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Lincoln Daily News
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Senator says Illinois jobs in peril          Send a link to a friend

Dear Editor:

An analysis of jobs data confirms what I have been saying for two years -- the Illinois economy is heading in the wrong direction!

Statistics from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Conference of State Legislatures show that Illinois is 49th out of 50 states in terms of jobs gained since January of 2003. In fact, Illinois lost 40,900 jobs during that time period.

Compare Illinois' poor performance to our neighboring states, which have all enjoyed job growth since January 2003: Missouri, plus 4,700 jobs; Iowa, plus 16,500; Kentucky, plus 21,300; Wisconsin, plus 40,000; and Indiana, plus 54,400. If our job growth had kept up with national trends, we would have gained more than 140,000 jobs and an estimated $380 million in tax revenue to ease the state's budget crunch.

Clearly, the fiscal decisions and policies implemented since Gov. Blagojevich took office are not working. He implemented $160 million worth of state tax increases for business; he raised the minimum wage well above that paid by businesses in our neighboring states, increasing costs for employers; and he instituted large fee increases that cost business an additional $300 million per year. He has repeatedly raided the Road Fund, delaying much-needed road improvements.

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Illinois is dangerously adrift. Now in its third year, the Blagojevich administration has yet to demonstrate that it can run state government in a timely and efficient manner. The governor is trying to tax his way out of a bad budget situation -- which is only hurting business and threatening jobs. We must continue to work toward cutting business costs, opposing tax and fee increases, and ending the governor's raids on dedicated funds. We need legislation and public policy that helps employers, jobs and economic development.

Bill Brady
State Senator, 44th District

(Posted May 25, 2005)

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