Updated: Aug 24, 2022
Well, I may have figured out part of the problem in Illinois. Shocker – the Democrats Don’t Like Business. And Here’s The Proof... This week the Illinois Chamber of Commerce recognized legislators “who have made special contributions to the defense of free enterprise and the furtherance of economic opportunities for Illinoisans.” Legislators are eligible for the award if they have an “Illinois Chamber rating averaging 85% or better over the previous two General Assemblies” and have “demonstrated their commitment to legislation that frees the entrepreneurial spirit,” according to the Illinois Chamber website.
No Democrat in either the House or Senate qualified for the award.
No Democrat has ever qualified for the award in the last ten years of available ratings on the Illinois Chamber website.
As a matter of record, I won the award every year I was eligible (freshmen are not eligible). I never had a 100% rating with them as sometimes the legislation they support is/was anti-taxpayer, like crony corporate tax credits for specific industries or legislation that took away local zoning control. But, you would think that most legislators would at least have a 50% rating with business. Not true. For the last session, only two Dems were over 50% - Jehan Gordon-Booth at 54%; however, 9 out of 22 votes for her weren't rated, and Michael Kelly, who took office in Nov 2021 was only rated on 6 out of 22 votes rated. He had a 50% rating. Otherwise, the average Dem rating for the 102nd GA (General Assembly) was 40.4%. So, 60% of the time, the Democratic legislators vote against business. And so does Gov. Pritzker. The National Federation of Independent Business, the “Voice of Small Business,” also ranks legislators' voting records. The results are very similar to the IL Chamber. You can look at their legislative ratings at this link: www.nfib.com/illinois/voting-record/ Below are a couple of bills the IL Chamber used in their ratings.
HB3437 (Walsh/Hastings) Refineries/Contractors HB 3437 is a return of last session’s SB 1407, which would require that refineries, ethanol plants, and other chemical facilities utilize only contractors and subcontractors in the building and construction trades on site, got through the House and out of committee in the Senate before opposition to a late amendment derailed its passage. The Chamber has opposed this legislative overreach and will continue to work with the lengthy list of opponents whenever its sponsors decide to push forward again. Chamber Position: Oppose House Vote: 71-43-0 Senate Vote: NA Outcome: Held in the Senate This bill would limit whom owners can contract with, limiting private businesses' ability to control cost and quality of work.
HB 5412 (Evans/Castro) Contractors HB 5412, under the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act, shifts liability for unpaid wages by a lower-tiered construction contractor to the primary/general contractor. Chamber Position: Oppose House Vote: 62-36-0 Senate Vote: 38-18-0 Outcome: Passed both Houses
Illinois is not business-friendly. Here is where the state ranks from a variety of sources. Chief Executive Magazine: Best and Worst States to do Business, Illinois 48th Up For Grabs: The Best & Worst States For Business 2021 (chiefexecutive.net) CNBC Report America’s Top States for Business 2022, Illinois 19th America's Top States for Business 2022: The full rankings (cnbc.com) Wallethub Best and Worst States to Start a Business, Illinois 29th Best & Worst States to Start a Business (wallethub.com) Inc.Com Report on Small Business Friendliness, Illinois 50th A Massive Survey Ranked All 50 U.S. States By How 'Friendly' They Are too Small Business (There Are Some Big Surprises) | Inc.com
So, let’s connect the dots. Is it no wonder that we have one of the slowest growth rates and highest unemployment rates in the country. Business Formation Matters. Read the Wirepoints article here. Below is a graph from the Wirepoints article. New U.S. labor data: Illinois unemployment rate now 3rd-highest in the country – Wirepoints Quickpoint | Wirepoints
After All the Information Shared Above, Legislators Who Voted to Put Amendment 1 on the Ballot Signed the Death Sentence for Illinois Businesses and Taxpayers. Please take the time to listen to my discussion (linked below) with Mailee Smith, a public policy analyst with Illinois Policy Institute, about Amendment 1. Last week’s newsletter had lots of information on it. That amendment was also one of the votes rated by the Illinois Chamber. The legislation was universally opposed by business groups in the state: Here is the synopsis from the IL Chamber website: SJRCA 11 (Villivalam/Evans) Labor Constitutional Amendment SJRCA 11 would add to the Bill of Rights Article of the Illinois Constitution That employees shall have the fundamental right to organize and to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing to negotiate wages, hours, and working conditions and to protect their economic welfare and safety at work. It prohibits any law, state or local, that interferes with, negates, or diminishes the right of employees to organize and bargain collectively over their wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment and workplace safety, including any law or ordinance that prohibits the execution or application of agreements between employers and labor organizations that represent employees requiring membership in an organization as a condition of employment. It will now be placed on the November 2022 ballot. It would be effective upon approval by 60% of those voting on the amendment or a majority of those voting in the election. Chamber Position: Oppose House Vote: 80-30-0 Senate Vote: 49-7-0 Outcome: Adopted Both Houses Voters can defeat Amendment 1 by voting NO on it in the November election.
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