Archive for May, 2017

This Week’s News from Aurora Chamber

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017
Header
May 30, 2017
In This Issue

 

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Elite Members

For more information contact the chamber.

95.9 The River
Above Board Indoor Environmental
Accurate Personnel
Advance Auto Parts
Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Aurora Bank & Trust
Aurora University
Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston
Caterpillar, Inc.
ComEd
Company 251
Copy King Office Solutions, Inc.
CyrusOne
Dolan & Murphy
Downtown Auroran Magazine
Eagle Digital Marketing
Endiro Coffee
First Secure Community Bank
Ice Miller LLP
Kluber Architects & Engineers
Konen Insurance Agency, Inc.
Magnetrol International, Inc.
Meyer Wealth Advisors
Mitutoyo America Corporation
Mooney & Thomas P.C.
Old Second National Bank
Painters District Council 30
Paramount Arts Centre
Pilmer Real Estate
Pipe Fitters Local 597
Plum Landing Retirement Community
Presence Mercy Medical Center
R.C. Wegman Construction Company
Rasmussen College
Rich Harvest Farms
Rush-Copley Medical Center
S&S Metal Recyclers II
ServPro of Aurora
Sign*A*Rama
SmithAmundsen, LLC
State Farm Insurance Companies
Steffes & Associates Language and Translation (SALT)
Two Brothers Roundhouse
Valley Fastener Group, LLC
The Voice
Waubonsee Community College
Weldstar Company
WSPY

Welcome New Members

The Granite and Marble Depot
Tarek Merhebi
850 Ridgeway Ave., Ste. B, Aurora
(630) 966-9666
Home Repairs

Your Timeless Treasures Resale
Constance Doggett
61 S Broadway Street, Aurora
(630) 692-9979
Retail

Java Plus
Mike & Vicki Morkert
1677 Montgomery Road, Aurora
(630) 518-2761
Coffee & Tea Products

Aurora Limousine Service
Mahommed Tahir
133 S. Lake Street, Aurora
(630) 947-8282
Taxi Services

 

Contact Us

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

 

 

Behind the Scenes at the Chamber
The Chamber team continues to focus on this summer’s events and programs. Thank you to Meyer Wealth Advisors for their presenting sponsorship of the 2017 Golf Classic at Aurora Country Club as well as more than 25 other sponsors. A limited number of opportunities remain – starting at just $250. For information on sponsorships, contact Maureen Gasek at (630) 256-3182.

In addition, Maureen is gathering volunteers interested in serving on the Golf Committee for a variety of roles. If you are interested, please contact her.

In response to requests from both new and existing members of the Aurora Chamber, Reba Osborne is organizing two orientation programs this summer. On Tuesday, June 27, we will host an orientation and overview to ChamberMaster. If you are interested in learning more about your online presence – as well as opportunities to post job openings, hot deals, events, and more…this is the program for you. Contact Reba for details and to reserve your spot.

Later this summer, we will host an overview and orientation opportunity for current Ambassadors as well as those members interested in becoming an Ambassador. While the date has not been set, Reba will have more information in the coming weeks.

We have met with a number of existing employers in the region (and a few planning to relocate to the area) to support their needs, including hiring opportunities for job growth. On a related note, for those who have followed our goal to engage a greater number of local employers in providing job opportunities for students with disabilities, we have seen great success. Last week, three more of those students were hired by local businesses. If you are interested in more information on the program, please let us know.

Finally, with just days left in the current session of the General Assembly, our phones, email, social media applications have been following (and weighing in as appropriate) dozens of pieces of legislation of interest to our local employers and community.

This week, in addition to honoring those service members who gave the ultimate sacrifice at the City’s parade, we are looking forward to a number of meetings (including a new group creating a Leadership Alumni group) as well as the ribbon cutting at James Town Allstate office on Downer.

If you would like to know more about any of these activities – or more of what we are working on to support our business members, please reach out and let us know: jhenning@aurorachamber.com or (630) 256-3180.

Have a great week.

Calendar of Events
Ribbon Cutting: James Town Allstate
Friday, June 2, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.
7 W. Downer Pl., Aurora
Ribbon Cutting 4:00 p.m.

Grand Opening: Metro 59 Apartments
Wednesday, June 7, 4 – 8 p.m.
1016 Station Blvd., Aurora
Ribbon Cutting: 4:30 p.m.

