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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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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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