2023 State Agenda

The Chamber’s Government Relations team is actively pursuing a statewide, pro-growth policy agenda in Springfield. During the 2023 Illinois legislative session, the Chamber advocated for Chicagoland businesses of all sizes and industries on topics including property tax, tax credits, and employer protections.


Angel Investment Tax Credit Modernization

The Angel Investment Tax Credit Program is a key economic development tool to incentivize investment in new and innovative early-stage businesses in Illinois. Under the program, qualified investors are offered a 25% income tax credit for investments made directly in small, innovative, and viable Illinois based businesses (under 100 employees). Qualifying businesses may receive in total up $4 million in investment under the program.

The pandemic has shown us that the biggest contributor to a strong economy is small business resiliency and opportunity for growth and innovation. Enhancing the Angel Investment Tax Credit will play a key role in supporting these businesses and ensuring they have the access to capital to grow their businesses, spur economic growth, and create jobs in Illinois.

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iGROW Tech Scholarship Program for Tech-Major Students that Bet on Illinois

Illinois has historically struggled to adequately support our public institutions of higher education and keep graduates in Illinois. Although many talented high school students are taught here in Illinois, we have have seen a gradual uptick in our students choosing to go out-of-State for college. In fact, an Illinois Board of Higher Education report published in 2019, found that nearly half (48.4%) of public high school graduates seeking a 4-year college in 2017 went to an out-of-State school—with Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Missouri being the destinations for nearly half of that out-bound population.

The Chicagoland Chamber proposes the establishment of the “Illinois Graduate and Retain Our Workforce” (or iGROW) Scholarship Program, which would charge the Illinois Student Assistance Commission with the following:
• Subject to appropriation, provides ISAC the ability to offer Illinois students attending an Illinois public institution of higher education with an iGROW Tech Scholarship;
• In order to be eligible for the iGROW Tech Scholarship, an eligible student must be enrolled in a MAP-eligible public or private institution of higher education in Illinois, work towards a tech-related degree, and enter into a binding Agreement with the Commission pledging to work in Illinois for a specified number of years after graduation, as well as meet other criteria; in the event a student does not meet the provisions of the Agreement, the loan would be able to be recouped by ISAC;
• The Program would prioritize the applications of minority students, students demonstrating financial need, and academically talented students.

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Modernizing the Research & Development Tax Credit to Incentivize Quantum and Start-Ups

Quantum information science is an increasingly growing area of innovation in advance computing that seeks to wed mathematical and scientific laws of quantum mechanics to the world of digital technology. Quantum computing is the next stage in advancing research and development in nearly every sector of the economy, including bio-pharmaceuticals, energy, finance, and transportation. Whereas classical computers in use today are able to rapidly quantify and run various functions at a given time, quantum computing will be able to solve problems that today’s computers are incapable of doing and provide major solutions to areas of drug discovery, battery design, stock pricing, route logistics, fraud prevention, and improving encryption standards.

The Chicagoland Chamber proposes an expansion and extension of the Illinois R&D tax credit, which currently offers businesses in Illinois that make qualifying research expenditures (QREs) a tax credit worth 6.5% of the business’ federal R&D tax credit, to attract companies engaged in quantum computing research and better help start-ups.

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Building Tech Talent Pipelines

From being home to top academic institutions that produce a growing percentage of the county’s tech talent, to fostering a globally-recognized tech ecosystem dedicated to developing and diversifying our tech talent pipeline, as the Chamber’s Tech Effect Study shows, the Illinois and Chicago tech workforce is strong. However, more must be done as technology continues to play an increasingly important role in the operations of businesses of every size and sector. It is imperative that Illinois build the qualified workforce necessary to support sought-after growth with a focus on equity. In addition to developing apprenticeship and mentorship programs, establishing innovative pre-apprenticeship programs and partnerships between Illinois schools and employers can be critical pieces in the talent puzzle.

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BIPA Reform & Employer Protections

Enacted in 2008, the Biometric Information Privacy Act (also known as “BIPA”) regulates how companies collect biometric information for employment purposes (such as fingerprints and thumb scans) in addition to how companies and organizations collect biometric information from consumers. While, on its face, the Act was established to protect Illinois residents, BIPA has given way to unintended, predatory legal actions taken against Illinois businesses.

Rather than penalizing employers, we urge the General Assembly to work with businesses to enact common sense employer protections under BIPA that will maintain the spirit of the law while removing the currently onerous traps that continue to hurt Illinois businesses across every sector.

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