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Monthly Archives: October 2011

Quinn’s $376 million budget veto likely to be spent elsewhere

Quinn’s $376 million budget veto likely to be spent elsewhere

Todd Maisch, vice president of government affairs for the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, the state’s largest business association, agreed with Harris that overdue bills should be a priority of the Legislature. “Essentially, the state’s vendors have been floating involuntary loans to the state for many months on end. It’s a simple issue of fairness and how you do business in the state,” Maisch said.

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Is America Losing the Clean Energy Race?

Is America Losing the Clean Energy Race?

Tom Wolf: The government could extend production tax credits for wind and include a phase out on a declining scale over four to six years beyond 2012. The government could set a national renewable energy standard with a reasonable target (15% by 2025?) and then sit back and watch the free market thrive in a growing, certain marketplace. However, even if that doesn’t happen, I would still suggest that one never, ever underestimate the ingenuity of the American manufacturing sector.

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Thoughts and Comments from the Sidelines on the New IWCC

Thoughts and Comments from the Sidelines on the New IWCC

We give credit for these changes to the amazing members of the Fourth Estate. The two quiet hard-working reporters at the Belleville News-Democrat, George Pawlaczyk and Beth Hundsdorfer, turned the world of Illinois workers’ compensation on its collective ear with stories about a claim-crazy prison, arbitrators getting workers’ compensation settlements and how things were going in Southern Illinois. Add the influence of Illinois State Chamber President Doug Whitley and Jay Dee Shattuck and you will note the 2011 amendments to the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act are about as sweeping as any in the history of this system.

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Illinois Jobless Rate Hits 10 Percent

Illinois Jobless Rate Hits 10 Percent

Illinois Chamber of Commerce President Doug Whitley says that lack of faith extends to employers, and blames at least a part of the problem on the federal government. Disagreements over the federal debt ceiling and unwillingness to work together on just about anything are weighing on the economy, he said. “Most of the private sector employers and business people are looking for stability, and we’re looking for leadership,” Whitley said. “And I don’t think the members of Congress have figured out they are a problem.”

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Study: 71 Drivers Cross Defective Bridge Every Second

Study: 71 Drivers Cross Defective Bridge Every Second

The report, from a coalition of environmental, transit and consumer groups, found that almost 10 percent of the Chicago area’s bridges – more than 400 altogether – are structurally deficient. That means an engineer has identified a major defect in a bridge’s support structure or deck….Gideon Blustein, executive director of the Infrastructure Council at the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, said Chicago could lose its place as a transportation hub without proper maintenance…“We’re quickly falling behind – spending less than many of our global competitors on transportation infrastructure,” Blustein said.

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Nearly 1 in 10 Bridges in Chicago Structurally Deficient, Report Shows

Nearly 1 in 10 Bridges in Chicago Structurally Deficient, Report Shows

“Many of the bridges that our friends and neighbors cross in their daily commutes are unsafe or on the verge of becoming unsafe. Illinois is the transportation hub of the nation and many tons of products and commodities cross these bridges each day. It is critical that we contact our members of congress and urge them to work together to fund transportation infrastructure” Gideon Blustein, Executive Director, Infrastructure Council, Illinois Chamber of Commerce. “While Chicago bridges are in better shape than those in many areas our size, Illinois and the United States must have a world-class transportation system in order to remain competitive.”

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Report Puts Illinois Economy On Top In The Midwest

Report Puts Illinois Economy On Top In The Midwest

A recent report by Crain’s Business Magazine puts the state in first place when it comes to business climates in the Midwest. Doug Whitley, with the Illinois State Chamber of Commerce, says the state’s attempts to become more fiscally responsible should encourage more businesses to come to the state.

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Reasons to be bullish about Illinois

Reasons to be bullish about Illinois

Whitley, who is the president of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, was in Kankakee County recently to address the annual legislator’s reception organized by the Kankakee Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Kankakee County Farm Bureau…”Fiscal reality is beginning to sink in,” he said. “The only way out of this is to grow the economy.”

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Power by numbers: An increase in public awareness would help environmental sustainability

Power by numbers: An increase in public awareness would help environmental sustainability

The [coal] industry has an $80 billion direct impact on the state, which also provides 50,000 direct and 100,000 indirect jobs. “In fact, there is more energy in Illinois coal reserves than in the oil in Saudi Arabia,” Wolf said. “I’m not saying you have to like it, but you have to realize politically that a lot of people rely on coal for not only energy, but their jobs.”…According to Wolf, another 48 percent of electricity produced in our state comes from nuclear power plants. “These plants have given us decades of reliable energy without greenhouse gas emissions,” Wolf said.

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Hultgren Applauds House Passage Of Free Trade Agreements

Hultgren Applauds House Passage Of Free Trade Agreements

“Congressional passage of the Free Trade Agreements with Panama, Columbia and South Korea is long overdue. Eliminating trade barriers and boosting U.S. export trade is key to furthering the nation’s economic recovery. The Illinois Chamber of Commerce supports passage of the Free Trade Agreements because we know that facilitating the expansion of international trade is critical to the state’s economic future. We thank Congressman Hultgren for his leadership on this issue.” – Doug Whitley, President and CEO, Illinois Chamber of Commerce

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