether your business offers a discount on programs, services, or products for our Veterans. To participate in the survey, please take the following brief survey: Take Survey
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 Email Patron on behalf of Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Illinois ranks 5th in export-related jobs

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

From the Chicago Tribune:

Illinois ranks fifth in the number of jobs supported by exports but the growth in number of those jobs has slowed, according to a report published Thursday.

The number of Illinois jobs supported by exports rose only slightly — by 1.3 percent — to 345,050, according to the report from the United States Trade Administration and the Commerce Department. That compares with a post-recession high of 374,162 export-related jobs in 2012.

In 2013, Illinois saw export-related jobs dip nearly 9 percent to 340,609. The decline most likely was because the state saw a drop in exports of machinery, particularly heavy equipment to Australia, said Mary Trupo, a senior adviser at the United States Trade Administration. This was partially offset by increases in other areas, mainly petroleum and coal products, agricultural products, and computer and electronic products, she said.

Texas and California topped the list of states with jobs supported by exports with 1.1 million and 775,320 jobs, respectively.

The report also found that the export of goods from Illinois grew 3 percent in 2014 to a record $68.2 billion, according to the report.

Overall, the state’s export growth has mirrored that of the nation as a whole: double-digit growth from 2004 to 2008, reflecting the strong national and global economy; a drop in 2009 related to the global recession; double-digit growth again in 2010 and 2011 as the world economy recovered; and then slow growth since 2012 as the world economy slowed.

“State exports are always going to be more volatile than national exports,” Trupo said. “But in the case of Illinois they are tracking fairly well and are likely influenced by the same factors.”

Trade-supported jobs are important because they tend to pay more, said Trevor Kincaid, deputy assistant U.S. Trade Representative. “In fact, studies have shown that export-dependent jobs pay up to 18 percent more on average than nonexport jobs.”

The United States is negotiating free trade deals with Asia and the European Union.

The report also listed Illinois’ key agricultural exports, which include soybeans and feeds. The state’s manufacturing exports included machinery, transportation equipment, chemicals, computer and electronic products and petroleum and coal products.

 

Local Government Consolidation Task Force

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

The Illinois House Republicans report the task force meets in Wheaton, looked at Illinois local government.

Underneath the State of Illinois are almost 7,000 school districts, municipalities, townships, and other units of local government. All of these educational bodies and units of government have the right to charge fees by law, and most of them can levy property and other taxes from their residents. In many cases, Illinois residents are not fully aware of all of the different units of local government they help to support. Illinois law allows public-sector advocates to set up specialty units of local government, such as mosquito-abatement districts and drainage districts, whose taxes and assessment fees appear on residents’ tax bills.

Governor Bruce Rauner and Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti have made Illinois local government consolidation and the reduction of redundant public-sector work one of the focuses of their administration. Sanguinetti is the chairperson of the Local Government Consolidation Task Force, a panel asked to look at this issue. The DuPage-based Lieutenant Governor is familiar with the work of DuPage County Chairman Dan Cronin at fighting back against proliferating local governments in his county, and at their initial meeting the members of the newly-appointed Task Force expressed eagerness to look at local areas within Illinois, and at efficiency practices in other states, for guidance on how to craft recommendations to accomplish this task. Cronin offered testimony and guidance to the Task Force’s hearing in Wheaton, held on Wednesday, April 8.

Task force members agreed that Illinois, with 6,963 units of local government (#1 nationwide) has much to learn from other states. One of the commission’s top-priority tasks will be to examine numerous mandates imposed by Springfield upon Illinois educational units and units of local government.

In addition: University of Illinois index shows significant improvement trend.

The Illinois Flash Index, a tabular reduction of Illinois economic numbers and trends published by the University of Illinois’ Institute of Government and Public Affairs, rose to 107 in March. The Institute’s Fred Giertz credited Illinois employers with reducing the State’s jobless rate to 6.0% in February. As a momentum indicator, the Flash Index often uses the most-recent figures from previous months to show the momentum of key sectors within Illinois’ economy.

