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IL Extension - EcDev Survey

Illinois Extension Community and Economic Development Survey: COVID-19 Crisis

This report summarizes the results of a survey conducted from May 11 – 24, 2020 by the University of Illinois Extension’s Community and Economic Development (CED) teamThe survey was designed to identify the ways communities, governments, and businesses were responding to the COVID-19 crisis. The survey asked respondents to list the types of information and methods for communication that will allow Extension’s Community and Economic Development team to serve those needs most effectively.

See the Survey Here

IEDA UPDATE – July 17, 2020

Illinois Legislative News

In a significant development on Friday morning, the US Attorney’s Office in Chicago filed a criminal information charging ComEd, the state’s largest electric utility, with bribery. As part of a three-year deferred prosecution agreement, ComEd has agreed to pay a $200 million fine to resolve claims it bribed public officials for favorable action. Specifically, the utility admits “it arranged jobs, vendor subcontracts, and monetary payments associated with those jobs and subcontracts, for various associates of a high-level elected official for the state of Illinois, to influence and reward the official’s efforts to assist ComEd with respect to legislation concerning ComEd and its business.” According to the filing, that high-level elected official – referred to as “Public Official A” – is Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan. Per the statements of fact, from 2011 through 2019, ComEd engaged in these activities as the General Assembly was considering many pieces of legislation which had a substantial impact on ComEd’s business. This includes the Future Energy Jobs Act – passed in 2016 – and the Energy Infrastructure and Modernization Act – passed in 2011.

Friday’s developments follow an investigation into public corruption that had swirled around ComEd and Madigan’s close associates for months but had never specifically implicated the longtime House Speaker. A hearing in the case has not yet been scheduled, but additional developments are likely.

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IEDA UPDATE – July 9, 2020

Illinois Legislative News

The lawsuits over the extent of Governor Pritzker’s authority during a declared disaster continue, with rulings in two cases late last week. In the first case, in federal court, the Illinois Republican Party sued the governor over the 50-person gathering limit, arguing that political parties should be able to hold gatherings of any size, citing their First Amendment rights. The state GOP sought the same treatment that houses of worship received, exempting them from this requirement. After losing the case, the party appealed numerous times, eventually asking Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction from Pritzker’s order, which was denied. The party said it intends to appeal.  

In a second case, in state court, the governor lost his case against state Representative Darren Bailey’s attempt to void the state’s Executive Orders. Bailey was previously successful in getting a judge to exempt only him specifically from any subsequent orders beyond the initial Stay-at-Home order, which the representative then re-filed to apply to all the state’s residents. The same Clay County Circuit Court Judge – Michael McHaney – said that all of the governor’s EOs since April 8th are void. Crucially, the judge did not issue an injunction, with the governor’s office stressing that Phase 4 of the reopening plan remains in effect. McHaney’s ruling, which did not address all counts brought by Bailey, also recognized that the “proper authority” to close businesses and limit movements in a public health emergency lies with the Illinois Department of Public Health. The Attorney General’s Office is appealing the ruling, and a hearing in the case is set for July 17th.

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IllinoisTax.org - Chartbook

Tax Facts: An Illinois Chartbook – The Economy of Illinois

by Maurice Scholten

This issue of Tax Facts updates the Economic Overview chapter of TFI’s publication, Tax Facts: An Illinois Chartbook. As data used to compare Illinois to other states becomes available, we will continue to publish updated chapters. (For example, the February 2020 Tax Facts was an update to Chapter 2, a comparative overview of Illinois’ overall tax structure)

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NCL - Municipal Action Guide

National League of Cities: Responding to Racial Tension in Your City

If you are picking up this document in a moment of crisis, we recognize that you are moving and acting with a sense of urgency. The National League of Cities (NLC) created this document to support you in this very moment.

NLC interviewed several current and former municipal leaders who have been through similar moments of crisis with racial tension. This document provides important contextual and tactical information to support your municipality’s efforts to respond effectively. It includes:

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