Chamber Members:

Today we catch up on some more action that finalized before the end of the session. The main topic and one that remains unfinished is the energy bill. Also, info is below on small trailer license fees, telehealth expansion, Juneteenth as a holiday, cocktails to go, and a shot and a beer law.

On the federal side there is again more chatter on infrastructure and a rail needs assessment invite for feedback. There was an eviction ruling and a ruling that there only remains one more budget reconciliation request.

*Daily Coronavirus update brought to you by Silver Cross Hospital

Energy Bill Still Not Settled
Despite the General Assembly meeting until 3 a.m. into Tuesday morning, the Illinois Senate still has work to do. Left unfinished despite a lot of accomplishments was a comprehensive energy bill that will keep open two Exelon nuclear plants downstate without overly high subsidies and spur use of green energy. The Illinois Senate adjourned just after 7 p.m. Tuesday, bringing to a close a legislative session that went hours beyond the May 31 “deadline.” The last high-profile bill passed yesterday by the Senate will lead to a fully elected Chicago school board.

But the on-again, off-again energy overhaul package ended up not being addressed Tuesday by the Senate. In the House, which adjourned early Tuesday morning, Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch said he’d prefer lawmakers return sooner rather than later to vote on energy reforms.

As we talked about yesterday as part of our budget article, because of the flap over the energy bill negotiations, Senate President Don Harmon in the middle of the night (Monday/Tues AM) filed a motion to reconsider Senate passage of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s proposed $42 billion operating budget. The motion means the budget can’t go to Pritzker for his signature. He has since withdrawn that motion and the budget is on its way to the Governor. However, the finalization of the energy bill remains.

Harmon and his spokesman haven’t explained the highly unusual move. But speculation centers on the role of Harmon’s chief of staff, Jake Butcher, who before he went to work for Harmon was a lobbyist for Prairie State Energy, which runs a “clean coal” generation plant and reportedly wants to be exempted from provisions of a deal that otherwise has the backing of both Pritzker and Harmon.

So that led to Illinois lawmakers staying open for business Tuesday as they awaited a possible deal on a sweeping energy proposal that would keep the state’s fleet of nuclear power plants online while providing incentives for development of more wind and solar generation.

Senate President Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, issued a statement Tuesday saying he had been informed that a deal had been reached between Gov. JB Pritzker and Exelon, the parent company of Commonwealth Edison and the owner of six nuclear power plants in Illinois.

“I’m informed that an agreement has been reached between the governor and Exelon on a proposal that would save jobs, which has been our goal all along. That’s why we support the governor in these talks,” Harmon said. “We also stand with the governor on de-carbonization targets that need to be in a final deal.”

Governor Pritzker campaigned in 2018 on a pledge to shift Illinois’ electric energy industry more toward renewable and zero-emission sources, and he has set a goal of achieving a 100 percent non-carbon power system by 2050.

Achieving that goal, however, relies on keeping the state’s nuclear power fleet online, and Exelon has threatened to close two or more nuclear plants that it says are unprofitable unless it receives subsidies to make them economically viable. But many lawmakers have been skeptical of Exelon’s claims, in large part because of the company’s connection with ComEd. Last year, ComEd entered a deferred prosecution agreement with federal authorities in which the company admitted to engaging in a yearslong bribery scheme that involved awarding jobs and contracts to close associates of former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan in order to gain his support for legislation favorable to the company.

At issue in the talks over an energy package is the question of how much of a subsidy the nuclear plants need, how long the subsidies should last and how to phase out the state’s remaining coal- and gas-fired power plants while creating new energy-related jobs for the workers who would be displaced. “That’s a complex issue,” House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Hillside, said during a 3 a.m. news conference shortly after the House adjourned early Tuesday. “And you know, we were close, and we’re going to continue to work on it, and hopefully, we’ll have something soon, because we were very close tonight.”

As of Saturday night, parties remain far apart on the linchpin of the deal: how much the state should provide in subsidies for nuclear giant Exelon to prevent the company from the threatened closures of at least two, if not three of Exelon’s six nuclear power generating stations that are not profitable. Those six locations serve the northern half of Illinois, which contains the majority of the state’s 12.8 million people.

