January 19, 2018

This Week in Illinois 

The House was the only chamber that was scheduled to come in next week (Tuesday and Wednesday only).  However, the Speaker's chief of staff put out a memo to lawmakers this afternoon advising members and staff that they would not be convening session next week.  Both the House and Senate are scheduled to be in session the following week for the governor's state of the state address (Jan. 31).  However, little is likely to be done that week.  

There is a hearing on Monday in Chicago over the legalization of recreational cannabis.  

2018 is shaping up to be an eventful year.  Our state and nation will be tasked with taking up major policy issues.  Many of these issues will be dominated by primary and gubernatorial politics.  As the Chamber prepares for the New Year, we wanted to offer our membership the opportunity to partake in our semi-annual membership survey. We appreciate you taking a few minutes to provide us with your feedback and let us know what you think about the many issues facing Illinois.  

It's that time of the year.  Legislation is being introduced and will soon be assigned to their respective committees.  This time of the year is often met with a flurry of legislation impacting every sector in the state.  

It is too early to determine what pieces of legislation will be taken seriously or will actually move.  Once the Chamber's government affairs team meets with lawmakers of pertinent bills to get their intent and as soon as bills are assigned to committees, we will categorize them in a later Government Affairs Report.  However, for the time being, please feel free to reference the bills the Chamber team is tracking as of now.  It is worth mentioning that many of the bills in the document are bills the Chamber is monitoring and may never take a position on.  Expect this list to GROW as legislation continues to get introduced. 

The Illinois Trade Policy Task Force met again this week.  The Task Force, which Chamber staff Ben Brockschmidt and Laura Ortega were appointed to, was created to to study and analyze important issues relative to the growth of international trade from and to Illinois.  

This week's meeting the Task Force discussed its main objectives and goals.  The primary goal of the Task Force is to study how Illinois can increase exports.  Within that the group will focus on market access and access to capital.  This was followed up by a briefing by the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity on how the state can better fulfill programs aimed at increasing state exports. 

The Task Force will continue to meet throughout the year.  The state will be divided into seven different regions where town halls will be conducted to allow for regional business input.  A report is scheduled to be submitted to the Illinois General Assembly by the end of the year.  

Todd Maisch, President and CEO of the Illinois Chamber, will be speaking at the City Club of Chicago on February 13, 2018 at 11:30 a.m. at Maggiano's Banquets in Chicago. As the leader of Illinois' premier business organization, Todd will provide insight on what we can do to ensure Illinois succeeds, the policy issues that need resolve, and exactly what makes Illinois the envy of the Midwest. 

We recognize 2018 as an opportunity to elevate our state's potential and believe that Illinois' economic promise still shines bright. That is why the Illinois Chamber is rigorously engaged in fighting for economic opportunity and policies that benefit all of Illinois' employers. Register today to get your ticket (or tickets!). We hope to see you there and encourage you to spread the word to fellow business advocates!

Veteran Senator and Assistant Majority Leader Donne Trotter (D - Chicago) is expected to resign from the Illinois Senate today.  It is unclear at this moment who will be his replacement.  However, his resignation further adds to the already retiring list of lawmakers.  

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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