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

Chamber members:

Today Governor Pritzker delivered his Illinois Constitution required budget address for the upcoming fiscal year beginning July 1, 2024. This now begins the three-month process of negotiations between the Governor’s office and the Senate & House leadership. This year’s budgeting process should be just as interesting as we’re used to in Illinois considering the vast differences in expected revenue. Previous reports predict the upcoming fiscal year should see a deficit of $700 to $900 million. In his address remarks, Governor Pritzker mentions a budgeted surplus of $128 million. More on the address below.

In other Springfield news of a different type . . . White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf visited with the Democratic and Republican House and Senate leaders to pitch their plan for a downtown stadium in Chicago while reworking state tax policy changes.

*Government Affairs Roundup brought to you by CITGO*

Governor Pritzker Delivers Budget and State of the State Addresses
“Building on five years of fiscal progress, Governor Pritzker’s sixth balanced budget proposal will continue on the path of fiscal responsibility, introduce new investments in healthcare accessibility and equity, and build on our historic progress in education and economic development.” That was the opening line of the press release sent out from the Governor’s office following his address today.

Governor J.B. Pritzker’s budget for fiscal year 2025 highlights a surplus of $128 million. However, this surplus is contingent upon implementing over $800 million in tax hikes, affecting sports betting and corporate sectors significantly. The budget includes a proposal to increase the sports betting tax by more than double, a move anticipated to raise $200 million, according to state projections.

The state plans to generate an additional $526 million by prolonging the restriction on the corporate net operating loss deduction, originally scheduled to sunset at the end of 2024. While the current policy caps the maximum deduction at $100,000 annually, Governor Pritzker’s budget suggests raising this limit to $500,000.

Furthermore, the budget seeks to accrue an extra $100 million by imposing a cap on the retailer’s discount, which currently allows retailers to retain 1.75% of the sales tax they collect. The Illinois Economic Policy Institute has identified lowering this discount as a method for increasing state revenue.

Education remains a priority in Governor Pritzker’s budget, with a significant $13.3 billion earmarked for the fiscal year 2025, followed by $10.9 billion dedicated to human services, including initiatives for homelessness prevention and housing support. Pension funding is set to rise to $10 billion, a slight increase from the previous year’s $9.8 billion, with an additional $182 million allocated to address the migrant crisis.

Please see below links to the proposed FY25 budget as well as some highlights from the Governor’s remarks.

Fiscal Year 2025 Operating Budget
Fiscal Year 2025 Capital Budget
Fiscal Year 2025 Budget in Brief

State of the State and Budget Address

  • Five years ago, when people said we couldn’t do it, many of us went to work eliminating our bill backlog and balancing five state budgets in a row. We created a $2 billion Rainy Day Fund. We achieved nine credit upgrades. And in the face of a pandemic and high inflation, we delivered historic tax relief, provided record levels of rental and mortgage assistance, and reduced interest costs by paying off more than $11 billion in debt.


  • We’ve also grown Illinois’ economy to over $1 trillion. That’s more than most nations. In 2023 alone, we attracted billions of dollars in new business investments and created tens of thousands of new jobs.


  • In fact, on average, a new business moved to Illinois or expanded here every single day last year.


  • Thanks to our bipartisan tax credit legislation, Illinois is now the world’s fourth largest data center market, and we broke an all-time record for film and TV production revenue. Tourism is booming. Last year, Illinois’ hotel industry set a record at $5.5 billion.


  • In the Midwest, we are now the number one state for workforce development. Across all fifty states, we are number two for infrastructure. Number two for education. Number three for power grid reliability. We have the number one and number two best business schools in the country. Since 2018, we moved up a whopping thirteen spots in CNBC’s Best States for Business.


  • Last year, we launched a groundbreaking, multi-year plan called Smart Start to make Illinois the best state in the nation for preschool, childcare, early intervention, and home visiting.


