Government Affairs Roundup
“Your Timely Roundup of Local, State, and Federal Updates”

Chamber members:

We have an informational luncheon lined up for next Thursday, April 28th featuring State Senators John Connor and Meg Loughran Cappel, Assistant House Majority Leader Natalie Manley, State Representative Larry Walsh, Jr., State Representative Mark Batinick, and State Representative Dagmara Avelar. They will form an Illinois Legislative Panel to talk about topics such as the state budget, unemployment insurance trust fund, tax cuts, crime bill, and much more. You can register for the event here:

Also, attached to this email is a flier about an event hosted by Congressman Foster this Thursday morning about Electric Vehicle Batteries and the Critical Minerals Supply. It is at 10 AM in Woodridge and more details can be found on the flier attached.

*Government Affairs Roundup brought to you by CITGO & Silver Cross Hospital*

Gov. Pritzker Signs Historic Budget Delivering $1.8 Billion in Tax Relief for Families
Building on three years of fiscally responsible leadership, Governor JB Pritzker signed the fiscal year 2023 budget into law, delivering his fourth balanced budget while providing $1.8 billion in tax relief to the working families of Illinois.

The fiscal year 2023 budget provides historic funding for education, human services, law enforcement and violence prevention. It prioritizes fiscal responsibility, funding pensions at $500 million more than required, repaying the state’s remaining outstanding debts, and putting $1 billion in the Budget Stabilization Fund, also known as the “rainy day” fund, for unforeseen emergencies.

“The budget I’m signing into law today brings real improvements to the lives of working families and sets us up for a stronger fiscal future,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Investments in stronger schools, modernized airports and newly paved highways, hundreds of thousands of well-paying infrastructure jobs, and a better funded pension system… these are the kind of priorities we can invest in when our state is governed responsibly.”

The State of Illinois’ fiscal year 2023 budget plan for both operations and capital are contained in HB 900 (Appropriations), along with HB 4700 (the Budget Implementation bill), and SB 157 (the revenue omnibus bill). The fiscal year 2023 General Funds budget plan reflects projected revenues of $46.429 billion and expenditures of $45.986 billion, resulting in a $444 million surplus.
The fiscal year 2023 budget also directs federal dollars received from the American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) to aid businesses, healthcare providers and families, and invest in Illinois’ communities.

Highlights from the budget package include:

Help for Illinois Families
• Suspends the tax on groceries for one year – saving consumers $400 million
• Freezes the motor fuel tax for six months – saving consumers $70 million
• Provides $520 million for a one-time property tax rebate – 5% of property taxes paid, up to $300 per household
• Permanently expands the earned income tax credit from 18 to 20 percent of the federal credit while expanding the number of households covered – putting $100 million per year back into the pockets of working families who need it most
• Provides $685 million for direct rebate checks to working families
o $50 per individual
o $100 per dependent, up to three children per family

  • Income limits: $200,000 for individuals and $400,000 for joint filers

• Provides families with a “Back to School” sales tax holiday on clothing and school supplies for a week in August and doubles tax credit for teachers who buy classroom supplies – saving $50 million

Responsible Fiscal Management
Fiscally responsible choices over the last three years have resulted in historic progress toward financial stability in Illinois.  The package of budget bills the Governor signs today:
• Builds on the $4.1 billion payment of outstanding debts included in the recently passed P.A. 102-696 that will save taxpayers millions of dollars in interest payments.
o This included using ARPA funds for a $2.7 billion repayment of federal advances to the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, reducing the potential tax burden on business and potential benefit reductions to labor.
• Contributes $1 billion to the Budget Stabilization Fund (BSF) across FY2022 and FY2023 – the first deposits in 18 years. Also creates ongoing, permanent funding for BSF for the first time.
• Eliminates the payment delays in the employee and retiree health insurance program through $898 million in FY2022 supplemental appropriations.
• Adds an additional $500 million directly to the Pension Stabilization Fund, reducing long-term liabilities by an estimated $1.8 billion ($300 million in FY2022 supplemental, $200 million in FY 2023)
• Keeps pace with payment of the state’s bills, with estimated bill payment delays at the lowest levels since before the Great Recession

