Click below to read the full version of the Chamber's legislative updates. Each update covers the most relevant public policy issues faced by the State, County, and City of Chicago. For more information contact the Chamber's Government Relations division.
February 25, 2015
A Mayoral and Aldermanic Election update, an Illinois General Assembly update, testimony with the Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners in support of the Obama Library on the South Side, and upcoming events.
January 23, 2015
Updates on the municipal election and mayoral forums, city council ordinances, Governor Bruce Rauner and the Illinois General Assembly.
December 12, 2014
We share in the sadness over the loss of State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka. Judy distinguished herself by being true to her core beliefs, unselfish in her dedication to her constituents, and loyal to her oath of office. She was the greatest of retail politicians, mentor to many, and a public servant extraordinaire.
December 5, 2014
On Tuesday, December 2, 2014 during a special City Council meeting called by Mayor Emanuel, aldermen passed an ordinance to increase the minimum wage in Chicago to $13/hour by 2019. The vote was 44 to 5 with Aldermen Mary O’Connor, O’Shea, Reilly, Smith, and Tunney voting against the increase.
September 29, 2014
On Friday, September 26, 2014 Cook County moved to stay the order granted by the Circuit Court of Cook County on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 regarding the Cook County Uniform Penalties and Procedures Ordinance (Refund Ordinance) that determined Cook County honor refund claims.
August 4, 2014
The Chamber learned that it has won its lawsuit against Cook County on behalf of its members; the Cook County Use Tax has been declared invalid by the Illinois Appellate Court.
July 8, 2014
Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Minimum Wage Working Group recommended on Monday, July 7th that the minimum wage in Chicago be raised from $8.25 per hour to $13 per hour by 2018. Mayor Emanuel invited the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, other key community, labor and business associations, and aldermen to participate in the Minimum Wage Working Group in late May after 21 aldermen signed an ordinance that pushed to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour.
June 13, 2014
Proposals to increase the minimum wage, to adopt a graduated income tax, to extend the temporary income tax increase, to revamp Illinois’ business tax and economic development climate, to reduce the corporate income tax rate, to give taxpayers a $500 property tax rebate, and to tax incomes over $1 million all failed to advance out of the legislature.
June 2, 2014 | Springfield Session Recap
The Illinois House adjourned its spring session on the evening of May 30 and the Illinois Senate did so shortly after midnight, thus ending an Illinois General Assembly session that proposed a lot of grandiose plans, but did not see many of them come to fruition. From the Chicagoland Chamber’s perspective, there were some victories and some frustrations.
May 30, 2014
The Spring legislative session is scheduled to end tomorrow at midnight. As of this writing, the Cook County pension reform bill (HB 1154 - Raoul, Madigan) has not been passed. Chamber staff will continue to monitor developments.
May 22, 2014
The General Assembly is moving towards its May 31 adjournment even as major issues remain unresolved. Last week, budget bills were approved assuming the temporary income tax increase would be made permanent.
May 16, 2014
With about two weeks left in the General Assembly session before the scheduled May 31 adjournment date, lawmakers are focusing on budget and revenue matters.
April 17, 2014
The Illinois General Assembly is on a two-week break and will resume the session on April 29. When they return, lawmakers will be debating legislation that has either been passed by the opposite chamber or hasbeen granted a deadline extension.
April 11, 2014
Friday, April 11 is the deadline for bills to be considered on third reading in their house of origin. Following a two week recess, the process starts over in the second chamber. The General Assembly is set to adjourn May 31.
April 4, 2014
This past week saw intense floor action in both the Illinois House and the Senate on legislation that has advanced out of substantive committees. The Chicagoland Chamber supported and opposed many of these bills. The following list includes bills that the Chamber is working on and their current status.
March 28, 2014
The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce is strongly discouraged by the Governor’s call to make permanent the 67 percent income tax increase at a time when Illinois’ business environment is already at a serious competitive disadvantage compared to our neighboring states.
March 7, 2014
At their March 5 meeting, the City Council unanimously adopted a resolution calling on President Barack Obama and the U.S. Congress to increase the federal minimum wage to $10.10. Illinois currently has a minimum wage of $8.25, the highest rate in the Midwest and the sixth highest in the nation. Click here to view the resolution.