  • It’s already making a huge difference for young families across Illinois. We thought we would be able to add 5,000 preschool seats by the end of year one. We exceeded that goal by fifteen percent. We created 5,823 new preschool spots, all of which are options parents didn’t have before. As a result, right now we have over 82,000 publicly-funded preschool classroom seats—the highest number in our state’s history. Staying on the Smart Start plan, we will achieve universal preschool by 2027.


  • Smart Start also expanded access to early intervention and evidence-based home visiting services for families with babies and young children by adding 26 more programs serving nearly 3,000 more kids. And we established the nation-leading Early Childhood Workforce Grant program, thanks to our initial investment of $130 million—stabilizing and raising wages for a workforce that is primarily women and people of color. That helps providers maintain and grow staffing, while still delivering the quality care that Illinois children deserve.


  • Smart Start is having the desired benefit for working parents and their children. Childcare utilization rates are higher than ever before with 166,000 children receiving services. There was a real fear that our entire childcare system might crumble in the wake of the pandemic. Instead, it’s growing.


  • I propose we stay on plan and increase Smart Start funding by $150 million in year two to create 5,000 more preschool seats, continue growing childcare, and reach thousands more families with critical early childhood services. And I also ask that in this budget we begin the first phase of consolidating state government’s early childhood programs into one agency called the Department of Early Childhood.


  • With a $13 million investment, parents and providers will have a one-stop shop for resources and programs—from finding childcare and preschool to accessing Early Childhood Block Grants and daycare licensing.


  • Nearly every study shows that investing in early childhood isn’t just about your child’s first five years. It’s also about paving the way for success in their K-12 education and beyond.


  • Every single year I have been Governor, we have increased our investments in education, because a quality education is the foundation of a good life and the cornerstone of a strong society. It’s why education has been a central tenet of all six budgets I have proposed. There have been some standout champions among you like Majority Leader Lightford and Senator Loughren Cappel along with Representatives Davis and Stuart who have spent their entire careers fighting for our public schools—all while weighing the tough choices to keep our budget in balance.


  • And the results are plain to see. In 2023, US News ranked Illinois high school students number two in the nation in college readiness, and CNBC ranked Illinois number two overall for education. We notched our highest graduation rate in thirteen years, and teacher retention was the highest ever on record. The rate of ninth graders on track to graduate now exceeds pre-pandemic levels. Chronic absenteeism is turning around, and proficiency in both English language arts and math increased dramatically.


  • Our $45 million teacher pipeline grant program brought 5,384 new teachers into the field—reaching more than 730,000 students in 170 districts with the highest need. Teachers are the single most important investment we can make in our schools. So, I propose we invest another $45 million in the teacher pipeline, bringing thousands more educators into the field.


  • The evidence-based funding model is working, so my budget proposal follows the EBF law’s recommendation, increasing it again by $350 million. And we will fully fund special education and continue increasing funding for school transportation by $30 million.


  • Higher education continues its tremendous upward trajectory. For the second year in a row, the Illinois Community College system celebrated historic headcounts—marking the second largest increase in enrollment numbers in the last thirty years, and far higher than the rest of the United States.


  • More Illinois students are now taking advantage of our great colleges and universities with well-funded MAP grant and AIM HIGH scholarship programs. The net tuition cost for most Illinois students attending Illinois schools continues to decline. Our higher education institutions are on the rise, and it’s important that year in and year out, even in lean budget years, we demonstrate a commitment to these institutions—which is why my budget proposal includes a more than $30 million increase in direct operating support for public higher education institutions, and that’s on top of continuing record capital investments we are making through Rebuild Illinois.


  • Improving educational attainment and retention is assisting private industry to overcome the Illinois workforce shortage—and it’s also having a similar effect in state government. We are finally moving closer to achieving the staffing levels we need to support our work. The Departments on Aging, Human Services, Healthcare and Family Services: every social service agency has improved its hiring to fill out its budgeted headcount. DCFS, for example, has achieved its highest staffing in more than fifteen years, through a combination of funding, ingenuity, and sheer hard work.


