Business Reforms

In a 2017 report from Chief Executive Magazine Illinois was ranked the third worst state in the nation for business. In the report, one CEO noted, “Illinois is becoming a worse state to do business in all the time. Other businesses are leaving Illinois, which affects our customer base.”

In spite of this, the majority in Springfield continue to pile on more regulation on our Illinois Businesses.  I vote again and again against this shortsighted strategy. The state’s anti-business climate makes it difficult to attract prospective employers and keeep the jobs we have. Illinois needs to do a better job of not only keeping the jobs the state currently has but also attracting new jobs and opportunities.

Here locally, I have a business advisory committee and I work with area businesses to do what we can at the local level to improve the business climate, but we need to make Illinois a better place for business.

Specifically, we need the following business reforms:

  • Workers’ Compensation Reform – Illinois currently does not require causation in workers’ compensation cases. This means employers find themselves paying for claims that in many instances did not occur on the job. We need common sense reforms to lower these costs to make Illinois more competitive.
  • Lawsuit Reform – Illinois is ranked 48th out of 50 states for legal fairness, according to a recent report from Harris Poll. More than 85 percent of the business leaders surveyed by Harris Poll for this report say a state’s lawsuit climate is a “significant factor” in determining where to expand and grow. We need to reform our courts and make our state more attractive to prospective employers.
  • Spending Reform – The state of Illinois is swimming in debt. The backlog of unpaid bills is an unprecedented $8 billion. The uncertainty in state government makes it difficult for prospective employers to make the decision to invest in Illinois. We need to get state spending under control and create the kind of stability we need to assure potential employers that our financial situation is headed in the right direction. The uncertainty and ballooning debt coupled with the pension crisis makes it difficult for Illinois to attract new businesses.

Illinois needs to follow the lead of other states and take steps toward becoming more business friendly. In 2016 and in 2017, Illinois lost more residents than any other state. It is time for the Legislature to make our state more attractive to prospective employers. It is time we enacted some much-needed business reforms.