Public Safety & Violence Prevention
The fiscal year 2023 budget demonstrates the State’s commitment to funding public safety and violence prevention initiatives with funding for:
• Approximately $1 billion for violence prevention, youth employment, and diversion program appropriations, to deliver a multi-year investment in these programs that far exceeds previous levels.  Includes appropriations for Reimagine Public Safety and R3 grants
• 300 new State Police troopers, the single largest dollar investment in state history to expand cadet classes
• $50 million increase directly from cannabis revenues to support communities harmed by violence, excessive incarceration, and economic disinvestment
• $240 million for the Reimagine Public Safety Act ($235 million ARPA, $5 million GRF)
• $30 million to support the Violent Crime Witness Protection Program
• $20 million for grants to non-profits for security investments to prepare for hate crimes
• $30 million for Local Law Enforcement Body Camera grants
• $20 million for less lethal device grants and associated training expenses
• $10 million for the Co-Responder pilot program
• $10 million for a local law enforcement retention grant program
• $8 million for a multi-year equipment replacement program at the Illinois State Police that includes radios, body and car cameras and cloud storage
• $5.4 million for increased staffing and equipment at new forensic lab in Decatur, after expanding state forensic capacity in Chicago and Joliet
• $20 million for cameras and automatic license plate readers on state routes

Investments in Education
The fiscal year 2023 budget is designed to foster the success of young people throughout the state through investments in preK-12 and higher education budgets.
Fiscal year 2023 funding reflects:
• $350.2 million increase for Evidence-Based Funding (EBF) for K-12 schools, to a total of $7.9 billion in EBF appropriations
• $96 million increase for transportation and special education district reimbursements
• $54.4 million increase for Early Childhood Education to $598 million
• $300 million to Strengthen and Grow Childcare Grants to stabilize childcare providers
• $601.5 million in support of need based Monetary Award Program (MAP) funding, a one year $122 million increase, plus an expansion of the maximum award to 50% of tuition at public universities and coverage for an additional 24,000 students
• A 5 percent operating budget increase to Public Universities and Community Colleges in fiscal year 2022 through supplemental appropriations and a continuation of the 5 percent increase in fiscal year 2023
• $230 million to retire the unfunded liability for College Illinois! in P.A. 102-696, saving taxpayers $75 million in unnecessary costs over the remaining life of the prepaid tuition program
• An increase in funding for minority teacher scholarships

Strengthening Healthcare, Mental Health and Social Service Funding
The fiscal year 2023 budget reflects the State’s commitment to supporting vital healthcare providers through the lingering challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic, strengthens mental health services and the social service safety net.

• Provides $240 million in hospital tax relief through additional support to the Hospital Provider Fund
• Includes hundreds of millions in grant funding for safety net hospitals and other hospitals in Illinois from General Revenue Fund (GRF) and federal COVID-19 assistance dollars
• Fully funds nursing home rate reform and a redesigned provider assessment to maximize federal dollars, encourage staffing and improve quality, with more than $700 million, all funds
• Waives licensing fees for nearly 470,000 frontline healthcare workers
• Sets aside $180 million to preserve and expand the healthcare workforce, through Medicaid providers, focusing on underserved and rural areas
• Creates the $25 million Pipeline for the Advancement of the Healthcare (PATH) Workforce grant program through the Illinois Community College Board, to train and provide support to students entering high demand healthcare professions
• Includes a $7.8 million increase in state support to Nurse Scholarships and Grants in our Higher Education institutions

Mental Health and Substance Use
• Increases funding by approximately $230 million to mental health care and community-based substance use disorder treatment providers through rate enhancements
• Provides funding to fully implement the Pathways to Success Program for children with serious mental illnesses, with approximately $150 million, all funds
• Creates the appropriation framework for the first year of funding from the National Multi-State Opioid Settlement agreement for prevention, treatment, and recovery services
• Allocates $70 million to implement the 9-8-8 Call Center and Crisis Response for individuals experiencing a mental health crisis
• Increases funding for Substance Use, Prevention and Recovery
o $8 million – Naloxone for distribution to first responders
o $2 million– Mobile Treatment Units
o $3 million – Illinois State Police Diversion Pilot – pilot project in three areas of the state to provide mental health, substance use or other services to crime victims.
• Focuses on building up the Behavioral Health Workforce with the following investments
o $6 million for the Workforce Center to strengthen Illinois’ mental health workforce for the future
o $8 million for Certified Recovery Support Specialist funding
o $5 million Student Loan Repayment for mental health providers

Funding the Social Safety Net
• Includes $94.8 million for the second-year implementation of recommendations from an outside study of state programs supporting the Intellectual/Developmental Disability community which recommended organizational changes and funding increases.
• Provides $14 million for January 1st rate increase for Department on Aging’s Community Care Program and funds continued higher levels of home-delivered meals for seniors.
• Sets aside $250 million to hire additional Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) staff, increase rates for DCFS’ private partners and create new residential capacity.
• Provides an additional $90 million to the state’s Low-Income Household Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), expanding per-household aid to help low-income households pay utility bills and avoid disconnection.

