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Greater St. Louis, Inc. Statement on the End of the 2022 Illinois Regular Legislative Session

April 12, 2022
Greater St. Louis Inc. Statement on Bike Lane and Construction Bill (BB 164)

This past weekend, the Illinois General Assembly adjourned its 2022 regular session. Greater St. Louis, Inc. was proud to advocate for and advance policies that will increase investment in entrepreneurs, bring fairness to the state’s legal climate, streamline transportation infrastructure projects, make Illinois more fiscally responsible, and support Scott Air Force Base.

Streamlining Transportation Infrastructure

Greater St. Louis, Inc. supported legislation that streamlines construction of transportation infrastructure projects in Illinois. The legislation, passed by both Houses, allows the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Tollway Authority to use the design-build delivery method on highway construction projects which will result in lower costs and speedier completion rates. It also requires the agencies to ensure the full inclusion of minority- and women-owned businesses by creating a liaison for the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program.

Increasing Investment in Entrepreneurs

We were also successful in helping secure $312 million in federal State Small Business Credit Initiative funds that will go to the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. DCEO plans to use the funds to invest in entrepreneurs through the Advantage Illinois program, which makes capital available to entrepreneurs and small businesses that will help create or retain jobs and/or modernize Illinois businesses.

Progress on Legal Reform, Fiscal Responsibility

While there are victories to celebrate, Greater St. Louis, Inc. will continue to work to find a path forward on bringing more fairness to the state’s legal climate through essential reforms to the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act and ensuring fiscal responsibility is a top priority for lawmakers. Though meaningful progress was made with respect to fiscal responsibility this session, lawmakers did not address the remaining $1.8 billion debt in the state’s unemployment insurance fund caused by the pandemic.

Supporting Military Families at Scott AFB

During the legislative session, we were pleased to hear news from St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern that Illinois was named as one of ten states in the country to be assessed as “Most Supportive” of military members and their families by the Department of the Air Force with respect to license portability. The recognition stems from the 2021 enactment of state legislation for which St. Clair County and Greater St. Louis, Inc. advocated that lowers workforce barriers for military members and their spouses stationed at Scott Air Force Base and other installations across Illinois.

Securing Important Wins for the Metro

Greater St. Louis, Inc. Chief Policy Officer and President of ChamberSTL Tracy Henke today issued the following statement on the adjournment of the Illinois General Assembly’s 2022 regular session.

“Greater St. Louis, Inc. and our Illinois partners secured important wins for the metro this legislative session.

 

“Entrepreneurs in Illinois will receive direct benefit from the state’s $312 million allocation of federal State Small Business Credit Initiative funds and the state will be able to complete transportation infrastructure projects more efficiently because of legislation that moves Illinois to a design-build delivery method. Strengthening the metro’s transportation network and increased investment in entrepreneurs are both called for in the STL 2030 Jobs Plan.

 

“We thank our private sector partners and our metro delegation for prioritizing programs and policies that directly benefit the St. Louis bi-state metro.”

Greater St. Louis, Inc. will continue its advocacy to bring fairness to Illinois’ legal climate and more stability to Illinois’ fiscal climate as well as strengthening relationships with Illinois leaders at the local, state, and federal level to champion inclusive pro-growth public policies.