Archive for August, 2017

IMSA, Tellabs Foundation Announce Next Generation Innovators Award Winners

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

The Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy and Tellabs Foundation are thrilled to announce the winners of the 2017 Tellabs Foundation Next Generation Innovators Award – an award that encourages and recognizes entrepreneurial-minded middle school students from across Illinois.

Four applicants have been selected to receive the inaugural award: three individuals and one team, each with a product or working prototype that has a significant, positive social impact. EpilEXPERT, developed by Monika Narain, 13, of Schaumburg, is an easy, wearable EGG sensor connected to an Android app that helps track, monitor, and record seizures and medications for people with epilepsy. The alert system assists patients in receiving assistance and physicians in tracking and customizing treatment plans.

Joshua Orr, a 13 year old from Naperville, is a finalist with Fast Exit, an intelligent exit sign system designed to dramatically reduce evacuation times during disasters. Fast Exit provides real-time, safe exit information to users resulting in an evacuation that is four times faster than simply following static signs.

New Bee-ginnings, a bee house designed to provide a place safe from pesticides and human interference, is designed by 12 year old Kaden Welch from Morris. There has been a recent drop in bee populations worldwide, and New Bee-ginnings serves to boost that very important population of pollinators.

Rounding out the awardees, is a team of four middle school students from Aurora – Prarthana Prashantha, Milind Sagaram, Srikand Lokes, and Shreyas Rao. This team is developing a clean energy conservation system that converts electrical energy, supplied by solar power into potential energy to then be released generating electrical energy.

“These young innovators are developing ideas and solutions for some of the world’s greatest challenges,” stated IMSA President, Dr. José M. Torres. “The Tellabs Foundation Next Generation Innovators Award recognizes students from across Illinois and brings them to IN2@IMSA to help fuel and mentor their entrepreneurial spirit. IMSA is a natural fit to not only recognize, but to encourage these students as they continue to develop their products and entrepreneurship skills.”

The winners will be recognized at a ceremony and luncheon at IMSA on September 9, 2017. Award winners receive a one-year membership to IMSA’s newly opened innovation center, IN2 the Steve and Jamie Chen Center for Innovation & Inquiry. IN2 helps young entrepreneurs gain access to networking and educational programs, taking their innovation to the next level

NBC 5 Chicago is a proud supporter of the Tellabs Foundation Next Generation Innovators Award. “NBC 5 Chicago is proud to support the IMSA-Tellabs Foundation Innovators Award as part of our Making A Difference initiative. We are committed to shining a light on the positive and inspiring people and organizations that are making an impact and the young people in this program are doing just that,” says Emma Asante, NBC 5 and Telemundo Chicago VP of Special Projects and Community Relations.

West Aurora School District 129 Approved for Federal Registered Apprenticeship Program

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

West Aurora School District 129, together with support of the United States Department of Labor and the AHIMA Foundation, the 501(c) philanthropic affiliate of the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), have developed Illinois’s first Federal Registered Apprenticeship Program in a health field at the secondary education level. This apprenticeship program will focus on assisting high school graduates with Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) credentials with advancing their skills and transitioning from being a student to becoming a quality employee.  Our local employers will provide these graduates employment and a mentor who will work with district staff to monitor skill development and provide support.

“West Aurora School District 129 is supporting its students past graduation through a Registered Apprenticeship program. This program focuses on bringing employers, community members and education together for successful student transition and extended skill development,” according to Cynthia Garcia, director of Extended Learning and Career Pathways.

This apprenticeship program will provide apprentices with transition support of various kinds through district staff and a mentor provided by the employer.  District 129 provided the required training for the apprenticeship program before these students graduated from high school to make their transition year as a new employee manageable.  Upon completion, the apprentice will receive tuition assistance to support lifelong learning and a Completion Certificate from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship to add to their portfolio.

Partnering employers have the opportunity to assist these apprentices by increasing their mastery of needed skills to work as a CNA. The benefit to them is a highly skilled and competent staff that provides quality individualized care for their residence. Employers will also receive a certificate from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship to display showing they are a Federal Registered Apprenticeship Training site and an education partner.

Fox Valley Mall, Simply Destinee Partner for the Shining a Light on Suicide

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

In honor of National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month this September, Fox Valley Mall is partnering with Simply Destinee Youth Center of Aurora, Illinois to spread their “Shining a Light on Suicide” message.

Simply Destinee Youth Center is a non-profit suicide awareness and prevention center in downtown Aurora, that uses music and dance to positively impact at risk youth in the area. The dance team will perform several routines and organization members will speak on the subject at Fox Valley Mall on Saturday, Sept. 2, at 1 p.m. in the center court.