  • DCFS is more focused than ever on how to best protect Illinois children. Today, nearly every call to the abuse and neglect hotline is answered immediately. That’s up from only 50% back in 2019. Of the more than 94,525 investigations conducted last year by DCFS, 99.7% were initiated within 24 hours. And within seven days, 96% of children have been seen by an investigator. With an additional $14 million in funding in FY25, DCFS will reach a headcount of 4,000 staff for the first time in more than two decades.


  • This legislative session, I am introducing a bill to curb predatory insurance practices—putting power back into the hands of patients and their doctors. It’s called the Healthcare Consumer Access and Protection Act, and it has three parts.
    • The first part targets a practice called utilization management. What is utilization management? That’s insurance-speak for denying coverage. Utilization management allows insurance companies to boost profits by requiring that consumers get permission before they receive care. It won’t surprise you to know that those requests are frequently denied. One method of utilization management is referred to as “prior authorization,” where a consumer must get permission from the insurance company to get treatment their own doctor has deemed medically necessary. Another method of utilization management is called “step therapy,” where a patient is forced to try a less effective treatment and then have that fail before getting the actual quality care their doctors said they needed in the first place. Any doctor you talk to will tell you how much they loathe these practices and how often they are used to deny patients the medications and treatments they desperately need.


  • The legislation I am proposing would totally ban step therapy in Illinois, and force insurance companies to use the same definitions of medical necessity that doctors use.


  • Among the other features of this bill, Illinois will become the first state in the nation to ban prior authorization for in-patient adult and children’s mental health care. That means patients suffering a mental health crisis can get the care they need without jumping through hoops designed to deny coverage. And we are going to make sure that insurance plans publicly post all treatments that require prior authorization, so consumers can compare plans when they are shopping for coverage.


  • We are also going to prohibit insurance companies from selling Short Term Limited Duration plans, also known as junk insurance. These are plans that seem enticing because they offer lower premiums to bridge gaps in insurance coverage. But in reality, these plans fail to meet even the minimum standards of the Affordable Care Act. They don’t cover pre-existing conditions. They don’t cover maternal healthcare. They don’t cover mental health and substance use treatment, or prescription drugs. Like twelve other states, it’s time for Illinois to ban junk insurance plans.


  • The second part of this legislation covers network adequacy. That’s the standard insurance companies must meet to ensure there are enough in-network doctors to treat consumers when and where they need healthcare. In recent years, we’ve seen the rise of “ghost networks.” That’s where an in-network directory shows doctors and specialists who in reality either aren’t accepting any new patients, aren’t in-network, or don’t exist at all.


  • Health insurance companies should be helping consumers get quality care. Not tricking them. So, we’re going to require insurance companies to update their in-network directories of doctors to reflect the actual availability of healthcare, and we’re going to punish them if they don’t.


  • The third piece of the Healthcare Consumer Access and Protection Act prevents insurance companies from unfairly increasing rates on consumers. Last year, my administration was proud to work with members of the Senate, House, and other stakeholders to end unchecked rate increases in the small group insurance market who serve small businesses and individuals. This year, we’re going to require that large group insurance carriers do the same.


  • I propose that over the next four years we eliminate $4 billion of medical debt for over 1 million Illinoisans. Working with a national non-profit called RIP Medical Debt, it costs on average one penny to buy back and eliminate every dollar of medical debt, and we can start this year with a $10 million dollar appropriation to relieve nearly $1 billion in medical debt for the first cohort of 340,000 Illinoisans. County Board President Toni Preckwinkle has already done this for residents of Cook County. Let’s make this a reality for all of Illinois.


In Illinois, a serious effort to reduce maternal mortality rates is long overdue. And Black women in our state are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women. It’s imperative that we act now, ensuring that as we do, we also reduce and eliminate racial disparities.

