Good afternoon, Chicago and welcome to an era where we actually have TWO relatively successful major league sports teams. It's been, we think, at least a decade since that's happened. Speaking of rarities, it was anything but politics as usual at today's SIOR breakfast at the Rosewood in Rosemont.
The Society invited State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias to speak about how the federal stimulus package and state budget might affect their businesses. A Chicago-area native and a veteran of the private sector, Alexi said he understands first-hand what real estate pros are going through. Illinois will receive $22.7 billion of the stimulus package, including $900 million for shovel-ready projects for roadways and $1.8 billion for public works. ?We're working with banks to tell them that stimulus money is not to shore up their capital. We want to see them lending it out,? Alexi said.
Illinois is also in dire straights with its own $12 billion deficit, which will only be solved by raising taxes this year, Alexi said. ?We hate to raise taxes during a recessions, but you can cut everywhere across the board and still not make it,? he said. Past SIOR President Rick DeLisle of Lee And Associates and current President Roy Oczak of Winner?s Edge said they were glad to have Alexi come and speak to the group. The country?s youngest state treasurer was known for playing basketball with Barack Obama at the East Bank Club, but now gets his exercise wrangling corruption in state government.
Pete Schmidt with Meridian Design/Build, Kelly Disser with NAI Hiffman and T. J. O?Brien with DP Partners were just a few of the record crowd in attendance for the breakfast, Rick said. ?It's important for us to know about the stimulus package because we need to know the impact it will have on our business and how soon that impact will take place,? Roy says. Thankfully, Chicago natives like Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan are in Washington bringing it all back home for us!