Exelon’s ask from the state has varied, but those close to negotiations say the company has asked for a 10-year plan for subsidies with a credit in the first year that nearly amounts to what Pritzker’s office is offering in total. Exelon on Sunday declined to comment on the parameters of its subsidy ask.

Gov. JB Pritzker’s lead energy negotiator, Deputy Gov. Christian Mitchell, told Exelon the state’s final offer is $540M in subsidies for three plants over five years. Lawmakers have been briefed on that offer.

On Sunday morning, Exelon did not dispute the characterization parties were at impasse, but said it remained hopeful a deal could be made, as “failure to act will cost thousands of jobs, force consumers to pay higher energy prices to polluting power plants and will immediately increase carbon and air pollution by eliminating two-thirds of state’s clean energy,” An Exelon spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

“However, as much as we want to continue running them, the administration’s proposal remains below what is needed to keep the plants operating,” Exelon said. “With so much at stake for Illinois’ economy and environment, we remain hopeful that further discussions will lead to a compromise that will allow the plants to remain viable.” But a coalition of labor unions, some of whom represent the more than 2,400 unionized workers at the plants is throwing down a final gauntlet in the waning days before lawmakers’ May 31st adjournment. On Saturday evening, that coalition organized under the Climate Jobs Illinois moniker sent Pritzker a letter after parties were informed negotiations over the nuclear subsidy were at impasse.

Debate over subsidies
Labor’s letter lays out the case for more subsidies than the governor’s final offer by warning of dire consequences the coalition says are an inevitability. Climate Jobs Illinois this spring introduced its own plan with bipartisan support, dubbed the Climate Union Jobs Act, recommending the state agrees to the subsidies deemed necessary to keep the plants open, though not tying its request to a specific dollar amount.

“We remain concerned that the latest provisions under consideration don’t go far enough to protect workers and could lead to thousands of job losses, including the over 2,400 union workers at the nuclear facilities on the brink of closure and thousands of jobs indirectly supported by these facilities,” labor leaders of 16 different unions wrote in their letter to Pritzker.

The letter pointed to the economic ripple effects plant closures could have on the surrounding communities, estimating thousands more jobs hang in the balance than just the unionized workers in the plants or the non-unionized Exelon employees, which number approximately 4,100.  “If Illinois does not appropriately compensate its nuclear fleet for clean energy generation and allows these facilities to go offline prematurely, it will result in the loss of nearly 28,000 jobs by which many of our members have built a future for themselves and their families,” the letter continued. “In addition, millions of dollars in tax revenue for some of Illinois’ most rural communities would disappear, wiping out funding for local schools and emergency services.”

Pritzker spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh, however, was adamant the governor will not move from its final offer, saying doing otherwise would deviate from the administration’s goal of protecting ratepayers. “The governor has been very clear that he is not going to sign a bill written by the utility companies,” Abudayyeh said Saturday night. “We commissioned an independent audit and we based our negotiations off of that look into Exelon’s books…We have negotiated and we have moved. The only [entity] that ha[s]n’t moved is Exelon.”

Earlier this spring, Pritzker’s office commissioned a study by Massachusetts-based Synapse Energy Economics, which found Exelon would need $350 million in ratepayer subsidies over five years to keep open the two plants the company said in August would be shuttered later this year — Byron and Dresden. Since then, Exelon has upped the ante, hinting at early retirement of two more plants in Braidwood and LaSalle; it’s widely acknowledged the Braidwood plant is close to unprofitability.

The governor last month also introduced his own energy bill via Democratic sponsors in the House and Senate called the Consumers and Climate First Act. Illinois already supports the other two Exelon nukes in Clinton and the Quad Cities to the tune of $235 million per year in zero-emissions credits created under the 2016 Future Energy Jobs Act, which expire in 2027.

State Rep. Marcus Evans (D-Chicago), a co-sponsor of the Climate Union Jobs Act, largely agreed with Abudayyeh’s assessment of Exelon’s posture during negotiations. “The governor’s not the problem,” Evans said. “The problem is Exelon. Exelon is used to getting everything they want. And we want them to get what they need.” Still, Evans said he was hopeful a deal could be reached “by 11:59 p.m. on Monday.” “Let’s meet around the clock,” he said.

