Archive for the ‘legislative affairs’ Category

What Could Illinois Do with $20B a Year?

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of serving on a panel with Congressman Bill Foster and Mayor Tom Weisner, among others, to raise awareness of Illinois being a “Payer State” within our country.

In a typical year, $20 billion leaves Illinois; we pay $1.36 in federal taxes for every dollar of federal spending returned to the state. In fact, according to figures compiled by the Pew Charitable Trust, Illinois receives the third smallest amount of federal spending per capita in the country.

While the entire country is governed by the same federal tax code, individual and corporate tax burdens vary substantially between states. Many states get much more back in federal spending than others. This transfer of wealth from the “Payer States” to the “Taker States” inevitably shows up as higher state taxes, higher government debt and underinvestment in education, infrastructure and health care in the “Payer States.”

While much has been said in recent years to malign Illinois employers, they have done their best through the economic downturn to support their employees, communities, state and even their country.

According to the Tax Foundation, Illinois businesses are among the most generous in the nation. Only businesses in four other states had a higher tax rate than Illinois’ 9.5 percent last year.

It’s no wonder business men and women from throughout the state are frustrated with the opportunities before them.

With respect to our neighbors, Wisconsin had the next closest corporate income tax rate at 7.9 percent. And yet for every dollar generated from taxes, Wisconsin saw a return of $1.68.

Indiana, at 7.5 percent, realized more than $2 in the exchange. Nearly every state around Illinois saw a positive return…but not Illinois.

According to WalletHub.com, Illinois was the second least dependent on federal return on taxpayer investment. During the 1990s and 2000s, Illinois contributed $2 trillion in Federal taxes. Unfortunately, during that same 20-year period, we received less than $1.3 trillion in Federal spending — a mere 65 percent of what was contributed.

How would look if there was more equity in the distribution of Federal spending? Illinois could focus investment in new technologies and equipment, stimulate the expansion of existing businesses, address stagnant wages and revitalize infrastructure and education services. With refocused investment, Illinois would be poised to attract new business ventures and top talent. These changes would reinforce Illinois’ role as a business leader and net contributor to our nation’s prosperity.

Congressman Foster recently introduced The Payer State Transparency Act of 2015. The Act would require the Office of Management and Budget, in conjunction with the Council of Economic Advisors and the Treasury Department, to produce annual assessments of net economic effect on individual states of all federal spending programs. A comparison of these figures against a model of state tax burdens developed by the Bureau of Economic Analysis would be reported.

We appreciate Congressman Foster’s commitment to the people of Illinois. We look forward to better transparency – and more discussion – when it comes to this topic.

 

 

Your Weekly News from the Aurora Chamber

Monday, February 23rd, 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
February 23, 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
Cadence Fitness & Health Center
Cadence Health Convenient Care & Medical Offices
Caterpillar, Inc.
Central DuPage Hospital
Chicago Premium Outlets
ComEd
Continental Acura of Naperville
Continental Audi of Naperville
Continental Mazda of Naperville
Delnor Glen Senior Living
Delnor Hospital
DiGiovine Hnilo Jordan + Johnson Ltd.
Global Data Sciences
Green Buddha Life Books dba E3HRA, LLC
Ice Miller LLP
ieple, LLC.
Junior Achievement of Chicago – Western Division
K-Rise Systems, Inc.
Kluber Architects & Engineers
Konen Insurance Agency
Leave Me Bee Pest Control, Inc.
LivingWell Cancer Resource Center
Magnetrol International, Incorporated
Martin Whalen Office Solutions
McKesson
Mind and Body Chiropractic
Mitutoyo America Corporation
Mooney & Thomas P.C.
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
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
WSPY
Zippy Shell Fox Valley

Welcome New Members

Stericycle
John Katchka
3557 Butterfield Rd., Suite 151
Aurora 60502
(630) 692-0524
Distribution

Roosevelt Aurora American Legion Post 84
1919 LaSalle St., Suite 204
Aurora 60505
(630) 474-5084
Family, Community & Civic Organizations