  • Because of work my administration has already done, beginning this year, doulas, midwives, and lactation consultants can now be recognized as Medicaid healthcare providers, ensuring that they can be fairly compensated. That will make more services more readily available to communities with the highest mortality rates.


  • I intend to break down bureaucratic barriers in state government by coordinating work across agencies to improve access to a full spectrum of reproductive healthcare services. Our Department of Public Health will provide grants to assist providers with Medicaid certification and licensing associated with starting and sustaining a community-based practice. We’ll also invest an additional $1 million in DCEO capital grants related to the cost of opening.


  • And DHS will invest $1 million in a pilot program to ensure new moms and babies have clean diapers, along with an additional $5 million into home visiting for our most vulnerable families to connect new moms and babies with resources they need to be healthy and thrive during babies’ first year of life.


  • My budget also proposes investing $12 million to create a Child Tax Credit for families raising our youngest children. By targeting this investment at low and middle-income families with children under 3, we can put money back in the pockets of our newest parents who need it most and make those early years just a little bit easier.


  • Altogether, we’re making a $23 million investment that will put us on a path to birth equity—a path and a destination Jeanine and her colleagues in the field can be proud of.


One of my missions as governor is to make life easier for working families. Establishing a child tax credit, eliminating medical debt, lowering the cost of healthcare, making it easier to get a college education, bringing quality childcare closer to home so moms and dads can go to work—these are not esoteric policy proposals but actually do lift burdens everyday Illinoisans face. And even though inflation continues to cool off, folks are still feeling the squeeze every week at the grocery store.

So, there’s one more thing we ought to do. For the good of our state’s working families, let’s permanently eliminate the grocery tax!

It’s one more regressive tax we just don’t need. If it reduces inflation for families from 4% to 3%, even if it only puts a few hundred bucks back in families’ pockets, it’s the right thing to do.


Food access is far from the only necessity we are tackling. In 2021, I signed an executive order that launched Home Illinois, a whole government approach to prevent and end homelessness. And last year, we put this plan into action—investing $200 million into prevention, crisis response, housing units, and staffing, to ensure that every person has a fighting chance. In a matter of months, Home Illinois sustained and created thousands of new shelter beds for long time Illinois residents across the state. We provided housing and services to young adults aging out of foster care who were at-risk of becoming unhoused, and we gave one-time financial support to working Illinoisans who, due to an acute crisis, fell behind on their rent and risked losing their home or their apartment. We kept thousands of Illinois families in their homes—people who might otherwise have become unhoused.

  • I am proposing an additional $50 million to attack the root causes of housing insecurity for Black Illinoisans, while continuing to serve other at-risk populations like veterans and those who are medically vulnerable with the shelter and wraparound services they need.

Underlying Home Illinois is the belief that this state values the dignity of human life and the universal right to a safe home. Not so with all states.


  • Over the last eighteen months, more than 35,000 asylum seekers have arrived in Illinois. Most of them landed here in buses sent by Governor Abbott of Texas. Abbott willfully planned the arrival of these individuals in locations and at times that would engender the maximum chaos for the city of Chicago and for the asylum seekers themselves. Children, pregnant women, and the elderly have been sent here in the dead of night, left far from our designated welcome centers, in freezing temperatures, wearing flip flops and T-shirts. Think about that the next time a politician from Texas wants to lecture you about being a good Christian.


  • With our partners in Cook County and the City of Chicago, my administration has worked to develop a cost effective and comprehensive response plan over the next twelve months. We used the most reliable data available and estimated what it would take to ensure that the most basic human needs are met for asylum seekers arriving in Chicago.


  • This plan also includes continuing our efforts to divert as many people as possible away from temporary shelter to more permanent settlement, wherever that may be. Not because we are unwelcoming of immigrants. But because Chicago’s shelter system is near capacity, and it is dangerous if migrants have no shelter or support at all.


