Archive for July, 2016

Redistricting Maps

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

Cook County judge takes first step to strike down “Independent Map” amendment. The proposed constitutional amendment was spearheaded to give voters an opportunity to vote on whether to reform the way Illinois legislative districts are redrawn every 10 years. The amendment, if presented to the voters and adopted, would erase the political procedure currently used to draw these maps and create a new nonpartisan process in its place. The new process is intended to produce a map that is not “slanted” in favor of one political party or the other.

Opponents of the proposed constitutional amendment filed a lawsuit in Cook County circuit court, demanding that voters not be permitted to vote on the measure and that it be barred from appearing on the November 2016 ballot. Their lawsuit won a victory in Cook County circuit court on Wednesday, July 20. In her decision in the case of Hooker vs. Illinois State Board of Elections, Judge Diane Joan Larsen cited several constitutional concerns as fatal flaws in the amendment and ordered that it be struck from the ballot. The decision is likely to be appealed.

Ill. Drivers’ Licenses: REAL ID Act Compliance

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

Secretary of State’s office uses new process for drivers’ license renewals. One key change, mandated by the federal government, is an end to the traditional practice of presenting each driver with a new drivers’ license on-site when the renewal procedure is completed. The federal REAL ID law requires all new 50-state drivers’ licenses to be manufactured in guarded, secured facilities. In Illinois, starting in summer 2016, drivers who successfully renew their licenses at a Secretary of State Driver Services facility will get their old licenses back with a hole punched through them, accompanied by an additional 45-day paper slip of successful renewal. The punched hole will signify that the old license is on course to lose its validity, but will remain temporarily valid throughout the 45-day period. The driver should carry both the old license and the paper slip, which when carried together will be a valid drivers’ license for up to 45 days.

Meanwhile, the information gathered in the Secretary of State Driver Services facility will be transmitted to a central location where a new, secure drivers’ license will be printed and stamped. The new license will contain various features intended to increase the security of the license and further reduce potential counterfeiting. The new license should be mailed to the driver within 15 days, and once received should be carried and used. The old license with a hole in it will no longer be valid.

The Secretary of State’s office is also on course to impose additional security requirements upon first-time applicants for a standard drivers’ license, starting on July 1, 2017. First-time applicants will be required to present a U.S. passport, a certified copy of their birth certificate, or immigration documents that demonstrate proof of legal residence in the U.S. These are all requirements that are being imposed on all U.S. states by the federal Department of Homeland Security pursuant to implementation of the post-9/11 REAL ID Act.

Ill. Budget: FY 17

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

Budget experts warn of continued Illinois deficits. Although Illinois’ lawmakers enacted a stopgap budget in late June to cover the first six months of FY17, budget analysts warn that this move was not equivalent to a constitutional balanced budget for the entire year. In fact, the act of “spreadsheeting out” the money being spent, and comparing it to honest projections of the money coming in, reveals that Illinois’ expected spending will outweigh expected FY17 revenues by $7.8 billion. The Reuters news service believes this is the largest single deficit by a state in U.S. history. Expected spending totals $39.5 billion and expected revenues total $31.8 billion.

Although the state Constitution contains a legal requirement that the State annually enact a balanced budget, the requirement has been widely ignored in recent years. Continued ten-figure State deficits have led to a growing backlog of unpaid Illinois bills. The Comptroller’s office now counts the State’s unpaid bills at almost $8.0 billion. The unpaid bill total is contained in Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger’s “The Ledger”, a subpage of the Comptroller’s webpage.

Mayor Announces ‘Project Blue Light Aurora’

