Archive for the ‘legislative affairs’ Category

Redistricting Maps

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

Cook County judge takes first step to strike down “Independent Map” amendment. The proposed constitutional amendment was spearheaded to give voters an opportunity to vote on whether to reform the way Illinois legislative districts are redrawn every 10 years. The amendment, if presented to the voters and adopted, would erase the political procedure currently used to draw these maps and create a new nonpartisan process in its place. The new process is intended to produce a map that is not “slanted” in favor of one political party or the other.

Opponents of the proposed constitutional amendment filed a lawsuit in Cook County circuit court, demanding that voters not be permitted to vote on the measure and that it be barred from appearing on the November 2016 ballot. Their lawsuit won a victory in Cook County circuit court on Wednesday, July 20. In her decision in the case of Hooker vs. Illinois State Board of Elections, Judge Diane Joan Larsen cited several constitutional concerns as fatal flaws in the amendment and ordered that it be struck from the ballot. The decision is likely to be appealed.

Ill. Budget: FY 17

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

Budget experts warn of continued Illinois deficits. Although Illinois’ lawmakers enacted a stopgap budget in late June to cover the first six months of FY17, budget analysts warn that this move was not equivalent to a constitutional balanced budget for the entire year. In fact, the act of “spreadsheeting out” the money being spent, and comparing it to honest projections of the money coming in, reveals that Illinois’ expected spending will outweigh expected FY17 revenues by $7.8 billion. The Reuters news service believes this is the largest single deficit by a state in U.S. history. Expected spending totals $39.5 billion and expected revenues total $31.8 billion.

Although the state Constitution contains a legal requirement that the State annually enact a balanced budget, the requirement has been widely ignored in recent years. Continued ten-figure State deficits have led to a growing backlog of unpaid Illinois bills. The Comptroller’s office now counts the State’s unpaid bills at almost $8.0 billion. The unpaid bill total is contained in Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger’s “The Ledger”, a subpage of the Comptroller’s webpage.

This Week’s News: Do You Have Workforce Development Needs?

Monday, July 18th, 2016
Header
July 18, 2016
In This Issue

 

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Elite Members

For more information contact the chamber.

95.9 The River
Above Board Indoor Environmental
Accurate Personnel
Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Aurora University
Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston
BKD, LLP
BMO Harris – Bilter Rd.
BMO Harris – Eola Rd.
BMO Harris – Lake St.
BMO Harris – N. Farnsworth Ave.
BMO Harris – W. Indian Trail
CARSTAR North Aurora Collision Center
Caterpillar, Inc.
Chicago Premium Outlets
Chicago Tribune Media Group
ComEd
Copy King Office Solutions, Inc.
Dependable Contracting Services
DiGiovine Hnilo Jordan + Johnson Ltd.
Dolan & Murphy
Eby-Brown
Ice Miller LLP
Idilus, LLC
ieple, LLC.
K-Rise Systems, Inc.
Kluber Architects & Engineers
Konen Insurance Agency
Leave Me Bee Pest Control, Inc.
Magnetrol International, Incorporated
Martin Whalen Office Solutions
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
Sign*A*Rama – Aurora
SmithAmundsen, LLC
Sole Unique Dance Complex, Inc.
Sprint
State Farm Insurance Companies
Steffes & Associates Language and Translation (SALT)
The UPS Store – Kirk & Butterfield
The Voice
Trust Lending
Two Brothers Roundhouse
Valley Fastener Group, LLC
Waubonsee Community College
Weldstar Company
WIT-Enterprises, LLC
WSPY
Zippy Shell Fox Valley

Welcome New Members

The Vistas Fox Valley
Kimberly Pederson
1599 N. Farnsworth Ave., Aurora
(630) 898-9400
Supportive Housing/Assisted Living

Midwest Coach Limousine
Esmeralda Arellano
199 Poplar Place Ste 6, North Aurora
(331) 903-0088
Transportation

 

Contact Us

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

 

 

Share Your Thoughts on Workforce Needs
Last week, we shared a brief highlight of the recent Summer Career Exploration opportunity with 75 local high school students. We received a number of comments and inquiries about the program and other workforce development efforts we are working on. As a result, we wanted to follow up with a bit more detail about Aurora Regional Pathways this week.

Working from a memorandum of understanding, the Aurora Chamber coordinated with the City of Aurora, Waubonsee Community College, and school districts East Aurora, Indian Prairie, Oswego, and West Aurora to coordinate a weeklong career exploration opportunity for nearly 75 high school students interested in careers in advanced manufacturing, health sciences, and information technology.