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

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

Save the Date: Chamber Golf Classic
Monday, July 10, 2017
Aurora Country Club, 1548 Prairie St., Aurora
Registration Opens: Thursday, June 1

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

Visit the Chamber blog:

Ill. Chamber Shares Springfield Update

Ill. House GOP on Budget

Springfield Update

Illinois Budget: An Opion From State Rep. Keith Wheeler

Equal-Pay Act Changes Limit Employer Defenses

‘Grand Bargain’ Update

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

VNA Health Care Announces New Chief Financial Officer Don Klink

Community Initiative to Combat Gangs and Drugs

Upgrade Your Manufacturing Skills at Waubonsee

Summer Institute @ IMSA

Aurora Library to Host Free Concerts

Aurora Fire Department Launches New Fire Cadet Program

Registration is under way for Mid-American Canoe & Kayak Race on Fox River

Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce | 43 W. Galena Blvd. Aurora, Illinois 60506
Phone: (630) 256-3180 Fax: (630) 256-3189 | www.aurorachamber.com
This email was sent by Bee Atomic on behalf of Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Ill. Chamber Shares Springfield Update

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

The Illinois General Assembly is approaching the 11th hour of the 2017 spring legislative session. All eyes have shifted over to the House as a majority of the Senate’s grand bargain bills now lay in the hands of the House. The House and Senate returned to Springfield yesterday (Sunday) to finish off the final four scheduled session days.

FAKE WORKERS’ COMPENSATION ON THE FAST TRACK

Unfortunately, workers compensation has taken a turn for the worse. It appears as if the House and Senate Democrats are abandoning SB 12 and SB 198, which included palatable reforms to the state’s workers’ compensation for fake workers’ compensation reform.

HB 2525 (Hoffman/Raoul) is being sold as workers’ compensation reform, however it is far from it. Codification of current bad case law for “causation” and “traveling employee” merely locks employers into the court expanded liability. Senate amendment 2 offers some relief but is far outweighed by increased regulation and litigation that are contained in the measure. The Senate approved the bill on a 35-19-1 vote this afternoon. It goes back to the House for concurrence which returns Sunday at 4 pm. Republican Senator Sam McCann was the lone GOP vote in support. No Democrat voted against the bill.

Also approved by the Senate was HB 2622 (Fine/Biss). This measure uses employer and insurer tax dollars to capitalize the creation of a state established, mutual insurance company to compete with the over 300 insurers that already provide workers’ compensation coverage. The $10 million of startup money are tax dollars that currently go to run the operations of the Workers’ Compensation Commission. The legislation provides that the funds are a “loan” to be paid back with interest. Given the track record regarding finances of Illinois state government, it is difficult to believe the loan would be paid in a timely fashion. Furthermore, removing resources meant to support the operations of the Commission jeopardizes the entire adjudication of workers’ compensation for injured workers as well as employers. The Senate approval was 32-20-1 and sends the measure to the Governor. Again, Sen. McCann was the only Republican vote. Democrats Mike Hastings and Steve Landek voted “no”.

SENATE DEMS APPROVE $5.4 BILLION TAX INCREASE 

Most notably, the Senate’s tax omnibus bill (SB 9) passed the Senate this week 32-26-0. The $5.4 billion tax increase passed without a single Republican “aye” vote. As reported last week, the bill would increase the individual income tax rate to 4.95 percent (current law 3.25), increase the corporate rate to seven percent (current law 5.25), and adds a statewide service tax of 6.25 percent on various services.

However, a parliamentarian trick was applied to SB 9 when Republican State Representative Jeanne Ives hijacked the bill and pre-filed as chief sponsor, thus giving her complete destiny of the bill.

Rep. Ives filed an amendment to SB 9, which replaces everything in the engrossed version as passed the Senate. Her amendment does not increase the current income tax rates and reinstates various pro-growth tax credits.

The House Democrats will likely have to pass their own tax legislation under a new bill number. The House Revenue committee passed the bill out of committee on a 7-4 vote. It arrived on the House floor yesterday for a second reading.

$15 MINIMUM WAGE REVIVED 

This afternoon, a new minimum wage proposal was introduced in the House. House Committee Amendment No. 1 to SB 81 (Clayborne/Guzzardi) would incrementally increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2022 for those over 18 years of age and would incrementally increase the minimum wage to $12 per hour for those under the age of 18 by 2022. The amendment remains in House Labor Committee but is expected to be given a hearing before May 31st.

BACK LOG OF BILLS

A bill designed to pay down the state’s backlog of bills passed out of the House Executive Committee this week. SB 4 (Trotter/G. Harris) would authorize the issuance of an unidentified (previously $7 billion) amount of state general obligation bonds.

The Chamber has received several requests from members as to how the state plans on paying back the G.O Bonds. The answer was made clear this week when Senate President Cullerton filed Senate Floor Amendment No. 1 to SB 481. The amendment would provide for a temporary income tax surcharge to be applied to the 4.95 percent laid out in SB 9 and would be increased to 5.25 percent until the amount bonded is paid off. The amendment has been assigned to Senate Executive Committee.

POLL: VOTERS REJECT INCREASED DATA COLLECTION

A new statewide poll released today shows that 76% of Illinois voters oppose legislation that is being considered by the Illinois General Assembly to capture more additional consumer data and eliminate anonymous use of the internet. Additionally, 63% of voters also oppose the elimination of anonymous browsing and laws favoring special interest groups, both components of the proposed “Right to Know” bills in Springfield.

