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Morrison plan to shrink anti-business bureaucracy passes Senate

Published: Tuesday, April 21, 2015 03:53 PM

morrison-biz-licenseSPRINGFIELD – A plan that could make it easier to open a business in Illinois passed the Illinois Senate and is moving to the House of Representatives. The legislation would require the state to put all permit and license applications online on one centralized website.

“It should be easy for entrepreneurs to find application forms for every single state license or permit they need online, in one location,” said Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield), the measure’s sponsor. “This is the 21st century, and the state is still using paper-only forms. Even worse, business owners have to find the applications they need on each individual agency’s website. This situation is simply unacceptable.”

Right now, if business owners need more than one license or permit, they may have to visit several different state and local government websites and fill out forms both on paper and online. To see if they qualify for any economic development programs, they have to contact even more state agencies. Many other states do better, putting all of these forms and all of this information in one place.

The new website would be operated by the state’s Department of Commerce and Opportunity. The agency would be required to update the site at least once every year. Under the current system, potential business owners are often forced to struggle with broken links and hard-to-navigate, out-of-date state websites.

“Entrepreneurs and small business owners are pressed for time and often do not have the necessary resources to navigate Illinois’ complex process of obtaining permits and licenses,” said Elliot Richardson, CEO of the Small Business Advocacy Council and a small business owner. “This legislation will empower the small business community by providing easier access to an array of information. This will help entrepreneurs start businesses and expand in our state.”  

Morrison’s plan was inspired in part by the state of New York’s business license website.

Under New York’s system, entrepreneurs start by selecting the type of business they would like to open. They then answer a series of questions. When they finish, they are provided with links to all of the forms they need to fill out and any additional information they requested.

Morrison’s plan to create a centralized licensing and permitting website is Senate Bill 659. Her legislation to require all state agencies to put their business license application forms online, Senate Bill 1921, has also passed the Senate.

Senate adopts Mulroe resolution honoring WWII Veterans

Published: Tuesday, April 21, 2015 01:00 AM

mulroe-vetsvjSPRINGFIELD - Seventy years ago on August 14, Emperor Hirohito accepted the terms of the Potsdam Proclamation effectively ending the four year engagement of the United States of America in World War II. While we formally recognize September 2 as the day the Japanese delegation attended the formal surrender ceremony  aboard the USS Missouri in the Tokyo harbor, Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago) has sponsored a resolution that would mark the third Saturday of every August as “Spirit of ’45 Day.” Illinois becomes the second state to recognize this date and mark it as a holiday.

Senator Mulroe released the following statement regarding the resolution:

“The final days of World War II were marked with some incredibly trying times, from the deaths of President Roosevelt and Adolf Hitler to the first military use of nuclear weapons in history. The American people had sacrificed everything in a war that our country had not intended to become involved in. With the passage of this resolution we are able to in some small way honor the men and women who gave their blood, sweat and tears during the brief but arduous time of our military involvement. With the “Spirit of ’45 Day,” Illinoisans are reminded of those sacrifices as we remember and give thanks to the memory and spirit of those times.”

Tom Cullerton sponsors legislation to address O’Hare noise issue

Published: Friday, April 17, 2015 03:13 PM

tc-ohareSPRINGFIELD- Residents of Cook and DuPage counties may be one step closer to alleviating noise pollution caused by O’Hare International Airport.

A report released shows the Chicago Department of Aviation reported 39,500 noise complaints in the O’Hare area in January of this year. The noise complaints are part of an ongoing problem that continues  to escalate in communities surrounding the O’Hare Airport.

This week, State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) moved one step closer to fixing this problem with his support of Senate Bill 636 and Senate Bill 637.

Under the new proposals, O’Hare would keep the existing runways intact, which would allow air traffic to be more evenly distributed. Currently some runways are only running at roughly 3 percent capacity. The effect of not using runways evenly has forced 97 percent of the air traffic and noise to communities directly east and west of the airport. This has resulted in the increased number of noise complaints.

“Residents of DuPage and Cook counties have legitimate complaints. There continues to be a definite negative impact on the quality of life for the residents of these communities,” said Cullerton. “These initiatives will move us one step closer to finding a long-term solution to alleviate these communities from unnecessary disturbances.”

Cullerton is also circulating a petition to urge the Federal Government to issue a study to examine the environmental and human health impacts caused by O’Hare International Airport. The petition is available online at SenatorTomCullerton.com.

He has been working on this issue with Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth and intends to present copies of the petition to U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk.

SB636 and SB637 passed the Senate with bipartisan support and now moves to the House for consideration.

Delgado on hand to open new David Speer Academy facility

Published: Friday, April 17, 2015 09:14 AM

delgado-speerCHICAGO- The ITW David Speer Academy will be opening its doors in the Belmont-Cragin neighborhood on Friday April 17. As part of the opening ceremony Senator William Delgado (D-Chicago) will speak at the event and tour their new facility.

The opening celebration will take place on the grounds of the ITW David Speer Academy, 5321 West Grand Avenue, on Friday April 17 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm.     

“I’m so happy to welcome this new facility to our community and I truly look forward to seeing it,” Delgado said. “I hope we can find ways for it to be utilized to benefit the surrounding community as well.”

The academy, which is a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) focused high school, is the newest school in the Noble Network of Charter Schools.  

“When we opened the first Noble school over 15 years ago, we had a simple goal: to give Chicago students opportunities that will support them in life,” said Noble CEO and Superintendent Michael Milkie. “Thanks to the help of local leaders and the generous people at ITW, this school expands the options Noble gives Chicago students to ensure they have successful lives.”

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