The competition for jobs – and job creators – in Illinois should have Downstate communities pulling together, say a pair of Central Illinois lawmakers. “These people are all working hard, but what we need to do as legislators is create an environment that makes us more competitive so we’re not competing against each other, but we’re more competitive with the surrounding states,” says State Rep. Wayne Rosenthal (R-Morrisonville).
Click here for summary
“You saw last year, when we passed the corporate tax (increase), Wisconsin and Indiana were trying to raid people. We’ve got North Carolina that comes in and tries to take business out of my area, and they’ll pay for the moves. And that’s the thing we have to avoid.”
Rosenthal spoke during the Downstate Voice economic summit in Decatur just a few hours after Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity director David Vaught touted a series of wins that included more work at the Mitsubishi auto plant in Normal, the location of a Japanese company’s rail-car manufacturer in Rochelle, and expansion of a ball-bearing factory in Macomb. Rosenthal says bolstering small business is as important, if not more so.
One of Rosenthal’s Republican neighbors is not drinking from the same well as Vaught, either. “Take a look at Macon County,” says State Rep. Adam Brown (R-Decatur). “We’ve got over 12 percent unemployment. Folks need jobs. They need a stable environment produced by the state of Illinois. We need to get out of their way so businesses can grow.”