Aspen Financial Services
Matthew Kewenig
201 N. Constitution Dr.
Aurora 60506
(630) 897-7575
Financial Services

Dr. Gadget – Phone and Tablet Repair
Mohommed Haq
Faiz Hag
4430 E. New York St.
Aurora 60504
(630) 340-5569
Phone and Tablet Repair

 

Contact Us


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

 

 

Public Policy Update
Local Government Consolidation
Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti has been picked to lead a consolidation, unfunded mandates commission. With the goal of reducing property taxes paid by Illinois property owners and homeowners, Gov. Rauner on Friday asked Sanguinetti to head a new task force that will look at opportunities for savings from the consolidation of taxing bodies.

For full post, visit the Chamber’s blog.

Governor Names New DCEO Director
Gov. Bruce Rauner announced last week the selection of Jim Schultz, 55, as director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. According to the announcement, Schultz’s experience in agribusiness and as a banking entrepreneur gives him the breadth of knowledge to develop and support businesses across the State of Illinois.

For full post, visit the Chamber’s blog.

Mark Your Calendars; Save the Dates
Business Leads Group 1
Tuesday, February 24, at 7:30 a.m.
Chamber offices

Business Leads Group 2
Wednesday, February 25, at 8:00 a.m.
Chamber offices

Fox Valley Networking Professionals
Thursday, February 26, at 8:00 a.m.
Pomegranate Restaurant, 55 S. Commons Dr., Aurora
Register

Ribbon Cutting: Stericycle
Tuesday, March 3, at 10:00 a.m.
3557 Butterfield Rd., Suite 151, Aurora

Ribbon Cutting: Dr. Gadget
Friday, March 6, at 3:30 p.m.
4430 E. New York St., Aurora

Premier Members
Premier Members
Member News
For more news and program information from your fellow Chamber members, visit the Aurora Chamber blog.
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.

Several Events for Aurora Chamber Members on Calendar

Monday, February 9th, 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
February 09, 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
Cadence Fitness & Health Center
Cadence Health Convenient Care & Medical Offices
Caterpillar, Inc.
Central DuPage Hospital
Chicago Premium Outlets
ComEd
Continental Acura of Naperville
Continental Audi of Naperville
Continental Mazda of Naperville
Delnor Glen Senior Living
Delnor Hospital
DiGiovine Hnilo Jordan + Johnson Ltd.
Global Data Sciences
Green Buddha Life Books dba E3HRA, LLC
Ice Miller LLP
ieple, LLC.
Junior Achievement of Chicago – Western Division
K-Rise Systems, Inc.
Kluber Architects & Engineers
Konen Insurance Agency
Leave Me Bee Pest Control, Inc.
LivingWell Cancer Resource Center
Magnetrol International, Incorporated
Martin Whalen Office Solutions
McKesson
Mind and Body Chiropractic
Mitutoyo America Corporation
Mooney & Thomas P.C.
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
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
WSPY
Zippy Shell Fox Valley

Contact Us

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

 

 

Public Policy Update
Public Policy Update: House Announces Committees
Last week, the Illinois House posted the committees and members of the 99th General Assembly. Local representatives and their committee assignments may be found here.

Gov. Rauner Delivers State of the State Address

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s agenda, presented to the General Assembly in his State of the State address on Wednesday, February 4, called for comprehensive reforms to the “iron triangle.”

Rauner’s office has posted a video of his speech online and welcomes social-media discussion of the points made in it using the hashtag #ILTurnaround.

For more on the Governor’s address, visit the blog.

Ill. Senate Passes Minimum Wage Increase
Partisan Senate majority passes minimum wage increase; bill moves to House. SB 11 would increase the standard Illinois minimum wage, applicable to most employment positions, from $8.25 an hour (current rate) to $11.00 an hour over a five-year period. The Senate vote was 35-15-1. Full details can be found on the Chamber’s blog.

