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Monthly Archives: June 2013

Caterpillar CEO Says Illinois Needs to Fix State Pension System

Caterpillar CEO Says Illinois Needs to Fix State Pension System

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Doug Oberhelman said the Illinois pension system is in “deep trouble” and must be repaired for its home state to become more competitive.

“It is unsustainable and without some major changes the financial stability of our state is in jeopardy,” he said today during an Illinois Chamber of Commerce event in Chicago.

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Wage wars – Fight over minimum pay is as cloudy as ever

Wage wars – Fight over minimum pay is as cloudy as ever

Minimum wage is meant as a stepping stone to higher-paying work, said Jay Shattuck, executive director for the Chamber’s employment law council.

“The minimum wage was never intended to provide a living for a family,” Shattuck said. “It’s low-skilled, but an opportunity for people to move up or go find another job.”

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Business owners can learn about Affordable Care Act

Business owners can learn about Affordable Care Act

Laura Minzer, associate vice president of government affairs and executive director at the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, will lead a discussion from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, July 8, at Hotel Arista, 2139 CityGate Lane, Naperville.

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Surprise booster of new fuel tax plan

Surprise booster of new fuel tax plan

We look forward to a discussion of the plan’s merits. Clearly, something has to be done before Illinois’ roads and bridges deteriorate to the point of becoming dangerous to motorists. And while it’s far too early for us to take sides on the issue, we do find it intriguing that someone as pro-business and anti-tax as Whitley is willing to stick his neck out in support of this proposal.

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Illinois Chamber President coming to Eagle Brook Country Club

Illinois Chamber President coming to Eagle Brook Country Club

Doug Whitley returns to the Tri-Cities to speak on issues affecting the Illinois Chamber of Commerce

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G&W Electric honored by Illinois chamber

G&W Electric honored by Illinois chamber

G&W Electric of Bolingbrook was one of three companies in Illinois to win a 2013 Edie Award for Economic Development from the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and Illinois Development Council.

The “Edies” are presented annually to honor companies in the state that imagine, design, invest, build and bring jobs, growth and prosperity to Illinois communities.

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Illinois road group seeks tax tied to gas cost

Illinois road group seeks tax tied to gas cost

The Transportation for Illinois Coalition is pushing legislation to impose a 9.5 percent tax on the wholesale price of fuel – adding about 14 cents a gallon at today’s prices – along with vehicle license and registration fee hikes to bring in about $800 million a year, coalition co-chairman Doug Whitley told The Associated Press.

That’s still a far cry from what the coalition says is a price tag of more than $65 billion in the next five years to catch up with and modernize roads and mass transit.

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Road group seeks tax tied to gas cost

Road group seeks tax tied to gas cost

Illinois transit advocates are proposing a plan to fix the state’s deteriorating roads through a new tax that would raise the price at the gas pump, The Associated Press has learned.

The Transportation for Illinois Coalition says the $800-million-dollar-a-year plan is necessary to get a toehold on needed repairs to roads, bridges and rails.

The influential group is pushing legislation to replace the current 19-cents-a-gallon motor fuel tax with a 9.5 percent wholesale tax. It would add about 14 cents to today’s price of a gallon of gas.

Coalition co-chairman Doug Whitley laid out the plan for the AP in advance of making it public.

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Illinois Lawmakers Approve Hydraulic Fracturing Legislation

Illinois Lawmakers Approve Hydraulic Fracturing Legislation

On May 31, 2013, Illinois Senate passed the Hydraulic Fracturing Regulation Act (SB 1715) by a vote of 52-3, one day after it passed the House by a vote of 108-9. The legislation, developed with input from industry, labor groups, environmentalists, and agriculturists, contains some of the strictest hydraulic fracturing regulations. The approval sets the stage for new jobs and economic development in the state, particularly the southern region, which has been beset by a waning coal industry.

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More money needed to ease train congestion, officials say

More money needed to ease train congestion, officials say

“Clearly the federal government needs to step up and give us more funding so we are not here 10 years from now . . . asking for more money,” said Douglas Whitley, president and CEO of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. This project should not take more than 20 years, he added. It was originally aimed to be completed in six years.

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