Illinois State Representative Dwight Kay (R-Glen Carbon) and Illinois House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) along with their republican colleagues and members of the business community revealed a pro-growth jobs package today at the Illinois Capitol.
The pro-growth jobs package is aimed at making Illinois job creators more competitive with Illinois' border states. The package includes reducing start-up costs for small businesses, eliminating job-killing policies, speeding up the approval of state permits and licenses, rolling back taxes, making research and development tax credits permanent, implementing workers' compensation reform, and restoring fairness to Illinois' court system.
"The pro-growth jobs package is necessary at a time when many people are looking for work," said Rep. Kay. "Job creators are looking for a place to stay, expand, and grow. We have an educated workforce ready to go to work. Illinois is home to one of the best infrastructures and we are the financial capital of the Midwest. Putting people back to work will provide opportunity and grow our economy. Jobs equal revenue and Illinois desperately needs more revenue without raising taxes."
According the U.S. Department of Labor, Illinois' unemployment rate as of December 2012 was 8.7%. Illinois has the seventh highest unemployment rate in the nation. Since 2008, Illinois has lost the third most jobs in the country.
"We need to be laser-focused on creating an environment in Illinois where residents can find good jobs," said Leader Cross. "For years, we have been fighting for legislation that will improve our economy and we must make it a priority."
Illinois was also ranked the third worst state to do business in by Chief Executive Magazine and has the 11th highest tax burden on citizens in the nation. Furthermore, Illinois is losing more jobs and opportunity due to excessive taxation and archaic regulation.
The House Republican pro-growth jobs package includes the following:
* Reduce the cost of starting a small business by reducing the cost of setting up an LLC by 50%. (HB 2230)
* Eliminate job-killing administrative policies by creating a panel that would bundle together old, obsolete rules and submit them to the General Assembly for abolition by up-or-down vote. ( HB 2892)
* Speed up the approval of permits and licenses for professionals or job creating enterprise to be answered within 60 days. (At LRB)
* Make Research and Development (R&D) tax credits permanent; add biodiesel and ethanol research as qualified R&D activities. (HB 2891)
* Enact stronger workers' compensation reform which establishes a standard (making the workplace primary cause) for determining whether or not an injury occurred at the workplace, making the system more fair for the injured employee and employer. (HB 107)
* Restore fairness to Illinois courts by keeping out of state lawsuits with no connection to Illinois employers from being filed (HB 138), including curbing the practice of double-dipping (plaintiffs being compensated multiple times from the same defendant, for the same claim/lawsuit, HB 153).
* Rollback taxes, rolling back the corporate income tax will promote economic growth. (HB 2890)
"The NFIB applauds the House Republicans for pursing a pro-business package of bills that will help alleviate the cost of doing business in Illinois," said Kim Clarke Maisch, NFIB/IL State Director. "Small business owners have not recovered from the recession and continue to struggle to keep their doors open. These bills are introduced at an important time as some in Springfield pursue a job-killing minimum wage hike. Small business owners need public policies that help them be successful, not hurt them."
"I applaud Rep. Kay's hard work and dedication in trying to bring some common-sense lawsuit reforms to Illinois," said Travis Akin, executive director of Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch. "Illinois is the fifth-worst state in the country for legal fairness. What we need in Illinois is more jobs - not more lawsuits."
"This pro-growth jobs package will create and attract jobs," said Rep. Kay. "The state needs to create and attract jobs. It is necessary to see growth at three to four percent annually and this pro-growth jobs package will get the job done. This will not happen until the state meets its obligations by improving the tax and regulatory climate in order for business to prosper."