Mark Your Calendars; Save the Dates
Business Leads Group 1
Tuesday, February 10, at 7:30 a.m.
Chamber offices

Business Leads Group 2
Wednesday, February 11, at 8:00 a.m.
Chamber offices

Ambassador’s Committee Meeting
Thursday, February 12 at 11:30 a.m.
Chamber offices

Multi-Chamber Business After Hours
Thursday, February 19 at 4:30 a.m.
Orchard Valley Golf Course
Register

Fox Valley Networking Professionals
Thursday, February 26 at 8:00 a.m.
Pomegranate Restaurant
Register

Premier Members
Premier Members
Member News
For more news and program information from your fellow Chamber members, visit the Aurora Chamber blog.
Board Nominations Sought
The Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for members willing to be considered to serve on the Board of Directors. All eligible nominees will be considered by the Nominating Committee. Nominations may be found online. Forms should be returned by Friday, February 13, at 5:00 p.m.

A Board of Directors governs the business, property, and affairs of the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce. The Board is responsible for establishing policy, budgets, and the guidance of affairs. The Board is composed of up to 22 persons who shall be members in good standing of the Chamber. Directors are elected for a term of three years which are staggered so that approximately one-third of the directors are elected each year. Vacancies in the board shall be filled by a majority vote of the remaining directors.

To be considered to be a Director, nominees must be members in good standing.

ScaleUp Aurora to Launch Second Cohort in March
The Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Women’s Business Development Center to support economic growth and job creation among small businesses. For information and details, visit our blog.
Register Now for GreenTown Aurora
The City of Aurora, in collaboration with other Fox River Valley communities, will be hosting Greentown Aurora-Fox River Valley on February 26 at Two Brothers Roundhouse. This event will bring together the public and private sectors to facilitate the sharing of ideas and promote the collaborative implementation of ongoing sustainability initiatives.

More information is available on the Chamber blog.

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.

Gov. Rauner Delivers State of the State Address

Sunday, February 8th, 2015

Prevailing wage law, project labor agreements, and unfunded mandates are elements of the “big picture” of Illinois public-sector spending. Gov. Bruce Rauner’s agenda, presented to the General Assembly in his State of the State address on Wednesday, February 4, called for comprehensive reforms to the “iron triangle.” The Chicago Tribune covered the story.

Governor Rauner looked repeatedly at Illinois tax and labor law as a factor in the Prairie State’s poor economic performance. States that neighbor Illinois, led by Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin, have enacted reforms to their states’ tax laws and labor laws. Rauner pointed out the comprehensively better economic performance enjoyed by these states, and presented an example of a typical firm – Modern Forge, formerly of Blue Island – that has joined many of its fellow small businesses in moving to Indiana.

“We must avoid slipping further behind,” he warned, calling for dramatic changes in the laws of Illinois to match its neighbors.”

The governor called for additional support for Illinois elementary, secondary, and higher education. He pledged to reform the education bureaucracy and to prioritize early education programs, elementary and secondary education in geographically challenged areas of the State, and to return Illinois support to historic levels for credential-oriented programs within community colleges. Rauner’s pledge included fighting to lift the current cap on Illinois charter schools.

Rauner called for major changes in the face of elected government in Springfield. He strongly requested approval by the General Assembly, for submission to the people of Illinois, of constitutional amendments to limit the terms of Illinois elected officials and merge the offices of Illinois comptroller and treasurer.

Rauner’s office has posted a video of his speech online and welcomes social-media discussion of the points made in it using the hashtag #ILTurnaround.

Ill. Senate Passes Minimum Wage Increase

Sunday, February 8th, 2015

Partisan Senate majority passes minimum wage increase; bill moves to House.  SB 11 would increase the standard Illinois minimum wage, applicable to most employment positions, from $8.25 an hour (current rate) to $11.00 an hour over a five-year period. The Senate vote was 35-15-1.

Local Senators voted along party lines with Democrats Bertino-Tarrant and Holmes voting in support while Republicans Connelly, McConnaughay, Oberweis, and Rezin voted against the measure. Sen. Syverson did not vote.

A separate Chicago minimum wage increase is held harmless by SB 11, which means enactment of this bill would complete the “decoupling” of the minimum wage in Chicago from the minimum wage in the suburbs and in Downstate Illinois. A temporary tax credit is created which supporters say could provide some relief for small businesses that are negatively affected by the enactment of this bill.