Junior Achievement of Chicago provided students with a half-day of soft skills and personal branding training on Monday following the kick-off and welcome from Waubonsee’s Dr. Christine Sobek.

From Tuesday through Thursday, students were treated to tours and hands-on learning experiences based on their pathway interest.

Manufacturing students visited Mitutoyo America Corporation, ASK Products/TMA, Cabot Microelectronics, International Paper, Diamond Envelope, and Caterpillar.

Health sciences students heard from Aurora Police Department Forensics Unit, Kane County Coroner, Rush-Copley Medical Center, Orchard Road Animal Hospital, Aurora Dental, Waubonsee Community College Sports Medicine, and North Aurora Fire Department EMT Service.

Information technology students were treated to presentations and projects by Rasmussen College, ByteGrid, Waubonsee Community College, Digital Alliance, and Northern Illinois University,

On Friday, the students received certificates of completion from Mayor Tom Weisner.

During the wrap-up and discussion, students shared their experiences. Based on post-assessment feedback:

92% of the participants were more interested in careers in the pathway of choice

92% benefitted from the week-long career exploration

94% were able to identify careers of interest in the pathway

98% were able to identify high school courses required for the pathway career

90% were interested in work-based learning opportunities in their pathway

Much of the activities and experiences will continue to be offered. For instance, this fall, the health sciences pathway is organizing additional work-based learning opportunities for students.

The collaborative is interested in hearing from you. Please click this link to participate in a brief survey to share your thoughts on career opportunities for our high school students. As always, if you have any questions, ideas, or suggestions, please let us know. We look forward to hearing from you.

Premier Members
Premier Members
Events for Members
Coffee & Connections
Painters District Council No 30, 1905 Sequoia Dr., Aurora
Sponsored by Aurora University
Tuesday, July 19, 8:30-10 a.m.
Register

Open House: MG Ward Solutions
896 S. Frontenac, Ste 104, Aurora
Friday, July 22
Ribbon Cutting: 9:30-11 a.m.
Open House: 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Register

Business Development Leads Group
Chamber offices, 43 W. Galena Blvd., Aurora
Tuesday, July 26, 7:45 a.m.
Register

Grand Opening: Family Vision Development Center
452 N. Eola Rd., Ste D, Aurora
Wednesday, July 27, 4-8 p.m.
Ribbon Cutting: 4:30 p.m.
Register

Fox Valley Networking Professionals 2016
Pomegranate Restaurant, 55 S. Commons Dr., Aurora, 60504
Thursday, July 28, 8:00 a.m.
Register

Grand Opening: Waxing the City, Aurora
4430 Fox Valley Center Dr., Ste 108, Aurora
Thursday, Aug. 4, 3:30-8 p.m.
Ribbon Cutting: 4 p.m.
Register

Grand Opening: Anytime Fitness, Aurora
1311 Butterfield Rd, Aurora
Wednesday, Aug. 10, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Ribbon Cutting: 11:30 a.m.
Register

Open House: NorthStar Credit Union
444 N. Eola Rd., Ste 101, Aurora
Friday, Aug. 12, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Ribbon Cutting: 11:30 p.m.
Register

Business Development Leads Group
Chamber offices, 43 W. Galena Blvd., Aurora
Tuesday, Aug. 23, 7:45 a.m.
Register

Fox Valley Networking Professionals 2016
Pomegranate Restaurant, 55 S. Commons Dr., Aurora, 60504
Thursday, Aug. 25, 8:00 a.m.
Register

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

Visit the Chamber blog:

Paid Leave Amendment Filed

State of Illinois Completes Rollout of New Job Opportunity for Unemployed Illinoisans

Representative David Welter Appointed to Serve Northern Illinois District

Education: School Funding Formula

Education: Common Core Testing

Budget: FY17

Health Care: Land of Lincoln

Letter Supporting Our Region’s Community Services

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

Kane Co. Fair Opens July 20

“What Floats Your Cardboard Boat” Race on August 20, 2016!

Farnsworth and I-88 Construction Delayed

Aurora Early Childhood Collaboration Benefits from Additional Dunham Fund Grant

Wellness Works 2016

VNA Health Care hosts local event for the global “Big Latch On” Breastfeeding Awareness Celebration on August 5

Aurora Firefighters 5th Annual Golf Outing

Midweek Farmers Markets Open for the Season

New Bike-Share Program Available in Aurora

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.

