Moody’s Upgrades FVPD Credit Rating

May 8th, 2017
District ascends from ‘high grade’ to ‘prime’
 
Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded Fox Valley Park District’s outstanding general obligation (GO) rating to Aa1 from Aa3, which repositions Fox Valley from “high grade” to “prime,” just one level below the top rating.
 
Illinois Park Districts as a sector receive an overall rating of Aa from Moody’s as an institutional framework score. Fox Valley Park District’s superior Aa1 rating signifies even more confidence in its future ability to raise revenues and decrease expenditures.
 
“Our vision as a Park District includes a commitment to being fiscally responsible to our residents, a pledge our Board and staff follow every day,” said Board President Chuck Anderson. “This is welcome confirmation that we consistently maintain good fund balances, budget carefully and adhere to sound fiscal practices on behalf of our resident taxpayers.”
 
In the report, Moody’s noted that the rating reflects the Fox Valley Park District’s large and diverse tax base, healthy liquidity, slightly above average socioeconomic profile, low debt burden with rapid amortization and a low unfunded pension burden.
 
Executive Director Jim Pilmer credited Diana Erickson, senior director of finance and administration, “for her outstanding financial management that helped us achieve this highly desirable rating” as the District worked through the challenges and financial restraints of a six-year tax levy freeze.
 
“Our economic development is also a credit to our collaboration with the villages of Montgomery and North Aurora, the city of Aurora and the Forest Preserve District of Kane County,” said Pilmer.
 
Pilmer noted that the elevated rating will have a positive impact on the Park District’s ability to borrow funds and refinance debt at lower rates, which translates into reduced tax bills for residents.
 
“Our excellent credit rating is the result of sound financial management and our commitment to fiscal prudence today and for future generations,” said Pilmer.

Your Weekly News from the Aurora Chamber

May 8th, 2017
Header
May 08, 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
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

First American Bank
Amy Robertson
3054 E. New York Street, Aurora
(630) 499-2500 Banks

 

Contact Us

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

 

 

Ill. Budget: ‘Lifeline’ Plan
Democrats’ “lifeline” budget would cover less than one-third of human service needs. The analysis, by the nonpartisan Civic Federation’s Institute for Fiscal Sustainability, contained severe criticism of HB 109. The emergency appropriations bill, pushed through the House earlier this spring session on a partisan roll call, was touted by its sponsors as a “lifeline” to stretched providers of human services. The bill was supposed to substitute for a full-year, constitutionally balanced budget. Analysts for the Civic Federation, however, discovered that the Democrats’ bill would provide only 27.1 cents on the dollar for the human-services funding shortfall based on FY16 spending numbers.

The majority party’s “lifeline” plan has been proclaimed as providing rescue money to Illinois institutions of higher education. The Institute’s analysts, after running the numbers, stated that the plan would provide only 56.2 cents of the dollars previously allocated by higher education and not paid in FY16. House Republicans opposed the so-called “lifeline” plan as being both ludicrously inadequate to meet its proclaimed purposes and a distraction from the hard work of generating progress toward government reform and a constitutional balanced budget.

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:

• Met with the Kane County Health Department to discuss opportunities to support our employers and some worksite wellness programs.

• Supported East Aurora High School’s Senior Job Fair (this Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) as an opportunity for our members to identify, interview, and hire students;

• Celebrated the grand openings and ribbon cuttings at West Suburban Bank (Butterfield at Church roads), Advance Auto Parts (across Butterfield from West Suburban Bank), and All Spoked Up in downtown Aurora;

• Met with the City of Aurora and Fox Valley Park District to invite auto sales and service businesses (and similar employers) to an open house at Cole Center on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings to observe students in a training program organized by the Park District;

• Welcomed CyrusOne to the membership at the Premier Investment level;

• Participated in the Small Business Week Expo on Wednesday;

• Welcomed members of the Aurora Chamber as well as those from Batavia, Geneva, Oswego, and Yorkville to hear Ben Taylor with the U.S. Chamber discuss business implications during the first 100 days of the Trump Administration;

• Shared our efforts with the City’s roundtable to address concerns and needs of students with disabilities;

• Monitored and weighed in on activities in the Illinois Senate as several bills were taken up;

• Toured Alarm Detection Systems with the Leadership Academy; and

• 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.

