Chamber Members:

Today’s update covers a number of important topics coming out of Springfield as well as the usual infrastructure talk out in Washington D.C. Governor Pritzker has now signed the bill to officially make Juneteenth as state holiday, an energy bill agreement will have to wait, the Senate fails to take up college gambling, and some changes need to be made to the state budget.

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Governor Pritzker Signs Legislation Making Juneteenth an Official State Holiday
Today, Governor JB Pritzker signed legislation declaring June 19, Juneteenth, an official state holiday. To commemorate the abolition of slavery throughout the United States and its territories in 1865, Juneteenth will be recognized as National Freedom Day in Illinois.

The state continues to build upon efforts to actively dismantle systemic racism through robust reforms in the areas of criminal justice, education, health care, and economic opportunity. House Bill 3922 is another historic step in striving toward equity and justice across Illinois.

“Just as Illinois led the nation as the first state to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment, in 2021, we are leading the nation in tackling structural racism head on thanks to the guiding vision of Leader Lightford, Representative Ford, Speaker Welch and the entire Illinois Legislative Black Caucus,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “It brings me exceptional pride to sign into law the declaration of Juneteenth as a formal state holiday in Illinois, making us one of the few states in the nation to give it the full status it deserves.”

Illinois will recognize Juneteenth throughout the state, lowering all flags covered by the Illinois Flag Display Act to half-staff on Saturday, June 19. In addition, this year and henceforth, a Juneteenth flag will fly proudly over the State Capitol in Springfield.

“Making Juneteenth a state holiday is a breakthrough in Illinois history,” said Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood).”It reminds us that freedom and racial equality have always been a hard-fought battle for Black Americans and gives us an opportunity to celebrate our culture and achievements.”

“Today, we can all stand proud that Illinois will officially recognize America’s second Independence Day,” said House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch (D-Westchester). “As the first African American Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives, this moment will forever be a treasure in my heart, and I hope it will become a treasure for all Illinoisans. It’s a day of remembrance, but also a day of joy and perseverance.”

“On June 19, 2020, Governor JB Pritzker made a commitment that he would work with the General Assembly to pass a bill to commemorate Juneteenth as a state holidays and today it happen,” said Representative La Shawn Ford (D-Chicago). “Today is the first day for Illinois to officially recognize the pain of the black enslaved and a day to move forward with work to repair the harms for black people.”

All Illinoisans are urged to reflect on our collective history and the actions we can take to build a more fair and equitable society. To learn more about the historical impact of Juneteenth, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum will display the Emancipation Proclamation through July 6. In addition, the Illinois State Museum will showcase art celebrating Black lives through their Noir Art Exhibition.

The legislation clarifies that Juneteenth will be a paid holiday for state workers and public education professionals when June 19 falls on a weekday. Given that June 19 falls on a Sunday in 2022, the first paid state holiday for Juneteenth will be in 2023.

HB  3922 is effective January 1, 2022.

Legislature Now Expects Energy Deal this Summer
Illinois lawmakers are expected to come back sometime this summer after failing to bring sweeping energy legislation across the finish line. Tweaks to the proposal continue to be made.

The Senate and House were called to session this week to pass legislation closing coal-fired power plants by 2035 while propping up nuclear energy with subsidies and investing more in clean energy sources. Exelon has threatened to close two nuclear plants in Illinois this fall because of hundreds of millions in revenue loss.

Senate President Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, said lawmakers are close to a final deal. “Exelon is on the cusp of a $700 million subsidy,” Harmon said Tuesday after the deal fell apart. “If they close plants out of spite tomorrow, they were going to close those plants anyway.” Harmon expects to call lawmakers back sometime this summer to finalize a deal.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Wednesday said, “it feels like we’re so close you can taste it.” “I think there’s an awful lot of room here for us to get what everybody wants which is keep the jobs, make sure you pay off the bonds that the various municipalities owe and get the kind of climate change action that we need,” Pritzker said. He will not sign anything that goes against his principles of getting 100 percent green energy by 2050, the governor said. But, the governor indicated there is flexibility in the 2035 date to close coal-fired power plants, if they can prove carbon capture technology in its infancy is viable.

Municipally owned City Water Light and Power in Springfield says it has received federal grants for a carbon capture system. “Last month, CWLP was granted $47 million from the U.S. DOE with the University of Illinois’ Prairie Research Institute to conduct large-scale pilot testing of a carbon dioxide (CO2) capture technology,” the utility said in a statement earlier this week. “The State of Illinois has committed another $20 million to the project, including $9 million that was appropriated in the budget just passed by the General Assembly.”