“The ‘Right to Know’ bill sounds good in theory – but once Illinois voters know what’s actually in it, they are clearly against these provisions,” said Todd Maisch, President and CEO, Illinois Chamber of Commerce. “Forcing businesses into collecting more data for longer about their customers and exposing residents’ private browsing is a step backwards for our state.”

The poll conducted from May 12-15 shows that people throughout Illinois are concerned with the effects of SB1502, “Right to Know” would have on their ability to use the internet and their apps safely. Both bills are currently moving through the House and the Senate.

Ill. House GOP on Budget

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

With time running out, Democrats resort to old tax and spend playbook. Rather than work together to pass a true balanced budget, Democrats are going back to their old tax and spend playbook.

Every time Republicans asked during negotiations that greater reforms be included, Democrats pulled back and said they’ve gone as far as they can.

In truth, Democrats were merely running out the clock in order to pass their $5.4 billion tax hike.

Contrary to previous public comments by Democrat leaders, the General Assembly hasn’t passed a balanced budget in 15 years. In fact, their decade-and-a-half of failed leadership controlling both Chambers is why Illinois is facing this fiscal crisis.

The budget Democrats are advancing, like their previous budgets, is not balanced. This budget will not address the crisis facing our state. This budget puts the burden on Illinois taxpayers. This budget is about headlines, not helping the people of Illinois. This budget is reckless and irresponsible.

Enough with the gimmicks. Enough with the budget sleight of hand.

We are close on a real budget, close on worker’s comp reform, which will make Illinois competitive again.

We need property tax relief as well. Property taxes are crushing Illinois homeowners and businesses. The residents of Illinois want, and deserve, meaningful property tax relief.

House Republicans stand with taxpayers and homeowners in ensuring any final budget agreement is fair.

We can get consensus on a true balanced budget, with property tax relief, which will put Illinois on a responsible path forward.

Lack of budget leads to impending crisis in Illinois debt market. Market prices this week for Illinois-issued securities, including but not limited to general obligation debt, indicated a significant belief among market traders that Illinois’ credit status could continue to decline in the near future. This week, the interest rate paid by Illinois taxpayers to lenders willing to purchase 10-year Illinois General Obligation (G.O.) bonds rose to 4.43%, 245 basis points above the interest rates demanded by lenders to units of the U.S. private sector that are rated triple-A (AAA).

The three largest credit-rating agencies currently rank Illinois G.O. debt at the equivalent of BBB with a negative outlook, only two notches about “junk bond” territory. Implementation of the “negative outlook” posted by Fitch Ratings and its brethren credit measurement firms could lead to Illinois’ G.O. debt being cut to BBB-, the lowest rank available for investment-grade securities, and then to the junk-bond-level BB+. The fact that Illinois taxpayers this week were paying interest rates more than double the 1.98% market rates charged against AAA borrowers indicated a significant belief in credit markets that this was a serious possibility facing the State of Illinois. Market analysts have told clients of key lending coordinator Citigroup that the 4.43% interest rate currently being paid by Illinois and its taxpayers already anticipates, or “prices in,” a further cut in the Illinois G.O. credit rating from BBB to BBB-.

Illinois’ decade-and-a-half of structural deficits are strongly implicated in the current Illinois credit rate crisis, which also affects many private-sector entities in Illinois, including entities that are involuntary creditors of the State due to the $14.5 billion backlog of unpaid bills.

Also affected are units of the Illinois public sector. A wide variety of entities, including State of Illinois public universities, are depending upon funding from the State. Many Illinois public universities have seen cuts in their credit ratings in recent months that track the cuts imposed on Illinois. Credit ratings of units of Illinois local government and public school districts are also seen as being at risk from Illinois’ current budget impasse.

VNA Health Care Announces New Chief Financial Officer Don Klink

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

VNA Health Care announces a new leadership hire. Don Klink joined VNA as Vice President of Finance/Chief Financial Officer. He is responsible for VNA’s financial administration, including all budgeting and financial and regulatory reporting, and oversees revenue management, accounting operations, and payroll. Don brings more than 25 years of experience as a senior level finance executive to this role. Prior to joining VNA, he worked in the healthcare field for Hudson Global, Accretive Health, and Addus Homecare Corporation.

“I am excited to start this new challenge with VNA Health Care and look forward to working with the team to help VNA continue to grow and expand in order to provide affordable healthcare to those in need,” said Don.

Linnea Windel, President/CEO said “Don’s extensive experience and understanding of healthcare make him a key addition to VNA’s senior leadership team. I’m confident Don will provide strong financial leadership to our organization, contributing to our position as one of the top Federally Qualified Health Centers in the nation.”

Don holds a bachelor of science in Accounting from Bradley University in Peoria and an MBA with a focus on finance and strategy from the University of Chicago. He is a licensed CPA and holds a certification as a charted global management accountant.