This week, we are preparing for:

• Inauguration of Mayor-elect Richard Irvin and City Council members on Tuesday, May 9, at Paramount Theatre’s Grand Gallery;

• Additional meetings to support students with disabilities finding summer and post-high school work;

• Grand opening and ribbon cutting for Pet Supplies Plus (North Aurora);

• Ambassadors Meeting on Thursday at Nagel Emporium at Abbey Farms; and

• Leadership Academy’s visit to SciTech Hands-On Museum.

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 the Aurora Chamber has an agreement with the Illinois Chamber that allows Aurora Chamber members to register and attend webinars, seminars, and conferences organized by the Illinois Chamber for the Chamber-member price. You must be a member of the Aurora Chamber and register through us. For a list of some upcoming programs, visit Professional Development Available in Conjunction with Ill. Chamber. For questions, contact Reba Osborne, director of membership, at (630) 256-3184 or email rosborne@aurorachamber.com.
Calendar of Events
Grand Opening: Pet Supplies Plus
Wednesday, May 10, 12 – 1:30 p.m.
180 N. Randall Rd., North Aurora
Ribbon Cutting: 12:30 p.m.

Ambassadors Meeting
Thursday, May 11, at 4:00 p.m.
Nagel Emporium at Abbey Farms, 2855 Hart Road, Aurora

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:

The Consumer’s Right to Know

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.

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.

The Consumer’s Right to Know

May 7th, 2017

After a long session of meetings in both the House and Senate regarding an unnecessarily broad, cumbersome and ultimately, costly bill to require businesses that sell or share “personal information” about consumers to third- parties, SB 1502 Amendment #4 (Sen. Michael Hastings, D-Frankfort) was passed this week. This bill will require any company with an online presence that collects data from consumers, to identify the categories of information collected and provide a description of the customer’s rights if such information is shared or sold to third-parties. In addition, the bill requires that companies who share or sell information to third- parties, unless it fits into an exemption, to disclose what information was shared and with whom. The bill sets out 26 categories of personal information.

We should note that “personal information” doesn’t mean that the information is actually “personally identifiable.” These are really two different concepts. Personal information could be a person’s name, or a person’s age or a person’s educational background, etc. There is no requirement that any of the information be tied to an actual person that could be identified. For example, if a retailer shares the ages of purchasers of a certain washing machine with its manufacturer, but it doesn’t share the customer’s names or any other information that could identify that person, that information is considered “personal information” in the bill. Such information would have to be disclosed to the customer, upon customer request, even though the third-party has no idea who the actual customers were that purchased the washing machine. This is unnecessary time, money and resources spent on providing information that does nothing to further data privacy.

This bill presents a major challenge for companies that have various ends of their business that collect and share data. For instance, companies that have their own credit cards, loyalty programs, apps, and/or website may collect and share different kinds of data at different times. Data is also shared in order to conduct surveys with third-party manufacturers of products sold in stores. All of the data is not kept in one neat box to pull from upon customer inquiry. Businesses will have to build out a mechanism to search and find data that has been shared regardless of whether that data can actually be used to identify a person.

SB 1502 is loosely based on the state of California’s “Shine the Light” law which is much more narrowly focused in scope. That law requires disclosure to persons that have an established business relationship if information is shared for direct marketing purposes. SB 1502 has no such qualifiers. In fact, instead of using the definition of personal information as defined by the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA), which requires that personal information actually be personally identifiable, this bill creates a completely new definition by making any piece of information whether tied to a person or offered in the aggregate “personal.” We would also note that information must be disclosed, even if a person shares the information themselves. For instance, if a person has a LinkedIn account and they post their picture, name, educational background, etc. for the entire LinkedIn universe to see, a company must disclose if they have also shared the same information that can be found by a simple Google search. How can information be considered private if a person has publicly shared it about themselves?