 

Paid Leave Amendment Filed

Saturday, July 16th, 2016

An amendment was recently filed by Sen. Daniel Biss (D- Evanston) that would create the Family Leave Insurance Act. Under the proposed amendment, an employee would be allowed to take up to twelve weeks of family leave within any 24-month period for the purpose of providing care for the birth of a child, adoption of a child or placement of a foster child, or serious health condition of a family member.

This comes in light of a spring legislative session that saw several employee lave mandates introduced.

The legislature is currently not in session until after the election so it is unclear at this moment what the sponsor’s motives are.  However, the Chamber will continue to monitor the amendment.

Representative David Welter Appointed to Serve Northern Illinois District

Saturday, July 16th, 2016

Republican leaders in the 75th District have appointed David Welter to represent the district in the Illinois House of Representatives. The district centers along communities close to Interstate 80, including Morris and Seneca, comprising portions of Kendall, Grundy, LaSalle and Will Counties. Welter’s appointment came after former 75th District Rep. John Anthony resigned in June to accept a new job as executive assistant to the Director of the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Under State law, the appointment was made by the four GOP chairpersons from the counties located within the 75th District. The chairpersons cast a weighted vote by population of their counties within the vacant district. The selection of Welter, the current Grundy County Board Chairman, was unanimous. Welter will maintain a district office in Morris, Illinois to serve his constituents. Committee assignments are pending. Welter, who had served on the Grundy County Board since 2010, will also run for a full term as state representative on the November 2016 ballot. Welter was appointed State Representative on Saturday, July 9.

Education: School Funding Formula

Saturday, July 16th, 2016

Gov. Bruce Rauner establishes School Funding Commission; House Republican Leader Jim Durkin announces names of five panel members. The 25-member bipartisan commission established by Gov. Rauner will study Illinois’ school funding formula, the law used to divide up and distribute Illinois school aid money into payments made to individual Illinois school districts. Illinois’ 863 school districts, the local units of governance that operate public elementary and secondary schools, depend on biweekly school aid payments to keep their doors open.

Increasing concerns about the school aid formula contained in the current School Code has spurred the creation of this commission. The five House Republican members of the bipartisan commission are Representatives Avery Bourne, Sheri Jesiel, Dwight Kay, Bob Pritchard, and Christine Winger. The school funding formula last saw major structural changes in 1997, although the overall distribution of money to Illinois schools has been repeatedly ‘tweaked’ and modified since. The Illinois School Funding Reform Commission has been asked to report its findings to the Illinois General Assembly by February 1, 2017.

Budget: FY17

Saturday, July 16th, 2016

Bills signed into law on June 30 did not enact a full-year budget. The financial markets are reminding Illinois that the current spending patterns being resumed by the State do not represent a stable long-term course for the State and do not constitute an annual, constitutional balanced budget.

The package enacted on June 30 covers some back payments for FY16. It also covers projected spending over a variety of State departments for six months, until December 31. The State’s multi-billion-dollar budget deficit and pile-up of unpaid bills remain untouched by the June 30 budget compromise. As of Thursday, July 14, Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger estimates the current count of unpaid Illinois bills as being more than $7.7 billion. These factors are expected to hold Illinois’ credit rating down at the bottom of the debt ratings posted for America’s 50 states. Continued slow State payments to public institutions of higher education are also causing credit-rating cuts in the debts issued by Illinois colleges and universities.

Despite these flaws, the Illinois General Assembly enacted the “stopgap” FY17 budget as a way of appropriating money to open Illinois K-12 educational institutions on time and keep operations going in other essential State buildings and points of infrastructure.

Still Plenty of Chamber Events this Summer

Monday, July 11th, 2016
Header
July 11, 2016
In This Issue

 

Quick Links

Follow Us!
Facebook Twitter Blog

Elite Members

For more information contact the chamber.

