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Monthly Archives: October 2013

Illinois Chamber of Commerce Partners with InsureXSolutions Private Exchange

Illinois Chamber of Commerce Partners with InsureXSolutions Private Exchange

The Illinois Chamber of Commerce announced today that it has partnered InsureXSolutions® to offer new health insurance options and resources to small employers and consumers. The Illinois Chamber Benefits Exchange, powered by InsureXSolutions, will provide an online marketplace to help small businesses and their employees, as well as individual consumers, connect with the most appropriate and affordable health insurance plan and meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate in 2014.

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Illinois chamber targets judiciary in new workers’ comp drive

Illinois chamber targets judiciary in new workers’ comp drive

The Illinois Chamber of Commerce is ramping up efforts to reform the state’s workers’ compensation system, issuing a report today that takes aim at specific judges and court opinions for “activism” that the business group says has badly hurt the state’s economy.

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Illinois Courts Undermining Workers’ Compensation Reform Efforts

Illinois Courts Undermining Workers’ Compensation Reform Efforts

Illinois’ high workers’ compensation costs continue to be a major contributor to the state’s economic woes and – according to a new study released today by the Illinois Chamber of Commerce – the state’s judiciary is partly to blame.

“Rulings by the Illinois Appellate and Supreme Courts over the last decade have expanded employer liability far beyond what was intended by state law,” said Doug Whitley, Illinois Chamber president and CEO.

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Illinois pot law presents hazy legal situation for employers

Illinois pot law presents hazy legal situation for employers

Employers in Illinois are struggling to reconcile their drug policies with the new right to get high… Maisch of the chamber of commerce said he helped insert the employer protections into the legislation after some lawmakers came to him with concerns about how medical marijuana would affect the business community.

“We think employers are pretty well positioned with the law,” Maisch said.

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Rt. 53 extension backers must bridge $2 billion gap

Rt. 53 extension backers must bridge $2 billion gap

Last May, a coalition of county leaders, environmentalists, planners and the business community reached general consensus on extending Route 53 north as a tollway after years of dissension.

Now, the hard part starts, as estimates show tolls on the new roadway will pay for only a fraction of the up to $2.5 billion cost, leading to a $1.9 billion to $2.3 billion gap.

“We know there’s a huge gap that needs to be filled to make this a reality,” said Illinois Chamber of Commerce CEO Douglas Whitley, co-chairman of the Illinois tollway’s Route 53/120 finance committee.

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Prospects uncertain for approval of state-run health insurance exchange

Prospects uncertain for approval of state-run health insurance exchange

Passage during the veto session is unlikely because proposed state pension reforms will continue to dominate lawmakers’ attention, said Laura Minzer, executive director of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce’s Healthcare Council.

Illinois, home to 1.7 million uninsured people, might operate a marketplace better on its own, Minzer said. The federal marketplace, which applicants from Illinois must use this year, “is a bit of a disaster,” she said.
But the health-care law “politically is still a ‘hot potato’” for lawmakers, she said.

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Illinois Chamber charges CMAP with pro-Chicago bias in Illiana flap

Illinois Chamber charges CMAP with pro-Chicago bias in Illiana flap

In an Oct. 11 letter to the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, chamber President Doug Whitley wrote that opposition by the CMAP board and staff to the proposed south suburban tollway “is in direct conflict” with CMAP’s stated goals and indicates a view that “projects laying outside of the city of Chicago or Cook County are not as important as projects laying closer to the urban center.”

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Pensions, health care, minimum wage: Chamber hears updates

Pensions, health care, minimum wage: Chamber hears updates

Changes to a top issue the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and other groups want the state legislature to address could be delayed even longer.

The state Chamber is looking for pension reform as a way to begin addressing the state’s fiscal mess, said Todd Maisch, its executive vice president. Maisch said during a Greater Decatur Chamber of Commerce Lunch and Learn event Tuesday that a push doesn’t appear to be coming quickly to fix the system, which is of particular concern for areas outside of Chicago.

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ADM Seeks Illinois Tax Breaks as It Talks of Move

ADM Seeks Illinois Tax Breaks as It Talks of Move

Later Tuesday, Illinois Chamber of Commerce President Doug Whitley said he generally supported companies’ bids for tax credits. And he said it was a bad reflection on Illinois tax policy that so many feel obliged to approach legislators one by one asking for the breaks.
“Companies don’t come asking for credits and deductions unless the overall (tax) rate is too high,” he said. “I think we’ve got a problem with the tax code and competitiveness.”

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Let states keep control of fracking

Let states keep control of fracking

We are writing [to U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy] as state chambers of commerce where high-volume, hydraulic fracturing with horizontal drilling occurs within our individual state borders.

Illinois recently became a new member of the club of states that have promulgated rules and/or passed legislative regulations ensuring hydraulic fracturing is employed safely, transparently, and with a continued commitment to environmental protection.

We want to reinforce a request that the U.S. EPA continue to allow state regulators to take the lead on hydraulic fracturing-related regulations.

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