February 7, 2014
January 1, 2014 marked the official end of Chicago's Employer Expense Tax also commonly called the "head tax" on employers within the City of Chicago. Eliminating the head tax has been a long-time initiative of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce.
Read the Full Update
January 31, 2014
The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors voted to approve the 2014 Legislative Agenda. The legislative agenda includes the major policy priorities and positions at the municipal, state and federal levels of government.
January 17, 2014
The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce testified at a joint hearing of the Illinois House Revenue & Finance and State Government Administration Committees on Friday, January 17th on the state's current policies on providing tax incentives to attract and retain businesses.
December 13, 2013
The Chicago City Council approved an ordinance at the December 11th City Council meeting to establish the City Council Financial Analysis Office.
November 22, 2013
On Friday, November 22, 2013 the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce joins the City of Chicago in recognizing the Fiftieth Anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States of America.
October 18, 2013
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle introduced the County's fiscal year 2014 budget on Thursday, October 10th. The budget proposal does not include any new or increased taxes, fees or fines and it maintains the one percent sales tax rollback, a position strongly advocated by the Chamber.
Read the Full Update
September 13, 2013
The Chicago City Council approved an ordinance at the September 11th council meeting that will require Chicago's largest buildings to benchmark their energy use and authorize the City to publicly disclose the energy efficiency for these buildings.
July 26, 2013
Cook County Circuit Court Judge Robert Lopez Cepero agreed to the Chamber’s request to issue a preliminary injunction of Cook County’s Use Tax on non-titled purchases.
July 24, 2013
Today, Judge Robert Lopez Cepero agreed to the Chamber’s request to issue a preliminary injunction of Cook County’s Use Tax on non-titled purchases.
July 12, 2013
This week, the Illinois General Assembly overturned Governor Pat Quinn's amendatory veto of the concealed carry bill.The Governor's amendatory veto included the addition of further restrictions on where an individual could carry a concealed firearm in public including an outright ban on carrying in any establishment that serves alcohol.
June 28, 2013
On Thursday, the special Conference Committee, created by the Illinois General Assembly as part of a agreement between legislative leaders and the Governor to draft a compromise solution to the state's public employee pension crisis, met for the first time in Chicago.
June 21, 2013
Today, the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce filed a lawsuit against the Cook County Department of Revenue to block the County from imposing the .75 percent use tax on non-titled personal property.
June 20, 2013
The Illinois General Assembly adjourned on the evening of May 31st with some substantial unfinished business: it did not pass a comprehensive public employee pension reform plan.
June 19, 2013
Today, the Cook County Board voted to amend the ordinance establishing a use tax on non-titled personal property purchased outside the County.
June 7, 2013
This week, Governor Pat Quinn called for a Special Session of the Illinois General Assembly to reconvene on Wednesday, June 19th to address the state's public employee pension crisis.
June 1, 2013
The following is an update of yesterday's May 31st Public Policy Advocacy Report updating issues that were unresolved at the time of publication.
May 31, 2013
The Illinois General Assembly is scheduled to conclude the spring legislative session at midnight tonight. The following is the current status of legislation the Chamber is actively working on as of the publication time of this newsletter.
May 24, 2013
Today, the Illinois House passed their version of conceal carry legislation, House Amendment 1 to Senate Bill 2193 sponsored by Representative Phelps, with a 85-30-1 vote.
May 17, 2013
This week, a conceal carry bill was introduced in the Senate, Senate Amendments to House Bill 183. The Chamber is working with lead sponsors of the fire arm conceal carry legislation to include provisions that permit business and property owners the rights to prohibit concealed fire arms in their place of business or on their property.
May 10, 2013
This week Senate President John Cullerton along with Senator Linda Holmes introduced yet another pension reform proposal, Senate Bill 2404, based on a proposal provided by the unions representing a majority of state public employees. The Senate approved SB 2404 by a 40-16 vote.
May 3, 2013
This week the Illinois House of Representatives approved an amended version of Senate Bill 1, sponsored by Speaker Madigan, that includes public employee pension reforms supported by the Chamber Board - an increase in the retirement age, a limit on COLAs, and a cap on pensionable income levels.
May 2, 2013
The Illinois House of Representatives is planning to vote on HA 1 to Senate Bill 1 this afternoon. The bill, sponsored by House Speaker Michael Madigan, represents real, meaningful reform to the State's public employee pension crisis.
