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Chamber president still has hope for Pritzker

Friday, Mar 15, 2019

* Dan Petrella

With a new governor in office, Democratic lawmakers are charging ahead on legislation Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner blocked as he pursued his pro-business, union-weakening agenda. […]

With Democrats trying again on many issues Rauner prevented from becoming law, some in the business community are on edge as Pritzker also advocates for a graduated income tax plan that would raise rates on the wealthy and on corporations.

“I unfortunately do think that (the votes) are an indication of what the next four years are going to look like,” said Todd Maisch, president and CEO of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, which was closely aligned with Rauner and opposed legislation on the smoking age, salary history and the minimum wage. “It doesn’t mean every anti-business bill is going to go ahead and pass. I do think that Gov. Pritzker really does want to be seen by the business community as somebody who understands their issues.”

However, Maisch added, “it looks like we’re going to take a few beatings.”

Hang in there, Todd. /s

On a more serious note, it’s interesting to see that Maisch retains some optimism about Gov. Pritzker’s relationship with the business community. I should probably follow up with him on that soon.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Anon - Friday, Mar 15, 19 @ 10:30 am:

    The dude gets to define what’s important to his organization and their members. Keeping the smoking age below 21 and or paying poverty wages are things that are pretty indefensible.

    That’s probably why they bent over backwards to support a Governor that’s time in office is incredibly hard to defend.

    Maybe the Chamber could find some “business friendly” proposals that don’t involve causing harm to others?

  2. - Honeybear - Friday, Mar 15, 19 @ 10:36 am:

    I think that Gov. Pritzker is actually going to be very good for the Business environment and economic development. I hope that he will stop focusing on the revenue draining corporate welfare of EDGE and Enterprise Zones and focus on working with the “gazelles”, or mid-size companies with high loyalty to their communities. Those are the ones to focus on. Stop chasing rainbow fantasy companies. We don’t want or need a Foxconn debacle in Illinois.
    Focus on the Gazelles
    the small companies
    51% of our Illinois businesses employ 4 people or less.
    Help those folks.
    Reopen the small business centers.
    Stop the corporate welfare
    Stop chasing rainbows
    Focus on the frontline Illinois businesses

  3. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Mar 15, 19 @ 10:38 am:

    Illinois Restaurant Association said it best in the debate in the fight for 15 hearings, elections have consequences. You can get on board and try work together or you can get runover.

    There’s many ways Todd and his members could help with rule design, bill language, implementation, etc. It’s “small stuff,” but it’s critical to make policies understandable for businesses. And all those things go better the earlier you get on board.

  4. - Truthseeker - Friday, Mar 15, 19 @ 10:40 am:

    What is indefensible is not taking into account substantial regional cost of living differences in the interest of spiking the ball in the end zone early on as it relates to the minimum wage.

    Legislatively lazy is a term that comes to mind. The ramifications for this downstate where the value of $15 per hour is exponentially higher (particularly in rural areas) than in the Chicago or the collars is crushing and frankly inexcusable.

    The ramifications of not “doing it right” will have dire consequences. Did the minimum wage need to go up even downstate? Yes.

    Should we have taken into account factors that exist in Prevailing Wage standards in relation to cost of living differences? You think????

  5. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 15, 19 @ 10:50 am:

    Truthseeker - you lose. Every Illinoisan will be paid for their hard work. Pritzker promised to be a Governor for all of Illinois and stuck to that. We are not worth less because we live in Southern Illinois. I am so glad our fellow citizens in Chicago agreed. Enough of the fake divide.

  6. - unspun - Friday, Mar 15, 19 @ 10:51 am:

    If Hang In There Todd would’ve have made a deal on the salary history bill last year, he may not be getting rolled now. It’s one of countless examples of why adhering to strict ideology instead of legislative pragmatism hurts his members in the long run. It’s also illustrative of a void in leadership, where an association head must push back on his/her membership’s zealotry. Many wonder why the Chamber continues to behave in this manner. The short answer: They can afford financially to keep their ideology, however untenable, even if they lose the issues.

