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TravelUpdate 12-02

TO: Agency Travel Coordinators
FROM: Malcolm Weems, Chairman
DATE: November 4, 2011
SUBJECT: Lodging Rates – Chicago Metro

Section 3000.400 (b) of the Travel Regulation rules states that the maximum reimbursement for lodging in Cook County, Illinois and the District of Columbia shall be in accordance with the rate promulgated pursuant to 5 U.S.C 5701-5709. The Governor’s Travel Control Board has negotiated the rate of $146.00 with the hotels located in the Chicago Metro area. At the time the Board negotiated this rate $146.00 was the lowest rate set in the Federal Tiered Rate System. Since that time the Federal Rate has been reduced to $130.00 for the months of December 2011, January, February and March 2012. In order to comply with the statute, the Board is requiring employees to adhere to the procedure listed below that is currently in place in the event the state’s negotiated rate is unavailable.

For the months of December 2011, January, February and March, 2012 any rate above the Federal rate of $130.00 will be considered “excessive lodging charges”. State agencies may process requests for excessive lodging charges without approval from the Governor’s Travel Control Board provided the request is in compliance with the travel rules. A request is considered in compliance if:

  • In the City of Chicago, a minimum of five (5) Preferred hotels were contacted (i.e., hotels appearing in the latest Travel Guide for State Employees or subsequent Travel Updates).
Upscale or deluxe properties would not count as contacted properties unless they appear on the Preferred Hotel Listing. Lodging is only allowed at non-Preferred hotels if the rate offered is lower than the rates of Preferred hotels in that particular area.

If the request is determined to be in compliance, agencies may process the claim provided:

  • A note is placed in the “Comments” field on the travel voucher to reflect agency approval of the excessive lodging amount.
  • Agencies maintain documentation of the justification for all excessive lodging approvals.

On April 1, 2012 the Federal Lodging rate for the Chicago Metro area will increase to $171.00 plus tax. At this time the State of Illinois rate will go back to the negotiated rate of $146.00.

As the appointed Travel Coordinator for your agency, it is your responsibility to disseminate this information to all appropriate personnel within your agency. If you have any questions, please contact Kelley Shaw, State Travel Coordinator at (217) 782-4705 or by email at

cc: Agency Heads
Agency Fiscal Officers
Simone McNeil, Member
David Vaught, Member