VNA Health Care provides affordable health care to 65,000 women, men and children living primarily in Kane, DuPage, and Will counties.  VNA runs ten community health centers and is nationally ranked as a top performing health center as a result of patient outcomes such as prenatal care, adolescent weight screening and counseling, vascular disease treatment, blood pressure control, healthy birthweights, and asthma care. VNA’s combination of convenience (by appointment or walk-in), patient-centered technology and expert care delivered with respect and compassion have led to these results. VNA is accredited by The Joint Commission.

News from Aurora Chamber

Monday, May 22nd, 2017
Header
May 22, 2017
In This Issue

 

Quick Links

Follow Us!
Facebook Twitter Blog

Elite Members

For more information contact the chamber.

95.9 The River
Above Board Indoor Environmental
Accurate Personnel
Advance Auto Parts
Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Aurora Bank & Trust
Aurora University
Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston
Caterpillar, Inc.
ComEd
Company 251
Copy King Office Solutions, Inc.
CyrusOne
Dolan & Murphy
Downtown Auroran Magazine
Eagle Digital Marketing
Endiro Coffee
First Secure Community Bank
Ice Miller LLP
Kluber Architects & Engineers
Konen Insurance Agency, Inc.
Magnetrol International, Inc.
Meyer Wealth Advisors
Mitutoyo America Corporation
Mooney & Thomas P.C.
Old Second National Bank
Painters District Council 30
Paramount Arts Centre
Pilmer Real Estate
Pipe Fitters Local 597
Plum Landing Retirement Community
Presence Mercy Medical Center
R.C. Wegman Construction Company
Rasmussen College
Rich Harvest Farms
Rush-Copley Medical Center
S&S Metal Recyclers II
ServPro of Aurora
Sign*A*Rama
SmithAmundsen, LLC
State Farm Insurance Companies
Steffes & Associates Language and Translation (SALT)
Two Brothers Roundhouse
Valley Fastener Group, LLC
The Voice
Waubonsee Community College
Weldstar Company
WSPY

Contact Us

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

 

 

Behind the Scenes at the Chamber
Last week, the Chamber team was busy working on a number of programs and activities to support our members, employers, and community. Among the highlights, we:

• Continued planning for the 2017 Golf Classic at Aurora Country Club presented by Meyer Wealth Advisors and adding a number of additional sponsors. Many sponsorships are still available – starting at just $250. For information on sponsorships, contact Maureen Gasek at (630) 256-3182;

• Celebrated several East Aurora 131 students and their accomplishments;

• Welcomed dozens of new members to Coffee & Connections with networking and an orientation to Chamber benefits;

• Congratulated North Aurora Police Chief David Summer on his retirement;

• Completed 2017 Leadership Academy with a wrap-up breakfast where the participants shared their experiences with the program and their visits to local community organizations;

• Attended the Fox Valley United Way’s annual breakfast, Alden of Waterford’s Spring Fling, Tommy Hilfiger’s business networking event, as well as the Aurora Downtown board meeting;

• Celebrated KCT Credit Union’s 80th anniversary with a ribbon cutting and open house;

• Met with community members to begin planning a resource fair to support students with disabilities and their families.

This week, we are preparing for:

• Fox Valley Networking Professionals, an upcoming Exporting Forum and Luncheon, the Golf Classic, and more for our members.

If you would like to know more about any of these activities – or more of what we are working on to support our business members, please reach out and let us know: jhenning@aurorachamber.com or (630) 256-3180.

Have a great week.

Mayor Irvin Announces New Mayor’s Office Leadership Team
As Mayor Richard C. Irvin began his second week in office, he announced key staff changes in the Mayor’s Office, with more announcements planned in the upcoming weeks.

“My goal is to always surround myself with proven leaders who are dedicated to their area of endeavor and committed to the betterment of Aurora,” said Irvin. “The Mayor’s Office is just our first step in aligning positions at City Hall for the best maximum outcomes across the board.”

Mayor Irvin has appointed longtime City executive Alex G. Alexandrou as Aurora’s next Chief Management Officer. Bringing nearly three decades of municipal leadership to the Mayor’s Office, Alexandrou will be responsible for the daily operations of the City. He has 17 years of leadership with the City of Aurora serving under former Mayors Stover, Weisner and O’Connor, most recently serving as Chief Administrative Services Officer.

For more details, visit the Chamber blog.

Calendar of Events
Fox Valley Networking Professionals
Thursday, May 25, 8 – 9:30 a.m.
Pomegranate Restaurant, 55 S. Commons Dr., Aurora
Sponsorship Available

Ribbon Cutting: James Town Allstate
Friday, June 2, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.
7 W. Downer Pl., Aurora
Ribbon Cutting 4:00 p.m.

Grand Opening: Metro 59 Apartments
Wednesday, June 7, 4 – 8 p.m.
1016 Station Blvd., Aurora
Ribbon Cutting: 4:30 p.m.