Sierra Club Illinois Director Jack Darin, a lead negotiator for legislation called the Clean Energy Jobs Act, which is focused on getting the state to 100% renewable energy by 2050, shared Evans’ optimism. He said CEJA stakeholders were ready to go back into negotiations at any time. “It’s very exciting that Illinois is poised to realize clean energy jobs are the way to go,” Darin said, adding that talks on other elements of an omnibus energy package are “serious” and close to agreement.

The Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition, which backs CEJA threw down its own gauntlet Wednesday, sending a letter co-signed by nearly 50 Democratic lawmakers to House Speaker Chris Welch (D-Hillside) and Senate President Don Harmon (D-Oak Park). The letter cautioned the leaders that a “final energy bill must” set deadlines to eliminate carbon emissions and “prioritize closures in environmental justice communities,” as well as put equity at the center of the legislation “from workforce diversity to contractor equity to just transition” of workers currently in jobs in energy sources that will be phased out.

“For too long, utilities have dictated energy policy in Illinois,” the letter said. “We will not support a bill which is simply a handout for utilities and does not prioritize climate and equity – we must be forward thinking and lead with these issues. Our constituents and communities will support nothing less.”

Darin said provisions in energy negotiations that still need agreement include setting firm dates to phase out coal- and gas-reliant power and nailing down portions dealing with equity for communities of color, “not only for jobs but also for wealth-building opportunities.” “I’m optimistic we’ve got the chance to pass the country’s leading, most equity-centric climate [legislation],” he said.

Agreement close on some energy elements
A group advocating for solar and wind energy has also been pushing for the last two years to get more state investment in those sectors as subsidies for solar projects ran out much faster than expected. After warning of the so-called “solar cliff” since 2019, the Illinois Power Agency in December said it could no longer give incentives to new solar projects because funding had officially dried up.

Those backing that “Path to 100” bill have tried to advocate for new subsidies outside of an omnibus energy package given how quickly the subsidies were depleting, but have so far been unsuccessful. But negotiators for an overall energy package say compromise on more funding for those projects is close to agreement.

CEJA and Pritzker’s energy proposals stipulate phase-outs for natural gas and coal. The labor-backed bill includes provisions to help “displaced workers” from such plants.

Illinois currently has about a dozen coal-fired power plants still in operation, but the five owned by Texas-based Vistra Energy are set to be retired by 2027 or sooner as part of plans the company made after it merged with previous owner Dynegy in 2018. Vistra says it wants to pivot those properties to utility-scale battery projects. Additionally, the Southern Illinois Power Cooperative in Williamson County retired its largest plan last fall.

Springfield’s City Water Light and Power says it plans to shutter a third coal-fired power generator by early 2023 after already closing two last year, and CWLP says its already on the path to low carbon emissions and don’t need a state mandate, new taxes or assistance to accomplish its goals.

Springfield and the lower half of Illinois are in a separate energy capacity market than the northern part of the state, where Exelon’s nuclear generators power. CWLP says it’s concerned the capacity market isn’t prepared to move as quickly on the sweeping changes recommended by those pushing more renewable energy and warns electric reliability in the state’s central and southern regions hangs in the balance.

NRG Energy, which owns two coal-fired generators in Chicago’s north and south suburbs and a third in central Illinois, has no plans to shut down. And Prairie State Energy Campus, a large coal-fired power plant that was built not even a decade ago in 2012, has a complicated web of contracts with municipalities both in other states and Illinois, including the suburbs of Chicago. But a solution to handling early termination of those contracts is near, negotiators say.

The Illinois Municipal Electric Association, which represents CWLP along with other municipal electric utilities and co-ops are asking for carve-outs for not-for-profit power generation like theirs, including not being subject to a carbon tax or pollution fee, saying they’ve made investments to capture more carbon than some for-profit coal-fired power plants.

General Assembly Advances Bill to Lower Small Trailer License Fees to $36
The Illinois House passed a bill that would lower small trailer license fees from $118 to $36, which lawmakers said on the House floor Sunday could remedy an issue that has resulted in an uproar of complaints from their constituents. In 2019, lawmakers raised the fee for licensing a small trailer in Illinois from $18 to $118 as part of Gov. JB Pritzker’s Rebuild Illinois capital infrastructure plan.

