Gov. Pat Quinn says the tax break the state provided to Sears is a separate matter from the company announcing it will close 120 Sears and Kmart stores. Quinn says the tax break to keep Sears headquarters in Illinois went along with an agreement that the company not cut staff at their headquarters in Hoffman Estates. “The fact that they have to close some stores around the country, that isn’t good news but it doesn’t directly affect this agreement,” Quinn said.
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But State Sen. Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) believes the state got a raw deal in helping out Sears and then getting news of store closings. “The question I have is where are these stores going to be closed?” Silverstein said. “I mean, we gave them a beautiful incentive package. They put a lot of pressure on us to do this package because they wanted to stay in Illinois and I think there’s some explaining that has to be done by Sears.” Silverstein says the state should have been given a heads up on the closings. “If they were going to do these closings they should have told us ahead of time,” Silverstein said. “You don’t pull the rug out from under us right now two days after Christmas. People are going to be scared they’re gonna be laid off after we gave them such a nice package.” Sears has yet to announce which stores will close.