April 12, 2013
The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors amended the Chamber's Public Policy Statement to add a position on gun violence.
April 5, 2013
On April 1, 2013 Mark Segal, Chairman of the Chamber’s Public Policy Committee, was a featured speaker at the formal kick-off of the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition (IBIC).
March 22, 2013
The Illinois House and Senate both took action on several public employee pension proposals.
March 15, 2013
The Senate Executive Committee approved two bills, Senate Bill 1 (Cullerton) and Senate Bill 35 (Biss), this week seeking to address the state's public employee pension crisis.
March 8, 2013
The Illinois Senate is expected to vote on a bill to increase the minimum wage, SB 68, sponsored by Senator Kimberly Lightford, early next week. The details of the bill have not been made available yet, but it is anticipated to include a gradual increase in the minimum wage to $10 per hour over the next four years.
February 15, 2013
The Chicagoland Chamber voiced its support for two downtown construction projects recently. John Carpenter, Executive Vice President and COO, testified before the Chicago Plan Commission in support of the Wolf Point development slated to erect three buildings along the river near the Merchandise Mart.
January 21, 2013
The Chicagoland Chamber and other business groups worked in coalition to pass amendments to an anti-wage theft and debt collection ordinance introduced by Mayor Emanuel and Alderman Pawar and others.
December 14, 2012
On Wednesday, the Chicago City Council approved a plan to purchase bulk electricity from Integrys Energy Services. Chicago becomes the largest city in the US to enter into a deal to purchase electricity on behalf of the city’s residents and small businesses.
December 6, 2012
The Illinois General Assembly concluded the two week veto session this week. No votes were taken to address public employee pension reform during the veto session.
November 30, 2012
The Illinois General Assembly wrapped up the first week of the two week veto session on Thursday. The legislature did not address pension reform this week. All indications from inside the Capitol suggest that they will wait until the “lame duck” session at the start of January to deal with the state’s pension crisis.
November 21, 2012
The Chicago City Council and the Cook County Board of Commissioners passed their respective fiscal year 2013 budgets in the past week.
November 2, 2012
On Tuesday, November 6, millions of Americans will cast their ballots to elect the President of the United States. Here in Illinois, you the voter will be asked to make important choices in this election besides the President. Every member of the Illinois General Assembly is up for election.
October 22, 2012
The Presidential Election is only a couple weeks away. The two candidates are trading barbs on the major issues of our time in the debates and in countless television commercials.
September 14, 2012
As the weather begins to cool down heading into Fall, the political season is just beginning to heat up. The Presidential election is top of mind in the national and local news, but the November 6th election is also very important to the future of Illinois as every member of the Illinois General Assembly is up for re-election because of the remapping of legislative districts based on the new census figures.
August 24, 2012
The Illinois General Assembly failed to take any meaningful action on public employee pension reform at the special session on August 17th. The fiscal health of the State, County and City remains in doubt because state leadership cannot agree on the details of a public pension reform proposal.
Governor Quinn has called the Illinois General Assembly back to the state capitol for a special session on August 17th to pass legislation to reform the state’s public employee pension system.
July 31, 2012
On Thursday, July 26th the Chamber's Board of Directors approved a motion directing the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce to elevate public employee pension reform as the top public policy issue facing the Chicagoland business community.
July 18, 2012
On behalf of the Chamber and our 1600 member businesses throughout the county, I want to thank President Preckwinkle and the Board of Commissioners for working hard over the last two years to move Cook County forward. By all accounts, Cook County government is viewed in a more favorable light today due to the tough decisions you made to implement reforms, reduce waste, and streamline and consolidate public services.
July 5, 2012
On June 28th the U.S. Supreme Court held that the “individual mandate” component of the Affordable Care Act (the “Act”) is constitutional. While it’s possible that the November elections could change the course of health care reform, employers should prepare to comply with the Act’s health insurance requirements now.
June 28, 2012
On Thursday, June 28th the Chamber joined Governor Pat Quinn for the signing of the Chamber's long-time initiative to provide access to health insurance and health care services for small business employees by making it easier to form healthcare cooperatives.
June 22, 2012
The Illinois General Assembly adjourned early in the morning of June 1 with many substantial accomplishments and some unfinished business. During its spring session the legislature reformed Medicaid, passed a fiscally-conservative bipartisan budget, made changes to the state’s procurement law, modified the Enterprise Zone program, and jump-started the three-year-old capital construction program which had not yet been fully funded.