95.9 The River
Above Board Indoor Environmental
Accurate Personnel
Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Aurora University
Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston
BKD, LLP
BMO Harris – Bilter Rd.
BMO Harris – Eola Rd.
BMO Harris – Lake St.
BMO Harris – N. Farnsworth Ave.
BMO Harris – W. Indian Trail
CARSTAR North Aurora Collision Center
Caterpillar, Inc.
Chicago Premium Outlets
Chicago Tribune Media Group
ComEd
Copy King Office Solutions, Inc.
Dependable Contracting Services
DiGiovine Hnilo Jordan + Johnson Ltd.
Dolan & Murphy
Eby-Brown
Ice Miller LLP
Idilus, LLC
ieple, LLC.
K-Rise Systems, Inc.
Kluber Architects & Engineers
Konen Insurance Agency
Leave Me Bee Pest Control, Inc.
Magnetrol International, Incorporated
Martin Whalen Office Solutions
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
Sign*A*Rama – Aurora
SmithAmundsen, LLC
Sole Unique Dance Complex, Inc.
Sprint
State Farm Insurance Companies
Steffes & Associates Language and Translation (SALT)
The UPS Store – Kirk & Butterfield
The Voice
Trust Lending
Two Brothers Roundhouse
Valley Fastener Group, LLC
Waubonsee Community College
Weldstar Company
WIT-Enterprises, LLC
WSPY
Zippy Shell Fox Valley

Welcome New Members

Waterford Place Cancer Resource Center
Kelly Huggins
1310 Waterford Dr., Aurora
(331) 301-5280
Health Services

Compass Surveying Ltd
Helen Belgio
2631 Ginger Woods Pkwy, Ste 100, Aurora
(630) 820-9100
Surveyors

Raxity
Timothy Horstman
1585 Beverly Ct., Ste 108, Aurora
(630) 957-5300
Computer Services

Waxing the City Aurora
Jeff Klimala
4430 Fox Valley Center Dr., Ste 108, Aurora
(630) 618-2078
Beauty Services

MG Ward Solutions
(Agency of GlobalTranz)
Martha Gallego-Ward
896 S. Frontenac, Ste 104, Aurora
(630) 842-4693
Trucking & Transportation

SoMe Connect
Aalap Shah
180 N. Upper Wacker, Ste 400, Chicago
(773) 357-6636
Marketing & Advertising

 

Contact Us

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

 

 

Happy Summer!
We hope everyone is enjoying this great summer weather. We want to thank all of our members, sponsors, and attendees for another great year.

Nearly 75 high school students attended a Summer Career Exploration program as part of the Pathways to Prosperity collaboration in June. The students were excited about the opportunities available to them after speaking with more than a dozen of our local employers and seeing what the world of work in health sciences, information technology, and advanced manufacturing looked like on the inside. Our appreciation to those employers who hosted tours, shared their experiences, and supported the effort in any way.

Thank you to Presence Mercy Medical Center and all of our great sponsors for a record-setting Golf Classic last month at Orchard Valley Golf Course. Thank you to the committee, volunteers, and supporters for helping make that happen.

Thank you also to Julie Proscia of SmithAmundson who presented a What You Need to Know program on the DOL’s final overtime rules. Well versed on the intricacies of the rules, Julie answered many questions and provided a number of resources for those in attendance.

And, we’ve all heard that a stopgap budget has been approved by the General Assembly and signed by the Governor. While this allows our schools to open this fall, it still only provides six months of funding for the state’s spending. State senators and representatives are not scheduled to return to Springfield until after the general election on Nov. 8. To check whether you are registered to vote (or find out how to register), visit https://www.elections.il.gov/votinginformation /RegistrationLookup.aspx for details.

While we are enjoying the summer, we still have a number of events and programs we are working. We have a number of ribbon cuttings and networking events for our members to enjoy. Our Ambassadors continue to work with the team to reach out to new members and welcome them to the opportunities available. The Council on Legislative Affairs and Fox Valley PAC will be meeting to organize events, communications, and more for our members as we head into November and next spring’s elections.

If you have any questions, ideas, or suggestions, please let us know. We look forward to hearing from you.

Premier Members
Premier Members
Events for Members
Business Development Leads Group
Chamber offices, 43 W. Galena Blvd., Aurora
Tuesday, July 12, 7:45 a.m.
Register

Coffee & Connections
Painters District Council No 30, 1905 Sequoia Dr., Aurora
Sponsored by Aurora University
Tuesday, July 19, 8:30-10 a.m.
Register

Open House: MG Ward Solutions
896 S. Frontenac, Ste 104, Aurora
Friday, July 22
Ribbon Cutting: 9:30-11 a.m.
Open House: 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Register

Business Development Leads Group
Chamber offices, 43 W. Galena Blvd., Aurora
Tuesday, July 26, 7:45 a.m.
Register

Grand Opening: Family Vision Development Center
452 N. Eola Rd., Ste D, Aurora
Wednesday, July 27, 4-8 p.m.
Ribbon Cutting: 4:30 p.m.
Register