Support for Businesses and Communities and the Environment
The fiscal year 2023 budget uses a variety of tools to support communities and businesses of all sizes, as well as funds initiatives to protect the environment and grow the economy.

Economic and Community Development
• One-year waiver of retail liquor license fees to aid restaurants, bars, and liquor license holders
• $38 million to Employer Training and Investment Program to assist with workforce and employee training efforts
• $5 million to develop minority entrepreneurship programs and support small, minority-owned businesses
• $35 million in new capital appropriations to Rebuild Main Streets and Downtown Commercial Corridors to promote new investment and bring jobs to communities
• $25 million in additional funding to communities through the Local Government Distributive Fund with a permanent increase in the state’s revenue sharing formula
• $20 million in grant funding for business attraction and retention
• $7 million for marketing to increase the number of people entering high-demand manufacturing occupations, with $2 million focused on electric vehicles and electric vehicle components
• $20 million in new funding for State match for federal grants
• $55 million in new capital funding to promote and enhance economic development throughout the state, including funds to support zero emission vehicle manufacturing, clean energy, supply chain manufacturing, and other environmental purposes
• Creates the Manufacturing Illinois Chips for Real Opportunity (MICRO) Act, providing tax incentives to attract major manufacturers of semiconductors, microchips, and component parts
• Expands eligibility for the Reimagining Electric Vehicles in Illinois (REV Illinois) credit to battery recyclers, hydrogen and solar powered vehicles, and makers of their component parts.
• Modifies EDGE incentives to include startups, and extends the credit through 2027
• Supports Illinois’ thriving film industry by expanding eligibility for the film tax credit and by the creation of the Illinois Production Workforce Development Fund – which will expand training opportunities for women and people of color.

Environmental Initiatives
• Funds $18.5 million in electric vehicle consumer rebates at the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA)
• Continues funding for enforcement of the Clean Air Act and the Energy Transition Act at IEPA, including a $1 million increase for expenses of air permitting and inspection activities
• Includes $30 million for the Department of Central Management Services (CMS) to jump-start conversion of the state government vehicle fleet to zero emission vehicles and to deploy electrical charging infrastructure throughout Illinois
• Reappropriates $70 million from Rebuild Illinois at IEPA for transportation electrification and charging infrastructure statewide
• Continues funding for unsewered communities planning and construction grants for communities around the state
• Includes $56 million for new Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development grants at Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), providing the largest and most accessible opportunity in the state’s history for distressed communities
• Provides $39 million for new pay-as-you-go funding for improvements and construction projects at IDNR parks and historic sites, including Frank Holten State Park, Matthiessen State Park Annex project and Rend Lake.

Capital Funding
The fiscal year 2023 capital budget, included in HB 900, represents a continuation of the historic Rebuild Illinois program and other ongoing capital initiatives. Continued use of federal funds will expedite delivery of critical initiatives. Illinois anticipates receiving billions of dollars from the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) to invest in transportation, water, broadband, clean energy and more.

• Provides continued utilization of $1 billion in ARPA funds to cash-fund critical water and sewer infrastructure projects and for statewide broadband, including Connect Illinois
• Fully funds the fiscal year 2023 Road Program at an estimated $3.76 billion
• Provides IIJA resources to Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) to prepare for the $15.8 billion in combined federal formula funding addressing all modes of transportation across the state.
• Includes $100 million to DCEO for community-driven broadband expansion to help close the digital divide.
• Supports the first year of IIJA lead service line replacement loans at $113.1 million, as well as $2 million in new IEPA funding to provide lead service line inventory and planning grants to communities around the state.
• Provides $9.1 million to IEPA for the first year of IIJA funds to promote energy efficiency, conservation, and state energy programs.
• Allows IDOT to capture nearly $150 million in formula funds through IIJA’s National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program to support the expansion of an EV charging network in the state.
• Supports Illinois competing for a share of $2.5 billion in nationwide competitive grant program funding intended for to procure and install electric vehicle chargers, with the goal of building a national network of electric vehicle chargers and to support community charging infrastructure.
• Includes $30.2 million to address cybersecurity risks and threats.