Resources that are much better spent actually protecting information that has been collected will now be diverted to building out software programs to respond to Right to Know requests. Just so readers have an idea of how fired up consumers really are about taking advantage of their right to know, we asked a few large retailers doing business in California to tell us how many people have requested the information in the past year. The first retailer told us that two people had requested the information, and the second retailer told us that three people had requested the information. California has just over 34 million residents.

The bill passed out of the Senate with a vote of 31-21-1. It will now move over to the House for additional consideration.

Ill. Budget: ‘Lifeline’ Plan

May 7th, 2017

Democrats’ “lifeline” budget would cover less than one-third of human service needs. The analysis, by the nonpartisan Civic Federation’s Institute for Fiscal Sustainability, contained severe criticism of HB 109. The emergency appropriations bill, pushed through the House earlier this spring session on a partisan roll call, was touted by its sponsors as a “lifeline” to stretched providers of human services. The bill was supposed to substitute for a full-year, constitutionally balanced budget. Analysts for the Civic Federation, however, discovered that the Democrats’ bill would provide only 27.1 cents on the dollar for the human-services funding shortfall based on FY16 spending numbers.

The majority party’s “lifeline” plan has been proclaimed as providing rescue money to Illinois institutions of higher education. The Institute’s analysts, after running the numbers, stated that the plan would provide only 56.2 cents of the dollars previously allocated by higher education and not paid in FY16. House Republicans opposed the so-called “lifeline” plan as being both ludicrously inadequate to meet its proclaimed purposes and a distraction from the hard work of generating progress toward government reform and a constitutional balanced budget.fa

Professional Development Available in Conjunction with Ill. Chamber

May 7th, 2017

Webinar: Advanced Work Comp Challenges: Aging, Obesity & Co-Morbidities

Wednesday, May 10, 10:30 a.m. – noon

The costs for workers’ compensation claims in Illinois continue to rise in spite of prior reform efforts. But you should understand what can also drive costs in way that cannot be controlled by legislation or legal precedent. Employers “take the employees as they find them” at the time the accident occurs. Employers cannot change the facts as to an employee’s age, obesity or co-morbidities and pre-existing conditions, which may delay or prohibit a full recovery. What can an employer do? We’ll discuss strategies for mitigating these claims in this 90-minute webinar.

Taught by attorney G. Steven Murdock, Inman & Fitzgibbons

 

Webinar: Legal 101: What Claims IL Employers Can Face When Using Background Checks and How to Avoid Them

Thursday, May 11, 10:30 a.m. – noon

One of the most important tools that an employer has in screening and hiring quality employees is the application and hiring process. The law limits what information an employer can request on an application, as well as specific procedures that must be used when conducting background checks, using those background checks to make adverse employment decisions and in storing the background checks after the fact. As such, when using background checks, employers need to know what laws they need to comply with and what claims they should be trying to avoid. Michael D. Wong of SmithAmundsen LLC will present this important webinar. The presentation will include important information and strategies for structuring an application and hiring processes to minimize potential liability and risks.

Topics will include:

• What laws Illinois Employers should be aware of;

• Types of information employers should not use – and should be careful in using;

• Using the Internet and Social Media when hiring;

• The potential claims Illinois Employers can face; and

• Recent developments in federal and state laws and cases Illinois Employers should be aware of.

 

Workers’ Comp. Workshop for Illinois Employers

Wednesday, May 17, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Naperville

Workers’ Compensation in Illinois is complicated…. Do you know everything you need to know about the Illinois WC system?

Attorneys from Keefe, Campbell, Biery & Associates will begin with a review of the basics of Workers’ Compensation in Illinois, including benefits, the Workers’ Compensation Commission, and handling a claim of injury from the beginning to end. They will then analyze and discuss in-depth important topics such as Temporary Total/Partial Disability, Nature and Extent of Injury, Wage Loss Differential, Discovery, Liens and related claims against WC benefits in Illinois, Surveillance, Retaliatory Discharge and How to Handle WC Death Claims.

The final section of the day will include a number of essential factors to be considered when you are dealing with any workers’ compensation claim. You will receive helpful information on pushing your claim targets, using real time examples. Keeping in touch with your workers and how to drive claim closure are key, so these will also be discussed.

