Illinois Venture Capital Association Illinois Legislative Report
David Stricklin / Stricklin & Associates
Wednesday, January 3, 2024
The Illinois Legislature holds its first session days January 16, 17 and 18. Governor Pritzker has been mostly out of the public eye since mid-December.
YEAR IN REVIEW
A plethora of new laws took effect in the new year – here’s a capsule on some you may encounter in the office or as a resident of Illinois:
The minimum wage for workers 18 and older goes up by $1, to $14 per hour. The annual pay bumps result from a measure Pritzker signed in 2019, when the minimum wage was $8.25 per hour. The final increase will come in 2025, when it reaches $15 per hour. In Chicago, the minimum wage for employers with more than 20 workers, which is tied to inflation, went up to $15.80 per hour on July 1 and will increase again this year by 2.5% or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower.
Along with a pay raise, many workers across Illinois will receive a new benefit: paid leave. Under a measure Pritzker signed in March, all employees who aren’t currently eligible for paid time off will be entitled to one hour of paid time off for every 40 hours worked, up to at least 40 hours per year.
Governor Pritzker also released highlights from his perspective. The governor continues to advance a narrative of better fiscal health for the state since he took office in 2019:
• Passed five balanced budgets that led to nine total credit upgrades since Governor Pritzker took office. This budget prioritized generational investments in early childhood education and childcare, the teacher pipeline, higher education, and efforts to fight poverty.
I’M MOVIN’ OUT
One of the most debated data points in Illinois politics is whether people are moving from Chicago and Illinois and if that’s due to specific policy decisions, demographic trends and weather, or a combination of those and other factors. The latest snapshot argues Illinois is an outlier in losing population while its neighbors hold steady:
For the fourth year in a row, California reflected the largest net loss of one-way movers. Other bottom-five states for growth are Michigan, New Jersey, Illinois, and Massachusetts. New York ranks 43rd.
“A large percentage of Illinois residents are leaving for retirement reasons,” said Eily Cummings, vice president of corporate communications at United Van Lines. “They are relocating south to warmer climates such as South Carolina, Florida, and Arizona. Those that are not moving for retirement purposes are relocating to states like Tennessee and Texas,” Cummings said.
Veteran journalist and political observer Greg Hinz of Crain’s Business Chicago expects 2024 to outdo 2023:
Consider the school questions that will be decided this year. For instance, will the Board of Education proceed with plans to effectively kill off high-performing controlled-enrollment high schools that have been crucial in keeping many middle-class families from fleeing to the suburbs? CTU wants to spread the money around, giving more to neighborhood schools, but will diluting or destroying centers of excellence really help the hoods or merely deny a future to young people who deserve a shot at the top?
And, of course, we’ll finally get a full account of the evidence prosecutors have gathered against former House Speaker Michael Madigan when his trial gets under way in April.