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Local

Illinois Chamber CEO speaks in St. Charles

ST. CHARLES – Illinois Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Todd Maisch said he believes that Amazon’s announcement that it will start collecting sales taxes in February as part of a new state law will be helpful for local retailers.

“Competition with Amazon now has gotten a little better,” Maisch said during Tuesday’s Illinois Chamber Update Luncheon at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles.

The event was presented by the St. Charles Chamber of Commerce Legislative Committee, in conjunction with the Geneva Chamber of Commerce, St. Charles Chamber of Commerce, Western DuPage Chamber of Commerce and Bartlett Chamber of Commerce.

Maisch spoke about the challenges facing businesses today. One of those issues is workers’ compensation, which he said must be reformed.

“We need to take on that issue,” he said. “It’s time for a game changer.”

He also is opposed to any legislative effort to boost the state’s $8.25 an hour minimum wage. There has been an effort to increase the state’s minimum wage to $10.65 an hour by 2016.

“We already have one of the highest minimum wages in the country,” Maisch said. “Raising the minimum wage is a job killer.”

New state Comptroller Leslie Munger spoke about some of the challenges facing the state, including $6.7 billion in unpaid bills. Gov. Bruce Rauner recently appointed her to the post after the death of Judy Baar Topinka, who had been elected in November to her second term as comptroller.

“I have my work cut out for me,” Munger said. “I believe we have to bring fiscal responsibility to our state. We have to live within our means. It is our duty to spend every dollar wisely.”

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