The Power of Bipartisanship

Chambers of commerce weigh-in on legislation at the local, state and federal level has historically been toward the conservative side of the aisle.  However, as political parties have polarized in recent years, especially at the federal level, chambers are working more in concert with both sides to find common ground to advocate for a strong business climate.

NACC recently hosted a Business Works event with Democratic Congressman Sean Casten, where he described his political views of that of a “1995 Republican.”   On complicated issues around growing jobs and the economy, single-party solutions are no longer realistic.

A true testament to this shift was reflected in this spring’s Illinois legislative session.  Governor Pritzker is credited with most productive session in years.  Our Governor used playbook tactics from Governor Jim Thompson, a republican known for his ability to gain bi-partisan support on major issues with a then Democratic-controlled legislature.  (Capital Fax, Rich Miller 6.17.19) Pro-business issues were passed with bipartisan support including: repealing the state’s franchise tax,  strong employee protections in the legalization of marijuana bill, offering tax incentives for economically lucrative tech data centers and the first meaningful infrastructure bill since 1990, just to mention a few. Not to over romanticize, the business community did have some defeats this session. The graduated income tax amendment to the state constitution received the green light to go the voters and minimum wage increases, were a couple big defeats.  However, like football, it’s a game of inches and we need to acknowledge the bipartisan teamwork involved in our victories.

On June 19th NACC will host a Business Works event to give our members an opportunity to hear a bipartisan perspective how your business will be impacted by final decisions of the 101st IL General Assembly.  House Republican Grant Wehrli and Democratic Senator Laura Ellman will share their perspectives on the results of this history-making General Assembly session. Click here for more information about the event and to register:

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