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Monthly Archives: December 2011

Guest commentary: A realistic plan to create jobs

Guest commentary: A realistic plan to create jobs

This month, House Republicans unveiled a bold, common-sense proposal to unshackle the Illinois economy with a plan to accelerate the rollback of the massive corporate income tax hike enacted by Democrats back in January…The recipe is simple: When employers are hiring and more people are working, the government brings in more money. More jobs equal more taxpayers. Conversely, raising taxes stunts growth…Our plan is supported by the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, National Federation of Independent Business, the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, Illinois Manufacturers’ Association and the Illinois Policy Institute.

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Business, labor seek long-term federal transportation bill

Business, labor seek long-term federal transportation bill

“You have to plan to invest in equipment,” said Matt Davidson, executive director of the Associated General Contractors of Illinois. “You can’t decide today to build a road tomorrow.”…Coalition co-chairman Doug Whitley, president of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, said the group has been working with the Illinois congressional delegation about passing a long-term transportation funding bill “early in the new calendar year.”…Spokesman Josh Kauffman said, though, that up to 80 percent of the cost of interstate and bridge improvement projects comes from Washington, so an increase in federal funding would benefit the department. Whitley said next year’s elections should not prevent passage of a federal transportation bill.

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Group seeks federal funds for Ill. roads

Group seeks federal funds for Ill. roads

The Transportation for Illinois Coalition says the gridlocked Congress should approve a multi-year road and bridge spending plan to help upgrade Illinois’ transportation network and create thousands of jobs…In a report designed to prod the state’s congressional delegation to push for a long-term federal funding plan, the coalition said state roads are wearing out 33 percent faster than they are being repaired. The state also has a high number of structurally deficient bridges. Clearly, our roads, bridges and transit systems need attention in a major way, and they need it now,” said coalition co-chairman Doug Whitley, president of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce.

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Feds Face Challenges In Launching U.S. Health Exchange

Feds Face Challenges In Launching U.S. Health Exchange

“There’s an enormous amount to be decided and put together and built before these key milestones can happen,” says Laura Minzer, executive director of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce’s Healthcare Council. “The fact that so little has happened [at the state and federal level] is good cause for alarm.”…A big part is politics, she adds. Some lawmakers – both Democrats and Republicans — fear that any movement to implement the law threatens their re-election chances. Others want to wait to see how the Supreme Court rules. “Even though we are a blue state – the Democrats have a majority in the House and Senate – there’s a nervousness going into the [2012] elections,” she says. “There’s speculation that nothing will happen on the exchange until after the elections.”

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Sizing Up EPA’s Mercury Rules

Sizing Up EPA’s Mercury Rules

What are the economic, health and political significance of President Obama’s mercury standards for power plants?…What are the factors that EPA should consider when implementing the rule? What are the longer term implications of this rule in terms of both public health and the economy? What, if anything, should Congress do in reaction to this rule?…Tom Wolf, Executive Director, Energy Council: The debate surrounding the impending mercury standards from the US EPA hasn’t had any traction here in Illinois. That might sound a bit surprising given the fact that almost 50 percent of the electricity in the state comes from coal-fueled power plants…

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Miller: Corporate tax relief comes at price of resentment

Miller: Corporate tax relief comes at price of resentment

Some House Democrats with tough campaigns next year had introduced a bill…to kill the corporate tax hike by Jan. 1.
January’s corporate tax boost has created a huge uproar in Illinois as one company after another has threatened to move away. Special tax breaks given to some companies to keep them here have only enraged other company owners who are left holding the bag….Both the Illinois Manufacturers Association and the Illinois Chamber of Commerce have vowed to push for lowering the corporate tax rate in the spring legislative session…These latest proposals are probably all about election-year politics anyway. Barring some unforeseen miracle and/or a newfound desire to cut ever deeper into the state budget, there’s no way Illinois can afford to get rid of the corporate tax hike.

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Competing plans work to roll back business tax increase

Competing plans work to roll back business tax increase

Less than 24 hours after the Illinois Legislature approved $350 million worth of tax breaks for businesses and low-income earners, some lawmakers want to roll back the corporate tax to 4.8 percent, faster than outlined in the temporary income tax increase legislation passed in January…Representatives of the business community said any broad-based tax relief is welcome. “The Illinois Chamber (of Commerce) is encouraged by legislative initiative that recognizes the importance of demonstrating to employers and investors that Illinois governments are conscious of the need to improve the state’s business climate by reversing course on the job killing tax increase,” Doug Whitley, president of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, the largest business organization in the state, said.

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ISA applauds Illinois legislators’ support for biodiesel tax credit extension

ISA applauds Illinois legislators’ support for biodiesel tax credit extension

The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) today applauded the Illinois General Assembly for passing a tax package that extends the biodiesel tax credit for five years, until 2018. The tax credit was previously due to expire at the end of 2013. ISA led support for the action, which includes other tax relief…ISA joined the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Manufacturers Association, Tax Payers Federation, Illinois Corn Growers Association and other business groups in support.

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State House GOP leader: Lower corporate tax rate

State House GOP leader: Lower corporate tax rate

House Republican Leader Tom Cross today announced a proposal to lower the overall state income tax on companies, responding to concerns that after lawmakers gave big tax breaks to Sears Holdings Corp. and other individual companies, more will follow, looking for relief….Business leaders joined Cross at the news conference to argue that with unemployment high, businesses needed some broader help. “Tax policy is not something you deal with one time,” said Illinois Chamber of Commerce President Doug Whitley. Whitley also praised lawmakers for the tax breaks approved this week, saying it sends a message that Illinois officials are concerned about employers.

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Unes votes “yes” on jobs bill

Unes votes “yes” on jobs bill

Attempting to patch the damage caused by the most disastrous tax increase in state history, State Representative Mike Unes (R-East Peoria) voted in support of a jobs bill package that contained many elements Unes unveiled this summer…The provisions of this bill are supported by the Illinois Manufactures Associations, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, Midwest Truckers Association, Caterpillar Inc., the National Federation of Independent Business and the Illinois Farm Bureau.

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