  • To date, we’ve moved 9,000 individuals through the process—from arrival, to temporary shelter, to independent housing and self-sufficiency. Thousands of others have moved on to find family or sponsors. We’ve also helped thousands through the Temporary Protected Status and Employment Authorization process so they can legally work. Private industry in Illinois has expressed a strong desire to hire those who are authorized to work.


  • I committed to the Mayor of Chicago and the Cook County Board President that I would come to the General Assembly and ask for funding for a little over fifty percent of the cost of this plan—which comes to $181.7 million.


  • We don’t have any clear idea how long Governor Abbott intends to hold the nation hostage, but his political stunt will eventually come to an end. So, let’s start planning for its aftermath—ensuring that during the coming fiscal year, some of the thirty temporary migrant shelters can and ought to be converted to other productive uses—as determined by the communities themselves. Neighborhood clinics, community centers, workforce training, housing—there are lots of good ideas I’ve heard from people, so we have designated $5 million in this budget for shelter conversion grants.


  • Our FY25 budget proposal makes some hard choices. I wish we had big surpluses to work with this year to take on every one of the very real challenges we face. It’s important to note, that while this budget is tight this year, our fiscal house is in order, and we are able to keep our commitments to the people of Illinois.


  • This year’s budget proposal is focused and disciplined, and because of the responsible actions we took in the last few years paying off state debt and treating federal pandemic relief as one time revenue, we are not facing the budgetary challenges that other big states are this year. California, for example, has a $38 billion deficit to contend with.


  • Meanwhile, Illinois’ budget is balanced, and it builds upon all of the progress we have made, paying our pensions in full, investing more in our public schools, social services, and healthcare while addressing the immediate and unique needs of the coming fiscal year.


  • Now, I expect that some of you will want to spend more, and some of you will claim you want to spend less. Know this: I am always open to good ideas that members of both parties have to more efficiently and effectively fulfill our obligations.


  • My one line in the sand is that I will only sign a budget that is responsibly balanced and that does not diminish or derail the improving credit standing we have achieved for the last five years.

Illinois transit providers getting $57.1 million in new vehicles through IDOT’s Consolidated Vehicle Procurement Program
The Illinois Department of Transportation announced that more than 500 paratransit vehicles valued at $57.1 million have been awarded to 113 transit providers through its Consolidated Vehicle Procurement Program, helping to offer safe, reliable and accessible transportation options in communities large and small throughout the state. The vehicles will be delivered to public transportation providers as well as nonprofit organizations serving seniors and individuals with disabilities, continuing to strengthen IDOT’s effort under Gov. JB Pritzker to grow and support Illinois transit.

“Transit is an essential service that allows our urban, suburban and rural communities to survive and thrive, providing transportation to people who might not have any other option,” said Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “More than ever, IDOT under Gov. Pritzker is getting communities the resources they need. These vehicles are going to benefit people immediately and far into the future.”

For more than 20 years, the Consolidated Vehicle Procurement Program has helped smaller transit agencies navigate the red tape of the public bidding process while ensuring their vehicles meet federal requirements and specifications, including those of the Americans with Disabilities Act. By purchasing in large volume, IDOT buys the vehicles at a lower cost for the public than if they were purchased individually or in smaller amounts.

Awards for this cycle were made on a competitive basis, with 50 public transportation providers (371 vehicles) and 63 nonprofit providers (137 vehicles) receiving 508 vehicles, purchased through $54 million in federal funds and $3.1 million in state funds. A full list can be viewed by clicking here. The highlights:

• A total of 399 vehicles to replace ones that are aging or no longer in service as well as 109 vehicles for expanding existing service. The vehicles are estimated to be manufactured and delivered between six months and two years.
• An award of 41 vehicles, the program’s largest, to Rides Mass Transit District, which serves 18 counties in southern Illinois. The vehicles being replaced have been in service for almost 11 years on average, with more than 270,000 miles each.
• An additional 50 battery-electric paratransit vehicles will be purchased via a $12.3 million award from the Federal Transit Authority’s Low or No Emission Vehicle Program, which is supported by a $1 million Congressional-Directed Spending award from Sen. Dick Durbin and Sen. Tammy Duckworth as well as $3.3 million in state funds.
• Eligible transit providers that were not part of this award cycle also can purchase vehicles at the price negotiated by IDOT with its vendors.