Pritzker said if there is significant carbon capture, there could be more time allotted for coal-fired power plants. “And if that goal is met and the industry has said it could meet that goal then that will then allow beyond 2035 the operation of those coal plants for another ten years, so we’re talking another 24 years from now,” Pritzker said.

That leeway caught Harmon off guard. “I confess I was a bit surprised, the governor had been pretty clear,” Harmon said. “And we had started to look for alternative models to some sort of special treatment.” Harmon said there are too many unknowns over the next quarter of a century and he doesn’t know if carbon capture technology will work.

It’s unclear when lawmakers will return to take up energy legislation. CWLP officials said in a statement Wednesday that its leaders are “pleased that the legislature adjourned without adopting measures that would interfere with the progress CWLP has already been making for a cleaner energy supply for the City of Springfield.”

“If new legislation is returned that still involves municipal utilities, we will work in the same manner to ensure we represent our ratepayers and speak to any concerns for reliability and cost impacts,” the utility said. “In the meantime, CWLP will get back to work planning for replacing our retiring units with cleaner sources without State subsidies or mandates.”

Governor Pritzker Uses Amendatory Veto on State’s Budget
Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday issued an amendatory veto on a spending proposal legislators sent to his desk earlier this month (SB 2800), fixing “inadvertent” mistakes in the plan and setting effective dates for the law ahead of the July start to Illinois’ fiscal year.

Pritzker said in an explanation of the veto that some parts of the appropriations bill, which contains the state’s operating and capital budgets, were assigned an incorrect effective date while others weren’t assigned a specific implementation date at all. Without the veto many of the appropriations in the bill would not take effect until June 1, 2022, or 11 months into the state’s fiscal year.

Lawmakers in both chambers will need to agree to the changes Pritzker made before it can officially become law and they’ll need to pass the legislation with a three-fifths majority to ensure the spending plan can take effect immediately. In the Senate, 36 votes are needed to approve the legislation. In the House, the bill would need 71 votes to pass assuming all 118 members are present to vote.

Democrats in the state’s upper chamber accepted the changes Tuesday afternoon in a 36- 21 vote. Before the vote, Sen. Jason Barickman, R-Bloomington, took Democrats to task for the mistakes in the bill, saying “what we see is a continuous desire to operate … in the dark of the night without any transparency, that results in things like this — chaos.”

“It’s important to note that it need not be this way,” Barickman said. “What does it say about the Legislature and about the majority that while countless people were sleeping in the state, you rushed through a $42 billion budget so fatally flawed that you had to use a procedural mechanism that even [former Speaker Michael] Madigan wouldn’t use to rescue it?”

The House is set to take up the changes Wednesday. A spokeswoman for Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch said in a statement the chamber will temporarily allow members to participate remotely after some legislators “flagged urgent family or medical emergencies and cannot leave their loved ones or put them at risk, particularly since we cannot assure all members of the House have been vaccinated.”

“This is a sound option for a one-day session and we look forward to getting these final-action items across the finish line quickly, efficiently, and safely,” Jaclyn Driscoll, Welch’s spokeswoman said. Driscoll added she doesn’t “foresee any huge challenges” since members understand the importance of the budget.

State lawmakers approved a $42.2 billion spending plan for the 2022 fiscal year, which begins July 1, earlier this month.

Illinois Senate fails to pass in-state college sport betting bill
The bill did not even come up for a vote in the senate on Tuesday, after passing with wide bi-partisan support in the house. A compromise was to allow gambling on in-state college sports, but bets could only be made in person at a casino. It would have allowed college athletes to report any sort of harassment from people who bet on their games.

The bill could still come up for a vote during a veto session in November.

Democratic patience runs out on bipartisan talks
Democratic tensions over infrastructure and the Biden agenda showed signs of boiling over Tuesday as one progressive lawmaker after another blasted a bipartisan framework negotiated by centrists in both parties.

The scaled-down agreement backed by a bipartisan group of 10 senators appears on life support days after it was announced, with progressives pressuring the White House to move on from bipartisan talks.

While Biden has repeatedly said he’d prefer a bipartisan deal on infrastructure, the two parties appear to be far apart over what the proper size of a package should be, or how to pay for it. And progressives in both the Senate and House are losing patience with the process. Their ire has mostly been directed toward centrist Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), but there is a danger for Biden that it will extend to the White House.

