June 17, 2016
This Week in Springfield
On Monday, House Speaker Michael Madigan cancelled another scheduled overtime session day. The Speaker cited in his memo to House members that legislators from both the House and Senate are continuing to meet on a number of issues including workers’ compensation, collective bargaining and an agreement to end the near-year long budget impasse.
While the Chamber acknowledges the progress that is being made in these working groups, time is running out to enact a transportation stopgap measure to ensure that the state’s 800 active construction projects continue throughout the summer.
Last year there had been a smaller appropriation that allowed some construction to continue but no similar bill was introduced in the waning hours of regular session. Without a budget and without certainty that money will reach contractors, we remain concerned that much of the summer building season could be lost. Additionally, delaying projects adds additional costs that take away from other future projects. We also remain concerned that this could impact the amount of money received by local governments and threaten federal grant funds.
The long term implications of not approving a stopgap transportation bill are concerning as well. Over the last few months, several thousand new logistics jobs have been announced here in Illinois. Without steady improvements to our transportation networks, this bright spot of our economy-and our competitive advantage to other states-will be at risk. We continue to advocate for a capital plan and infrastructure investment to be included in any budget agreement.
The House is scheduled to be in for the remaining two Wednesdays in June. However, since the May 31st adjournment, neither chamber has come back to Springfield to vote on any legislation.
CHAMBER ANNUAL LUNCHEON
On Tuesday, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce held its annual luncheon meeting at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago. Attendees included those from the business community and the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, elected officials, and members of the armed forces.
This year’s keynote presentation was given by Boeing President and CEO, Dennis Muilenburg. Muilenburg discussed the importance of the export-import bank, workforce development, international trade, and space exploration.
Gov. Rauner also provided remarks to attendees and showed his support for the business community by reassuring that pro-business reforms are crucial to growing Illinois’ economy. To listen to the governor’s full speech, please click here. The governor and other members of the General Assembly were also available outside the event for a press conference. To watch the press conference, click here.
The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESRG) and members of the military also provided a statement of support signing ceremony to the Boeing Company and the State of Illinois. The intent of the statement is to increase employer support by encouraging employers to act as advocates for employee participation in the military.
Finally, the Illinois Chamber, in conjunction with the Illinois Economic Development Association (IEDA) provided awards to the winners of the eighth annual Economic Development in Illinois Awards (Edies). Edie Award winners were chosen for investing in their communities, providing meaningful employment opportunities, and becoming distinguished corporate citizens. The winners this year Edie awards were Sunstar Americas (Schaumburg), Invenergy LLC (Nelson), America’s Central Port (Granite City), Method Products (Chicago), and Metro Chicago Exports (Chicago).
To view over 400 photos from Tuesday’s event, please visit our Facebook page by clicking here.
REP. ANTHONY RESIGNS
State Rep. John Anthony (R- Joliet) has announced that he is resigning from office effective June 17.
MEET N GREET CYNTHIA DEADRICK WOLFER
Come and meet business owner and entrepreneur Cindy Deadrick Wolfer at Obed and Isaac’s beer garden on June 28 from 4:30 to 6:00.
Beverages and appetizers will be provided and State Rep. Tim Butler will also be in attendance. Please RSVP by June 27, 2016 to Sarah Croft at email@example.com
BILLS OF INTEREST
Due to the General Assembly being in continuous session throughout the month of June, the Chamber will continue to monitor pertinent legislation that is still alive and may be acted on over the summer.
The following list of bills are a handful of issues that are worth mentioning.
SJR 40 (Sandoval) is a joint-resolution to enact the I-55 managed lanes. Under current law, a joint resolution is required for IDOT’s I-55 managed lanes initiative. The Chamber is in support.
SB 584 (Harmon) is the Senate’s procurement reform proposal. This bill retains the current procurement process and does not dismantle the Chief Procurement Office (CPO). Other provisions include new higher education exemptions; changes to the multi-step sealed bidding process; raises the threshold to $100,000 for small purchases; allows for pre-qualified pools; permits joint purchasing (piggybacking); and adds a new “best value” procurement pilot project for IDOT, IDNR, Ag and institutions of higher education. In addition, repeals the current reporting requirements but adds language clarifying that an employee knowingly or intentionally colludes or acts in an anticompetitive nature shall be reported to the IG and is subject to suspension or termination.
SB 3011 (Mulroe/Feigenholtz) would raise the legal purchasing age for tobacco products and e-cigs from 18 to 21. The bill is in the House. The Chamber opposes.
HB 3655 (Zalewski/Raoul). This legislation would legalize fantasy sports contest in Illinois. The Chamber opposes this measure. For the Chamber’s position paper on HB 3655, please view here.
The House is scheduled to be in session on Wednesday, June 22 at 12 o’clock noon. At this moment, the Senate has not scheduled any sessions days for the month of June.
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