Readings above 100 indicate an expanding Illinois economy. The Flash Index is a weighted average of Illinois year-over-year growth rates in corporate earnings, consumer spending, and personal income. The Index had stagnated in a range bounded by 106.0 and 106.8 throughout calendar years 2014, indicating continued slow growth, high unemployment, and low profit margins discouraging private-sector hiring decisions.

Gov. Rauner Details Legislative Agenda

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

Gov. Bruce Rauner has begun putting a finer point on his legislative agenda, telling voters, elected officials and newspaper editorial boards during a tour of Illinois last week that his business-friendly plan is vital to improving the state’s economy.

During appearances in which he made several provocative comments, the Republican tried to build support for his proposals before legislators return to Springfield this week. Among them are a reduction in the cost of workers’ compensation insurance, tighter restrictions on eligibility for unemployment benefits and changes to the judicial system. He said he would back a modest increase in the minimum wage if the Democratic-controlled Legislature supports his plans.

“If we make those kinds of changes, we’ll increase our competitiveness, we’ll grow more jobs,” Rauner said during a stop in the Chicago suburb of Bedford Park.

For the complete article, visit the Chicago Sun-Times.

Early Voting Continues, Veterans Council Seeks Input, More

Monday, March 30th, 2015
Here is this week’s newsletter to members of the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce. If you have Member News to include,
please send it to us by Wednesday the week prior to publication. For more information, contact the Chamber at (630) 256-3180.
Header
March 30, 2015
In This Issue

 

Quick Links

Follow Us!
Facebook Twitter Blog

Elite Members

For more information contact the chamber.

95.9 The River
Accurate Personnel
Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Aurora University
Bad Monkey Circus Agency: Websites-Video
Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston
Basils Greek Dining
BKD, LLP
BMO Harris
CARSTAR North Aurora Collision Center
Caterpillar, Inc.
Chicago Premium Outlets
ComEd
Continental Acura of Naperville
Continental Audi of Naperville
Continental Mazda of Naperville
DiGiovine Hnilo Jordan + Johnson Ltd.
Global Data Sciences
Green Buddha Life Books dba E3HRA, LLC
Ice Miller LLP
Idilus, LLC
ieple, LLC.
Junior Achievement of Chicago – Western Division
K-Rise Systems, Inc.
Kluber Architects & Engineers
Konen Insurance Agency
Leave Me Bee Pest Control, Inc.
Magnetrol International, Incorporated
Martin Whalen Office Solutions
McKesson
Mind and Body Chiropractic
Mitutoyo America Corporation
Mooney & Thomas P.C.
Northwestern Medicine
Cadence Fitness & Health Center
Cadence Health Convenient Care & Medical Offices
Central DuPage Hospital
Delnor Glen Senior Living
Delnor Hospital
LivingWell Cancer Resource Center
Old Second National Bank
Painters District Council 30
Paramount Arts Centre
Pipe Fitters Local 597
Plum Landing Retirement Community
Presence Mercy Medical Center
R.C. Wegman Construction Company
Rasmussen College
Resurrection Lutheran Church/School
Rich Harvest Farms
Rush-Copley Medical Center
Ryland Homes – Ingham Park
S&S Metal Recyclers II
Safeguard Construction Company, Inc.
Sign*A*Rama – Aurora
Sleepy’s – Farnsworth
Sleepy’s – North Aurora
Sleepy’s – Rt. 59
SmithAmundsen, LLC
St. Charles Bank & Trust
State Farm Insurance Companies
Stumm Insurance, LLC
The UPS Store – Kirk & Butterfield
The Voice
Two Brothers Roundhouse
Valley Fastener Group, LLC
Waubonsee Community College
Weldstar Company
WIT-Enterprises, LLC
WSPY
Zippy Shell Fox Valley

Welcome New Members

CARSTAR North Aurora Collision Center
Brian Gore
1 S. River Rd.
North Aurora, IL 60542
(630) 859-8008
Auto Repair

Grothman Clinic of Chiropractic, P.C.
Francis Lopez
845 N. Lake St.
Aurora, IL 60506
(630) 844-1244
Chiropractic Office

