The candidate for governor said Tuesday he would update the state's
tax credits, grants and other incentives so that they help
businesses try new ideas. Hynes also said he would improve
accountability, making sure that incentives either produce results
or come to an end.
Releasing his "Clean Start" plan in Rockford,
Hynes said Illinois should build on its strengths in transportation,
energy, agriculture, manufacturing and health.
He also took several shots at his Democratic rival, Gov. Pat
Quinn. He claimed Quinn played games with much-needed jobs when he
failed to quickly sign a long-awaited public works program. Instead,
Quinn used the program as a bargaining chip in budget negotiations,
delaying action until after the 2009 construction season.
"Pat Quinn had the opportunity -- and the responsibility -- to
put the people of Illinois back to work, but he failed," said Hynes,
the state comptroller.
At a news conference Tuesday, Quinn rejected that criticism and
said he has been working on economic development for decades.
"I know a lot about creating jobs. I don't think he knows much
about it at all," Quinn said.
State government faces another massive deficit next year --
perhaps $11 billion or more. The deficit means Illinois can't even
keep up with the bills from companies doing business with the state,
let alone make major investments in higher education or
[to top of second column]
The deficit is one reason Hynes' jobs plan talks about overhauling
existing tax credits and encouraging strategic partnerships but
doesn't call for any major new spending.
"We could do more if the state were flush with cash, but that
doesn't mean this is an incremental plan. It's a bold plan ... a
change in our outlook, basically," said Hynes spokesman Matt
Hynes didn't discuss the budget Tuesday, but he has previously
offered a plan to cut spending and raise taxes to erase the deficit
by the middle of 2012. Republican critics say raising taxes would
hurt the economy and discourage job growth.
McGrath countered that Hynes' proposed income tax increase would
not affect corporations or people making less than $200,000 a year.
Many owners of small businesses that create jobs would not see any
increase, he said.
By CHRISTOPHER WILLS]
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