SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — A bill introduced in Springfield would require grocery stores, gas stations, banks, and pawn shops to hire armed security guards.

The “Armed Security Protection Act,” introduced by Rep. Thaddeus Jones (D-Calumet City), would require businesses to hire their own security to cover all the hours they are open to the public.

The act only applies to municipalities within Illinois with more than 2 million residents. The only city where the law would apply would be Chicago.

According to the Illinois Policy Institute, Jones introduced the same bill last year, but it never made it past committee consideration. The new version has been assigned to the Rules Committee.

Crime in Chicago has been a concern after an increase in so-called “smash and grab” robberies. The INFORM Act, which was signed into law in 2022, enforces the new crime of Organized Retail Theft. Those who violate the crime by knowingly engaging with others in a theft valued at $300 or more would be guilty of a Class 3 felony. Those who engage in retail theft from one or more establishments would be guilty of a Class 2 felony.

Rising crime in Illinois has been a concern for corporations, some of whom have fled the state citing concerns over violence.

Ken Griffin, formerly the richest man in Illinois, said he left Chicago for Miami because employees at his multibillion-dollar hedge fund, Citadel, don’t feel safe due to crime.

Construction manufacturer Caterpillar left Illinois for Texas, and aerospace company Boeing has also left Illinois.

Chris Kempczinski, McDonald’s CEO, said that the lack of safety is keeping employees from returning to the company’s Chicago headquarters.

The last U.S. Census showed that 110,127 people left the state between July 2021 and July 2022.