Distinctive Dentistry and Oral Surgery
Dr. Conrad Magno
1220 W. Ogden Ave., Ste. A
Naperville, IL 60563
(630) 848-1212
Dentistry

 

Contact Us

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

 

 

Your Vote Counts
Vote

Early voting runs through April 4. Vote now or April 7. Check out the Chamber blog for recent posts as well as information on the April election, including races, polling locations, and more.
Business Poll: Veterans Council Seeks Input
The City of Aurora Veterans Advisory Committee wants to know whether your business offers a discount on programs, services, or products for our Veterans. To participate in the survey, please take the following brief survey: Take Survey
State of the City Registration Sold Out
Mayor Thomas J. Weisner The Hon. Thomas J. Weisner
Mayor, City of Aurora

Thursday, April 16, at 11:30 a.m.
Piper’s Banquets
1295 Butterfield Road, Aurora

Sold Out

Register

To be placed on the wait list, please email info@aurorachamber.com today.

Thank You to the Following Sponsors

Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Cadence Health
Centrue Bank
Chicago Premium Outlets
Cordogan, Clark & Associates
Dreyer, Foote, Streit, Furgason & Slocum
Engineering Enterprises, Inc.
FHP-O-Cedar
First Midwest Bank
Heartland Recycling
Hollywood Casino – Aurora
HRGreen
Mitutoyo America Corporation
Old Second National Bank
OnLight Aurora
Presence Mercy Medical Center
R.C. Wegman Construction Company
Rasmussen College
Republic Services
Restoration Techs
Rush-Copley Medical Center
SmithAmundsen
Walter E. Deuchler Associates, Inc.
Waubonsee Community College

 

Public Policy Update
In addition, many public policy highlights (courtesy of the Ill. House Republicans), may be found on the blog.
Mark Your Calendars; Save the Dates
Business Leads Group 2
Wednesday, April 8, at 8:00 a.m.
Chamber offices

Ambassador Committee Meeting
Thursday, April 9, at 11:30 a.m.
Chamber offices

Business Leads Group 1
Tuesday, April 14, at 7:45 a.m.
Chamber offices

Ribbon Cutting- WIT-Enterprises
Tuesday, April 14, at 4:00 9.m.
481 N. Commons Dr., Ste. F
Aurora, IL

Business Leads Group 2
Wednesday, April 22, at 8:00 a.m.
Chamber offices

Business Leads Group 1
Tuesday, April 28, at 7:45 a.m.
Chamber offices

Fox Valley Networking Professionals
Thursday, April 30, at 8:00 a.m.
Pomegranate Restaurant
55 S. Commons Dr., Aurora
Sponsored by Leave Me Bee Pest Control, Inc.
Register

State of the City 2015
Sold Out
Thursday, April 16, at 11:30 a.m.
Piper’s Banquets
1295 Butterfield Road, Aurora
Register

Save these dates:
May 1: Innovate Breakfast at IMSA
May 19: Coffee & Connections
June 11: Business After Hours: Mooseheart
June 23: Aurora Chamber Golf Classic 2015
July 8: ACA Compliance Program
July 23: Business After Hours: Hesed House
August 11: Multi-Chamber Women In Business Luncheon

Premier Members
Premier Members
Member News
Check out this week’s news from your fellow Aurora Chamber members.
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 Email Patron on behalf of Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Illinois schools have biggest funding gap in nation

Sunday, March 29th, 2015

Courtesy of Chicago Tribune and Phil Kadner

Illinois has the most unfair school funding system in the nation, according to a study released this week by The Education Trust.

The state’s school districts with the greatest number of students living in poverty receive substantially fewer state and local dollars than their more affluent counterparts — nearly 20 percent less, according to the study.

In addition, it contends that school districts with the largest enrollments of minority students receive 16 percent less than those districts serving the fewest.

This comes on the heels of another study by WalletHub that contends that Illinois’ tax structure places a greater burden on the poor and middle class than any other in the nation. It says Illinois has the second-worst tax system in the nation for low-income workers, who on average pay 12.1 percent of their income in taxes (that includes property, sales and income taxes) and the worst tax system for middle-income wage earners, taking 11.3 percent of their income.

