Interest groups had mixed views about Gov. Pat Quinn’s state of the state address Wednesday. Illinois Chamber of Commerce president Doug Whitley said Quinn’s tax credits would stimulate economic growth. Whitley said Quinn’s proposal to give tax credits to businesses who hire veterans would spur economic growth. “With the downsizing of the military Illinois will have thousands of veterans coming home and we do need to find jobs for those people so I thought that was a positive thing,” Whitley says.
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A right-leaning think tank said Quinn ignored the fiscal condition of the state during the speech. Illinois Policy Institute Vice President Kristina Rasmussen says providing tax relief after passing a two-percent income tax hike is contradictory. “He’s asking you to give him $800 and he’ll give you $100 back. That is not a good deal for Illinois taxpayers. People are bleeding they’re fleeing. The only place they’re moving is out of state,” Rasmussen says. Janet Anderson, a mother of a resident in the Jacksonville Developmental Center that is scheduled to be closed again, was at the capitol during the speech to keep the center’s doors open. She says last time her daughter moved it took years to adjust. That’s why she’s disappointed Quinn didn’t mention Jacksonville during the address. “He’s never talked to anybody there. He’s never been there to my knowledge. He needs to see what’s there. It’s very homey. It’s comfortable. They get out in the community. They take field trips. It’s not institutionalized at all,” Anderson says.