Fox Valley Mall will also be showcasing two unique art installations created by Simply Destinee in the common area for the entire month of September promoting positive self-image, anti-bullying and suicide prevention awareness. The light bulb shaped art fixtures will be installed the morning of Saturday, Sept. 2, in the center court and the Macy’s court.

About Fox Valley Mall:
Fox Valley Mall offers a wide array of name-brand shopping, dining and entertainment options. Conveniently located off Route 59, the shopping center welcomes millions of shoppers each year, providing an un-matched experience for families, and locals alike. Fox Valley Mall is anchored by Macy’s, Carson Pirie Scott, Sears and JCPenney with over 140 specialty retailers and eateries. Shopping Hours are Monday-Saturday from 10:00am-9:00pm, Sunday from 11:00am-6:00pm. For more information, call 630.851.7200 or visit ShopFoxValleyMall.com.

This Week’s Aurora Chamber News

Monday, August 28th, 2017
Header
August 28, 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.
City Segment
ComEd
Company 251
Copy King Office Solutions, Inc.
CyrusOne
Do or Dye Designs
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
OnLight Aurora
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
Steffes & Associates Language and Translation (SALT)
Two Brothers Roundhouse
Valley Fastener Group, LLC
The Voice
Waubonsee Community College
Weldstar Company
WSPY

Welcome New Members

My Place Hotel
Susan Dolney
1000 Kilbery Lane, North Aurora
(605) 886-3698
Hotels

Lean In
Carolyn Chiovino
St. Charles
(708) 977-7770
Training

Canton Commercial Real Estate Group
Elisha Johnson
1296 Rickert Drive, Naperville
(815) 436-7500
Real Estate

 

Contact Us

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

 

 

What You Need to Know: Healthcare Reform
Healthcare Reform
Premier Members
Premier Members
Join Office Depot Program Today, Save $25 on Qualifying Order
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Calendar of Events
WYNTK Current AHCA Legislation
Tuesday, August 29, 8:00 – 9:30 a.m.
Aurora Chamber offices, 43 W Galena Blvd, Aurora
Please pre-register

Fox Valley Networking Professionals
Thursday, August 31, 8:00 – 9:30 a.m.
Pomegranate Restaurant, 55 S. Commons Dr.
Costco,1320 S. Route 59, Naperville

Grand Re-Opening: Sharp Business Systems
Wednesday, Sept. 6, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
1815 S. Meyers Road, Ste. 100, Oakbrook Terrace
Ribbon Cutting @ 11:30 a.m.

Ground Breaking Event – My Place Hotel
Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2-4 p.m.
1000 Kilbery Lane, North Aurora
Ground Breaking @ 2:30 p.m.

Grand Opening: Java Plus
Thursday, Sept. 7, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
1677 Montgomery Rd, Ste. 106, Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 11:30 a.m.

Grand Opening: 500 Station Blvd.
Wednesday, Sept. 14, 4 – 8 p.m.
675 Station Blvd., Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 4:30 p.m.

2017 Wellness Works Conference
Friday, Sept. 15, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Prisco Community Center, Aurora

Grand Opening: Garage 31
Monday, Sept. 18, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
102 S. Lincolnway, North Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 11:30 a.m.

Coffee & Connections
Tuesday, Sept. 19, 8:30 – 10:15 a.m.
Painters District Council #30, 1905 Sequoia Drive, Aurora

35th Anniversary: Lindstrom Chiropractic
Wednesday, Sept. 20, 3:30 – 7 p.m.
1965 W, Downer Pl., Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 4 p.m.

Grand Opening: Huntington Bank
Thursday, Sept. 21, 8 – 10 a.m.
2430 W. Indian Trail Rd., Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 8:30 a.m.

5th Anniversary: McLaughlin & Associates
Thursday, Sept. 28, 3:30 – 7:00 p.m.
495 N. Commons Dr. Ste. 103, Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 4:15 p.m.

