Jobs and the economy are the number one issue on the minds of families in every corner of Illinois. High school and college students preparing to enter the job market; working moms and dads in between jobs or underemployed; seniors on fixed incomes forced to take a part-time job just to make ends meet – all of these people and many others like them need us to put their needs front and center in Springfield.
This week, we introduced a comprehensive legislative package to help jumpstart Illinois’ economy and create jobs.
It all starts with stopping the Democrats’ tax increase proposals. In the past week alone, Democrats have proposed three different tax increases. Unfortunately, none of them do anything to help the nearly 570,000 individuals collecting unemployment in Illinois to find the jobs they want and need. What the Democrats fail to understand is that we cannot tax our way into prosperity. To solve the state’s long term financial problems, we need to grow our economy.
We also need to establish primary causation for workers’ compensation claims in order to lower costs and make Illinois’ competitive with neighboring states. Illinois continues to be an outlier in this area. If we can reign in our workers’ compensation costs with common sense changes that ensure workers are provided for while simultaneously bringing costs in line with neighboring states – everyone will benefit. More people will be put to work when we align the law to reflect what most people agree on – workers’ compensation should be for injuries occurring on the job.
Other provisions of our Jobs Plan include:
-- Making the research and development tax credit permanent
-- Authorizing the creation of 50 new Enterprise Zones to target investment and job creation where it’s needed most
-- Reducing the cost of setting up an LLC in Illinois from the current $750 to $39
-- Expanding the reach of science, technology, engineering, and math education opportunities in Illinois by creating STEM academies within the confines of local schools
Job creators in Illinois already face so much uncertainty – from how much they’ll pay in taxes to what will their costs be from year to year. We can help increase confidence in Illinois which will lead to greater investment and more jobs. Illinois’ unemployment rate of 8.7% is tied for second worst in the nation. By reprioritizing our efforts, we can help employers and entrepreneurs to thrive and grow and return Illinois to being a place where companies will want to come and stay.
In addition, the creation of a Networking for Success program would provide assistance to small and mid-sized employers wanting to grow. We propose that the state partner with non-profit business consultation firms to provide small private sector businesses with access to specialized skills like website design and search engine optimization; social media marketing; and strategic marketing research needed to take their business to the next level and create jobs.
Taken together, the House and Senate Republican Jobs Plan would maximize Illinois’ greatest resource; the ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit of its people. It’s time our state’s economic policies reflected that spirit and re-opened the floodgates to opportunity and growth just waiting to be unleashed across Illinois – if only we put our priorities back in the right place.