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

Save the Date: Chamber Golf Classic
Monday, July 10, 2017
Aurora Country Club, 1548 Prairie St., Aurora

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

Visit the Chamber blog:

Springfield Update

Illinois Budget: An Opion From State Rep. Keith Wheeler

Equal-Pay Act Changes Limit Employer Defenses

‘Grand Bargain’ Update

April 2017 General Assembly Report

Illinois Chamber Releases ‘Job Crusherz’ List

“Lifeline” Budget Sent to Senate

Fair Maps

Jobs

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.

Community Initiative to Combat Gangs and Drugs

Construction set to begin on Blackhawk Park

Moody’s Upgrades FVPD Credit Rating

Fox Valley Park District seats first elected board

Engineering Enterprises Wins ACEC-IL Special Achievement Award

Engineering Enterprises Recognized for Elburn’s Wastewater Facility Improvements

Upgrade Your Manufacturing Skills at Waubonsee

Summer Institute @ IMSA

Aurora Library to Host Free Concerts

Aurora Fire Department Launches New Fire Cadet Program

Aurora, Five Others to Receive Grants to Implement the PWR Act

Kids Days Announced to be a part of the 2017 NCAA Golf Championships

Metro Chicago Exports is accepting applications for the 2017 Grant Program

Registration is under way for Mid-American Canoe & Kayak Race on Fox River

Are You Prepared for an Emergency?
The City of Aurora’s Office of Emergency Management encourages everyone to prepare for and emergency event, including severe weather and natural disasters. The Aurora Emergency Management Agency is available for site surveys, severe weather plan review, and to provide severe weather presentations.

Information, tips, and planning guides may be found at https://www.aurora-il.org/ema/planandprepare/index.php

If you have questions or would like to request support or review of preparations, contact Joseph Jones, CEM, emergency management coordinator with the City of Aurora at EMA@aurora-il.org or by calling (630) 256-5800.

Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce | 43 W. Galena Blvd. Aurora, Illinois 60506
Phone: (630) 256-3180 Fax: (630) 256-3189 | www.aurorachamber.com
This email was sent by Bee Atomic on behalf of Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Community Initiative to Combat Gangs and Drugs

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

Tuesday, May 23, at 6:00 p.m.

Aurora Public Library – Santori Library

101 South River Street, Aurora, Illinois 60506 (Rooms 125/126)

 

Kane County is the fifth most populous county in the State of Illinois with two major metropolitan cities — Elgin and Aurora. Both Elgin and Aurora span multiple county jurisdictions and are in close proximity to the City of Chicago allowing for easy transportation access. Aurora is the second largest city in the state and the largest in Kane County.

The Kane County Sheriff’s Office and the Aurora Public Library will present a Forum to address the interrelated issues on gangs and drugs. Guest speakers include former gang members, counselors, law enforcement officers, and presenters with special topical knowledge. The Forum will be followed by a question and answer session. Presenters include African American Men of Unity, Kane County Sheriff’s Office, and, the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Please join the Kane County Sheriff’s Office as they present the little known facts on community initiatives that are taking place right in our own back yards to combat gangs and reduce the flow of drugs to our local neighborhood youth and schools.

Springfield Update

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

Last week, the Senate favorably passed six pieces of legislation in the Senate’s “grand bargain” package. Language was added to several of the bills that removed the “if and only if” language that would have required every bill to be signed into law in order for the entire package to become law.

The bills that passed favorably included education funding reform (SB 1), local government consolidation (SB 3), $7 million in borrowed money to pay back the bill backlog (SB 4), gaming expansion (SB 7), procurement reform (SB 8), and pension reform (SB 16). All of those have since been assigned to House committees for next week.

Two major pieces of the Senate’s grand bargain also saw amendments this week.

SB 9, otherwise known as the tax omnibus bill, received some tweaks. The 502-page amendment remains similar to the previous version. However, the new version reduces the personal income tax levy from the previous version from 4.99 percent to 4.95 percent (current law is 3.25 percent). In addition, the corporate rate would rise to 7 percent. The income tax rates for both corporations and individuals would be applied retroactively to January 2017 and the rates would expire January 1, 2024.

The new amendment would retain taxation of certain services. The scope of the services taxed appear unchanged from the previous version. The services taxed at 6.25 percent statewide include:

1) Storage (including parking for cars, aircraft, boat slips, and RV parking);

2) Repair, servicing, alternation, fitting, cleaning, painting, coating, towing, inspection or maintenance of tangible personal property or tangible personal property affixed to real estate (tax does not apply to new construction, reconstruction, or expansion of a building or structure);

3) Landscaping services;

4) Laundry, dry cleaning, including linen service;

5) Cable television, video and audio streaming, direct satellite broadcast;

6) Private detective, alarm and security;

7) Structural pest control; and

8) Personal care services (but excluding haircuts).