SB 11 did not contain workers’ compensation reform or any of the other labor-market reforms coupled to minimum-wage action by Gov. Bruce Rauner in his State of the State address as part of an overall Illinois economic-turnaround strategy.

Public Policy Update: House Announces Committee Assignments

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Representative Steven Andersson (R), 65th District: Appropriations-General Service; Cities & Villages; Judiciary – Civil; Small Business Empowerment & Workforce Development; Transportation, Regulation, Roads; Museums, Arts, & Cultural Enhancement; Renewable Energy & Sustainability

Representative John D. Anthony (R), 75th District: Agriculture & Conservation; Appropriations-Public Safety; Elementary & Secondary Education: Charter School Policy; Energy; Judiciary – Criminal; Restorative Justice; Special Needs Services

Representative Mark Batinick (R), 97th District: Appropriations-Higher Education; Business Occupational Licenses; Elementary & Secondary Education: School Curriculum & Policies; Insurance; Veterans’ Affairs

Representative Linda Chapa LaVia (D), 83rd District: Appropriations-Higher Education; Elementary & Secondary Education: Charter School Policy; Energy (chairperson); Financial Institutions; Veterans’ Affairs (chairperson); Public Utilities; Small Business Empowerment & Workforce Development; Elementary & Secondary Education: School Curriculum & Policies (vice chairperson)

Representative Mike Fortner (R), 49th District: Cities & Villages (Republican spokesperson); Transportation, Regulation, Roads (Republican spokesperson); Intermodal Infrastructure (Republican spokesperson); Tollway Oversight (Republican spokesperson); Energy; Renewable Energy & Sustainability

Representative Stephanie A. Kifowit (D), 84th District: Appropriations-General Service (vice chairperson); Financial Institutions; Health Care Licenses; Intermodal Infrastructure

Representative Robert W. Pritchard (R), 70th District: Appropriations-Elementary & Secondary Education (Republican spokesperson); Elementary & Secondary Education: School Curriculum & Policies (Republican spokesperson); State Government Administration (Republican spokesperson); Appropriations-Higher Education; Elementary & Secondary Education: Licensing Oversight; Higher Education

Representative Grant Wehrli (R), 41st District: Appropriations-Higher Education; Consumer Protection; International Trade & Commerce; Public Utilities; Small Business Empowerment & Workforce Development; Special Needs Services

Representative Keith Wheeler (R), 50th District: Consumer Protection; Economic Development & Housing; Labor & Commerce Committee; Public Utilities; Small Business Empowerment & Workforce Development; Transportation, Regulation, Roads; Restorative Justice

Last Call for Leadership Academy…and More in Your eMail

Monday, February 2nd, 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
February 02, 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
Cadence Fitness & Health Center
Cadence Health Convenient Care & Medical Offices
Caterpillar, Inc.
Central DuPage Hospital
Chicago Premium Outlets
ComEd
Continental Acura of Naperville
Continental Audi of Naperville
Continental Mazda of Naperville
Delnor Glen Senior Living
Delnor Hospital
DiGiovine Hnilo Jordan + Johnson Ltd.
Global Data Sciences
Green Buddha Life Books dba E3HRA, LLC
Ice Miller LLP
ieple, LLC.
Junior Achievement of Chicago – Western Division
K-Rise Systems, Inc.
Kluber Architects & Engineers
Konen Insurance Agency
Leave Me Bee Pest Control, Inc.
LivingWell Cancer Resource Center
Magnetrol International, Incorporated
Martin Whalen Office Solutions
McKesson
Mind and Body Chiropractic
Mitutoyo America Corporation
Mooney & Thomas P.C.
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
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
WSPY
Zippy Shell Fox Valley

Welcome New Members

The Learning Experience
Andrea Gast
1555 Mesa Ln.
Aurora, IL 60502
(630) 692-0550
Education

Advanced Physicians
Debbie Brooks
3052 Weber Dr.
Aurora, IL 60502
(630) 898-9700
Health Services

 

Contact Us

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

 

 

Leadership Academy Begins Friday
The Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce Leadership Academy is offered to representatives of member businesses and organizations and is designed to prepare a select group of qualified candidates for future leadership roles in the Aurora area. This program focuses on the unique strengths of our community and encourages a diverse mix of participants to engage in our community’s success.

