|IRA Lobby Day 2014|
Lobby Day is an important opportunity to meet face-to-face with your elected officials and discuss legislative issues that impact your business.
The IRA's 2014 Springfield Lobby Day took place Wednesday, March 5th in partnership with the Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association (IHLA) and the Illinois Council of Convention and Visitor Bureaus (ICCVB). The events included a dinner with legislators on Tuesday night and a full day of educational activities and lobbying on Wednesday. Wednesday ended with a legislative reception attended by over 70 members of the General Assembly.
The day started with a speaking program and legislative update. Welcoming remarks were made by each association’s chairperson including IRA Chairman Ken Raskin. Senate President John Cullerton and House Republican Leader Jim Durkin spoke to the group about important legislative issues. The minimum wage and tip credit, along with the political battles surrounding them, were discussed at length by both. Jen Hoelzle, Director of the Illinois Office of Tourism, gave an overview of the tourism industry and efforts to advance it. Other issues they touched on included income and soda taxes, pension reform, and paid sick leave. Both officials took questions from the audience and IRA members asked about minimum wage, tip credit, concealed carry, and soda taxes. Pictured above, Joey Terrell of Denny’s of Mokena and Denny’s of Joliet explained how the soda tax would hurt his business and asked the Senate President for a status update.
The delegation spent the afternoon meeting in the Capitol with important members of the House and Senate. The delegation lobbied each member in favor of preserving the tip credit and explained what a minimum wage increase would do. The group also made a strong case against paid sick leave, the soda tax, concealed carry in restaurants with liquor licenses, and for a state-wide, consistent policy on alcohol awareness training.