Among other things, this legislation caps the vendor discount at $1,000 for sellers in any calendar month, reinstates the graphic arts machinery and equipment exemption, expands the manufacturing machinery and equipment exemption, the unitary business non-combination rule would be repealed, the definition of the “United States” would be expanded, and the research and development credit would be reinstated retroactively.

The Senate’s workers’ compensation proposal also received a new amendment. SB 198 (formerly SB 12) is essentially amendment 4 to SB 12 as reported on last week with two specific changes. SB 198 adopts the move from the current medical fee charge system to an resource-based relative value scale effective September 1, 2017. In addition, the new amendment requires the Workers’ Compensation Commission to investigate all procedures, treatments, and services covered under law for ambulatory surgical treatment centers and accredited ambulatory surgical treatment facilities and establish fee schedule amounts for procedures, treatments, and services for which fee schedule amounts have not been established.

Unfortunately, key issues such as changing causation standard, defining traveling employees, and strengthening AMA guidelines are not part of this compromise. It would appear that this is likely the extent of what will be considered workers’ compensation reform.

 

Coal-Tar Ban Revitalized

The Chamber has received word that the House sponsor to a bill that would allow any municipality or county to ban coal tar sealants has begun working a roll call in the House.

As you may recall earlier on in the year, HB 2958 (Fine) would ban the use of an environmentally preferred sealant on roadways, driveways, and parking lots that are important for preserving pavements, savings money for homeowners, businesses and governments alike.

 

Mayor Irvin Announces New Mayor’s Office Leadership Team

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

As Mayor Richard C. Irvin begins his second week in office, he is announcing key staff changes in the Mayor’s Office, with more announcements planned in the upcoming weeks.

“My goal is to always surround myself with proven leaders who are dedicated to their area of endeavor and committed to the betterment of Aurora,” said Irvin. “The Mayor’s Office is just our first step in aligning positions at City Hall for the best maximum outcomes across the board.”

Mayor Irvin has appointed longtime City executive Alex G. Alexandrou as Aurora’s next Chief Management Officer. Bringing nearly three decades of municipal leadership to the Mayor’s Office, Alexandrou will be responsible for the daily operations of the City. He has 17 years of leadership with the City of Aurora serving under former Mayors Stover, Weisner and O’Connor, most recently serving as Chief Administrative Services Officer.  Previously, he served as the City’s Risk Manager, Human Resources Director and Chief Labor Negotiator with the City’s labor unions. Prior to Aurora, Alexandrou was with the Village of Oak Park for a decade.  In April, he was elected to serve as Fox Valley Park District Commissioner – at- Large.

“As we move Aurora forward and I spend time building relationships throughout the city, region and nation, it is important to know that the daily operations of City Hall and our 1,000+ employees are in capable hands,” said Mayor Irvin. “Alex Alexandrou is a seasoned leader who will handle the position of Chief Management Officer in a progressive and professional manner.  He and others on the Mayor’s leadership team bring years of experience to the decision-making table as we continue to build Aurora together.”

Returning to the Mayor’s office after a yearlong stint as the City’s Director of Neighborhood Standards is longtime City executive and former alderman Chuck Nelson.  Nelson will fill the current vacant Assistant Chief of Staff position with a new title and duties as the City’s first-ever Deputy Mayor. As Deputy Mayor, Nelson will assist the mayor in political endeavors, business outreach, community collaborations and educational initiatives, including leading the charge to establish the City’s new education commission.

“Chuck Nelson is synonymous with Aurora,” said Mayor Irvin. “He’s a stalwart leader who is respected in all circles. As Deputy Mayor, he will represent the City on my behalf and help us to successfully implement our action plan for this administration.”

Nelson will also serve as the mayor’s liaison to the Aurora City Council, on which he served as the 4th Ward Alderman from 1993 to 2005. He will also handle veterans’ initiatives and serve as the liaison of the Aurora Veterans Advisory Council. Nelson served as Mayor Tom Weisner’s Assistant Chief of Staff from 2006 to 2015 when he was asked to head the City’s Neighborhood Standards Department.

New to the Mayor’s Office but not new to Mayor Irvin’s team is the new Mayor’s Office Coordinator, Maria Lindsay.  The longtime executive assistant to Irvin at the Law Offices of Richard C. Irvin and Associates brings nearly a decade of leadership and knowledge to her new role. She will handle the Mayor’s day-to-day schedule and coordinate special initiatives for Mayor Irvin and the leadership team.

Two experienced Mayor’s Office staffers will remain in place, but with expanded roles in the new administration.

Alex Voigt will continue in her role as Assistant Chief of Staff, a position that she has held since 2015.  During her nearly seven years with the City, she has served as Executive Assistant to the Mayor, Management Analyst, Interim EMA Manager and Interim City Clerk.  She’ll continue to manage the Mayor’s Boards and Commissions and represent the Mayor’s Office at City Council committee meetings.

