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November 2, 2020

This Week in Illinois 

Tomorrow is Election Day and the Illinois Chamber has been working hard to support pro-business candidates and ballot measures. There will be a lot of ink spilled analyzing the legislative races, and the GAR will give a breakdown of those results next week. (For candidates supported by the Chamber, check out our legislative ratings here). 

For this update, we wanted to focus on three races that have enormous impact on the business climate in Illinois.

Progressive Income Tax
The Illinois Chamber's number one priority is the first vote on your ballot this year, the Progressive Income Tax Amendment.  You may have heard of this as the so-called "Fair Tax".  This misnomer would allow much more unchecked government power while stripping Illinoisans of important constitutional taxpayer protections- not only for a flat income tax, but to only a single tax on income and a ceiling on taxes for the business community. You can learn more in our informative videos here

You can also view our constantly updated ChambersAgainstTax site for the latest information, including  'Will the Last Taxpayer in Illinois Please Turn Out the Lights: An Economic Assessment of the Illinois Fair Tax'. The study, published by Medal of Freedom recipient Arthur Laffer, Ph.D., author Stephen Moore, and Erwin Antoni, Ph.D., dives into the economics of why this is the worst possible time to raise income taxes on small business owners.  

If you don't have time for videos and studies, let us leave you with this warning from the state of Connecticut. Voters in that state enacted a higher tax rate that applied only to payers making more than $500,000 starting in 2009. Just two years later, higher rates kneecapped those making as little as $50,000, or just 1/10th of the original promise. If you don't want that happening here, encourage your networks to VOTE NO.

Supreme Court Races
There are two Illinois Supreme Court races that, unfortunately, tend to be overlooked, but the results have massive ramifications.

The first race is in the southernmost 37 counties of Illinois. Judge David Overstreet is running against Judge Judy Cates to replace retiring Justice Lloyd Karmeier. Both judges currently serve on the 5th District Appellate Court. Judge Overstreet is supported by the entire business community, including the Illinois Chamber. Judge Cates is the former president of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association. The Illinois Chamber has been an early financial supporter of Judge Overstreet in his primary and now in the general election campaigns. 

The second race is the non-retention of Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas Kilbride. His district includes Will and Kankakee counties and stretches west to the Iowa border. Justice Kilbride is a reliable ally of the Trial Lawyers and has authored several controversial opinions such the 4-3 decision rejecting the Fair Maps Amendment.  

If Justice Kilbride is not retained, a successor will be appointed and a partisan race will be on the ballot in 2022. That race could flip the makeup of the court from Democratic to Republican, just in time to hear opposition to the newest legislative map. The map, as many of you already know, is the key to majorities in Springfield and the enactment of policy. The Chamber held a press conference last month to encourage a NO vote. 

Entire State Under COVID Mitigation
As of this week, the Governor has placed the entire state under increased COVID-19 mitigation. Each of the 11 regions have triggered the mitigations due to increases in the percentage of positive tests.

Bars and restaurants
  • All bars and restaurants close at 11 p.m. and may reopen no earlier than 6 a.m. the following day
  • No indoor service
  • All bar and restaurant patrons should be seated at tables outside
  • No ordering, seating, or congregating at bar (bar stools should be removed)
  • Tables should be 6 feet apart
  • No standing or congregating indoors or outdoors while waiting for a table or exiting
  • No dancing or standing indoors
  • Reservations required for each party
  • No seating of multiple parties at one table
Meetings, social events and gatherings
  • Limit to lesser of 25 guests or 25% of overall room capacity both indoors and outdoors
  • No party buses
  • Gaming and Casinos close at 11:00 p.m., are limited to 25 % capacity, and follow mitigations for bars and restaurants, if applicable
  • Continued emphasis on telework for as many workers as possible

Organized group recreational activities & gyms (fitness centers, sports, etc.)

  • All sports guidance effective Aug 15, 2020 remains in effect
  • Outdoor activities (not included in the above exposure settings) continue per state guidance
In addition to the required mitigations above, CCDPH reminds residents of the Continued Mitigation Strategies that were recommended by the department on August 3:
  • Restaurant and bar maximum party size of 6 people per table outdoors
  • Indoor fitness class maximum class size of 10
  • No personal services that require removal of face coverings (e.g. facials and shaves)
  • Residential property managers are asked to limit guest entry to 6 people per unit
Continue to recommend self-quarantine based on travel guidance to states with high rates of community transmission.

For more information, visit the Cook County ShinyApp for CCDPH data, and the IDPH Regional COVID Resurgence Criteria webpage for Region 10 data. For the most frequently asked questions by businesses regarding Phase 4 guidelines and the mitigation measures, visit the
Illinois Department of Commerce of Economic Opportunity (DCEO) website.

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

Illinois Chamber of Commerce

2020 Government Affairs Report | Clark Kaericher, Editor