Again this year, we are partnering with the Quad County African American Chamber of Commerce to provide the opportunity to a wider audience.

Registration is due by Wednesday. For more information and application, visit the Chamber website.

Public Policy Update
Why Aren’t We Getting Our Fair Share?
Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner and Chamber President Joseph Henning will join Congressman Bill Foster for a panel discussion on Illinois’ “Payer State” problem. Business and community leaders are invited to join the discussion Friday, Feb. 6, in Aurora City Council Chambers at 44 E. Downer Place. The event begins at 1:30 p.m.

Other panelists include Illinois Deputy Treasurer Jay Rowell and Illinois Poison Center Medical Director and MCHC Physician Michael Wahl, MD.

In a typical year, $20 billion leaves Illinois because we are a “payer state.” In fact, we pay $1.36 in Federal taxes for every dollar of Federal spending returned to the state. Illinois ranks in the bottom three nationwide when it comes to return on the Federal dollar. What could Illinois do with that money?

To attend, register at foster.house.gov/payerstate.

Public Policy Update: Senate Announces Committees
Last week, the Illinois Senate posted the committees and members of the 99th General Assembly. Local senators and their committee assignments may be found here.

Gov. Bruce Rauner, State of the State address preparations
Preparations continue for the State of the State address to be delivered by Gov. Bruce Rauner to the General Assembly on Wednesday, February 4. The Governor and his executive staff have published an advocacy platform, “The Illinois Turnaround,” that sets forth the broad goals he will be looking for in State policymaking. Gov. Rauner has fleshed out the points made in this package in a series of speeches delivered in key Illinois cities. For full article, visit the blog.

Mark Your Calendars; Save the Dates
Ribbon Cutting
Tuesday, February 3, at 4:00 p.m.
Sunnymere, 925 Sixth Ave., Aurora

2015 Leadership Academy
Begins Friday, February 6, at 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Chamber Offices
Register

Ambassador Committee Meeting
Thursday, February 12, at 11:30 a.m.
Chamber Offices

Premier Members
Premier Members
Member News
For more news and program information from your fellow Chamber members, visit the Aurora Chamber blog.
Board Nominations Sought
The Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for members willing to be considered to serve on the Board of Directors. All eligible nominees will be considered by the Nominating Committee. Nominations may be found online. Forms should be returned by Friday, February 13, at 5:00 p.m.

A Board of Directors governs the business, property, and affairs of the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce. The Board is responsible for establishing policy, budgets, and the guidance of affairs. The Board is composed of up to 22 persons who shall be members in good standing of the Chamber. Directors are elected for a term of three years which are staggered so that approximately one-third of the directors are elected each year. Vacancies in the board shall be filled by a majority vote of the remaining directors.

To be considered to be a Director, nominees must be members in good standing.

ScaleUp Aurora to Launch Second Cohort in March
The Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce is continuously looking for ways to provide our members with additional services and resources. Today, we are excited to announce a partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that welcomes you, through your existing membership with the Aurora Chamber, as a new member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at no additional cost.

The Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Women’s Business Development Center to support economic growth and job creation among small businesses. For information and details, visit our blog.

Register Now for GreenTown Aurora
The City of Aurora, in collaboration with other Fox River Valley communities, will be hosting Greentown Aurora-Fox River Valley on February 26 at Two Brothers Roundhouse. This event will bring together the public and private sectors to facilitate the sharing of ideas and promote the collaborative implementation of ongoing sustainability initiatives.

More information is available on the Chamber blog.

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.

Why Aren’t We Getting Our Fair Share?