  7. - wordslinger - Friday, Mar 15, 19 @ 10:55 am:

    –Should we have taken into account factors that exist in Prevailing Wage standards in relation to cost of living differences? You think????–

    Four question marks really sells it. Game over. Personally, I would have gone with three, but I’m a little conservative.

    About that “crushing and frankly inexcusable” and “exponentially higher” (somebody ate a dictionary) minimum wage… what is it today? What will it be a year from now? When will it be $15?

  8. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Mar 15, 19 @ 10:56 am:

    Raising direly-needed revenue in a fair way is pro-business. The state’s abysmal finances are a top gubernatorial priority. Paying bills and funding the state shows businesses Illinois is responsible.

    Maybe business groups should try to get a few Republicans to vote for a graduated income tax in exchange for some pro-business legislation. As it stands now, the ILGOP is virtually taking itself out of the game, just screaming from the sidelines.

  9. - Truthseeker - Friday, Mar 15, 19 @ 11:17 am:

    Yes, the minimum wage dynamic is decided. Just suggesting that the time factor in implementation will not close the regional cost of living differences that were not taken into consideration.

  10. - PublicServant - Friday, Mar 15, 19 @ 11:23 am:

    ===When will it be $15?===

    You need more question marks considering the target, Word.

  11. - West Sider - Friday, Mar 15, 19 @ 11:42 am:

    The Chamber, like Republicans, could be a great friend to marginalized communities- but of course, they are not. They cheered the wanton destruction of supports and services across the state for four years. They are why we are in this mess.

  12. - Medvale School for the Gifted - Friday, Mar 15, 19 @ 12:08 pm:

    Upon hearing of Todd’s concern, Chamber-favored former House member Ken Dunkin might proclaim, “This is what leadership looks like.”

  13. - Pundent - Friday, Mar 15, 19 @ 12:24 pm:

    Businesses want predictability and certainty. None of that was present under the prior administration and we suffered greatly as a result.

    A health middle class that has a few more bucks in their pockets is good for business. I understand that it’s Todd’s job to advocate for the 3% that are disadvantaged by Pritzker’s plan, but it’s a tough sell particularly given what we went through over the last four years.

  14. - {Sigh} - Friday, Mar 15, 19 @ 1:26 pm:

    As I look at these dem bills, I remind myself it was just weeks ago we heard the Pritzker administration highlight the deficit being higher than expect - around $3.2billion…. I have to ask, how are we going to pay for the expansion of programs? How much will the trucking prevailing wage bill cost IDOT and businesses? Where is the money for the min wage increase going to come from- We heard how much SIU needed just to fund min wage. Yet, at the same time we are watching WIU collapse and the business industry, which is actually providing jobs and stimulating the economist, is taking a beating.

    Some of these bills need to slow down. We can’t pay our current bills & there is NO way cannabis and gaming will solve our problems. {sigh} How will we cover those $2m Court of Claims bills when they start coming in?

    How will these small minority businesses that are being talked about in cannabis legalization discussions be able to afford workers comp insurance, paid medical leave and the new min wage? {sigh}

  15. - BenFolds5 - Friday, Mar 15, 19 @ 2:06 pm:

    Sigh… Stop. The Gov won. Stop asking tough common sense questions. He get’s to add with no cuts. He has fairy dust just like the last guy. He will “tax the rich”. Because they can’t cheat their taxes. /s The middle class will pay one way or another.

  16. - Honeybear - Friday, Mar 15, 19 @ 2:37 pm:

    wail and gnash, sigh and benfolds
    wail and gnash

  17. - Anonymous - Friday, Mar 15, 19 @ 2:53 pm:

    We can’t pay our current bills & there is NO way cannabis and gaming will solve our problems.

    Who said it would?

    what is the current state of marijuana in our State …I wonder.

    Spring is springin’.

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