A new study on the economic impact of the state’s defense industry may help when the time comes for more federal budget cuts. The state’s first economic impact study on its military installations was done by the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and the office of Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon. Simon says the military and defense industry supports more than 150,000 jobs and generates more than $13 billion in economic activity—facts the state may need when federal lawmakers start talking about cutting defense spending.
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“We know at the federal level there are cuts coming,” Simon said. “As a state, we need to ready to address those cuts and to help shape the nature of those cuts.” Simon feels Illinois’ military bases would be safe from closure thanks to the advocacy of the state’s two U.S. Senators, who have toured some of the state’s facilities with military officials this year.