A Publication of WTVP

The most important question for the new General Assembly is this: After legislators passed the largest tax increase in Illinois history, will they become champions for bringing jobs to Illinois?

If they will, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce has a blueprint for them, the governor and other state leaders to rebuild Illinois’ image as a state that is friendly to business. Our goal is to reinvigorate Illinois as a state dedicated to job growth, retention and innovation. We urge businesses to review the Jobs Agenda and advocate for the ideas in it with their local legislators.

Fiscal Health is Top Goal
It is not too dramatic to say that unless the state gets its financial affairs in order, all other job creation efforts are meaningless. Illinois political leaders have abdicated responsibility for the state’s economy for a decade, resulting in an enormous deficit, a months-long backlog of unpaid bills and unfunded pension liabilities.

The recent tax increase hurt Illinois’ image with businesses because they spiked the corporate tax rate and did not offer any budget cuts. State leaders cannot tax their way out of the deficit problem.

The solutions: Make a plan that deals with the deficit. Commit to an absolute reduction in year-over-year spending levels. Make pension fund and bond payments. Pay bills on time. Require current and former state employees to assume more healthcare costs. We need a new era of fiscal discipline today and for the future.

Other key Jobs Agenda focus areas include:

Job growth is always on the Illinois Chamber’s agenda, and we hope state leaders share the same sense of urgency in 2011. iBi


The Illinois Chamber’s Jobs Agenda can be downloaded in full at If you have your own suggestions for the Jobs Agenda, contact Doug Whitley at [email protected].