Ill. Chamber: This Week in Springfield

July 28, 2017

As expected, the Senate did not send Gov. Rauner the education funding reform bill (SB 1) by the Monday noon deadline. Therefore, Gov. Rauner issued a proclamation bringing the House and Senate back to Springfield to take up education funding reform.

The legislature met Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of this week and will meet this coming Monday.  There is a good chance there will not be resolution on this issue by Monday, which may result the legislature to be in indefinitely until cloture is met. Attendance issues may play a key role in determining when a resolution can be had.

Given that the legislature is in town for special session, both the House and Senate remain in continuous session and can still take up non-education-related legislation.  For example, the agreed upon EDGE credit legislation (HB 162) that is currently on 3rd and final reading in the Senate.  As previously reported, HB 162 is agreed language that would provide for an extension and reinstatement of the EDGE program that contains many key components of the Chamber’s own EDGE legislation including a training expense credit, bonuses for distressed communities, and retention benefits.

As you may recall, Illinois currently does not have a job recruiting and retention credit to offer prospective companies to relocate in Illinois.  As we’ve seen in Wisconsin this week, the Badger State was successful in attracting a Foxconn factory in the southeast portion of the state.

The technology group Wednesday pledged to invest $10 billion to build a display panel plant in Wisconsin that could employ up to 13,000 workers and draw up to $3 billion in subsidies from the state.

Illinois was reportedly in the running for the plant but was unable to obtain the new facility.  This is no suggestion that if the legislature were to pass HB 162 that we would have landed the Foxconn plant.  However, it does illustrate that we need a comprehensive tax credit to be competitive against our neighboring and regional states.

The Chamber sees this as a “wake-up call” for lawmakers and urges them to take up HB 162 and send it to the governor’s desk so Illinois can remain competitive with other states on attracting jobs and investment to Illinois.

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