SPRINGFIELD - Illinois is expected to have some of the slowest job growth in the country this year. So, one state leader is introducing a measure to help turn that around.
It's coming from House Speaker Michael Madigan (D). He wants to cut corporate income taxes in half. It would be a big hit to the state's revenue, but could mean a lot more jobs.
At 8.6%, Illinois has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. It's a problem the Land of Lincoln has been dealing with for a few years. Reports don't suggest much of a change in the near future.
"We're ranked 50th for job outlook this year."
Moody's has since updated our rank to 40, but business leaders say it's nothing to get too excited about.
"We should be leading the nation, certainly the Midwest in economic prospects. We have the best assets of anyone in the Midwest."
That's why Madigan is putting a new idea on the table to create more jobs. He wants to cut the amount corporations have to pay in state taxes in half in hopes more will set up shop in the Prairie State.
"What the Speaker has given us a chance to do is reset that whole debate and say, 'you know what? There is another track to go ahead and make Illinois a rebound, really where we want it to be.'"
Supporters say it's a good first step, but there's a catch. Tax breaks mean less money for the state, about three-quarters of a billion dollars less the first year alone. But, supporters say the long term benefits outweigh those costs.
"Businesses being successful grow the economy, grow jobs and hence, grow revenue for the state. This Illinois is never really going to come back to where it needs to be without a growing economy."
Aside from the lost revenue, critics say the measure does nothing to help small-to-medium size businesses. That's where most of the jobs are statewide.