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Government Affairs Report

By the Illinois Chamber of Commerce

Chamber of Commerce has a new CEO
    Todd Maisch will begin July 1, taking over for current Chamber CEO Douglas Whitley, who is retiring on June 30.
    Maisch, 48, is currently the chamber’s executive vice president, overseeing several departments, including the business services division, government affairs, membership and marketing.
    Maisch holds a bachelor of science degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master’s of business administration from Illinois State University.
    The board conducted a nationwide search, said Ray Drake, chairman and vice president of state government affairs for UPS.
New tax would affect Illinois employers
    Democrat House Speaker Michael Madigan proposed HJRCA 51, a 3 percent income tax hike on individuals making more than $1 million to fund education. The proposal is estimated to raise a little over $1 billion in new revenue and each school district in the state would expect to see their funding increased by $550 per pupil.
    The chamber opposes the proposal as it will kill jobs, act as a disincentive for job creation, and may lead to more employers subject to the new tax leaving the state. The vast majority of small businesses are organized in ways where the tax code treats the income of the business as the income of the owners. Thus, small business income is taxed at the individual rate. This proposal dramatically increases individual tax rates on small business owners and decreases the amount of resources available to reinvest in the business and create jobs. It also acts as a disincentive to work hard, grow a business and become successful.
    The legislation is a constitutional amendment and would need to be passed by the Illinois General Assembly prior to May 5 in order to be placed on the November ballot.
    It appears likely that HJRCA 51 will be successfully passed out of the House and Senate.
Chamber seeks support for infrastructure
    The Illinois Chamber of Commerce has joined more than 30 state chambers in co-signing a letter to Congress calling for action to address America’s critical transportation infrastructure needs.
    This letter, organized by the Illinois and Georgia Chambers of Commerce, reminds Congress there is an urgent need to keep federal funds flowing to address the demands upon the nation’s transportation infrastructure.
    Illinois Chamber President and CEO Doug Whitley said, “It is a common goal among numerous state chambers of commerce that members of our respective congressional delegations understand that their constituents are eager for them to move beyond the partisan posturing that permeates Capitol Hill and actually do something about fixing the nation’s transportation networks.
    “The constituents are desperate for federal funding to help fix and maintain good roads, especially as they experience the aftermath of a rugged, pothole creating winter,” Whitley added.

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