White House officials attending a House Democratic Caucus meeting said they intended to give more time to the push, but in a sign of the pressure to abandon such efforts, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced Tuesday that his caucus plans to move quickly on a budget resolution that could allow Democrats to move a package without GOP votes. “Tomorrow I’m convening a meeting with all 11 Democratic members of the Senate Budget Committee regarding a fiscal year ’22 budget resolution,” Schumer said.

The White House has found itself in a difficult position as it tries to handle two tracks of talks with President Biden in Europe over the past week. It has sought to send the message that bipartisan talks will continue but not forever. Steve Ricchetti, a top Biden adviser, and Shalanda Young, acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, told House Democrats Tuesday that they would give Senate negotiators another seven to 10 days to finalize a deal.

That was quickly interpreted by House Democrats attending the meeting as a sign of a new hard deadline on the talks. “They’re giving it a week or 10 days more and that’s about it,” Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.), chairman of the House Budget Committee, said after the meeting. “And then we move along with reconciliation — for everything.”

Later, however, a White House spokesman said the seven-to-10-day timeline was not a hard deadline, suggesting some flexibility on Biden’s position. Progressives have two chief worries about the bipartisan talks. They have long seen such talks as an effort by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to run out the clock on Biden and any infrastructure package. But maybe more importantly, they also think a bipartisan deal could threaten a larger package that would be moved on Democratic votes alone through budget reconciliation.

Progressives want to ensure that Manchin, Sinema and other moderate Democrats will vote for the reconciliation bill if it comes to the floor after a smaller bipartisan proposal.

Progressives led by Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) say they won’t vote for a stand-alone bipartisan infrastructure bill unless there’s also a deal reached with all 50 members of the Democratic caucus on the overall size of the reconciliation package and what it will include.

“I’m a ‘no’ on half a deal,” Warren said when asked about the $974 billion five-year bipartisan proposal unveiled last week. “We need a whole deal and a whole deal means there’s childcare, there’s green energy and there’s a reform of the tax code that makes the rich and the powerful pay their fair share.”

Senate liberals also say their colleagues must agree in advance on specific details of the reconciliation package, including on climate change. “If we’re looking at a deal on infrastructure going to the floor that does not have the energy investments in it and [for] which there has not been a deal worked out on reconciliation to have those energy investments, then absolutely not, I will not support the package,” Merkley said at a press conference Tuesday morning.

Schumer plans to pass a budget resolution in July, which will set the stage for a reconciliation vehicle that can be used to pass a multitrillion-dollar infrastructure investment package. In a nod to the bipartisan talks, he also said he hopes to bring a scaled-down bipartisan infrastructure package to the floor next month, which would need 60 votes to pass under regular order before the Senate turns to moving a separate reconciliation package.

“Both are moving forward, the bipartisan track and the track on reconciliation, and both we hope to get done in July, both the budget resolution and the bipartisan bill,” Schumer said.

Markey said he would not vote for any bipartisan package in exchange for a mere promise that a reconciliation bill will make it to the Senate floor later in the year. He wants a guarantee that Manchin and Sinema will support the larger reconciliation measure.

Sanders, the Senate Budget Committee chairman, has said flatly he will not support the bipartisan infrastructure proposal because of what he says is a lack of “progressive” strategies for paying for it. He wants to raise taxes on wealthy Americans to address what he calls “massive” wealth and income equality — something that Republicans say is a dealbreaker.

Other progressives, including Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), say they also need a strong guarantee that there will be 50 votes for any major infrastructure bill that moves under budget reconciliation.

Democratic Leaders Start Talks on Second Infrastructure Bill
Democratic leaders began to discuss the contours of a broad-ranging childcare, climate and education package Tuesday in an effort to appease the concerns of the party’s liberal wing over the narrower scope of a bipartisan infrastructure proposal under discussion.

Progressive Democrats in both chambers criticized the size and breadth of a more limited agreement reached late last week by a bipartisan group of 10 senators. They threatened to withhold their votes unless they received assurances that it would be accompanied by a far-reaching package that could pass with only Democratic votes.

“It would be very difficult for us to vote on a smaller, bipartisan package that leaves out so many of our critical priorities,” said Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D., Wash.), chairwoman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. She said party leaders needed to move a second, broader package at the same time through a separate process relying just on Democratic votes. “It can’t be an agreement for maybe we’ll move something three months down the road and maybe we’ll do it.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) acknowledged that many Democrats were wary of backing a more limited bipartisan infrastructure agreement without a guarantee that their other priorities would be addressed in a second package. That legislation is expected to advance through a process tied to the budget, known as reconciliation, that enables Democrats to pass it with a simple majority, rather than the 60 votes most bills need, but will require the support of every member of their caucus.