Thursday, July 21st, 2016
Mayor Tom Weisner said he would like to see Aurora bathed in a sea of blue to illustrate public support for the men and women who serve and protect Illinois’ second largest city every day.
“Since the first day of my administration, I have made the claim that Aurora has one of the finest police departments in the nation,” said Mayor Weisner. “I think it’s vitally important that we publicly demonstrate our gratitude to the men and women who protect our streets and our families and reaffirm our commitment to working with our officers to keep our community safe. Therefore, I am announcing ‘Project Blue Light Aurora’ and encouraging our citizens to display blue bulbs in their porch lights.”
Mayor Weisner said the idea for the initiative was born when he heard how the Aurora Police were inundated with phone calls, emails, and other tokens of support from the community following the tragic shootings of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge.
“One of Aurora’s citizens called the department and suggested everyone change their porch lights to blue to demonstrate appreciation for Aurora’s finest and I thought it was an excellent idea,” he said.
Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman said, “Our officers are overwhelmed with the continuing show of community support following the tragedies in Dallas and Baton Rouge. Our officers consider it a privilege to serve citizens who realize we must all work together to keep Aurora safe and they will be reminded of this mutually supportive relationship every time they see a blue porch light.”
Both Mayor Weisner and Chief Ziman said the new initiative serves as a great preview to this year’s National Night Out celebration on August 2. Billed as “America’s Night Out Against Crime”, the annual event encourages citizens to get to know their neighbors and to show unity with police in the fight against crime and violence. This year, more than 30 neighborhoods are participating.
Blue light bulbs can be found at most major retailers where light bulbs are sold.

‘Golf for a Child’ Invitational; Support CASA Kane County

Monday, July 18th, 2016

Christmas in July; Stock the Pantry

Monday, July 18th, 2016


Help Feed Local Families this Summer

Shop at Prisco’s Family Market and Jewel-Osco (Eola Rd.) to help stock $9,830 worth of food for our summer food drive! The food pantry is powered by donations and volunteers. Let’s feed our community together!  More >

1157 N. Eola Road

Tune in to WCCQ 98.3 FM on Thursday July 28th!  “Bossman” will broadcast live and fast all day until the $9,830 goal is met!

1108 Prairie Street

$1 Donated buys $8 in Food!

Spread the Word about Christmas in July!

Forward this News to Friends

Food rescue volunteers save fresh food for local families in need.



August 10 Fox Valley Marines GOLF CLASSIC 7   10:30 am – 7 pm

@ Bliss Creek Golf Course Buy Tickets >

August 28  FILL THE BOWLS Fundraiser Dinner  Noon – 4 pm

@ UA/Local 597, Midwest Training Center

 Buy Tickets >

October 8 Cock-A-Doodle BREW FEST VOLUNTEER DAY Noon – 4 pm

@ Hollywood Casino Parking Lot, River Street Sign Up >


This Week’s News: Do You Have Workforce Development Needs?

Monday, July 18th, 2016
July 18, 2016
In This Issue


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For more information contact the chamber.

95.9 The River
Above Board Indoor Environmental
Accurate Personnel
Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Aurora University
Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston
BMO Harris – Bilter Rd.
BMO Harris – Eola Rd.
BMO Harris – Lake St.
BMO Harris – N. Farnsworth Ave.
BMO Harris – W. Indian Trail
CARSTAR North Aurora Collision Center
Caterpillar, Inc.
Chicago Premium Outlets
Chicago Tribune Media Group
Copy King Office Solutions, Inc.
Dependable Contracting Services
DiGiovine Hnilo Jordan + Johnson Ltd.
Dolan & Murphy
Ice Miller LLP
Idilus, LLC
ieple, LLC.
K-Rise Systems, Inc.
Kluber Architects & Engineers
Konen Insurance Agency
Leave Me Bee Pest Control, Inc.
Magnetrol International, Incorporated
Martin Whalen Office Solutions
Mind and Body Chiropractic
Mitutoyo America Corporation
Mooney & Thomas P.C.
Northwestern Medicine
Cadence Fitness & Health Center
Cadence Health Convenient Care & Medical Offices
Central DuPage Hospital
Delnor Glen Senior Living
Delnor Hospital
LivingWell Cancer Resource Center
Old Second National Bank
Painters District Council 30
Paramount Arts Centre
Pipe Fitters Local 597
Plum Landing Retirement Community
Presence Mercy Medical Center
R.C. Wegman Construction Company
Rasmussen College
Resurrection Lutheran Church/School
Rich Harvest Farms
Rush-Copley Medical Center
Ryland Homes – Ingham Park
S&S Metal Recyclers II
Sign*A*Rama – Aurora
SmithAmundsen, LLC
Sole Unique Dance Complex, Inc.
State Farm Insurance Companies
Steffes & Associates Language and Translation (SALT)
The UPS Store – Kirk & Butterfield
The Voice
Trust Lending
Two Brothers Roundhouse
Valley Fastener Group, LLC
Waubonsee Community College
Weldstar Company
WIT-Enterprises, LLC
Zippy Shell Fox Valley