Taught by attorneys from Keefe, Campbell, Biery & Associates

 

Webinars: Federal Employment Policy- An Update for All Illinois Employers

$79 per webinar for Chamber members

$249 for all five in series for Chamber members (plus receive 2017 HR IL Compliance Certificate

”"

Part 1: Federal Employment Policy and the Trump Administration: The Impact on Employers – Introduction, May 24, 1:30–3:30 pm

And Federal Wage and Hour Compliance – An Update on What Employers Should Expect from the Trump Administration. Trump’s first 100 days started out with a flurry of activity including executive orders, working to fill positions, and starting to fulfill campaign promises. The first section will review actions, then will move on to talk about the next steps. Wage and Hour compliance discussion will include what may happen with the enjoined increase in salary test for white collar exemptions, opinion letters, joint employment, leave laws, and other DOL actions. Presented by attorneys Patrick Rock and Matthew Brown.

 

Part 2: The Future of the ADA and the DOL Fiduciary Rule, May 25, 10–11 am

How soon will Trumpcare replace Obamacare and what will it look like? And taking a look at the DOL Fiduciary Rule –and Retirement Accounts. Presented by attorneys Natalie Nathanson and Joshua Rafsky

 

Part 3: Immigration Policy: An update on policy in the Trump Administration, May 25, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

How might Trump impact Immigration? We’ve already seen executive orders on increased regulation and enforcement. How will E-Verify affect immigration? H-1B Visas? Deportation? This discussion will center on what has already taken place and what further actions may be forthcoming. Presented by attorney Jessica Feinstein

 

Part 4: The EEOC’s Strategic Plan: A Look Ahead, May 31, 10 -11 a.m.

How might Trump change the EEOC? And, the updated Strategic Enforcement Plan was issued in Oct. 2016 – What has changed in their priorities and the commitment of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission? Presented by attorneys Paul Patten and Jason Selvey.

 

Part 5: The Impact of the Elections on Recent NLRB Decisions, May 31, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

How might Trump change the NLRB? Possible scenarios and what a quickly seated business-oriented NLRB might mean for employers? And, how will recent decisions be affected? Important issues for both union and non-union employers will be discussed. Presented by attorney Greg Andrews.

 

Supervisor Training for Effective Management

Wednesday, June 21, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. | Naperville, IL

One of the most difficult tasks ANY supervisor faces is how to provide leadership to employees. It takes experience and training for one to obtain and constantly maintain the skills necessary to manage others effectively. Supervisors of all levels (especially in this day and age) need to know and understand areas of vulnerability and realize that those are constantly changing. This is an interactive half day seminar which will provide insight and guidance to help YOUR supervisors become stronger leaders and manage YOUR employees more effectively within the always developing labor and employment laws.

 

HRCI, SHRM, CLE available for each topic.

Fox Valley Park District seats first elected board

May 4th, 2017

The first elected board in the Fox Valley Park District’s 70-year history was seated Monday night as seven commissioners were sworn in for duty.

The commissioners were elected during the April 4 general election from three districts – two commissioners representing each – with one commissioner elected at-large. FVPD, the state’s second largest park district, serves 233,000 residents in Aurora, North Aurora and Montgomery.

“After 70 years and more than 800 meetings with board members appointed by the Kane County Board chairman, this is an exciting new chapter in the history of the Fox Valley Park District,” said executive director Jim Pilmer.

Incumbent Chuck Anderson, along with Matt Hicks, represent District 1, which primarily covers the service area west of the Fox River. Jerry Butler and Mary Anne Cummings represent District 2 encompassing the central portion. Incumbent Cynthia Penne and Holly Scholz represent District 3 that covers the north and east geographic zones.

Incumbent Alex Alexandrou is the at-large commissioner.

Following the swearing in by Associate Judge Rene Cruz, a lottery was conducted between commissioners from each district to determine the length of each representative’s terms.

Anderson, Cummings and Scholz will serve 4-year terms, while Hicks, Butler and Penne will serve two-year terms, allowing the election of future commissioners to be staggered starting with the 2019 elections. Alexandrou will serve a 4-year term.

