Thursday, Feb. 19

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Rep. Mitchell:

Governor's fiscal '05 budget hurts jobs

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[FEB. 19, 2004]  SPRINGFIELD -- State Rep. Bill Mitchell, R-Forsyth, said Wednesday that the governor's proposed budget for fiscal 2005 will hurt business expansion and job growth.

"Rather than work with our employers to jump-start our economy, this governor is again choosing to raise taxes and fees on them and is now targeting our agriculture community to fill the state's budget shortfall," said Mitchell. "Higher fees on employers and our farmers will only contribute to the exodus of jobs from our communities,"

Mitchell, who is the chairman of the House Republican Rural Economic Development Task Force, held 16 hearings last summer and fall to gather input from business and community leaders about their concerns and to make recommendations to spur job creation.

Last week at a press conference in Springfield, Mitchell unveiled his Hope for the Heartland program. The comprehensive package of bills would offer incentives to businesses to locate in areas of high unemployment, repeal costly fees on municipalities and the trucking industry, and provide critical funding for agriculture programs such as AgriFIRST.

 

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"Today the governor proposed limiting the sales tax exemption on farm chemicals, which will hurt farmers and local jobs. Agriculture is our state's number one industry. Yet, this governor also wants to limit spending for the AgriFIRST program, which is needed to expand agribusiness and boost farm income. And, he is proposing to eliminate funding for the C-FAR program, which promotes agriculture research," said Mitchell. "These proposals will kill local jobs."

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, the national job growth rate is currently at 4.6 percent. Rep. Mitchell says Illinois' job growth rate is expected to lag behind the national average.

"The House Republicans have put forth many good ideas to get our economy moving again. I am disappointed that our governor has not incorporated some of these ideas into his budget," said Mitchell. "His plan takes us in the wrong direction. Bottom line is: If we want to have a healthy state budget and end this crisis, we must put people back to work."

[News release from Rep. Bill Mitchell]

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