Fox Valley Networking Professionals
Thursday, Sept. 28, 8 – 9:30 a.m.
Pomegranate Restaurant, 55 S. Commons Dr., Aurora Sponsorships Available

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:

Three More Lawmakers Announce Retirement

Revised EDGE Credit Bill Heads to Gov’s Desk

This Week in Springfield

Ill. Local Government Consolidation

Fight to Control $13.5 Billion Medicaid Program

Ill. Budget

Ill. Chamber: This Week in Springfield

Ill. Chamber: This Week in Springfield

General Assembly: Special Session Report

Statement in Response to 2017 State Budget Passage

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.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month Theme Announced: ‘Inclusion Drives Innovation’

Park Renovations Coming to Meadow Lake; New Park at Randall Highlands

Thermamax, Inc. Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Don’t Take the Bait: Watch Out for the W-2 Email Scam

How to Transition to ISO 9001:2015

Cloud 9 Infosystems Named Microsoft Partner of the Year

WYNTK: Common Uses, Scenarios of the Cloud

Engineering Enterprises Announces New Staff Member

City Announces Grants for Local Non-Profits

Aurora Retailers Rank First in Mall, Apparel Sales

Registration Opens: Wellness Works Conference Sept 15

Presence Announces ‘Take Charge of Your Health’ Workshop

Aurora Library to Welcome Author Elizabeth Berg

Registration for Park District Fall Programs Begins Aug. 5

Aurora’s St. Charles Senior Living Center Earns Top Statewide Preservation Award

Countdown to the Launch of National Health Center Week 2017 Begins

Bernabei Gillan Joins Old Second

Lane Closures at Broadway and Galena Begin Monday

Mandatory Pre-Application Block Grant Meeting Set for Sept. 8

Realtors Rank Aurora as Top City in the Nation for Affordable Homes, Best Schools

Aurora, Naperville Receive $1.3 Million to Collaborate on Terrorism Training

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.

This Week’s Chamber News

Monday, August 21st, 2017
Header
August 21, 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.
City Segment
ComEd
Company 251
Copy King Office Solutions, Inc.
CyrusOne
Do or Dye Designs
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
OnLight Aurora
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
Steffes & Associates Language and Translation (SALT)
Two Brothers Roundhouse
Valley Fastener Group, LLC
The Voice
Waubonsee Community College
Weldstar Company
WSPY

Welcome New Members

Rationall Food Rescue
Joseph Izzo
(331) 305-3960
Community-Based Organization

Tritan Plumbing
Mickey Owano
10051 Bode Street, Plainfield
(815) 630-1024
Plumbing

Chicago Steel Hockey Team
Kyle Kreger
1996 S. Kirk Road, Geneva
(855) 51-STEEL
Entertainment

Thermamax, Inc.
Dirk Balthasar
1207 Bilter Road, Aurora
(630) 340-5682
Manufacturers

TriCity Family Services
Miranda Barfuss
1120 Randall Court, Geneva
(630) 256-3180
Community-Based Organization

 

Contact Us

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

 

Join Office Depot Program Today,
Save $25 on Qualifying Order
Office Depot
Behind the Scenes at the Chamber
Behind the Scenes

Last Friday, Endiro Coffee and the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce welcomed Gov. Bruce Rauner to Aurora to discuss job creation, workforce development, and education funding. Following the meeting, the Governor visited Aurora University to sign the extension of the River Edge Redevelopment Zone tax credit through 2021. SB 1783 was sponsored by Sens. Linda Holmes, Karen McConnaughay, and Dave Syverson as well as State Reps. Linda Chapa LaVia, Stephanie Kifowit, Mike Fortner, Keith Wheeler, and Steve Andersson. Reps. Kifowit, Wheeler, and Andersson joined the Governor at the signing.

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.

 

What You Need to Know: Healthcare Reform
Healthcare Reform

Premier Members
Premier Members
Calendar of Events
WYNTK Current AHCA Legislation
Tuesday, August 29, 8:00 – 9:30 a.m.
Aurora Chamber offices, 43 W Galena Blvd, Aurora
Please pre-register

Fox Valley Networking Professionals
Thursday, August 31, 8:00 – 9:30 a.m.
Pomegranate Restaurant, 55 S. Commons Dr.
Sponsorships Available

Grand Re-Opening: Sharp Business Systems
Wednesday, Sept. 6, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
1815 S. Meyers Road, Ste. 100, Oakbrook Terrace
Ribbon Cutting @ 11:30 a.m.

Grand Opening: Java Plus
Thursday, Sept. 7, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
1677 Montgomery Rd, Ste. 106, Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 11:30 a.m.

Grand Opening: 500 Station Blvd.
Wednesday, Sept. 14, 4 – 8 p.m.
675 Station Blvd., Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 4:30 p.m.

2017 Wellness Works Conference
Friday, Sept. 15, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Prisco Community Center, Aurora

Grand Opening: Garage 31
Monday, Sept. 18, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
102 S. Lincolnway, North Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 11:30 a.m.

