Monday, June 3, 2019

Flurry of Legislative Activity Could Reshape Illinois, Chicago & Sloop

If you were sleeping this weekend (or just not reading or watching the news) you might have missed the flurry of legislative activity that was happening down in Springfield.

What happened? Read this from Crain's:
The most momentous legislative session in decades finally has ended, and the spring session that adjourned Sunday evening likely will impact the state’s fiscal climate and social policies for a very long time.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker and those who believe state government needs to play a bigger, more expansive role than it has got just about everything they wanted in the session that ran only a couple of days over, from new policies on hot-button social issues such as abortion, marijuana and gambling to movement toward a graduated income tax, a higher minimum wage, a balanced budget and the largest capital program in state history.

Ironically, the last two came with the backing of GOP legislative leaders and much of the business community. They pointed to a series of business-friendly actions that made the trade worth it, including new tax incentives for data centers and a restoration of the manufacturers’ purchase credit. Other conservatives strongly disagreed.

Also included in the avalanche of legislative action are things most voters are just learning about. Such as requiring internet e-tailers to pay the same sales tax as brick-and-mortar operators. Or an initial legislative green light for the $20 billion One Central mega-development to be built on air rights just west of Soldier Field. And permission for a Chicago casino that will be among the largest in the country, and that set off immediate speculation as to where the Chicago facility will be located.


For the Sloop, we'll be curious to see what all this means.  Sports betting and the much discussed "Chicago Casino" could have some interesting impact.  When this was discussed in years past there was talk of various locations in and around the neighborhood - Michael Reese and McCormick Place East to name a few.  This was pretty much echoed in the Crain's article:
Intense speculation already is occurring over where Mayor Lori Lightfoot wants the 4,000-position Chicago casino to go. Lightfoot once had seemed to suggest the Southeast Side, perhaps the old USX property, but insiders say she may back off of that in favor of another location, maybe the 78 property in the South Loop or the former Michael Reese Medical Center land.  
Beyond that the new proposed One Central development just west of LSD and Soldier Field could be thrown out as an option for a casino.  Speaking of which, the developer got a big shot in the arm as the state budget includes a whopping number to potentially help with this massive plan:
...the budget implementation authorized negotiation of a contract in which the state would invest up to $5.1 billion in developer Bob Dunn’s Central One project.
Recreational marijuana anyone?  Will we get a shop (or two or three) in the Sloop?  Smoke Vapors at 537 S Dearborn?

Anyway, pretty epic weekend if you're into state politics.

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