March 23, 2018

This Week in Illinois 

Both the House and Senate are on their spring break recess.  This week's news was dominated by the general primary election.  However, the House did post several committee hearings.  For a complete list of House hearings, click here.  The House is scheduled to return April 9th and the Senate is scheduled to return April 10.  

The Illinois Chamber's political arm, the Illinois Chamber PAC, successfully went 9 for 11 on races in which the PAC provided financial assistance and endorsements to pro-business candidates in the 2018 primary election.   

First up was the re-election of Chamber-backed incumbent and House GOP Leader Jim Durkin (R- Western Springs).  Leader Durkin faced off against the Mayor of Burr Ridge, Mickey Straub.  Durkin won the district by over 35 percent.  He will go on to face Democrat Tom Chlystek in what is traditionally a Republican district.  Next was the 93rd House district race between incumbent and Chamber-back Norine Hammond (R- Macomb).  She defeated her opponent, Joshua Griffith by 6 percentage points.  She will face off against John Curtis in the November general election. 

Former state representative Dwight Kay  cruised to victory against Wendy Erhart.  Kay was a multiple Chamber Champion of Free Enterprise award recipient during his tenure in the legislature.  He  will face off against incumbent Katie Stuart in the November election.  Brian Wilhour defeated Laura Myers by over 20 percentage points.  Wilhour is seeking to replace retiring Representative John Cavaletto (R- Salem).  He will go up against Democrat David Seiler of Effingham in the November general election. Murphysboro Republican and Chamber-backed incumbent Terri Bryant beat Dr. Paul Jacobs by 9 percentage points.  She will face Marsha Griffin in a rematch of the 2016 election.  

Chamber-backed Andrew Chesney of Freeport beat his opponent, Steve Fricke by 6 percentage points.  Chesney will replace Rep. Brian Stewart (R-Freeport) who is running for the state Senate.  Chesney will face Democrat Nicholas Hyde in the general in a very Republican district.  Chamber-backed Eddie Corrigan defeated his opponent Katie Miller by 23 points.  Corrigan is seeking to fill the vacancy left by retiring state Representative David Harris (R- Arlington Heights).  Corrigan will face off against former Democrat state Representative Mark Walker.  And in the Senate, Chamber-backed Jason Plummer defeated three opponents by carrying a plurality of the votes in southern Illinois 54th Senate district.  He will be running unopposed in the general election.  He will replace retiring state Senator Kyle McCarter.  

However, the Chamber did lose two primaries.  The first was incumbent and downstate state Representative David Reis.  David lost his race by 6 points to Darren Bailey. Second is former Democrat state Representative Ken Dunkin.  Ken was running in a crowded field of 6 candidates.  He placed third in the overall vote, losing to Lamont Robinson.  The 5th House district seat was vacated by lieutenant gubernatorial candidate Juliana Stratton. 

To view the a downloaded Chamber scorecard on our results, click here.  To view the results in more detail click here.  

JB Pritzker cruised to a resounding victory with 45% of the vote on Tuesday and will be the Democratic Party's nominee for governor this fall. Governor Bruce Rauner squeaked by conservative challenger State Rep. Jeanne Ives by 2.8 percent (51.4 percent to 48.6 percent) in what was a much closer race than expected even a few months ago. Both sides have already begun posturing for what promises to a very rough and tumble race. On the Attorney General, Democratic State Sen. Kwame Raoul will face off against Republican Erika Harold.
In the General Assembly, a few notable incumbents were defeated by primary challengers. As mentioned above State Rep. David Reis lost his primary 43.2 percent to 56.8 percent to challenger Darren Bailey. On the Democratic side, State Rep. Dan Burke lost to Aaron Ortiz 46.5 percent to 53.5 percent, and State Sen. Ira Silverstein lost to Ram Villivalam 30 percent to 51.3 percent.

The goal of the Chamber's amicus program is to provide a consistent, strong voice for the business community in cases before the Supreme and appellate courts via amicus briefs on key business issues. The program's primary focus is on tort related cases, but we take up other types of cases when appropriate.
This week, we filed a motion to be allowed to file an amicus brief, along with the brief, with the Illinois Supreme Court on behalf of My Pillow, Inc. in Schad, Diamond & Shedden, P.C. v. My Pillow, Inc.
The matter before the Supreme Court is whether a relator-lawyer who represents himself, or is represented by members of his law firm, as the relator prosecuting a lawsuit under the Illinois False Claims Act should be allowed to receive attorney's fees under the Act.  The appellate court determined that allowing such a relator-lawyer to be awarded legal fees is against public policy.
If the Supreme Court upholds the decision of the appellate court, Illinois False Claims Act cases will become less lucrative for the relator who has filed the overwhelming majority of the tax-related Illinois False Claims Act cases.
Chamber Tax Institute member law firm McDermott Will & Emery represents My Pillow.  The Illinois Chamber of Commerce is represented in the amicus brief by David Ruskin and David Hughes of Tax Institute member law firm Horwood Marcus and Berk.  Here is the link of our  amicus brief .
For more information on the Chamber's amicus program, please reach out to Keith Staats.  

Are you registered for Chamber Day?  If not, there is still time to register.   On April 11th, join us in our first ever Chamber Day - an advocacy effort to let lawmakers know we must be heard in any major policy decision impacting Illinois employers.  Our agenda will feature Gov. Bruce Rauner, the Democratic and Republican candidates for the attorney general race, tax reform implications, healthcare and immigration update, hot issues at the capitol, breakout sessions, statehouse lobbying, and an evening reception.  

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If you have questions about the Government Affairs Report, contact Tyler Diers at Do not reply to this email. 

Illinois Chamber of Commerce

2017 Government Affairs Report | Tyler Diers, Editor