Anderson was nominated and confirmed by his fellow commissioners as Board President – a role he was currently serving. Scholz will be Board Vice-President. Diana Erickson, senior director of finance and administration for FVPD, will serve as board treasurer and assistant secretary. Kim Nooncaster, Executive Assistant to the Executive Director and Clerk of the Board, will serve as board secretary. Jennifer Paprocki, assistant director of finance and administration, will serve as assistant treasurer.

The historic “passing of the torch” also included acknowledgements to former Board members stepping down after years of service – Theodia Gillespie, Robert Vaughan, Rachel Ossyra and Denny Wiggins.

The first official meeting for the new Board of Commissioners will take place at 6 p.m. on May 8 at the Prisco Community Center.

Celebrate Small Biz Week, 100 Days Lunch with Aurora Chamber

May 1st, 2017
Header
May 01, 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
Copy King Office Solutions, Inc.
Dolan & Murphy
Downtown Auroran Magazine
Eagle Digital Marketing
Endiro Coffee
First Secure Community Bank
Company 251
CyrusOne
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
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

Company 251
Matt Marquez
251 S. River St., Aurora
(630) 936-2098
Banquets Facilities & Catering

CyrusOne
Juan Vasquez
2905 Diehl Road, Aurora
(855) 591-4795
Colocation Data Solutions

Shelter Insurance
Christopher Bennett
4 W. Wilson St., Batavia
(630) 454-4490
Insurance

 

Contact Us

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

 

 

A Report Card: The First 100 Days of Trump Administration
Wednesday, May 3, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Belle Salle Banquets, 1920 E. New York St., Aurora
Sponsored by Earthmover Credit Union

This Wednesday, the Aurora Regional Chamber will discuss President Donald Trump’s “First 100 Days” (Okay, 104 days, to be exact). Ben Taylor, executive director, Great Lakes Regional Office U.S. Chamber of Commerce, will be our featured speaker. From the transition and inauguration, through the confirmation process, and on to various Executive Actions and proposed legislation in the 115th Congress, we will seek to answer the following: “Where have we been; where are we now; and where are we headed? Likely topics of discussion include healthcare, tax and regulatory reform, as well as infrastructure. Please bring your questions and concerns; we want to make this an interactive session! Ben will share what he has learned and observed and what this means to employers and our region.

Register today.

April 2017 General Assembly Report
Upon returning to Springfield after their two-week spring break, last week was both the House and Senate deadline for substantive bills to be passed favorably out of their originating chamber. However, members in leadership are often granted deadline extensions to bills.

While there was a plethora of bills that moved this week; below is a highlight of major legislation pertinent to business.

500% Tax Increase on Ill. Vital Financial Sector

In today’s interconnected world, billions of dollars travel across the globe in less than seconds. HB 3393 (Welch) and SB 1719 (Biss) would both put Illinois’ vital financial service sector and the tens of thousands of jobs it employs at risk by imposing a new 20 percent gross receipts tax on partnerships and S-corps engaged in the business of conducting investment management services. Illinois has benefited from being a top 10 globally-recognized financial hub. HB 3393 and SB 1719 would hurt our state’s global reputation and would force investors to look to less hostile cities such as Boston, Dallas, and Charlotte. SB 1719 is scheduled for a Revenue Committee hearing on Wednesday, May 3.

‘Lifeline’ Budget Set for Senate Vote

HB 109 (Harris) was set for a third reading in the Senate. As passed by the House on a 064-045-001) vote, the $817 million “lifeline budget” would provide temporary funding relief to higher education and social service and health programs. This included $258 million for programs, including senior meals and crime prevention, and indigent burials. It also included $559 million for state universities, community colleges, and educational grants for low-income students. Before the debate had even taken place Governor Bruce Rauner had pledged to veto any stopgap measure absent property tax relief.

For more details on pending legislation, visit the Chamber blog.