The Consolidated Vehicle Procurement Program awards are in addition to investments being made through Gov. Pritzker’s Rebuild Illinois, the largest capital program in state history at $44.8 billion and the only one that touches all modes of transportation: roads and bridges, aviation, bike and pedestrian accommodations, waterways, rail and transit.

Over six years, Rebuild Illinois is dedicating $4.5 billion in to transit as part of a commitment to invest in all modes of transportation, including for the first time allocating a portion of the motor fuel tax collected in Cook and the collar counties for the Regional Transportation Authority, which includes the Chicago Transit Authority, Metra and Pace.

Paid Leave for All Workers Proposed Rules Review Postponed
The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) postponed consideration of the Department of Labor’s proposed rules for the Paid Leave for All Workers Act until its March meeting.

During JCAR’s hearing on February 6, lawmakers chastised the department for failing conduct sufficient outreach to the employer community and its timeline for publishing rules.

The rules were submitted to JCAR just days before its scheduled hearing and over a year after the passage of the act and nearly 11 months after Governor Pritzker signed the legislation into law.

They are now scheduled to be heard at JCAR’s next scheduled meeting on March 12.

A copy of the department’s proposed rules can be found here:

Illinois utilities pushing to control power line construction
A contentious proposal aimed at giving electric utilities increased authority over transmission line development is being revisited in Springfield. The initiative, led by Representative Larry Walsh, Jr., the head of the Illinois House Public Utilities Committee, seeks to afford companies like Ameren Illinois and MidAmerican Energy a temporary “right of first refusal” (ROFR). This policy would enable incumbent utilities to take precedence over other firms in undertaking transmission line projects.

During a House Public Utilities Committee hearing on Tuesday, discussion centered around a bill that would endow Ameren Illinois and Commonwealth Edison with the prerogative to decide which company secures the contract for constructing power lines.

Patrick Evans, the president of the Illinois Energy Association, advocated for the ROFR law, emphasizing its benefits for the state. He highlighted the advantage of “using trusted suppliers and trusted workers here in Illinois” to build transmission lines through a process that involves local utilities holding competitive bids.

Conversely, Jack Darin, the Illinois director of the Sierra Club, argued that competition in the construction of power lines could lead to reduced costs for consumers. He suggested that, similar to the competitive dynamics in energy supply, this could translate into savings, lower bills, and the availability of resources for other necessary investments.

Governor J.B. Pritzker had previously issued an amendatory veto on similar legislation, underscoring the significance of competition in keeping consumer costs low across the state by fostering a competitive landscape.

While at least a dozen states, including Indiana and Iowa, have embraced ROFR laws, others like Missouri and Kansas have declined to adopt such measures. The Southwest Power Pool’s board recently granted NextEra Energy Transmission Southwest, LLC, a new electricity project through competitive bidding, which, according to the Electricity Transmission Competition Coalition, will yield significant cost savings for families and businesses in New Mexico. NextEra Energy reported that the competitive award process is expected to save customers $84 million, in addition to providing extra cost containment measures and schedule assurances for SPP customers. In contrast, Ameren has argued in testimonies across various states considering similar laws that competitive bidding can lead to project delays and increased costs.

U.S. House Legislation to Strengthen Regulatory Flexibility Act
Incorporating feedback from small businesses in the creation of federal regulations is essential to prevent imposing expensive regulatory burdens on them. The Prove It Act aims to enhance the obligations of agencies to assess the impact of regulations on small enterprises and to promote greater involvement of these businesses in the regulatory framework.

A study from 2022 revealed that the total cost of federal regulations amounted to $3.079 trillion, with the average U.S. business spending about $13,000 per employee on regulatory compliance.