Senate Bill 58, sponsored by Rep. Marcus Evans, D-Chicago, lowers the annual fee to a compromise $36, along with removing a $10,000 cap on sales tax credits on vehicle trade-ins. Multiple proposals for lowering the trailer fee were filed this session, including House Bill 36, sponsored by Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Collinsville, and House Bill 636, sponsored by Rep. Avery Bourne, R-Morrisonville. Both of these proposals were held up in the House Revenue and Finance Committee as lawmakers worked on a compromise.

Stuart and Bourne’s bills would have lowered the fee back to the previous cost of $18. But the Transportation for Illinois Coalition – a group of statewide and regional business, organized labor, industry, governmental and nonprofit organizations which lobbied for the capital bill’s passage in 2019 – warned that lowering the fees would take revenue away from state construction projects.

Lawmakers reached a unanimously approved compromise by raising the certificate title fee by $5, from $150 to $155, to replace the revenues lost from the lowered trailer fee. The certificate title fee is only paid when titles are transferred for registered vehicles.

“I think this is long overdue as a correction,” Bourne said on the House floor. “I wish it was down to $18, but we can’t get everything we want in this building. Hopefully, this helps everyone who has gotten calls about the trailer fee.”

Bourne also clarified with Evans that individuals could keep their same license plate and simply renew it under the bill. SB 58 also restores the full credit trade-in rates that had been capped at $10,000. It passed unanimously out of the House and then through the Senate for concurrence. The bill awaits the Governor’s signature.

Telehealth Expansion
The general assembly also passed a bill which would allow for the expansion of telehealth services and to be covered by a patient’s insurance. House Bill 3308 would enact changes to state law pertaining to telehealth services, which were expanded through recurring executive orders issued by Gov. JB Pritzker during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senate Republican leader Dan McConchie, of Hawthorne Woods, praised the bill on the Senate floor Sunday for addressing “a lack of accessibility” in telehealth services, adding the bill allows for more residents in all parts of the state to access healthcare services from anywhere.

“There’s been a lot of terrible things that have happened in the past year with the pandemic, but one of the good things that’s come out of it has really been this test case that we have had in regards to telemedicine in a variety of ways,” McConchie said. “I’m very excited about what kinds of opportunities this is going to open up.”

Chief Senate sponsor Napoleon Harris, D-Harvey, said the bill will serve as “a starting point” for expanding the state’s telehealth infrastructure following the COVID-19 pandemic.

House Bill 3922: Would make Juneteenth a state holiday
Legislation making June 19 a paid day off for all state employees and a school holiday was unanimously approved by the Illinois House last week and by the state Senate last month. It states that if June 19 falls on a Saturday or Sunday the holiday will be observed the following Monday. The measure would take effect immediately if Gov. J.B. Pritzker signs it.

Juneteenth commemorates the date in 1865 when the last enslaved Black people in the U.S. learned from Union soldiers in Texas that they were free, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. The day is also known as Emancipation Day and Freedom Day.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. La Shawn Ford, has sponsored similar legislation in the past. There “wasn’t an appetite” for passing it previously, the Chicago Democrat told the Chicago Tribune. He says that changed after the murder of George Floyd, who was Black, by a white police officer in Minnesota.

“Cocktails to Go” and “Shot & a Beer” Pass
Senate Bill 104: Extension of ‘cocktails to go’ and allows bars, restaurants to offer drinks as a vaccine incentive. Illinois lawmakers on Sunday passed a bill to continue allowing bars and restaurants to serve cocktails to go, a measure that served as a lifeline to struggling businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The General Assembly first passed the initiative during the 2020 legislative session, and Pritzker signed it in June, to help bars and restaurants bring in more revenue as they struggled with closures during the pandemic. The measure passed last year included a provision requiring it to automatically expire after one year.

The Illinois House passed Senate Bill 104 on Thursday to update the measure and extend its sunset date to Jan. 1, 2024. The Senate passed the final version of the bill Sunday, sending it to Pritzker’s desk. Pritzker indicated Tuesday that he plans to sign it.

Under the law, cocktails must be sealed, labeled and out of reach in vehicles. A valid liquor license is required to sell the beverages and patrons have to be 21 years old to purchase. The bill also enables bars and restaurants to give out a free alcoholic drink to customers who have gotten vaccinated against COVID-19.

