Are we there yet? It seems like 2020 has lasted a decade and we are still in the first half. On a positive note, golf resumes this week with the Charles Schwab Challenge in Texas and other sports will be resuming soon. Let's hope the second half of this year feels much more normal than the first half. If you're like me, you're tired of hearing about "the new normal"- here's hoping for "normal, normal" before too long.
Senate GOP to Governor- "Hurry Up!"
On Wednesday, the entire Senate Republican Caucus wrote a letter to Governor Pritzker asking him to move the state into Phase IV of his reopening plan starting today. Under the governor's guidelines, the quickest Illinois could enter Phase IV is June 26th.
Illinois remains one of the strictest states in the nation. All of our neighboring states are continuing along in reopening. Wisconsin has been open for weeks after their supreme court overruled their Governor's orders as unconstitutional, and data there shows a flattening of cases.
Missouri is almost totally open, and the now infamous Lake of the Ozarks party led to exactly one new infection. The trends show Illinois can move to the next phase.
This week I had the pleasure of serving on a panel with the fine attorneys at Seyfarth Shaw to talk about the prospect of BIPA reform. I remain optimistic that if we all pull in the same direction we can get a reform measure signed into law next spring.
I need your help in two ways. First, the Chamber will need to approach lawmakers to reintroduce our language for the new legislative session beginning in January. Please reach out if you have any suggested language or changes to the law.
Secondly, senior legislative leaders in both parties have expressed that it would be helpful to have examples of the chilling effect this law has on innovation in Illinois. If you, or your clients, have not brought a product to market in Illinois, please let us know. The damages in this law are outrageous and they need to be addressed. However, reform is about more than limiting damages. Illinois' BIPA law also limits innovation and is detrimental to consumer protections. We would be remiss not to emphasize those aspects as well.
Governing After COVID
Friend of the Chamber, and former DoIT Chief of Staff, Tyler Clark wrote an op-Ed addressing some of the opportunities for governmental improvements via digital transformation. An excerpt:
As part of that re-opening and recovery, it is time for governments to do what the businesses they have closed are doing - act like a startup and lead with a digital-first focus.
Government leaders must think critically about reducing friction at all the points where citizens interact with the necessary functions of government bureaucracy. The mandatory distancing and outright isolation of the last few months made it clear that friction in those interactions can slow recovery and diminish the trust citizens have in government.
As they contemplate re-opening public offices, government leaders should examine how every business process in their organizations can be re-imagined to better serve residents, businesses, and workers. Just as curbside grocery pickup, streaming fitness classes, online worship services and more are helping people meet their needs, the same can be applied to government services from fishing licenses to drivers licenses and permitting to vital records.
Unfortunately, government IT holds a great deal of technical debt that leaders must address in order to provide more equitable, efficient, and resilient services.
Articles of Interest
Until next time,