While the statistics may be new, none of this comes as a surprise to anyone who has looked at either of these issues over the past 20 years.

And to a great extent, both of those ratings can be traced to this state’s overreliance on the property tax to fund the schools.

The property tax system doesn’t tax wealth. It has nothing to do with a person’s ability to pay. In fact, as a person gets older and finds himself living on a fixed income, loses his job or finds new employment at a lower wage, property tax bills remain the same or continue to increase, often forcing people to sell their homes.

Using the property tax to primarily finance public education allows a school district with the greatest property wealth (whose students typically start out with more advantages), to spend more on teacher salaries and extracurricular programs, while forcing districts with a comparatively small property tax base to cut corners.

All of this is created by legislative policies set in Springfield, and none of it happened by accident.

 

For the full article, visit the Chicago Tribune.

Public Policy Updates

Sunday, March 29th, 2015

Gov. Rauner, Ill. GA Take Steps to Resolve FY15 Budget Shortfall

Faced with a $1.6 billion FY15 budget deficit upon taking office, Gov. Bruce Rauner almost immediately asked for executive powers to reorganize spending and enable the State to get through the fiscal year, which covers spending needs through June 30.

Without immediate action, the State would have been unable to make payroll at Illinois prisons, low-income working families would lose their child care assistance, court reporters would be laid off and money for services for the mentally ill and developmentally disabled would run out. In addition, inaction would have further delayed and perhaps jeopardized critical categorical school funding and State aid payments.

After negotiations in which House Republicans were full participants, the General Assembly agreed this week to language contained in HB 317 and HB 318. HB 317, an appropriations bill, made cuts and transfers in State spending. HB 318, a budget implementation bill, granted the Governor the legal authority to carry out and implement the cuts in spending and spending transfers made in HB 317. Together, these bills work to fill critical holes in the deliberately unbalanced FY15 budget passed by majority Democrats and signed by former Governor Quinn.

Approximately $1.3 billion of the moves occurred in the form of budget transfers from various funds, and approximately $400 million was in the form of an across-the-board budget cut. The HB 317-HB 318 package created $97 million in budgetary flexibility that can be used to respond to specific challenges, including the challenge of school districts that have run out of reserves.

The House vote on HB 317 was 72-45-0 and the House vote on HB 318 was 69-48-0, with all House Republicans voting in favor of the measures. The Senate followed up by approving both bills on Thursday, March 26, sending the measures to Gov. Rauner for final action. Rauner, who pushed for and signed both bills into law, expressed a readiness to follow up on this work in alliance with House Republicans. The two bills became law as Public Acts 99-0001 and 99-0002, the first bills signed into law by the new Governor.

House Panel Hears FY16 Revenue Estimates

The House Revenue and Finance Committee heard testimony on Friday, March 27, from the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (CGFA), the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB), and the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) on expected State revenues in FY16, the spending period that will begin on July 1.

Spending pressures in FY16 are being driven by the continuing phase-down of the “temporary” January 2011 income tax increase. CGFA estimates that the State’s cash intake from the income tax hike is dropping by nearly $5 billion over the two-year period starting in FY14 and leveling off in FY16. This matches the two-year period marked by a drop in the State’s personal income tax rate from 5.00% to 3.75%. GOMB’s numbers and IDOR’s numbers closely match these estimates.

House Committees Advance 512 Bills to Floor

Including action in “committee deadline week,” which ended on Friday, March 27, the Illinois House advanced 512 bills from committee to the House floor in the 2015 spring session. House committees began meeting in February to take testimony and hear advocacy from witnesses, proponents and opponents for and against the measures filed by House members. This work was finished up this week. After the conclusion of the two-week “Easter break,” the House and its committees will consider floor action and amendments to the House bills that advanced out of committee. The House will also start looking at bills coming over from the state Senate.

Most of the 4,198 House bills filed so far in the spring session will not be considered further this spring, at least under their own names. Less than 13% of the bills filed this spring were able to achieve approval by a House committee. Advocates sometimes try to “consolidate” a stalled bill into a moving bill by redrafting the stalled bill as an amendment to the moving one. In addition, bills that do not move in the 2015 spring session may be taken up by the Illinois General Assembly in fall 2015 or spring 2016.