Coffee & Connections
Tuesday, Sept. 19, 8:30 – 10:15 a.m.
Painters District Council #30, 1905 Sequoia Drive, Aurora

35th Anniversary: Lindstrom Chiropractic
Wednesday, Sept. 20, 3:30 – 7 p.m.
1965 W, Downer Pl., Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 4 p.m.

Grand Opening: Huntington Bank
Thursday, Sept. 21, 8 – 10 a.m.
2430 W. Indian Trail Rd., Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 8:30 a.m.

5th Anniversary: McLaughlin & Associates
Thursday, Sept. 28, 3:30 – 7:00 p.m.
495 N. Commons Dr. Ste. 103, Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 4:15 p.m.

Fox Valley Networking Professionals
Thursday, Sept. 28, 8 – 9:30 a.m.
Pomegranate Restaurant, 55 S. Commons Dr., Aurora Sponsorships Available

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:

Three More Lawmakers Announce Retirement

Revised EDGE Credit Bill Heads to Gov’s Desk

This Week in Springfield

Ill. Local Government Consolidation

Fight to Control $13.5 Billion Medicaid Program

Ill. Budget

Ill. Chamber: This Week in Springfield

Ill. Chamber: This Week in Springfield

General Assembly: Special Session Report

Statement in Response to 2017 State Budget Passage

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.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month Theme Announced: ‘Inclusion Drives Innovation’

Park Renovations Coming to Meadow Lake; New Park at Randall Highlands

Thermamax, Inc. Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Don’t Take the Bait: Watch Out for the W-2 Email Scam

How to Transition to ISO 9001:2015

Cloud 9 Infosystems Named Microsoft Partner of the Year

WYNTK: Common Uses, Scenarios of the Cloud

Engineering Enterprises Announces New Staff Member

City Announces Grants for Local Non-Profits

Aurora Retailers Rank First in Mall, Apparel Sales

Registration Opens: Wellness Works Conference Sept 15

Presence Announces ‘Take Charge of Your Health’ Workshop

Aurora Library to Welcome Author Elizabeth Berg

Registration for Park District Fall Programs Begins Aug. 5

Aurora’s St. Charles Senior Living Center Earns Top Statewide Preservation Award

Countdown to the Launch of National Health Center Week 2017 Begins

Bernabei Gillan Joins Old Second

Lane Closures at Broadway and Galena Begin Monday

Mandatory Pre-Application Block Grant Meeting Set for Sept. 8

Realtors Rank Aurora as Top City in the Nation for Affordable Homes, Best Schools

Aurora, Naperville Receive $1.3 Million to Collaborate on Terrorism Training

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.

Three More Lawmakers Announce Retirement

Saturday, August 19th, 2017

This week saw yet another group of lawmakers announcing their intentions to not run for re-election.  Democratic State Senator Bill Haine, who has been undergoing cancer treatment this spring announced his intentions to not seek re-election. Haine has served in the Senate since 2002.  He also served as a great business ally in the Senate Democratic Caucus, sponsoring the Chamber’s successful Safe Roads Amendment in the Senate.

Also announcing their intentions not to run again this week from the House Republicans include Representatives Steve Andersson and Sara Wojicki-Jimenez.

Adding to the list of House Republicans not seeking re-election include Representatives Mike Fortner (not seeking re-election), Patti Bellock, Bob Pritchard (not seeking re-election), Bill Mitchell (not seeking re-election), Chad Hays (not seeking re-election), and Barb Wheeler (not seeking re-election).  Senate Republicans include Senators Christine Radogno (resigned), Tim Bivins (not seeking re-election) and Kyle McCarter (self imposed term limits).  House Democrats include Representatives Emily McAsey (resigned), Scott Drury (running for Governor), Cynthia Soto (running for another office), Laura Fine (running for state Senate), and Elaine Nektriz (not seeking re-election).  And lastly, Senator Daniel Biss will be leaving the Senate Democrats to run for governor.

Revised EDGE Credit Bill Heads to Gov’s Desk

Saturday, August 19th, 2017

On Sunday, the Senate also took up action on the Chamber-backed revised EDGE credit program.   HB 162 would reinstate the state’s main job creation incentive program, EDGE, for five years. In addition, it would make several changes to enhance the program including providing credits for training new employees and for investing in underserved areas of the state.

The legislation also makes changes concerning the capital investment and employment requirements for credits under the Act. These changes may provide for a greater level of participation by small and mid-sized businesses – something the previous version of EDGE did not have.