The rate at which regulations are being introduced is rapidly increasing, leading to higher regulatory expenses and additional paperwork requirements as proposed by the current administration. The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) was originally put in place to alleviate the undue regulatory pressure on small businesses. Nonetheless, a 2023 study by the NFIB indicated that agencies frequently exploit loopholes in the RFA, resulting in the underreporting or outright disregard of the regulatory impact on small businesses.

The NFIB Small Business Legal Center has published a new White Paper titled, “The Regulatory Flexibility Act: Turning a Paper Tiger into a Legitimate Constraint on One-Size-Fits-All Agency Rulemaking.” Authored by NFIB Legal Center Staff Attorney Rob Smith, the paper delves into the RFA’s intent to shield small businesses from blanket regulatory approaches, the current neglect of RFA guidelines by administrative bodies, and potential actions Congress could take to rejuvenate the RFA’s effectiveness.

Beth Milito, Executive Director of the NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center, remarked, “The passage of the Regulatory Flexibility Act was a bipartisan initiative aimed at mitigating the excessive impact of federal regulations on small businesses. With over a quarter-century passed since the RFA’s last significant update, the growth of the administrative state and the regulatory load on small businesses have both surged. Today, more than ever, small businesses are grappling with the expensive and burdensome federal regulations that overlook their capabilities and requirements. A renewed effort by Congress to safeguard small businesses from blanket regulations, similar to the original enactment of the RFA by the 96th Congress, is urgently needed.”

The RFA, unanimously approved by Congress and enacted by President Carter in 1980, mandates that agencies evaluate the potential effects of new proposed and final rules on small businesses.

The white paper serves three primary objectives: 1) to raise awareness about the RFA and its requirement for agencies to assess the impact of regulations on small businesses, 2) to underscore the recent failures of administrative agencies to adhere to the RFA, and 3) to propose legislative solutions that will guarantee agency compliance with the RFA, thereby protecting small businesses from the disproportionate impacts of indiscriminate regulatory measures.

View the full paper here.

US House advances Joint Employer CRA
In a bipartisan vote, the US House passed H.J. Res. 98, advancing the legislative effort to overturn the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) final Joint Employer rule. A similar resolution, also introduced under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) and sponsored by Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), will likely be considered in the Senate. If passed by both the House and Senate, the CRA resolution would go to President Biden to be signed into law or vetoed.

Recurring Business:

Will County Alternative Fuels Readiness Plan – New Interactive Map Survey
The Will County Executive Office would like to invite you to take part in the next phase of their initiative – the Interactive Map Survey. This feedback will play a crucial role in identifying suitable locations for new fueling stations for Alternative Fuel Vehicles, including Electric Vehicles.

Please help their team by promoting this mapping survey within our community. This additional input will help them plan for the future of alternative fuel infrastructure in Will County, pinpoint desired fueling locations, and contribute to a more sustainable environment for residents, visitors, and businesses.

For additional information on the project, please feel free to visit

Building Blocks of Success: IDOT announces February dates for Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program workshops
The Illinois Department of Transportation is hosting free virtual workshops in February as part of its continuing Building Blocks of Success series for Disadvantaged Business Enterprise firms interested in strengthening their skills, growing their business and bidding on state projects. New and existing DBEs, as well as firms interested in becoming certified in the program, are invited.

February workshop dates and topics:

  • Feb. 27, 10 a.m. to noon: Accounting Practices / Financial Reporting Financial Series
  • Feb. 29, 10 a.m. to noon: Budgeting & Cashflow Management

Building Blocks of Success will continue through April. Workshop information, including dates and times, is available through Eventbrite at Advance registration is required.

Questions can be directed to IDOT’s Bureau of Small Business Enterprises at (217) 785-4611.

Through Gov. JB Pritzker’s historic, bipartisan Rebuild Illinois, IDOT is helping to deliver the largest capital program in state history while promoting diversity, equity and inclusion.

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

Stay well,

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