June 1, 2012
The Illinois General Assembly officially closed the spring legislative session when the Senate adjourned near 2 am Friday morning. The Chamber worked late into the night to ensure that key pieces of the Chamber's legislative agenda were successfully passed.
May 24, 2012
This week the Illinois House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 2885 (May/Raoul) on a 118 - 0 vote. This legislation embodies a long-time initiative of the Chicagoland Chamber to provide the access to health insurance and health care services for small business employees that they otherwise do not have today.
May 17, 2012
Yesterday the Senate Executive Committee held a hearing on SB 1565, minimum wage bill. Despite concerns from the business community, the committee voted 9-4 to pass the bill.
May 11, 2012
The Chicago City Council passed the Business License Reform Initiative ordinance on Wednesday that will reduce the number of business licenses offered by the City of Chicago from the current 117 license types to a consolidated 49 types.
April 27, 2012
As amended, SB 2885 clarifies the definition of employer under the Health Care Purchasing Group Act to include sole proprietors and to raise the limit on covered employees from 500 to 2500.
April 20, 2012
Aldermen Ed Burke and Patrick O'Connor used the "defer and publish" motion to postpone action on a vote on the Chicago Infrastructure Trust Ordinance at the April 18 City Council meeting.
March 16, 2012
The Illinois Primary Election is next Tuesday, March 20th. This is the first election for members of the Illinois General Assembly since redistricting. All state legislators are up for election in their respective party primary.
March 13, 2012
The Illinois General Assembly is on a brief hiatus until the day after the primary election on March 20th. Last week was the deadline for substantive legislation to pass out of committees.
February 22, 2012
The Chicagoland Chamber Political Action Committee is working to translate the successes of the 2011 Chicago municipal elections into the 2012 Illinois General Assembly election to elect business friendly legislators. Make your voice heard, donate today.
January 20, 2012
Mayor Rahm Emanuel introduced an ordinance at Wednesday's City Council meeting called "Chicago First" that will give Chicago businesses and manufactures an advantage for securing City procurement contracts.
December 21, 2011
The year started off with a tremendous challenge to the state's business climate with a last minute passage of the 67% income tax increase on individuals and businesses.
December 12, 2011
The Illinois House voted today to approve the agreement on a new tax package to provide tax relief and incentives for businesses in order to keep and attract new jobs and employers in the state.
December 8, 2011
Legislative leaders have reportedly reached a agreement on a new tax package to provide tax relief and incentives for businesses in order to keep and attract new jobs and employers in the state.
November 30, 2011
The Illinois General Assembly met in special session on Tuesday, November 29th and failed to pass legislation to provide tax relief and incentives for businesses in order to keep and attract new jobs and employers in the state.
November 18, 2011
Chicago City Council passes budget unanimously, the County Budget revenue ordinances pass the finance committee, and Chicago's Chief Sustainability Officer talks environmental policy with the Chamber's environment forum.
November 10, 2011
The Illinois General Assembly closed the second week of veto session leaving several important pieces of legislation followed by the Chicagoland Chamber unfinished including Pension Reform, Healthcare Cooperatives, Gaming Expansion and a tax credit package for the CME and Sears.
November 4, 2011
Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce President Jerry Roper testified this week at both the City of Chicago and Cook County public hearings on behalf of the Chicagoland business community on the proposed fiscal year 2012 budgets.
October 31, 2011
The Illinois General Assembly on Wednesday October 26, voted to overturn Governor Pat Quinn's veto of the Senate Bill 1652, legislation to modernize the state's electricity grid utilizing new smart grid technology.
October 13, 2011
The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce is taking a cautious approach to Mayor Rahm Emanuel's proposed fiscal year 2012 budget to address the city's projected $635 million revenue gap and has begun a detailed review of the proposed package of cuts and taxes.
September 14, 2011
Governor Quinn vetoes smart grid legislation, which will be sent back to the General Assembly, and the Chamber urges the Governor to sign casino legislation.
August 31, 2011
Smart grid legislation goes to the governor, the business community testifies in support of the Cook County budget, the Chamber meets with the governor on the casino bill, and more.