The City’s Director of Communications Clayton Muhammad will also continue as part of the Mayor’s team, a position he has held since 2013.  As part of Mayor Irvin’s goal to expand visibility and publicity for the City, Muhammad and his team will publicize the many ongoing initiatives and initiatives of all City departments and auxiliaries, and enhance the City’s community relations and social media initiatives, including regular live updates from Mayor Irvin and City Council members. Previously, Muhammad served as Director of Community Relations at East Aurora School District 131 for nearly a decade.

Initial staff changes began last week during Irvin’s first days in office and will continue through this week. Additional key staff changes will be announced over the next couple of weeks.

“We are hitting the ground running with a strong leadership team in the Mayor’s Office led by Mayor Irvin. I’m honored the mayor has the confidence in me as the Chief Management Officer as we start to implement Mayor Irvin’s vision for Aurora,” said Alexandrou. “This is just the beginning and our entire team is looking forward to continued progress and excellence.”

New Members, Programs, Events, More from Aurora Chamber

Monday, May 15th, 2017
Header
May 15, 2017
In This Issue

 

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Elite Members

For more information contact the chamber.

95.9 The River
Above Board Indoor Environmental
Accurate Personnel
Advance Auto Parts
Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Aurora Bank & Trust
Aurora University
Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston
Caterpillar, Inc.
ComEd
Company 251
Copy King Office Solutions, Inc.
CyrusOne
Dolan & Murphy
Downtown Auroran Magazine
Eagle Digital Marketing
Endiro Coffee
First Secure Community Bank
Ice Miller LLP
Kluber Architects & Engineers
Konen Insurance Agency, Inc.
Magnetrol International, Inc.
Meyer Wealth Advisors
Mitutoyo America Corporation
Mooney & Thomas P.C.
Old Second National Bank
Painters District Council 30
Paramount Arts Centre
Pilmer Real Estate
Pipe Fitters Local 597
Plum Landing Retirement Community
Presence Mercy Medical Center
R.C. Wegman Construction Company
Rasmussen College
Rich Harvest Farms
Rush Copley Medical Center
S&S Metal Recyclers II
ServPro of Aurora
Sign*A*Rama
SmithAmundsen, LLC
State Farm Insurance Companies
Steffes & Associates Language and Translation (SALT)
Two Brothers Roundhouse
Valley Fastener Group, LLC
The Voice
Waubonsee Community College
Weldstar Company
WSPY

Welcome New Members

ServPro of Aurora (Elite)
Kelly Melone
847 S. River Street, Aurora
(630) 862-3930
Fire, Flood, Mold Restoration

 

Contact Us

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

 

 

Behind the Scenes at the Chamber
Last week, the Chamber team was busy working on a number of programs and activities to support our members, employers, and community. Among the highlights, we:

• Continued planning for the 2017 Golf Classic at Aurora Country Club presented by Meyer Wealth Advisors with Prestige Sponsors Aurora Generation and Rasmussen College; Beverage Sponsor Geneva Construction Company; Putting Green Sponsor Konen Insurance Agency; Hole Sponsors Finishing Solutions Network; and Lunch Sponsors Cordogan, Clark & Associates. For information on sponsorships, contact Maureen Gasek at (630) 256-3182.

• Attended the inauguration of Mayor Richard Irvin and City Council members;

• Introduced potential employers to the students with disabilities who have been learning job skills with the Fox Valley Park District – boy, have those students really succeeded in their work;

• Celebrated a ribbon cutting at Pet Supplies Plus in North Aurora and their partnership with Anderson Animal Shelter’s adoption center;

• Toured SciTech with the Leadership Academy and Abbey Farms’ Nagel Emporium with the Ambassadors;

• Attended a focus group to discuss the skills needed by high school graduates in order to be successful on the job;

• Submitted an op-ed to local media expressing the need to invest in education to prepare them for career success (and explained the return on that investment);

• Met with the Nominating Committee of the Board to identify new directors and officers for the 2017-2018 year; and

• Participated in a number of meetings with expanding businesses and new businesses in the region to assist with engagement and hiring of employees.

This week, we are preparing for:

• Coffee & Connections tomorrow with new and prospective members;

• A retirement reception for Chief David Summer, North Aurora Police Department; and

• Member events including Spring Fling After Hours at Alden of Waterford; United Way’s annual community breakfast, and a ribbon cutting at KCT Credit Union.

If you would like to know more about any of these activities – or more of what we are working on to support our business members, please reach out and let us know: jhenning@aurorachamber.com or (630) 256-3180.

Have a great week.

