Advocacy efforts from the Chamber’s public policy team push Chicagoland towards a more business-friendly environment

The Illinois General Assembly adjourned its 2023 Spring Legislative Session on May 27, after finishing up with marathon session days focused on the budget and a slew of end of session priorities.

The Chicagoland Chamber team worked tirelessly throughout Session advancing proactive initiatives to grow the economy, build the region’s workforce, and support Chamber member legislative priorities. This included working with legislators across the political spectrum, the Governor’s Office, State agencies, and countless stakeholders, tracking thousands of bills, taking public positions on over 100 bills, and offering public testimony in 40 separate Committee hearings.

The Chamber is committed to working in a bipartisan, pragmatic, and effective manner to drive a pro-growth and pro-jobs agenda, and was successful in securing several wins for the Chamber, its members, and the broader Chicagoland economy.

Chicagoland Chamber Wins in 2023:

  • Championed and passed legislation (HB 1378) to establish the “iGROW Tech Scholarship Program” to provide higher education financial assistance to STEM graduates that agree to live and work in Illinois after graduation for an agreed-upon period of time. Working with a Sponsor, the Chamber successfully secured $2 million in the FY24 budget funding to initiate the program (Public Act 103-6)
  • Initiated and secured a $5 million expansion of the Angel Investment Tax Credit to incentivize investment in innovative start-up companies. Specifically, the legislation increases from the annual cap on the program from $10 million to $15 million and provides that $2.5 million shall be reserved for investments in minority owned businesses, $1.25 million for woman/disabled-owned businesses, and $1.25 million for downstate businesses. Additionally, the legislation increases the credit amount from 25% to 35% for the “set-aside” businesses listed above (Public Act 103-9)
  • Spurred by a roundtable luncheon co-hosted by the Chamber and Data Center Coalition with Governor Pritzker in January, successfully secured $1 million in the FY24 budget to develop data center industry curriculum and programs within the Illinois Community College system (Public Act 103-6)
  • Successfully supported and helped push an Illinois Health & Hospital Association initiative to secure a 10% across the board increase to hospital Medicaid base rates (SB 1298)
  • Pushed for the establishment of a computer science equity grant program within K-12 schools and helped secure $3 million for the program (Public Act 103-6)
  • Continued to push and engaged in productive negotiations for real reforms to the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act, hopefully resulting in meaningful legislative action later this year
  • Made significant progress with key stakeholders and legislators on clean energy initiatives, including offshore wind development legislation and changes to CEJA to improve the Self-Direct program that will result in increased renewable generation at a time when generation is significantly needed (HB 2132 / SB 2012)
  • Led the negotiations to secure the most business-friendly job posting and pay transparency legislation in the country (HB 3129)
  • Defeated many bills that would have increased costs and burdensome mandates on businesses impacting every sector and industry ranging from taxes, workplace and environmental mandates, healthcare, insurance, and tech regulations

The Chamber will share in the coming weeks a full End of Session Overview, which will cover all the Session happenings, important bills that moved, notable bills that did not move, and what issues to watch moving forward.

The Chamber could not have navigated this incredibly busy Legislative Session without the support and collaboration from its legislative champions, many partners and stakeholders, and most importantly, Chamber members.