August 9, 2011
Illinois Tollway Driving the Future $12B Capital Plan, the Chicagoland Chamber to meet with Governor on Casino Bill, and unemployment insurance funding discussion to begin soon.
August 3, 2011
Mayor Emanuel released a first-ever Annual Financial Analysis of the city's 2011 budget that reviews the current financial trends of city revenue and expenditures and provides a budget projection for the next three years. The report estimates Chicago will face a $635.7 million budget deficit for fiscal year 2012.
July 15, 2011
The state's business tax structure is under review, workers' compensation reform has been signed into law, and the Governor approved a clean coal plant for southeast Chicago.
June 17, 2011
It appears that the City of Chicago is finally ready to eliminate the penalty on business for hiring workers. At the June 8th City Council meeting, Alderman Tom Tunney, the new Chairman of the Committee on Economic, Capital and Technology Development, introduced an ordinance to begin the phasing out of the City's employer's expense tax also known as the "head tax."
June 9, 2011
The Illinois House and Senate adjourned late on May 31, each chamber scheduled to return in October, unless called into special session this summer by Governor Pat Quinn. Lawmakers in both houses passed an FY 2011 state operations budget of $33.2 billion, which was approximately $2 billion less than the governor’s budget introduced in March.
June 1, 2011
During a whirlwind of activity on the last day of Session, the Illinois General Assembly passed several Chicagoland Chamber priority pieces of legislation including workers’ compensation reform, a gaming package with a Chicago casino and ComEd’s Smart Grid modernization program.
April 19, 2011
On Business Lobby Day in Springfield on April 12, a large group of Chamber members and other small business owners from across the state met in Springfield. We were addressed by Governor Pat Quinn, Senate President John Cullerton, Senate Majority Leader Christine Radogno, House Minority Leader Tom Cross, and several other influential legislators.
March 14, 2011
The deadline for legislation to advance from House and Senate committees is March 17, so lawmakers and lobbyists will be intensely busy this week in Springfield.
February 23, 2011
The Illinois House returns to Springfield this week; the Senate is not in session. With House committee members newly appointed by both party caucuses, numerous committee meetings are scheduled. Rep. John Bradley continues as the chair of the Revenue and Finance Committee, as does Rep. Ken Dunkin as chair of the Tourism and Conventions Committee.
January 12, 2011
The Senate approved the income tax increase proposal earlier passed by the House, whiletThe House did not call for a vote on the workers’ compensation reform legislation or casino expansion. The STOP Coalition successfully held off attempts by Tenaska to gain approval for the Taylorville Energy Center.
December 2, 2010
The Chamber is engaging legislators on a number of important issues, including the establishment of a Chicago casino and entertainment center to boost the hospitality industry in the city and foster economic development. The Chamber also addresses the Tenaska Bill and Workers' Compensation Reform.
November 10, 2010
Members of the Illinois General Assembly head to Springfield on November 16 to deal with legislation that the Governor has vetoed, either in full or part, since the legislature adjourned in May. Among the other issues that could be addressed during the veto session: pension borrowing and gaming expansion (see details below). Governor Quinn has also stated that he will push for an income tax increase; however, the likelihood of its being considered this fall is uncertain.
October 18, 2010
On October 13, Mayor Daley unveiled his 2011 proposed City Budget. The Mayor’s plan to close the $645.8 million budget short fall includes a mix of bureaucratic reductions, reserve and TIF borrowing, and a tax decrease. Also included is a summary of ordinances passed and new ordinances introduced at the October 6, 2010 City Council meeting that may be of interest to Chamber members.
September 23, 2010
The announcement from Mayor Richard Daley that he is not running for a seventh term has sent the Chicago political scene upside down. Mayor Daley’s decision not to run for reelection, along with the announcement of four retiring aldermen (so far), Virginia Rugai (19), Vi Daley (43), Helen Shiller (46), and Mary Ann Smith (48), ensures that the 2011 Chicago city elections to be the hottest thing in town.
August 5, 2010
The City of Chicago is estimating a potential revenue shortfall or nearly $654.7 million in the Corporate Fund. Mayor Daley released the Fiscal Year 2011 Preliminary Budget to the members of the City Council and the public with the record projected loss due in large part to an estimated $447.9 million drop in revenues and a $206.8 million increase in expenditures over the Fiscal Year 2010 budget.
Last Updated on 2015-02-25 21:20:54.676