The so-called “shot and a beer” provision allows establishments with liquor licenses to give customers a free drink if they show proof that they’ve gotten the COVID-19 vaccine, as part of a promotional campaign incentivizing getting vaccinated.

That portion of the measure would only be valid for one month, from June 10 to July 10 of this year.

Infrastructure Talks
Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and President Joe Biden were expected to meet this afternoon in what is likely one of their last chances to strike a deal on a plan to rebuild the nation’s crumbling infrastructure. No pressure, right?

White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters aboard Air Force One that this coming week is “incredibly critical” for the infrastructure plan. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said the Biden administration needs a “clear direction” next Monday, June 7. But Biden is being pulled in two directions. His allies say he wants a bipartisan deal — he did, after all, campaign on being able to reach across the aisle with Republicans — but Democrats are amping up the pressure for him to ditch negotiations and start the budget reconciliation process. Democrats could use reconciliation to pass both Biden’s infrastructure proposal and his families plan in one bill, with a whopping $4 trillion price tag. Though, it’s TBD if moderate Democrats would be on board with this approach.

One key question: As WaPo’s Seung Min Kim put it: “What precisely Biden agreed to in the Oval Office has become a key factor in the ongoing negotiations.” Multiple Senate Republicans say Biden agreed in a recent meeting at the White House that he would support a bill framework where they’d spend $1 trillion over eight years instead of five years. That’s a big drop from Biden’s original $2.3 trillion proposal. Another big factor that must be ironed out: How Republicans will propose paying for the infrastructure plan — using unspent Covid relief funds is a nonstarter among Dems.

Speaking Of . . .
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is conducting a Rail Needs Assessment Study to identify rail improvements that are needed throughout the state. IDOT is hosting a virtual public event to present information on rail service throughout the State to gather feedback from the public. The link to participate is open from June 1 through the 14th.

Parliamentarian: Democrats Get One More Chance to Use Budget Reconciliation
Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough has effectively ruled that only one more automatic budget reconciliation is permissible this year, dealing a blow to Democrats who previously thought they would have two more chances to sidestep Republicans in advancing President Biden’s agenda.

MacDonough ruled that a revision to the 2021 budget resolution cannot be automatically discharged from the Senate Budget Committee, meaning Democrats would need at least one Republican on the 11-11 panel to vote with them.

The bombshell ruling effectively means Senate Majority Leader Schumer (D-N.Y.) will be able to use only one more reconciliation vehicle to pass Biden’s key legislative priorities this year. He will not be able to divide up the $2.3 trillion American Jobs Plan and the $1.8 trillion American Families Plan, as well as Biden’s calls to expand Medicare and lower the price of prescription drugs, into multiple reconciliation packages as was envisioned only a few weeks ago. Anything that Schumer wants to pass through the Senate with a simple-majority vote in 2021 will have to go into one budget reconciliation package.

Prior to the parliamentarian’s latest ruling, quietly issued on Friday, Schumer thought he might be able to pass two or even three more reconciliation bills in 2021, and thereby bypass GOP filibusters and enact Biden’s agenda through several packages. MacDonough advised Schumer’s staff in April that multiple revisions would be allowed to a budget resolution, which Schumer’s spokesman at the time hailed as “an important step forward.”

“The Parliamentarian has advised that a revised budget resolution may contain budget reconciliation instructions. This confirms the Leader’s interpretation of the Budget Act and allows Democrats additional tools to improve the lives of Americans if Republican obstruction continues,” the spokesman said at the time. But the advice was only provided in a broad brush and important details of what exactly would be allowed had not yet been fleshed out. The Schumer spokesman acknowledged in April “some parameters still need to be worked out.”

Now, the only way Democrats could create multiple reconciliation vehicles based on the 2021 budget resolution or a yet-to-be-enacted 2022 budget resolution would be if Schumer convinced a Republican on the evenly divided Budget Committee to vote to discharge a Section 304 revision to the budget.

Any of President Biden’s legislative priorities that do not make it into the next reconciliation package —which will come out of the concurrent budget resolution for 2022, which the Senate has yet to pass — would have to wait until next year, when the budget resolution for fiscal year 2023 is automatically discharged out of the Budget Committee.