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:

• Supported East Aurora High School’s Senior Job Fair (May 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) as an opportunity for our members to identify, interview, and hire students;

• Celebrated the grand opening and ribbon cutting of Round One at Fox Valley Mall;

• Toured Rush Copley Medical Center with the Leadership Academy;

• 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; and Putting Green Sponsor Konen Insurance Agency;

• Prepared and planned for A Report Card: The First 100 Days of Trump Administration on Wednesday, May 3, presented by Earthmover Credit Union;

• Coordinated National Small Business Week programs and activities to recognize our membership;

• In partnership with Crain’s Chicago Business, Invest Aurora, and other organizations, the Aurora Chamber organized the Small Business Expo & Procurement Fair on Wednesday, May 3, in Aurora;

• Supported statewide school districts, community organizations, and employers by promoting #PassILBudget on social media and other opportunities; and

Monitored the General Assembly’s return to Springfield following spring recess.

This week, we are preparing for:

• Working on worksite wellness programs;

• Meetings to support students with disabilities finding summer and post-high school work;

• Small Business Procurement Fair on Wednesday morning;

• Member lunch highlighting the impact of President Trump’s first 100 days in office on Wednesday afternoon;

• Grand openings and ribbon cuttings for West Suburban Bank (Butterfield Road), Advance Auto Parts, and All Spoked Up;

• Leadership Academy’s visit to Alarm Detection Systems; and

• First Fridays in downtown Aurora.

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. We look forward to seeing you at any of this week’s events.

Did You Know?
Did you know that your business can offer special discounts to fellow chamber members? This is a great way to let other members know about your business and what you offer. You can do so by logging into your profile page under “Member to Member Discounts” If you have questions navigating posting your discounts, contact Reba Osborne, director of membership, at (630) 256-3184.
Calendar of Events
A Report Card: The First 100 Days of Trump Administration
Wednesday, May 3, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Belle Salle Banquets, 1920 E, New York St., Aurora
Sponsored by Earthmover Credit Union

Grand Re-Opening: West Suburban Bank
Thursday, May 4, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
1311 Butterfield Rd., Aurora
Ribbon Cutting: 11:30 p.m.

Ambassadors Meeting
Thursday, May 11, at 4:00 p.m.
Location TBD

Grand Opening: Advance Auto Parts
Friday, May 5, 12 – 1:30 p.m.
1386 Butterfield Road, Aurora
Ribbon Cutting: 12:30 p.m.

New Location Celebration: All Spoked Up
Friday, May 5, 4 – 5:30 p.m.
14 W. Downer Place Unit 12, Aurora
Ribbon Cutting: 4:30 p.m.

Grand Opening: Pet Supplies Plus
Wednesday, May 10, 12 – 1:30 p.m.
180 N. Randall Rd., North Aurora
Ribbon Cutting: 12:30 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:

April 2017 General Assembly Report

Illinois Chamber Releases ‘Job Crusherz’ List

“Lifeline” Budget Sent to Senate

Fair Maps

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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.

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.

April 2017 General Assembly Report

April 30th, 2017

Legislative Week 

Upon returning to Springfield after their two-week spring break, last week was both the House and Senate deadline for substantive bills to be passed favorably out of their originating chamber. However, members in leadership are often granted deadline extensions to bills.

While there was a plethora of bills that moved this week; below is a highlight of major legislation pertinent to business.

500% Tax Increase on Ill. Vital Financial Sector

In today’s interconnected world, billions of dollars travel across the globe in less than seconds. HB 3393 (Welch) and SB 1719 (Biss) would both put Illinois’ vital financial service sector and the tens of thousands of jobs it employs at risk by imposing a new 20 percent gross receipts tax on partnerships and S-corps engaged in the business of conducting investment management services. Illinois has benefited from being a top 10 globally-recognized financial hub. HB 3393 and SB 1719 would hurt our state’s global reputation and would force investors to look to less hostile cities such as Boston, Dallas, and Charlotte. SB 1719 is scheduled for a Revenue Committee hearing on Wednesday, May 3.

‘Lifeline’ Budget Set for Senate Vote

HB 109 (Harris) was set for a third reading in the Senate. As passed by the House on a 064-045-001) vote, the $817 million “lifeline budget” would provide temporary funding relief to higher education and social service and health programs. This included $258 million for programs, including senior meals and crime prevention, and indigent burials. It also included $559 million for state universities, community colleges, and educational grants for low-income students. Before the debate had even taken place Governor Bruce Rauner had pledged to veto any stopgap measure absent property tax relief.