Welcome New Members

The Vistas Fox Valley
Kimberly Pederson
1599 N. Farnsworth Ave., Aurora
(630) 898-9400
Supportive Housing/Assisted Living

Midwest Coach Limousine
Esmeralda Arellano
199 Poplar Place Ste 6, North Aurora
(331) 903-0088


Contact Us

Mail: 43 W. Galena Blvd.
Aurora, Illinois 60506
Phone: (630) 256-3180
Fax: (630) 256-3189



Share Your Thoughts on Workforce Needs
Last week, we shared a brief highlight of the recent Summer Career Exploration opportunity with 75 local high school students. We received a number of comments and inquiries about the program and other workforce development efforts we are working on. As a result, we wanted to follow up with a bit more detail about Aurora Regional Pathways this week.

Working from a memorandum of understanding, the Aurora Chamber coordinated with the City of Aurora, Waubonsee Community College, and school districts East Aurora, Indian Prairie, Oswego, and West Aurora to coordinate a weeklong career exploration opportunity for nearly 75 high school students interested in careers in advanced manufacturing, health sciences, and information technology.

Junior Achievement of Chicago provided students with a half-day of soft skills and personal branding training on Monday following the kick-off and welcome from Waubonsee’s Dr. Christine Sobek.

From Tuesday through Thursday, students were treated to tours and hands-on learning experiences based on their pathway interest.

Manufacturing students visited Mitutoyo America Corporation, ASK Products/TMA, Cabot Microelectronics, International Paper, Diamond Envelope, and Caterpillar.

Health sciences students heard from Aurora Police Department Forensics Unit, Kane County Coroner, Rush-Copley Medical Center, Orchard Road Animal Hospital, Aurora Dental, Waubonsee Community College Sports Medicine, and North Aurora Fire Department EMT Service.

Information technology students were treated to presentations and projects by Rasmussen College, ByteGrid, Waubonsee Community College, Digital Alliance, and Northern Illinois University,

On Friday, the students received certificates of completion from Mayor Tom Weisner.

During the wrap-up and discussion, students shared their experiences. Based on post-assessment feedback:

92% of the participants were more interested in careers in the pathway of choice

92% benefitted from the week-long career exploration

94% were able to identify careers of interest in the pathway

98% were able to identify high school courses required for the pathway career

90% were interested in work-based learning opportunities in their pathway

Much of the activities and experiences will continue to be offered. For instance, this fall, the health sciences pathway is organizing additional work-based learning opportunities for students.

The collaborative is interested in hearing from you. Please click this link to participate in a brief survey to share your thoughts on career opportunities for our high school students. As always, if you have any questions, ideas, or suggestions, please let us know. We look forward to hearing from you.

Premier Members
Premier Members
Events for Members
Coffee & Connections
Painters District Council No 30, 1905 Sequoia Dr., Aurora
Sponsored by Aurora University
Tuesday, July 19, 8:30-10 a.m.

Open House: MG Ward Solutions
896 S. Frontenac, Ste 104, Aurora
Friday, July 22
Ribbon Cutting: 9:30-11 a.m.
Open House: 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Business Development Leads Group
Chamber offices, 43 W. Galena Blvd., Aurora
Tuesday, July 26, 7:45 a.m.

Grand Opening: Family Vision Development Center
452 N. Eola Rd., Ste D, Aurora
Wednesday, July 27, 4-8 p.m.
Ribbon Cutting: 4:30 p.m.

Fox Valley Networking Professionals 2016
Pomegranate Restaurant, 55 S. Commons Dr., Aurora, 60504
Thursday, July 28, 8:00 a.m.

Grand Opening: Waxing the City, Aurora
4430 Fox Valley Center Dr., Ste 108, Aurora
Thursday, Aug. 4, 3:30-8 p.m.
Ribbon Cutting: 4 p.m.

Grand Opening: Anytime Fitness, Aurora
1311 Butterfield Rd, Aurora
Wednesday, Aug. 10, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Ribbon Cutting: 11:30 a.m.