Did You Know?
Did you know that fellow chamber members serve as ambassadors for the Chamber? These dedicated volunteers help with chamber events, ribbon cuttings and mentor new members. Being an ambassador supports all we do as a chamber and is a great way to get your business name out in the community. If you would like to learn more about being an ambassador, contact Reba Osborne, director of membership at (630) 256-3184.
Calendar of Events
Coffee & Connections
Tuesday, May 16, 8:30 – 10 a.m.
Painters District No.30, 1905 Sequoia Drive, Aurora
Sponsorship Available

Spring Fling Business After Hours
Wednesday May 17, 4 – 6 p.m.
Alden of Waterford – Short-Term Rehabilitation, 2021 Randi Drive, Aurora

Ribbon Cutting: KCT Credit Union
Friday, May 19, 3:30 – 5:00 p.m.
320 E. Indian Trail Road, Aurora
Ribbon Cutting: 4:00 p.m

Fox Valley Networking Professionals
Thursday, May 25, 8 – 9:30 a.m.
Pomegranate Restaurant, 55 S. Commons Dr., Aurora
Sponsorship Available

Ribbon Cutting: James Town Allstate
Friday, June 2, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.
7 W. Downer Pl., Aurora
Ribbon Cutting 4:00 p.m.

Grand Opening: Metro 59 Apartments
Wednesday, June 7, 4 – 8 p.m.
1016 Station Blvd., Aurora
Ribbon Cutting: 4:30 p.m.

Save the Date: Chamber Golf Classic
Monday, July 10, 2017
Aurora Country Club, 1548 Prairie St., Aurora

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

Visit the Chamber blog:

Illinois Budget: An Opion From State Rep. Keith Wheeler

Equal-Pay Act Changes Limit Employer Defenses

‘Grand Bargain’ Update

April 2017 General Assembly Report

Illinois Chamber Releases ‘Job Crusherz’ List

“Lifeline” Budget Sent to Senate

Fair Maps

Jobs

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.

Construction set to begin on Blackhawk Park

Moody’s Upgrades FVPD Credit Rating

Fox Valley Park District seats first elected board

Engineering Enterprises Wins ACEC-IL Special Achievement Award

Engineering Enterprises Recognized for Elburn’s Wastewater Facility Improvements

Upgrade Your Manufacturing Skills at Waubonsee

Summer Institute @ IMSA

Aurora Library to Host Free Concerts

Aurora Fire Department Launches New Fire Cadet Program

Aurora, Five Others to Receive Grants to Implement the PWR Act

Kids Days Announced to be a part of the 2017 NCAA Golf Championships

Metro Chicago Exports is accepting applications for the 2017 Grant Program

Registration is under way for Mid-American Canoe & Kayak Race on Fox River

Are You Prepared for an Emergency?
The City of Aurora’s Office of Emergency Management encourages everyone to prepare for and emergency event, including severe weather and natural disasters. The Aurora Emergency Management Agency is available for site surveys, severe weather plan review, and to provide severe weather presentations.

Information, tips, and planning guides may be found at https://www.aurora-il.org/ema/planandprepare/index.php

If you have questions or would like to request support or review of preparations, contact Joseph Jones, CEM, emergency management coordinator with the City of Aurora at EMA@aurora-il.org or by calling (630) 256-5800.

Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce | 43 W. Galena Blvd. Aurora, Illinois 60506
Phone: (630) 256-3180 Fax: (630) 256-3189 | www.aurorachamber.com
This email was sent by Bee Atomic on behalf of Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Illinois Budget: An Opion From State Rep. Keith Wheeler

Monday, May 15th, 2017

For too long, Springfield politicians have been stuck in the past. They think the pressing issues of our day — large budget deficits, unfunded public pensions, and dangerously high out-migration — are similar to the ones Illinois has faced in eras past.

Have a problem? Look to the glory days of state government, they say. Just cut a little spending here and there, do a massive tax hike, and another short-term pension fix to top it off. Just remember to keep the overall system intact. They swear it’ll do the trick for a few years, maybe even a decade.

Current and former elected officials may deny it, but the old ways of doing business have been anything but glorious for the people of Illinois. For the past 15 years, state government has been operating with budgets in structural deficit. That’s 15 years of complete and total failure. Fifteen years of the General Assembly failing to meet its most basic constitutional obligation — to pass a balanced budget for the governor to sign into law. Read the rest of the editorial in SJ-R.

Want an Illinois budget? Adopt a revenue estimate. K-12 schools and state universities need a state budget. Social service providers need a state budget. The most vulnerable individuals and families across Illinois need a state budget.

State government in Illinois is financially adrift because the General Assembly hasn’t stepped up to lead and make the tough decisions to work through a budget. By law we are required to begin by adopting a revenue estimate. I have filed legislation to do just that.

Why is it so important that we adopt a revenue estimate? There are three reasons:

The revenue estimate is the actual first step in our budgeting process. How do we know how much each appropriations committee has to allocate for their assigned departments and agencies if we don’t start with the Revenue Estimate?

The revenue estimate is required by state law and the Illinois Constitution. Just look it up. We have to do it. If we appropriate funds without a revenue estimate, we are, in effect, breaking the law.

The revenue estimate is an important form of taxpayer protection. If we skip the revenue estimate and just appropriate according to our wishes and the requests of the departments and agencies of state government, we will likely spend too much, which will trigger a tax increase.

Read the remainder of an opinion piece by Rep. Keith Wheeler.