Taxes & Fees

Amendment 1 to SB 472 (Mulore) would eliminate most of the current credits and exemptions under the Illinois Income Tax Act and the sales and use tax acts. A number of the credits would not be eliminated completely, but rather in the case of some individual credits like the property tax credit from the income tax would be eliminated for individuals with adjusted gross income over $250,000 or $500,000 in the case of a married couple filing jointly. Additionally, other credits such as the farm machinery and equipment exemption from the sales and use taxes tax would be imposed on 50% of the proceeds of sales of previously exempt property.

Employment Law

Amendment 1 to HB 198 (Guzzardi) would increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2022.

HB 2351 (Currie) creates liens on personal property of business owners and corporate officers for failure to pay liabilities under the wage payment & collection, minimum wage, etc.

HB 2771 (Rep. C. Mitchell-D-Chicago) and SB 1296 (Sen. Hutchinson-D-Olympia Fields) as amended, both bills require employers to provide 5 sick days to employees. An employee may earn sick days 180 days after beginning employment at the accrual rate of one hour of sick leave for every 40 hours worked. School districts, park districts, and certain City of Chicago sister agencies are exempt. The Department of Labor will administer the program. Individuals may file civil actions with respect to violations of the new Act.

HB 2749 (Rep. Guzzardi) amends the Minimum Wage Law to increase the overtime requirement threshold to $47,476 and annually increases it by the US CPI, meaning any employees earning salaries less than this amount will have to document their overtime hours and be compensated for their overtime hours.

SB 1347 (Biss) creates the Living Wage Act to require State contracts and subcontracts to include a minimum wage paid to all workers in performance of the contract/subcontract. The minimum wage would start at $16.36 per hour on January 1, 2018.

HB 690 (Ammons) includes 30 provisions to toughen staffing industry regulation under the existing Day Labor Services Act. Crain’s Chicago Business reports staffing agencies would be fined $50 each time they failed to provide workers with an employment notice that includes their job title and pay rate. The bill passed out of the House on a 078-037-000 vote last Thursday.

HB 2462 (Moeller) and SB 981 (Biss) amends the Equal Pay Act of 2003. Prohibits an employer from: (i) screening job applicants based on their wage or salary history, (ii) requiring that an applicant’s prior wages satisfy minimum or maximum criteria, and (iii) requesting or requiring as a condition of being interviewed or as a condition of continuing to be considered for an offer of employment that an applicant disclose prior wages or salary. HB 2462 passed out of the House last Wednesday on a 091-024-000 vote and was sent to the Senate Assignments Committee.

HB 2525 (Hoffman) amends the Workers’ Compensation Act and rates and was passed out of the House last Thursday on a 066-050-000 vote where a motion to reconsider the vote was filed.

Energy & Environment

HB 2958 (Fine) would ban the sale or use of coal tar pavement sealant on driveways, parking lots, playgrounds, sidewalks, bike trails or roadways. The bill provides that municipalities or counties can adopt ordinances to enforce the ban while imposing monetary penalties.

Healthcare & Insurance

HB 302 (Martwick) deals with unclaimed life insurance benefits. It was passed out of the House on a 068-047-000 vote and sent to the Senate where it was referred to the Assignments Committee.

HB 2624 (Fine) Creates the Health Insurance Rate Review Act. Creates the independent quasi-judicial Health Insurance Rate Review Board to ensure insurance rates are reasonable and justified. It passed out of the House last Wednesday on a 065-049-000 vote.

Transportation & Infrastructure

SB 1381 (Cunningham) and HB 2691 (Phelps) are both otherwise known as the telecom re authorization bill. These two bills would transition Illinois from a Large Electing Provider to an Internet Protocol-based network. More investment in high-speed internet networks helps virtually every sector in the Illinois economy.

HB 2755 (Evans) and SB 1320 (Sandoval) both create the Innovations for Transportation Infrastructure Act. Provides that the Department of Transportation may use design-build project delivery methods.

Financial Institutions

HFA 1 to HB 1274 (Turner) would prohibit financial institutions from charging more than $1 per transaction at ATMs.