American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)
Appropriates the remaining $4 billion in federal American Rescue Plan Act funding, including the $2.7 billion deposited into the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund (P.A. 102-696) and another $1.37 billion to a number of agencies in COVID-19 related response, including:
• $320 million in state COVID-19 response operational appropriations for Illinois Emergency Management Agency ($200 million), Department of Corrections ($50 million), Department of Human Services ($50 million) and Department of Public Health ($20 million)
• $380 million in pandemic support healthcare provider payments including
o $225 million for Nursing Homes
o $67 million for Hospitals
o $30 million for Ambulances
o $58.7 million to support safety-net hospitals through DPH
• $235 million (plus $5 million GRF) to support violence prevention grants through Reimagine Public Safety Act
• $150 million for affordable housing programs through the Illinois Housing Development Authority
• $83.4 million for violence prevention and interruption grants at Criminal Justice Information Authority (CJIA)
• Support for industries impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic through DCEO:
o $75 million for a hotel jobs recovery program
o $50 million for restaurant employment and stabilization grant program
o $50 million for arts-related grants such as live venue operators, performing or presenting arts organizations, arts education organizations, and museums or cultural heritage
o $15 million for tourism attraction development grants

Closer Look at Illinois Tax Relief Including Rebates, Pause on Food, and Gas Taxes
Lawmakers passed a plan they say will give Illinois residents $1.8 billion in tax relief. The plan includes direct checks to most taxpayers, temporary cuts in sales taxes, and a permanent expansion of the state’s tax credit for low-income workers.

The plan cleared the 2022 General Assembly in the final hours of the legislative session on April 8 and as you read above, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker has signed off. Most of the relief requires no action from Illinoisans in order to receive benefits.

Tax rebate checks between $50 and $500
The state is set to provide rebate checks to each Illinois resident who files 2021 income taxes before Oct. 17, 2022. The tax deadline was yesterday. Late filers may have to pay delinquency fees, however, some Illinoisans in central and southern Illinois affected by a series of severe tornadoes in December 2021 had their tax deadline extended.

The amount of the checks will vary. Individuals making less than $200,000 per year are eligible for a $50 check. Couples filing jointly making less than $400,000 are eligible for $100. All taxpayers with dependents will receive an additional $100 for each dependent, up to three. Families with three or more children would receive $500.

On April 10, Pritzker said 97% of Illinois residents will receive a direct check as part of the program. The law requires the state’s Department of Revenue to wait until July 5 to certify the list of eligible recipients, meaning the checks will come in the second half of the year. Illinois is not the only state planning to issue refund or rebate checks, though plans vary widely.

A proposal in the Idaho legislature signed into law on Feb. 4 will give residents a tax rebate of 12% of their state taxes or $75, whichever is greater. A refund plan approved in Georgia would give taxpayers some or all of their 2020 state taxes, with single filers set to receive $250, heads of households, $375; and couples filing jointly set to receive $500. Indiana’s Gov. Holcomb announced earlier this week that every Indiana taxpayer would receive a tax refund of $125. New Jersey has rolled out a “Middle Class Tax Rebate” of $500 if a person has a child, paid taxes, and made less than $150,000. New Mexico’s governor signed a bill in March that would give a tax rebate to residents, with single people making under $75,000 set to receive $250 checks and married couples filing jointly earning less than $150,000 set to receive $500. Delaware became the most recent state to approve a direct payment program when its legislature passed a law to provide $300 one-time relief checks to residents.

Other states are still trying to sort out if they will have a state-level tax refund. One of the largest proposals is an in-the-works pitch from Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf. He has advocated for a plan to send $2,000 checks to Pennsylvania households making less than $80,000.

Tax holidays for food, gas, school supplies
The tax relief plan also includes several tax holidays, meaning temporary cuts to taxes. First up, the state’s 1% tax on groceries will be suspended beginning July 1 but reinstated on July 1, 2023.