Jobless Rate Falls to 6.0% in February

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced on Tuesday, March 24, that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February 2015 fell to 6.0% from 6.1% in January. While an estimated 391,100 workers remained jobless in February, the overall numbers indicated that Illinois could be coming out of recession-scale unemployment numbers for the first time since the 2000s. 13,800 net new jobs were created in February, all in the private sector.

Unadjusted numbers for January:

2015

United      States

Illinois

MSA

LWIA 5

Kane       County

Aurora

Joliet

Elgin

Rockford

Waukegan

January

6.1

6.9

6.9

6.7

6.9

6.6

9.5

9.5

8.8

10.1

 

The new Prairie State figures represented an improvement of almost two full percentage points from the deep-recession figure of 7.9% posted twelve months earlier in February 2014. Economists and commentators often use “year-over-year” unemployment figures, particularly for specific states and metropolitan areas, as a tactic to reduce false signals resulting from random fluctuations in the overall numbers.

Most areas of Illinois employment showed strength in February, with two key sectors – trade, transportation and utilities, and professional and business services – each adding more than 5,000 net new paid positions statewide. Three areas of weakness were statewide manufacturing, which lost 800 jobs statewide, educational and health services, which gave up 1,400 positions, and government, which yielded 1,600 positions.

IDES has rolled out a new, automated database for the use of Illinois residents seeking jobs and in possession of vital skill sets. Illinois Job Link offers a wide variety of positions and opportunities.

House Republicans Continue Push for Audit of Troubled Expense Accounts

After the story of mammoth expense-account spending by senior executives of the College of DuPage broke earlier this year, House Republican taxpayer advocates began calling for a deeper inquiry into the financial reality behind the troubled college management team’s books. The College’s board recently approved a severance package of benefits totaling $763,000 for the college’s president.

DuPage County lawmakers have made this a key focus area in 2015. HR 55, a resolution requesting that the Illinois Auditor General conduct a performance audit of the College of DuPage to cover fiscal years 2011 through 2014, was unanimously approved in House committee on Wednesday, March 25. HR 55’s lead co-sponsors are Representatives Jeanne Ives, Jim Durkin, Patti Bellock, Peter Breen, and Ron Sandack.

State Employees File Lawsuit, Seek Clarification

Three Illinois state employees filed a lawsuit on Monday, March 23, to seek legal clarification of their right to not make mandatory payments to labor unions in lieu of union dues. Called “fair share” payments, the funds raised by their mandatory payments are supposed to recompense public-sector labor unions for the administrative burden of representing all of the members of a unionized State office or workforce. Gov. Rauner has publicly called for granting freedom to Illinois State workers to decide whether or not to belong to a union and pay dues.

Illinois Helps U.S. Navy Prepare for Launch of New Submarine

The capital ship, which will be called the “USS Illinois” when it enters commissioned service, is in the final stages of being fitted out on the East Coast and is expected to be launched later in 2015. Chicago business leaders are helping train two key members of the crew – the culinary specialists who will man the submersible boat’s tiny galley.

Physically slightly smaller and with smaller crews than the armored battleships that were once the backbone of the U.S. Navy, an attack submarine like the “U.S.S. Illinois” is in some ways even more heavily armed. A crew of 145 to 150 men will sail on a six-month tour of duty, much of which will be spent submerged. Modern technology even allows submarines to communicate with naval headquarters while deep under water. Although the “Illinois” is only 370 feet long, the “silent service” believes that American submarines serve as the ultimate deterrent to potential enemy action.

The “Illinois” will be the first U.S. Navy capital ship to bear this name since an obsolete battleship commissioned in 1897. Efforts to build a new American super-battleship in the 1940s to carry on the heritage of the Prairie State did not survive the end of World War II in 1945. The Aurora-based U.S.S. Illinois Commissioning Committee is leading fundraising efforts to properly celebrate two separate events: the new vessel’s approaching launch and its commission.