The bill also provides for greater accountability by strengthening the claw-back provision by specifying that if a taxpayer ceases principal operations with the intent to shut down a project permanently during the term of the agreement, then the credit amount is to be returned to the state and be reallocated to the local workforce investment area in which the project was located.

We are glad to see bipartisan support from lawmakers on HB 162, especially in a time at the Capitol where there is widespread debate over many complex issues. The legislation serves as a vital economic tool to propel Illinois’ business climate on a pathway to success.

This Week in Springfield

Saturday, August 19th, 2017

The Illinois House and Senate were both in this week.  The Senate came into town on Sunday and took up a motion to override the governor’s amendatory veto on SB 1, the school funding reform bill.  The motion to override in the Senate passed favorably with Republican Senator Sam McCann joining with every Senate Democrat  in favor of the override.

The House returned to town on Wednesday (Governor’s Day at the State Fair) to take up its action (or lack thereof) on SB 1.  However, there currently remains an insufficient amount of votes required to override the governor in the House. A House vote on SB 1 has been scheduled for Aug. 23.  The House has until August 29 to override the governor’s veto.  House Speaker Michael Madigan held a press conference on Wednesday where he said he “would not abandon SB 1.”  If they do not meet the August 29th deadline of overriding the governor, then SB 1 is officially dead.  In that event, HB 3163, will become the new vehicle for education funding reform.

Aug. 21: Solar Eclipse

Saturday, August 19th, 2017

Path of total solar eclipse will cross southern Illinois. In the rare phenomenon, the new moon will completely cover the daylight Sun. Parts of fourteen states will see the sun disappear briefly, but Southern Illinois University astronomers predict that the sun will be hidden longer (2 minutes and 41.6 seconds) over southern Illinois than in any other state. The nationwide championship spot to see the eclipse (weather permitting) will be a location just south of Carbondale, Illinois. Other Illinois towns and county seats where the sun will be dark include Chester and Marion. The Illinois eclipse will take place between 1:18 p.m. and 1:24 p.m., depending on the viewer’s location.

This will be the first solar eclipse visible in the 48 contiguous United States since 1979. This could lead to traffic jams and other challenges in the “path of totality,” and law enforcement will be stepping up their presence in affected Illinois areas.

Ill. Local Government Consolidation

Saturday, August 19th, 2017

Governor signs local government consolidation bills. On Monday, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed Senate Bill 3 and House Bill 607, two bills that enable local officials to consolidate units of local government.

The bills, which reflect five of the 27 recommendations made by Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti’s Task Force on Local Government Consolidation and Unfunded Mandates, had bipartisan support. They empower local officials to begin reducing the nearly 7,000 local units of government in Illinois – 1,800 more than any other state. The exorbitantly high number of local governmental agencies puts an enormous burden on taxpayers, who primarily pay for these local governments via property taxes.

“People are fleeing our state in droves. Our property taxes are crushing the people of Illinois, and we’ve got to start making reforms so people can afford to stay here,” Gov. Rauner said. “Part of reforming and turning around Illinois includes empowering local communities. By signing these bills, local governments will be able to control their futures and tax dollars more efficiently. However, a key component to empowering local communities is missing from these bills. Neither one includes real taxpayer empowerment. While today is a step in the right direction, we must continue to fight to give every resident the right to choose how their local government operates.”

Since 2015, Lt. Gov. Sanguinetti has spearheaded a task force charged with identifying opportunities to streamline government in Illinois and, ultimately, reduce costs to taxpayers. In the report detailing the task force’s findings, Lt. Gov. Sanguinetti recommended giving local officials and residents the power to consolidate local government agencies.

“These bills provide a starting point for minimizing the massive amount of unnecessary government in the local communities of our state, but these bills don’t do enough to bring real change to the people of Illinois,” Lt. Gov. Sanguinetti said. “Where I live in Wheaton, I am represented by 16 units of local government. That’s a lot of hands in the pockets of our taxpayers. In Illinois, we are forced to pay the highest property taxes in the nation. We need to put the power to consolidate back at the local level and in the hands of the people.”

Specifically, SB 3 expands DuPage County’s consolidation pilot program to all 102 counties of Illinois, giving each the authority to dissolve or consolidate some government units whose boards are appointed by the county. It also will allow townships in the state to consolidate with coterminous municipalities via referendum.

HB 607 amends the Illinois Highway Code and allows the board of trustees of any township located in a county with less than 3 million inhabitants to submit a proposition during a general or consolidated election to abolish the road district in their county, a power already extended to townships in Cook County.