The state also will delay a planned increase to the state’s motor fuel tax, a tax levied on the sale of gasoline and diesel fuel, for six months, pushing it back from July to December.

The state’s motor fuel tax was 19 cents per gallon for almost 30 years. It was doubled to 38 cents per gallon in 2019, with planned annual increases tied to the rate of inflation. The increase was approved in order to help pay for the state’s $45 billion “Rebuild Illinois” infrastructure plan. The motor fuel tax currently sits at 39.2 cents per gallon and was set to increase to 41.4 cents per gallon on July 1.

Finally, the plan includes a 10-day window between Aug. 5 and Aug 14 where all sales taxes on school supplies will be reduced from 6% to 1.25%. School supplies are any item that is used by a student in the course of their study, though some items are exempted from the tax holiday.

Textbooks, art supplies, cameras, computers, cell phones or memory cards are among supplies not qualifying for the reduction, though paper, notebooks, glue, compasses, pens, crayons, folders, binders, and backpacks are among eligible items.

Expanded tax credit for low-income workers
One of the few permanent changes to the state’s tax code this year is an expansion of the Earned Income Credit (EIC), a credit that low-income workers can claim that reduces the amount of taxes owed.

The law has expanded the pool of eligible taxpayers to include childless workers ages 18 to 24, childless workers over age 65, and immigrants who file taxes with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. The ITIN is a way for the government to identify a person who does not have a Social Security number.

The expansion will open the EIC to about 955,000 workers not previously covered by the tax credit, according to Jenna Severson, a spokesperson for Economic Security for Illinois, a group that advocated for the policy.

Additionally, the new bill will increase the amount of money the state credits qualifying individuals from 18% of the federal earned income tax credit to 20%. Severson noted this will translate to several dozen dollars of additional credit, depending on factors such as the number of dependents.

The federal earned income tax credit is a similar program on which the state’s tax credit system was based. It is the fourth time the EIC has been increased since it was first rolled out in 2000 and goes into effect in January 2023. It initially offered 10% of the federal earned income tax credit. The plan was pushed for by lawmakers and activists. “It is both morally and financially wise for us to invest in this policy and in the people who power Illinois,” said House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch. D-Hillside. Welch worked with Economic Security for Illinois to propose an expansion to the EIC before he was speaker of the House.

“Right now, nearly one million workers are excluded from tax relief in Illinois,” said Amber Wilson, a campaign manager at Economic Security for Illinois. “But, because working families organized and fought tirelessly to address this economic injustice, Illinois’ new budget will permanently change that.”

Wilson’s group is part of a coalition that has advocated an EIC expansion for several years. More than 40 groups worked on the initiative including AARP Illinois, Chicago Urban League, Illinois Action for Children, Latino Policy Forum, Small Business Majority, United Way of Illinois, and Shriver Center on Poverty Law.

New ‘Middle of Everything’ Illinois Tourism Campaign, Starring and Directed by Jane Lynch
Governor JB Pritzker joined the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), at the Shedd Aquarium to kick off the state’s new tourism campaign, “Middle of Everything,” starring Illinois native, Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning actress, and New York Times best-selling author, Jane Lynch — who is making her directorial debut with the campaign’s new TV ads.

The ads will run in 20 markets across Illinois and seven neighboring states and will be seen on cable nationwide. A Spanish-language ad will also air in the Chicago market. To view the ads and other media assets for the “Middle of Everything” click HERE.

“Middle of Everything” highlights Illinois as the center of culture, food, history, architecture, nightlife, and natural wonders – full of experiences for visitors to discover. An alum of Chicago’s famed Second City and Steppenwolf Theatre, Lynch brings her comedic zest and energy to the ads along with a deep-rooted passion for promoting her home state. The production of the TV ads was a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) project featuring a diverse cast of Illinois actors.

“We are thrilled to partner with Illinois’ own Jane Lynch, the perfect ambassador to promote our state, in this new tourism campaign,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “This campaign is a significant next step to aid our state’s tourism recovery and positions Illinois for future growth and success that our entire state can rally around – helping our economy, boosting tax revenues, and putting people back to work. As tourists gear up for a busy summer travel season, we welcome visitors near and far to find themselves in the middle of everything that Illinois has to offer.”

