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Monthly Archives: February 2013

Legislators call for fracking in Illinois

Legislators call for fracking in Illinois

Allowing fracking in Illinois, a process of extracting natural gas from shale rock layers deep within the earth, will attract high-paying jobs to Illinois and strengthen the economy.

That was one of several pro-growth messages espoused by state Rep. Dwight Kay and U.S. Rep. John Shimkus at a Legislative Summit Monday sponsored by the Ed-Glen Chamber of Commerce. The lawmakers, both Republicans, frequently criticized excessive federal and state regulations and claimed that they stifle economic growth and encouraged companies to move out of Illinois.

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IL Chamber of Commerce President Pleads With Legislators to Fix Pension Mess

IL Chamber of Commerce President Pleads With Legislators to Fix Pension Mess

The President of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce has taken the unusual step of directly writing to state lawmakers pleading with them to do something about the state’s growing pension crisis. Douglas Whitley fears that any attempts at pension reform is the Illinois House have stalled, leaving the possibility no action will be taken in this session depite a nearly $100 billion debt which grows by $2 million each day. If they don’t, Whitley fears that businesses concerned about the dire state of Illinois’ finances will not invest here.

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Most small businesses skeptical of minimum wage calls

Most small businesses skeptical of minimum wage calls

Starting salaries at Noonan True Value Hardware already outpace Illinois’ minimum wage of $8.25 an hour, but that doesn’t mean calls on both the national and state levels this month to raise that benchmark wouldn’t affect the family-owned business.

“I’ve been through this cycle a couple times,” said company president Matt Noonan III, who has been involved with the family hardware operation in Springfield for four decades. “When minimum wage goes up, wages for everyone go up, which means we have to raise our prices if we want to stay in business.

“I believe the quality of work should drive the cost of labor, not the government.”

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Ives Statement on Historic Fracking Legislation

Ives Statement on Historic Fracking Legislation

Yesterday, lawmakers in Springfield rolled out HB 2615, The Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act. In a bi-partisan press conference, held yesterday at the State Capital Rotunda, legislators were surrounded by stakeholders from, what are often competing interest groups, including the Sierra Club, the oil and gas industry, the AFL-CIO, and many business organizations to support the new bill.

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State-run insurance exchange could see Senate vote next week

State-run insurance exchange could see Senate vote next week

The Illinois Senate could vote next week on implementing a crucial piece of the federal health insurance reforms passed in 2010, but two competing bills could lead the state in opposite directions.

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End of the road coming for Illinois’ motor fuel tax?

End of the road coming for Illinois’ motor fuel tax?

“I definitely see we are going to have to have a fresh thought about how we are going to get alternatively fueled vehicles to finance roads,” says Douglas Whitley, president and CEO of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. “You want people to buy alternatively fueled vehicles, but if they are not investing in the road infrastructure, then who is left to carry the burden of the miles traveled in that vehicle?”

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Illinois Chamber of Commerce CEO on State of the State Address

Illinois Chamber of Commerce CEO on State of the State Address

“Most troubling of all, I see it as another indication of our political leaders’ failure to recognize how detrimental it is to repeatedly send anti-business messages. Increasing the cost of doing business by forcing Illinois employers to pay the highest minimum wage in the country is counter to the basic economics we need elected officials to appreciate.”

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Illinois Chamber of Commerce CEO on State of the State Address

Illinois Chamber of Commerce CEO on State of the State Address

The Illinois Chamber is encouraged that Gov. Quinn continues to demand legislative action to resolve the single most pressing public policy issue confronting the citizens and employers who live, work and do business in Illinois. The governor is absolutely right to press the 98th General Assembly to pass legislation to restructure the state’s public employee pension obligations. The continued failure to adequately address the state’s unfunded obligations of an estimated $100 billion is unconscionable.

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Quinn calls pension reform ‘Job 1’ during State of the State speech

Quinn calls pension reform ‘Job 1’ during State of the State speech

Doug Whitley, president of the Illinois State Chamber of Commerce, called the wage proposal untimely and ill-advised.
“Given the state’s struggle to reverse the high unemployment in much of the state, the governor’s desire to dictate the highest minimum wage in the country is bewildering,” Whitley said.

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Critics call for focus on jobs, pension crisis

Critics call for focus on jobs, pension crisis

“The Illinois Chamber takes great exception to the governor’s desire to increase the state’s minimum wage law to $10 an hour,” said Doug Whitley, the group’s president and CEO. “This is an untimely, ill-advised and outrageous proposal that puts a dagger to the heart of the very employers politicians normally say they want to grow and be successful – small, medium and entrepreneurial businesses.”

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