Sunday, February 1st, 2015

Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner and Chamber President Joseph Henning will join Congressman Bill Foster for a panel discussion on Illinois’ “Payer State” problem. Business and community leaders are invited to join the discussion Friday, Feb. 6, in Aurora City Council Chambers at 44 E. Downer Place. The event begins at 1:30 p.m.

Other panelists include Illinois Deputy Treasurer Jay Rowell and Illinois Poison Center Medical Director and MCHC Physician Michael Wahl, MD.

In a typical year, $20 billion leaves Illinois because we are a “payer state.” In fact, we pay $1.36 in Federal taxes for every dollar of Federal spending returned to the state. Illinois ranks in the bottom three nationwide when it comes to return on the Federal dollar. What could Illinois do with that money?

To attend, register at foster.house.gov/payerstate.

Gov. Bruce Rauner, State of the State address preparations

Sunday, February 1st, 2015

From the Week In Review, Illinois House Republicans (Friday, Jan. 30, 2015):

Governor’s message: Turnaround necessary.  Preparations continue for the State of the State address to be delivered by Governor Bruce Rauner to the General Assembly on Wednesday, February 4.  The Governor and his executive staff have published an advocacy platform, “The Illinois Turnaround,” that sets forth the broad goals he will be looking for in State policymaking.  Gov. Rauner has fleshed out the points made in this package in a series of speeches delivered in key Illinois cities.

Posted directly to the Internet for readers of crowdsourced news platform Buzzfeed on Thursday, the “Illinois Turnaround” platform aims to “return Illinois to a place people want to live, work, invest, and flourish.”  Quoting data from the U.S. Census Bureau showing major net out-migration from Illinois, the platform calls for making significant improvements to Illinois’ lawsuit climate, job-creation environment, property taxes, and the burdens of unfunded mandates on businesses and local governments.

“The Illinois Turnaround” points out that neighboring states, such as Indiana and Wisconsin, have not experienced comparable 10-year patterns of net job loss and outmigration.  These are states that, unlike Illinois, have maintained or re-created an enterprise-oriented growth climate.  They have successfully pushed to re-create themselves as homes for job creation and young families.

Governor Rauner and his executive staff are signaling that they are looking for choke points in the Illinois economy in which specific interest groups are extracting costs from productive citizens and not providing adequate recompense.  Charts published in “The Illinois Turnaround” make clear that the Governor is looking for major improvements in public-sector productivity.  The themes set forth in “The Illinois Turnaround” are likely to play a role in the points made in next week’s Springfield address.  

Public Policy Update: Senate Announces Committees

Sunday, February 1st, 2015

Last week, the Illinois Senate posted the committees and members of the 99th General Assembly. Local senators and their committee assignments include:

Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D), 49th District: Education; Labor (vice chairperson); Local Government; Transportation; Committee of the Whole; Appropriations II; Licensed Activities and Pensions

Senator Michael Connelly (R), 21st District: Committee of the Whole; Commerce and Economic Development; Criminal Law (minority spokesperson); Judiciary; Labor; Licensed Activities and Pensions

Senator Linda Holmes (D), 42nd District: Agriculture; Environment and Conservation; Labor; Local Government; Committee of the Whole; Commerce and Economic Development (chairperson); Insurance

Senator Karen McConnaughay (R), 33rd District: Committee of the Whole; Commerce and Economic Development (minority spokesperson); Education; Energy and Public Utilities; Financial Institutions; Transportation (minority spokesperson)

Senator Michael Noland (D), 22nd District Energy and Public Utilities; Criminal Law (chairperson); Education; Judiciary; Revenue (vice chairperson); Committee of the Whole

Senator Jim Oberweis (R), 25th District: Committee of the Whole; Appropriations II; Labor (minority spokesperson); Transportation; State Government & Veterans Affairs; Local Government

Senator Sue Rezin (R), 38th District: Committee of the Whole; Appropriations II; Education; Energy and Public Utilities (minority spokesperson); Executive; Financial Institutions; Transportation

Senator Dave Syverson (R), 35th District: Committee of the Whole; Energy and Public Utilities; Executive; Human Services (minority spokesperson); Insurance; Public Health