“There are large numbers of people in our caucus—and I sympathize with this—who will not vote for a bipartisan bill unless they’re quite certain what’s going to be in reconciliation,” Mr. Schumer told reporters.

He noted he planned to meet Wednesday with all 11 Senate Democrats on the Budget Committee to begin shaping the details of the fiscal year 2022 budget resolution, which will map out the parameters of the second package. Mr. Schumer will convey to lawmakers that the framework must include provisions on climate and caregiving, a senior Democratic aide said.

Program Notices & Reminders – Expanded Information

Connect with the Workforce Center
The Workforce Center hosts various workshops, hiring events, and activities throughout the month. Be sure to connect with the Workforce Center and share their flyers and event announcements through your social media platforms.Visit the Workforce Center of Will County’s web page for more information about the programs, services, and activities available for Will County businesses and residents.

Small Business Tax Credit Programs
Did you know that the American Rescue Plan extends a number of critical tax benefits, particularly the Employee Retention Credit and Paid Leave Credit, to small businesses?
Learn more

Small Disadvantaged Business Contracting Goal News
On June 1, 2021, the centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre, the Biden-Harris Administration announced new steps to help narrow the racial wealth gap and reinvest in communities that have been left behind by failed policies. Specifically, the Administration is expanding access to two key wealth-creators – small business ownership and homeownership – in communities of color and disadvantaged communities.

  • Use the federal government’s purchasing power to grow federal contracting with small disadvantaged businesses by 50 percent, translating to an additional $100 billion over five years, and helping more Americans realize their entrepreneurial dreams.
  • Take action to address racial discrimination in the housing market, including by launching a first-of-its-kind interagency effort to address inequity in home appraisals, and conducting rulemaking to aggressively combat housing discrimination.

Learn more

Federal Contracting Webinar Series
Do you need help with federal contracting? The ChallengeHER webinar series offers education and training on the federal contracting system. Below is a list of upcoming webinars.

  • Government Contract Reporting – What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You!
    June 24 | 2:00 p.m. ET
  • Tips for GSA Schedule Compliance and Success
    July 22 | 2:00 p.m. ET

Finally, Congresswoman Marie Newman and her office are excited to be hosting their first-ever summer job festival to connect residents of Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District with Chicagoland businesses, organizations and government entities that are looking to hire local employees. We know the great majority of you are not in this district, but it is an opportunity for both employers and potential job seekers you may know.
IL 03 Summer Job Festival Information

If you are interested, please  REGISTER HERE . The Congresswoman is scheduled to make informal opening remarks between 11:15a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

  • When and where?
    • Saturday, June 19th 11am-4pm
    • Kennedy High School Parking Lot
    • Address:  6325 W 56th, Chicago
  • Parking lot accessibility:
    • 9:00 A.M – 5:00 P.M.  (For set-up and cleaning up purposes)
    • Please arrive no later than 10:00 A.M. for set up.
  • Parking instructions:
    • Please park on the side of the Kennedy High School parking lot nearest to the building.
    • The side adjacent to the park/trees will be allocated for the tables as it has more shade.
  • Businesses and organizations participating in this summer’s job festival include, but are not limited to:
  • Angelo’s Stuffed Pizza
    • Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership
    • Chicago Police Department (CPD)
    • Chicago Transit Authority (CTA)
    • Construction Works
    • Cultural Studio
    • Edward Jones
    • Hire 360
    • Home Run Inn
    • Illinois Teamsters Joint Council No. 25
    • Midway Hotel Center
      • Marriott Midway
      • Courtyard Midway
      • Fairfield Midway
      • Hilton Garden Inn.
      • Holiday Inn Express
      • Sleep Inn and TGI Fridays
    • Metra
    • Poder
    • Prospect Air Services
    • Richard J. Daley College
    • Southwest Collective
    • Divvy
    • Sprinkler Fitters
    • UPS
  • If you are hosting a table, please bring the following:
    • A folding table
    • If available, a tent to protect from the sun.
    • Chair(s)
    • Business cards
    • Promotional material
    • Job applications
  • Job Seekers:
    • Bring your resumes.
    • Best smiles and beaming personalities!
  • Day of Event Points of Contacts:
    • Shadin Maali/Ben Hardin

If you know of additional businesses that may be interested in participating, please request that they REGISTER HERE.

Stay well,

Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce & Industry Staff and Board of Directors

Mike Paone
Vice President – Government Affairs
Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce & Industry
815.727.5371 main
815.727.5373 direct