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Our public policy updates cover policy issues relevant to business, as well as actions the Chamber has taken on legislation. 

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Archive of Public Policy Updates 

2017 Public Policy Updates

June 27, 2017

An overview on new taxes and mandates: Sweetened Beverage Tax, Paid Sick Leave and Minimum Wage Increase.

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April 25, 2017

Chamber Chicago Legislative Reception at Goose Island and updates on Paid Sick Leave Ordinance, Consumer Privacy Bills, a recently introduced "Employee Head Tax", and other legislative news.

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March 29, 2017

A summary of the Chamber's work in Springfield in March, plus updates on the Sweetened Beverage Tax and new Cook County ordinances.

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February 28, 2017

An update on the state budget and other legislative items in Springfield, local cities and counties. Plus, the 2017 Advocacy Champion Award Ceremony and Luncheon.

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Read the Chamber's Talking Points for a Bi-Partisan IL Budget

2016 Public Policy Updates

December 6, 2016

An update on a variety of different legislative items in Springfield, City and County Budgets, and the 2017 Advocacy Champion Award Ceremony and Luncheon.

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October 28, 2016

A look at the Council on Logistics and Transportation, the Safe Roads Amendment, and early voting information.

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September 29, 2016

An update on the Neighborhood Small Business Committee, and a preview of the Chamber's Council on Logistics and Transportation.

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August 18, 2016

A look at the City Budget, Chicago Employer’s Expense Tax, and the Drug Take-Back Ordinance.

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July 20, 2016

A look at stopgap funding bill, tourism, the sharing economy, and paid sick leave.

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April 27, 2016

A look at improving Chicagoland’s economic future: a dissenting report on paid sick leave, innovative workforce initiatives, and growing international opportunities for small and mid-sized businesses.

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March 17, 2016

An update on the State budget impasse, the "safe disposal of pharmaceuticals" ordinance at the County level, and several City ordinances, including the Anti-O'Hare ordinance which the Chamber testified against.

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2015 Public Policy Updates

November 3, 2015

An update on the proposals to increase the minimum wage and expand the amusement tax in Cook County, as well as updates on the City and State budgets.

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October 22, 2015

Updates on Mayor Emanuel’s proposal to double the residential homeowners’ exemption, the City of County budgets, and the re-authorization of the Ex-Im Bank.

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October 6, 2015

On Thursday, October 24, Michael Reever, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Vice President of Government Relations, testified before the Illinois General Assembly House Revenue & Finance Committee “subject matter only” hearing on the City of Chicago proposal to double the residential homeowners’ exemption.

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September 22, 2015

Special Issue: The Chicagoland Chamber reacts to Mayor Emanuel's 2016 budget proposal, including a summary and important highlights.

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September 21, 2015

An update on the upcoming City budget proposal, the Working Families Task Force, the potential 'cloud tax,' and the budget impasse at the State level.

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August 3, 2015

Today, the Chicagoland Chamber hosted an invitation-only roundtable discussion on the President’s trade agenda with U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and Congressman Mike Quigley. 

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July 20, 2015

 

On July 1, 2015, Cook County Board President Preckwinkle introduced an ordinance to increase the Cook County Sales Tax by 1 percent. This is the same tax President Preckwinkle promised to repeal when she ran for office (and the Chamber supported her) in 2010.

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July 6, 2015

Cook County Board President Preckwinkle is proposing a 1% increase in the sales tax and introduced that ordinance on Wednesday, July 1st.

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May 18, 2015

The Chamber's upcoming Annual Meeting, an update on "right to work" legislation from Springfield, an Export-Import Bank roundtable and the City of Chicago Inauguration.

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May 11, 2015

On Friday, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed a circuit court's ruling that the State's "pension reform" law from 2013 - SB1 - is unconstitutional.

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April 27, 2015

If you are a Chamber member, I encourage you to take the brief online survey, as most questions relate in some way to how the Chamber can more effectively advocate on a wide variety of policy issues at all levels of government. All answers in this survey are strictly confidential.

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April 20, 2015

Should municipal bankruptcy be an option for individual municipalities across the State of Illinois?

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April 8, 2015

Congratulations to Rahm Emanuel on his re-election as mayor. The Chamber endorsed Mayor Emanuel because of his steadfast stewardship of the city during his first four years in office and his ability to solve Chicago's financial crises, maintain economic growth and continue to improve our education system.

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March 30, 2015

This past week the FY15 budget hole was fixed. The budget hole, totaled at $1.6 billion, has been a lingering problem since the budget was passed last spring.

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March 23, 2015

We look forward to action on fixing the Illinois FY15 budget hole, which is hovering around $1.6 billion. Early voting begins this week, and updates from Chicago City Council.

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March 17, 2015

The City's run-off election is on Tuesday, April 7th. The City of Chicago, the business community, and our neighborhoods are just beginning to bounce back from decades of fiscal mismanagement, rising structural deficits, and high taxes. It is critical that our members understand how important it is to take the time to vote.

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March 10, 2015

A public policy quick poll, City election update, Chamber Legislative Reception and more.

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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.

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January 23, 2015

Updates on the municipal election and mayoral forums, city council ordinances, Governor Bruce Rauner and the Illinois General Assembly.

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2014 public policy updates

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Contact the Government Relations team

Elise Houren
Director, Government Relations
ehouren@chicagolandchamber.org
Matt Murphy
State Government Affairs Consultant
murphy@macstrategiesgroup.com