For too long, we have watched mainstay Illinois businesses leave this state or considerably cut back their workforce. From Uline to Motorola to Walgreens, businesses are shifting their investments to more business-friendly locations. Meanwhile, our talented workforce is left with fewer and fewer job prospects.
We need to make Illinois business-friendly again so that current businesses remain and thrive, we attract new businesses to Illinois, and entrepreneurs begin new successful ventures within state lines. To accomplish this, we must make our state competitive again in the following ways:
- Reducing the cost of doing business in Illinois
- Streamlining the regulatory burden on businesses
- Exploring additional ways to utilize enterprise zones in order to stimulate economic growth in areas that need it most
Our state has several key advantages that would allow us to thrive if government just got out of the way. In addition to one of the best transportation infrastructures in the world, we are home to one of the most talented workforces in America. But by overtaxing our highly qualified employees, we are pushing them across state lines, increasing living expenses, and making Illinois a less attractive environment for business.
I will be a strong advocate for reforms in Springfield that show employers that Illinois is open for business once again. Here in the 26th District, I will work with our local leaders to incentivize businesses to move into our communities, especially our historic downtown retail areas, bringing jobs and activity to the district. I will also ensure our state is working to attract thriving businesses to Illinois in order to provide high-paying job opportunities for our 26th District commuter residents.
Considering where we stand today, this seems like an impossible dream. But all my life I’ve welcomed a challenge, and I have proven the naysayers wrong every time. I’m just naïve enough to believe that we can fix our state if we remove politicians from the room and have honest, face-to-face conversations about what is best for Illinois.
The voters have decided how they want their government to be run. I reject the argument that you can’t operate government like a business and hold people accountable. In fact, when I was first sworn in, I was told by our village attorney that government would never act like a business, and after six months I would learn my lesson and be acting more like a government employee. Well, two years later, we’ve used common sense business principles to reduce spending, cut taxes, maintain services, and plan for the future. Meanwhile, that village attorney has been replaced, and we’ve reduced our legal expenses from $1.2 million to $300,000. We are leading by example, and it’s time we instilled those same common sense business principles in Springfield.