Open House: NorthStar Credit Union
444 N. Eola Rd., Ste 101, Aurora
Friday, Aug. 12, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Ribbon Cutting: 11:30 p.m.

Business Development Leads Group
Chamber offices, 43 W. Galena Blvd., Aurora
Tuesday, Aug. 23, 7:45 a.m.

Fox Valley Networking Professionals 2016
Pomegranate Restaurant, 55 S. Commons Dr., Aurora, 60504
Thursday, Aug. 25, 8:00 a.m.

Public Policy Update
For the latest in public policy news, be sure and like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Visit the Chamber blog:

Paid Leave Amendment Filed

State of Illinois Completes Rollout of New Job Opportunity for Unemployed Illinoisans

Representative David Welter Appointed to Serve Northern Illinois District

Education: School Funding Formula

Education: Common Core Testing

Budget: FY17

Health Care: Land of Lincoln

Letter Supporting Our Region’s Community Services

Member News
If you have news to share with your fellow members, please forward to Be sure and check out our blog and social media for what’s happening in our region.

Kane Co. Fair Opens July 20

“What Floats Your Cardboard Boat” Race on August 20, 2016!

Farnsworth and I-88 Construction Delayed

Aurora Early Childhood Collaboration Benefits from Additional Dunham Fund Grant

Wellness Works 2016

VNA Health Care hosts local event for the global “Big Latch On” Breastfeeding Awareness Celebration on August 5

Aurora Firefighters 5th Annual Golf Outing

Midweek Farmers Markets Open for the Season

New Bike-Share Program Available in Aurora

Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce | 43 W. Galena Blvd. Aurora, Illinois 60506
Phone: (630) 256-3180 Fax: (630) 256-3189 |
This email was sent by Email Patron on behalf of Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce.


Paid Leave Amendment Filed

Saturday, July 16th, 2016

An amendment was recently filed by Sen. Daniel Biss (D- Evanston) that would create the Family Leave Insurance Act. Under the proposed amendment, an employee would be allowed to take up to twelve weeks of family leave within any 24-month period for the purpose of providing care for the birth of a child, adoption of a child or placement of a foster child, or serious health condition of a family member.

This comes in light of a spring legislative session that saw several employee lave mandates introduced.

The legislature is currently not in session until after the election so it is unclear at this moment what the sponsor’s motives are.  However, the Chamber will continue to monitor the amendment.

State of Illinois Completes Rollout of New Job Opportunity for Unemployed Illinoisans

Saturday, July 16th, 2016

Illinois Job Link is a resume’-posting platform operated by the Department of Employment Security (IDES) that is open to persons seeking employment in Illinois. Under a new policy going into effect on Sunday, July 17, persons filing for Illinois unemployment benefits after being laid off are going to be asked to fill out and post their resumes on Illinois Job Link as a condition of completing their application for benefits.

The Department is aware that some of the people who need to file for benefits will have some questions about how to complete the JobLink process and complete a resume. The JobLink home page can be found HERE. In past years, nearly 60% of Illinois unemployment benefit filings did not include a work history or resume, despite the importance of these documents to potential employers. IDES believes that linking JobLink resume filing with unemployment benefits will speed up the hiring of unemployed persons who may have work experience and credentials of which they are not fully aware, and will reduce unemployment by increasing publicly posted information about the Illinois residents who are motivated to find a job.

Representative David Welter Appointed to Serve Northern Illinois District

Saturday, July 16th, 2016

Republican leaders in the 75th District have appointed David Welter to represent the district in the Illinois House of Representatives. The district centers along communities close to Interstate 80, including Morris and Seneca, comprising portions of Kendall, Grundy, LaSalle and Will Counties. Welter’s appointment came after former 75th District Rep. John Anthony resigned in June to accept a new job as executive assistant to the Director of the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Under State law, the appointment was made by the four GOP chairpersons from the counties located within the 75th District. The chairpersons cast a weighted vote by population of their counties within the vacant district. The selection of Welter, the current Grundy County Board Chairman, was unanimous. Welter will maintain a district office in Morris, Illinois to serve his constituents. Committee assignments are pending. Welter, who had served on the Grundy County Board since 2010, will also run for a full term as state representative on the November 2016 ballot. Welter was appointed State Representative on Saturday, July 9.