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Government Affairs Reports


August 5, 2016

This Week In Illinois 
Gov Vetoes Anti-Economic Development Bill

Late last week, Gov. Rauner vetoed one of three bills that would arbitrarily impose a one-size fits all approach to local economic development.

SB 2531 provides that any economic development corporation that receives any public money must have at least two members of a labor council serve on its board.  These members would also be full members with all rights and privileges and would not be required to pay any membership fees or dues for their role on the board.

In his veto message to members of the General Assembly, Gov. Rauner shared many concerns of the Illinois Chamber and urged the General Assembly to focus on passing legislation designed to further economic development, rather than imposing inflexible requirements on entities tying to bring jobs to Illinois.

While the Chamber is pleased with the governor’s action on SB 2531, there are still two more bills that remain on his desk.

SB 2600 and SB 2604 share the same concept as SB 2531 and ought to be vetoed in their entirety.  If you have not already done so, please click here to send a form letter to the governor urging him to veto the remaining two pieces of legislation.


Gov Signs Unpaid Child Bereavement Leave Bill

Late last week, Gov. Rauner signed into law a bill that would allow an employee to use up to 10 days of unpaid bereavement leave to grieve the death of the employee’s child, attend services related to the death of the child, or make arrangements necessitated by the death of the employee’s child.

The Chamber was originally opposed to the bill but was able to negotiate changes with the sponsor that decreased the amount of time from four weeks to two week; aligned the definitions of employee and employer with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act; reduced the ability to bring an action alleging violation of the Act from 3 years to 60 days; removed punitive damages and replaced the penalty provisions such that a first offense is a fine not to exceed $500 and subsequent offenses not to exceed $1,000.

The law now goes into effect immediately.


Get Out The Vote This November!

The Illinois Chamber of Commerce needs your help to turn out the vote for Illinois’s upcoming elections. As Election Day draws near, voters will seek credible information about how to get involved in the process – something that Chamber members can easily provide their employees through the Illinois Prosperity Project.

Believe it or not, 31% of employees surveyed ranked their current or former employer as the most credible source for information on political and public policy issues. To top that off, for employees who heard from their employer during the 2014 Midterm Election, 63% of them were motivated to learn more about the issues that were important to their employer and/or 43% were motivated to register to vote.1

At the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, we believe that an educated and motivated private-sector electorate will help ensure our state’s prosperity and economic growth in America this November. That’s why we’ve partnered with BIPAC and Michael Best Strategies to create a user-friendly Employee Voter Education Toolkit.

Early voting begins Sept. 29, so don’t delay.  Together, we can turn out the vote and make an impact this election year!  For more information on Illinois Prosperity Project, please click here.


Immigration Reform Panel Next Week

As a co-chair of the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition, please join us Wednesday, August 10 from 10:30 – 12:00 NOON for a roundtable discussion to help make commonsense immigration reform a reality in 2017.

The panel includes US Senator Mark Kirk (Illinois-R), US Congressman Bob Dold (Illinois R-10), US Congressman Mario Diaz Balart (Florida R-25), and Illinois Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno.

The event will take place at TechNexus (inside the Lyric Opera House Building) at 20 North Upper Wacker Drive on the 12th Floor in Chicago.

Space is limited and an RSVP is required for the event.  To RSVP, please click here.


Waterway Study Identifies $102B Impact

Illinois waterways support more than 1.7 million jobs and $102.5 billion in wages. That’s the core finding as the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Foundation today released a report highlighting the importance of the Illinois River to the state’s economy. Total employment across the 22 counties that benefited from the waterway in 2014 represents approximately 47 percent of all employment in the study.

To view today’s press release on the study, click here. For more information about the Illinois Waterways study, go here.


Join Sen. McConchie at Chicago Cut

The Illinois Chamber of Commerce is hosting a lunch buffet for Sen. Dan McConchie on Wednesday, August 10 at the Chicago Cut steakhouse from 11: 30 AM to 1:00 PM.

To RSVP to the event, please click here.


Chamber PAC Golf Outing!

It’s that time of the year again!  The Chamber PAC’s annual golf outing is set for Wednesday, September 7 at The Rail Golf Course in Springfield.

Join business leaders, legislators, and candidates throughout the state for a fun filled day of golf and networking outside of the office!

To register or sponsor the event, please click here

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