Appeals Court Rejects Bid by Landlords to Resume Evictions
A federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday denied a request by a group of landlords to resume evictions, leaving the temporary nationwide eviction moratorium intact for now. The ruling from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals is the latest twist in a multifront legal challenge to the eviction freeze that was enacted by federal public health officials as a way to keep financially distressed renters in their homes and out of crowded homeless shelters during the coronavirus pandemic.

The move follows a ruling last month by U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich, who struck down the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) eviction moratorium after finding the agency had overstepped its authority. But Friedrich, a Trump appointee, agreed to block her ruling from taking immediate effect to allow time for the Biden administration to appeal.

This produced a mixed result for the challengers in the case, a group of landlords that includes the Alabama Association of Realtors and several co-plaintiffs. The coalition of landlords then asked the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to lift Friedrich’s stay, which a three-judge panel on the appellate court denied Wednesday in an unsigned order. The court also said that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) had “made a strong showing that it is likely to succeed” in its appeal.

“HHS has demonstrated that lifting the national moratorium will exacerbate the significant public health risks identified by the CDC because, even with increased vaccinations, COVID-19 continues to spread and infect persons, and new variants are emerging,” the court wrote.

Enacted in September as a public health measure, the CDC order was designed to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus by helping cash-strapped tenants avoid homeless shelters or other crowded living spaces. The eviction pause was later extended through June.

Renters demonstrate their eligibility for CDC eviction protections by signing a sworn declaration under penalty of perjury, attesting that they would face overcrowded conditions if evicted, and certifying that they have made partial rent payments to the best of their ability.

A number of other judges across the country have ruled on the eviction ban’s lawfulness, with landlords holding a slight advantage in their win-loss record against the federal government.

Program Notices & Reminders – Expanded Information
Will County Announces Round 3 of CARES Act Funding
Will County is pleased to announce Round 3 of the CARES Act Small Business Grant Program for Will County businesses adversely impacted by the recent pandemic. All small businesses physically located in Will County able to demonstrate COVID-19 impact are encouraged to apply for these grants of up to $10,000. The following criteria must be met to determine eligibility:

• Have not received a previous Will County Small Business Grant
• Annual revenues under $5 Million in 2020
• Less than 50 full time employees in 2020
• In operation since February 15, 2020, or earlier
• Have proof of COVID-19 impact
• In good standing with the IRS, State of Illinois, and Will County
• Not currently in bankruptcy

For more information and to apply visit:

All required documents must be included and uploaded with each application. This is a requirement to expedite the review of eligibility and determine approval for the grant monies. Priority will be given to businesses located in the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Disproportionately Impacted Area (DIA). DIA zip codes in Will County include: 60432, 60435, 60436, 60466, and 60471.

CDC Mask Guidance
The CDC still recommends that unvaccinated people continue to take preventive measures, such as wearing a mask and practicing social distancing. In their latest guidance, the CDC now reports that indoor and outdoor activities pose minimal risk to fully vaccinated people and that fully vaccinated people have a reduced risk of transmitting SARS-CoV-2 to unvaccinated people.

Fully vaccinated people can:
• Resume activities without wearing masks or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance
• Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel
• Refrain from testing before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States
• Refrain from testing following a known exposure, if asymptomatic, with some exceptions for specific settings
• Refrain from quarantine following a known exposure if asymptomatic
• Refrain from routine screening testing if feasible

For now, fully vaccinated people should continue to:
• Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
• Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations

Governor Pritzker Mask Changes:

Small Business Administration Restaurant Revitalization Fund
The deadline for this program was Monday, May 24th.
For more information, visit Efforts are ongoing to push for replenishing of the funds for this program.

Details on application requirements, eligibility, and a program guide are now available in English at or in Spanish at

As the SBA builds and prepares to roll out the program, this dedicated SBA website is the best source for up-to-date information for eligible restaurants interested in the RRF.

Small Business Administration Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program
The SBA has completed rigorous testing and the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant application portal reopened on Saturday, April 24 at 12:30pm ET. Updated guidance documents have been posted below. Applicants may continue to register for an application portal account.

Supplemental documents

Finally, join us in June for our re-scheduled luncheon with Police Chief Dawn Malec and Fire Chief Greg Blaskey on Wednesday, June 16 at Harrah’s Joliet Casino & Hotel. You may make reservations 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