Earlier this week, the Chamber unveiled its proactive legislative priorities for the 2023 General Assembly Spring Session. The agenda focuses on recommendations coming from the Chamber’s Tech Effect Study, policies to spur renewable energy development in Illinois and the associated jobs, as well as funding to support workforce development and our healthcare sector.
Already this week, the Chamber successfully passed HB 1378 and SB 1453 out of House and Senate Higher Education committees. Both bills create the Graduate and Retain our Workforce (GROW) Illinois program to offer forgivable loans to individuals in public universities and community colleges that graduate with STEM degrees and work in STEM-related fields. A key part of these loan agreements is that the individual must agree to live and work in Illinois for a period for at least 5 years. The Chamber thanks Senator Javier L. Cervantes, Chief Sponsor in the Senate, and Rep. Janet Yang Rohr, Chief Sponsor in the House.
Additionally, a hearing was held in the House Revenue and Finance Committee this week on HB 1251, which is a Chamber Tech Effect initiative to spur greater access to capital for innovative and technology start-ups, with a significant focus on minority-owned start-ups. Specifically, the bill enhances the Angel Investment Tax Credit by increasing the annual aggregate cap from $10 million to $25 million, and an existing set-aside pool of Angel credits for minority start-ups from $500,000 to $5 million. The bill also increases the credit amount from 25% to 35% for minority-owned businesses, women-owned businesses, veteran-owned business, disabled-owned businesses and downstate tech start-ups. While votes are not taken on bills in the Revenue Committee this early in Session, it was a great discussion and the Chamber is optimistic that the initiative will be included in end of session budget packages. The Chamber thanks Rep. Croke, our Chief Sponsor in the House, for leading on this important initiative.