Earlier this month, 25 DuPage business leaders and delegates took a full day away from their business to visit with legislators in Springfield. Choose DuPage, along with Chamber630, Bolingbrook, Elmhurst, West Suburban and Western DuPage Chambers, visited with several elected officials, attended committee meetings at the Capitol and Stratton Building and ended the evening hosting a crowded legislative reception allowing attendees to further their relationships with those that make so many important decisions that affect their bottom line.
The focus of the trip was budget, education funding and independent maps. We also addressed a proposal for the Employee Paid Health Care Time Act; Workers Compensation, specifically causation, and an unfunded mandate of public/private entities. The delegation of DuPage business leaders was provided legislative briefings by Illinois Chamber president, Todd Maisch and lobbyist, Elizabeth Van Holt of Isaiah Consulting at a luncheon sponsored by AT&T. Van Holt covered education funding and consolidation for institutions of higher education as well as the proposal for School Funding Reform Act, SB1. She also reviewed the history and logistics of the Independent Map Amendment.
Maisch spoke to workers’ compensation which continues to be a critical concern for employers as does any increase of the minimum wage, especially without meaningful business reforms. Transportation funding and various proposals for its revenue sources was discussed, as well as a bill mandating accrued paid sick leave. The delegation brought all these topics over to the Capitol while visiting with several elected officials including Governor Bruce Rauner, Senator Tom Cullerton (D23rd), Representative Grant Wehrli and others. Sponsors of the trip, Choose DuPage, AT&T, Downers Grove Economic Development Corporation and Midwestern University welcomed over 100 guests at the reception including those mentioned earlier and Representatives Steven Andersson (R65th), Ron Sandack (R81st), Patti Bellock (R47th), Peter Breen (R48th), Michael Connelly (R21st), Mike Fortner (R49th), Mark Batinick (R97th), Lawrence Walsh, Jr. (D86th), Jeanne Ives (R42nd), Emily McAsey (D85th), Michael Zalewski (D23rd) and many others.