In the “Middle of Everything,” Lynch stars as Illinois’ official tour guide showcasing iconic attractions in Chicago, Springfield, Historic Route 66, and the Garden of the Gods in Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois.

The new TV ads feature authentic Illinois experiences and destinations to discover all around the state. Locations include the Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum in Pontiac, Cozy Dog Drive In, located in Springfield, and the Grafton Sky Tour, as well as experiences unique to Chicago such as exploring the Art Institute, enjoying the Shedd Aquarium, and setting sail on a Tall Ship Windy boat.

“I loved every minute of working on this project promoting tourism in my home state and I’m so proud to finally see it come to life,” said Jane Lynch. “I am grateful for Gov. Pritzker’s enthusiasm and support for this new Illinois Tourism marketing campaign. We share the same passion for Illinois, its people, its culture, and the wonderful attractions across the state.

The $30.3 million campaign is a critical next step in the state’s efforts to accelerate the recovery of Illinois’ tourism and hospitality industry —a major contributor to the state’s economy, employing more than 600,000 people statewide prior to the pandemic.

“Illinois is full of amazing attractions and unique destinations – from top cultural institutions and world-class architecture to outdoor adventures and historic sites.  We can’t wait to share the wonders of Illinois with visitors from across the country and around the globe,” said DCEO Director Sylvia I. Garcia. “Tourism is a key economic driver in Illinois and the ‘Middle of Everything’ campaign will help us welcome even more visitors to Illinois who will help support our distinctive small businesses, inviting hotels and world class restaurants around the state.”

Starting this week, the new ads will run in eight states, targeting travelers in Midwestern markets on broadcast and connected TV in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Kentucky. The ads will also appear nationally on cable TV starting April 25.

The campaign featuring Lynch will also appear in local, regional, and national digital and print media, as well as highway billboards, bus signage, and wallscapes. This includes regional transportation hub takeovers in Atlanta and San Francisco, a digital billboard in Times Square, and other promotional activities amplifying the campaign during events such as the Chicago Pride Parade, the Enjoy Illinois 300 NASCAR Cup Series race at the World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, IL, and more.

Born in Evergreen Park and raised in Dolton, Lynch graduated from Illinois State University in Bloomington, and spent 15 years in Chicago acting in the Steppenwolf Theatre Company and later The Second City comedy club. Jane Lynch is a five-time Emmy, two-time SAG Award and Golden Globe winner. She has starred in popular films and TV shows including The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Glee and is currently co-starring in the Broadway revival of Funny Girl in New York City.  Jane Lynch joined STORY production company in Chicago as director for advertising projects in 2019.

For more information on trip ideas and itineraries and to download a guide of Jane Lynch’s “Favorite Places in Illinois,” please visit:

Covid Workforce
Several million workers who dropped out of the U.S. workforce during the Covid-19 pandemic plan to stay out indefinitely because of persistent illness fears or physical impairments, potentially exacerbating the labor shortage for years, new research shows.

About three million workforce dropouts say they don’t plan to return to pre-Covid activities—whether that includes going to work, shopping in person or dining out—even after the pandemic ends, according to a monthly survey conducted over the past year. The workforce dropouts tend to be women, lack a college degree and have worked in low-paying fields.

The research team has named this phenomenon “long social distancing” and believes it will be one of the lasting scars of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Building Blocks of Success: IDOT announces dates for Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program workshops
The Illinois Department of Transportation is hosting free virtual workshops as part of its continuing Building Blocks of Success series for firms interested in participating in the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program, strengthening their skills and bidding on state construction projects.

The workshop dates and topics are:

April 21, 10 a.m. to noon: Avoiding Pitfalls
May 4, 10 a.m. to noon: How to… IDOT Electrical Work

Workshop information is available through Eventbrite at Advance registration is required.

Questions can be directed to IDOT’s DBE Resource Center at (312) 939.1100.

As part of Gov. Pritzker’s historic and bipartisan Rebuild Illinois program, IDOT is helping to deliver the largest capital program in state history. IDOT strives to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the implementation of this program, including contracting and workforce participation.

Administered by IDOT, the DBE program provides minorities, women and other eligible small businesses opportunities to participate in highway, transit and airport contracts that are federally and state funded. For more information on becoming a certified DBE and learning more about IDOT resources that are available, visit

Stay well,

Mike Paone
Executive Vice President
Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce & Industry
815.727.5371 main
815.727.5373 direct