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

The Illinois General Assembly adjourned its 2024 Spring Legislative Session in the early morning of Wednesday, May 26, 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 200 bills, and offering public testimony in 30 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 2024:

  • Initiated, championed, and successfully led the efforts to push lawmakers to establish quantum technology research and development and campus hub incentives, along with the $500 million capital appropriation proposed and secured by Governor Pritzker that will support the development a quantum campus (HB 5005 & SB 251)
  • Worked with the Carbon Now Coalition to successfully pass Safety and Aid for the Environment in Carbon Capture and Sequestration Act (SAFE CCS Act) to establish a balanced carbon capture storage and sequestration framework that will bring to Illinois new carbon capture technologies, thousands of jobs, and billions of dollars in investment, while providing Illinois an essential decarbonization tool in its fight against climate change (SB 1289)
  • Successfully championed a five-year extension of the Illinois Research and Development tax credit that will create additional reliability to companies in Illinois and those planning to invest here in the future (HB 5005)
  • Successfully initiated a modernization of the State’s Returning Citizens’ (currently ex-felon) hiring tax credit to support the population’s successful transition towards sustainable employment, while providing employers another pool of talent at a time of continuing labor challenges (HB 4951)
  • Successfully passed legislation to require the Illinois Department of Revenue, in consultation with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, to conduct a study on Illinois’ and Cook County’s property tax systems, including the economic development impact of Cook County’s unique classification assessment processes (SB 3455)
  • Made significant progress with key stakeholders and legislators on clean energy legislative initiatives, including changes to CEJA to improve the self-direct program, while signaling the alarm bells and leading the statewide policy conversation that is pitting our desire for more data, like artificial intelligence, against the realities of our current energy capacities and infrastructure
  • While we appreciated the General Assembly’s significant efforts in addressing the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision in Cothron v. White Castle to change BIPA violations from a per-scan to per-person instance, the Chamber continued to push for and engaged in productive negotiations for additional reforms to the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act, including security exemptions and language to ensure data centers, as simple storers of biometric information, are not held liable under BIPA (SB 2979)
  • Successfully championed legislation initiated by the Illinois Finance Authority (IFA) to streamline the ability of local governments to borrow money and access loans from the IFA for clean energy projects (SB 3597)
  • Successfully led the charge to stop legislation that would have imposed sizable pricing and operational challenges for businesses under the guise of eliminating the misnomer “junk fees” (HB 4629)
  • 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 which 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, our valued Chamber members.