Fox Valley Networking Professionals 2016
Pomegranate Restaurant, 55 S. Commons Dr., Aurora, 60504
Thursday, July 28, 8:00 a.m.
Register

Grand Opening: Waxing the City, Aurora
4430 Fox Valley Center Dr., Ste 108, Aurora
Thursday, Aug. 4, 3:30-8 p.m.
Ribbon Cutting: 4 p.m.
Register

Grand Opening: Anytime Fitness, Aurora
1311 Butterfield Rd, Aurora
Wednesday, Aug. 10, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Ribbon Cutting: 11:30 a.m.
Register

Open House: NorthStar Credit Union
444 N. Eola Rd., Ste 101, Aurora
Friday, Aug. 12, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Ribbon Cutting: 11:30 p.m.
Register

Business Development Leads Group
Chamber offices, 43 W. Galena Blvd., Aurora
Tuesday, Aug. 23, 7:45 a.m.
Register

Fox Valley Networking Professionals 2016
Pomegranate Restaurant, 55 S. Commons Dr., Aurora, 60504
Thursday, Aug. 25, 8:00 a.m.
Register

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

Visit the Chamber blog:

Letter Supporting Our Region’s Community Services

Ill. Budget: Past-Due Bills

Health Care: Ill. Co-op, ACA

Ill. Budget: June Revenues, CGFA

Ill. Budget: K-12 Education

Ill. Budget: Stopgap Budget Bill Signed

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

Kane Co. Fair Opens July 20

Aurora Firefighters 5th Annual Golf Outing

Chicago Metro Metals Consortium

Midweek Farmers Markets Open for the Season

‘Joseph’ hits stage for 4 shows – July 15-17 – at Paramount Theatre

VNA Health Care Receives Federal Grant to Expand Dental Care in Aurora

New Bike-Share Program Available in Aurora

CNN Names GiGi’s Founder CNN Hero

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.

 

Ill. Budget: Past-Due Bills

Sunday, July 10th, 2016

Comptroller’s count shows Illinois now owes more than $7.8 billion in past-due bills. The running count, which is frequently updated, is included in the public website operated by Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger. As Illinois’ cash-flow superintendent, Munger is informed daily of the due-bill situation facing the State. The total of $7.81 billion, counted as of Wednesday, June 29, counts vouchers tabulated by the Comptroller’s office and payable from Illinois general funds that are classified as “backlogged” – vouchers on file for significant periods of time without State payment. The Comptroller’s office currently counts 66,971 backlogged State vouchers. These numbers are constantly changing as funds move in and out of various State coffers.

The $7.8 billion figure does not represent the totality of debts owed by Illinois and its taxpayers. Additional debts owed by Illinois included monies obligated by ongoing State programs but not yet billed to the State. In addition, pension actuaries warn that Illinois’ unfunded pension debts now total more than $110 billion. Illinois Republicans, led by House Republican leader Jim Durkin and Governor Bruce Rauner, point to these mushrooming debts and obligations. They continue to insist that the State enact structural reforms to its laws governing job creation and public-sector labor relations.

Health Care: Ill. Co-op, ACA

Sunday, July 10th, 2016

Key Affordable Care Act co-op operating in Illinois faces insolvency. Land of Lincoln Health, which believes it is the second largest provider of individual health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act (50,000 consumers enrolled), owes an eight-figure sum in risk adjustment payments based upon operations undertaken by the co-op and its competitors in 2015. The Illinois Department of Insurance has ordered the health insurance co-op to cease writing new insurance business. Acting Insurance Agency Director Anne Melissa Dowling has informed federal authorities that Land of Lincoln’s books need immediate action “to prevent an immediate liquidation” of the troubled insurer.

The Affordable Care Act contains complex provisions intended to both encourage and discourage new entries into the ACA insurance market. In particular, complex subsections of the law encouraged the setup of health insurance cooperatives in many regions of the United States. Other subsections of the law created a convoluted system of “risk adjustment payments” owed by some insurers to other firms. Risk adjustment payments are supposed to provide compensatory benefits to insurers who have sick patients and present costly diagnostic codes.

During the short period of time since the ACA went into full operation, the risk adjustment policy subsection of the ACA has extracted hundreds of millions of dollars in net payments from health insurance co-ops. More than half of the co-ops operating under the ACA (13 of 23) have gone under, and Land of Lincoln is one of the remaining 10.