HB 523 (Turner) would extend the collection of a graduated foreclosure filing fees.

Business Regulation

HB 2774 (Turner) and SB 1502 (Hastings) would both create the ‘Right to Know Act’ in Illinois. These bills would require businesses with an online presence to adopt new privacy policy disclosures and to comply with requesters on what information the website is collecting — or else be subject to class action litigation.

SB 1462 (Holmes) provides that the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity shall administer an Entrepreneur Learner’s Permit pilot program. The purpose of the program shall be to encourage and assist first-time entrepreneurs in starting new information services, biotechnology, and green technology businesses by providing reimbursements to those entrepreneurs for any State filing, permitting, or licensing fees associated with the formation of such a business in the State. The bill passed the Senate last Wednesday and was sent to the House Rules Committee with Rep. Stephanie Kifowit filing as chief sponsor.

Gaming

HB 2877 (Hoffman) allows for video gaming by organization licensees and inter-track wagering location licensees under the Illinois Horse Racing Act of 1975.

Pensions

HB 656 (Gordon-Booth) amends the Downstate Teacher Article of the Illinois Pension Code relating to employer contributions from special trust and federal funds, provides that, beginning July 1, 2017, the rate, expressed as a percentage of salary, shall be equal to the total employer’s normal cost, expressed as a percentage of payroll. It passed out of the House on a 105-000-000 vote and was sent to Senate Assignments with Sen. Linda Holmes as chief sponsor.

Illinois Chamber Releases ‘Job Crusherz’ List

April 30th, 2017

Recently, the Illinois Chamber unveiled a website shining a spotlight on some of the worst bills currently pending in the statehouse.

The bills on the “Job Crusherz” list cover topics of minimum wage, workers’ compensation, income tax, recreational marijuana, over-regulation issues, and more.

For more information and to view the Illinois Chamber of Commerce’s “Job Crusherz” list visit www.jobcrusherz.com.

Engineering Enterprises Wins ACEC-IL Special Achievement Award

April 30th, 2017

Fifty-four Illinois firms were recognized for excellence in engineering before an audience of over 400 engineers, clients and government officials at an Awards Luncheon held February 9, 2017 at The Hilton Hotel in Naperville, Illinois.  The firms were recognized for award-winning engineering projects in the American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois’ Forty-Sixth Annual Engineering Excellence Awards Competition.  The competition recognizes outstanding projects designed by private practice engineering firms from the State of Illinois.

Engineering Enterprises, Inc. (EEI) received a Special Achievement Award for the project: ” Sub-Regional Plan for Sustainable Drinking Water” which was completed for the Villages of Montgomery and Oswego and the United City of Yorkville.  The Villages of Montgomery and Oswego and the United City of Yorkville currently provide potable water to approximately 83,000 people. The 2050 population projection for the Oswego, Yorkville, Montgomery Sub-Region is approximately 193,000 people. All three of the communities currently depend on the deep sandstone aquifer for a portion of, or all of, their water supply. Given the regional declining water levels within the deep aquifer system, which are declining at the highest rate southeast of the three communities, the three communities embarked on a journey to develop a sustainable sub-regional water supply plan.

The plan included shallow sand and gravel aquifer resource evaluation, deep sandstone aquifer water modeling and Fox River modeling. The plan also included current trends (CT) and less resource intensive (LRI) water demand projection scenarios, along with a cost-effective evaluation of source water, treatment, storage and distribution improvements needed to meet each scenario. The plan also identified the total cost, potential cost distribution per community and potential future water supply and treatment rate for each community. Finally, the plan demonstrated the cost savings the three communities could realize with a minimal amount of additional water conservation within their communities.  While the $185M+ plan will require a large investment, the three communities’ future water rates project to be consistent with, or less than, many other surface water supplied communities in the area.

Special Achievement Awards are given for projects worthy of recognition of the engineer and the owner/client for achieving engineering excellence.

Engineering Enterprises, Inc., founded in 1974, is a progressive, award winning consulting engineering firm which provides planning, design and construction services for water, wastewater, transportation, stormwater and GIS to municipalities, counties and state agencies throughout northern Illinois.  For additional information, visit www.eeiweb.com.