Springfield... House Republican legislators, along with local elected officials and business leaders, are urging opposition to job-crushing legislation that would have a chilling effect on economic development throughout the state.
Democrat leaders are advancing legislation that will have a profound negative impact on jobs. Senate Bill 43 would require all projects in Enterprise Zones or Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Districts to pay prevailing wages on their construction projects, even if those projects are 100% privately funded.
The legislation drastically alters the original intent of the Prevailing Wage Law, which was to ensure that public works projects, including the construction and maintenance of publicly-funded property (i.e. schools, municipal buildings, roads and bridges) followed prevailing wage guidelines.
"This bill might as well be called the 'Help Indiana and Iowa Prosper Act,' as it will do nothing but drive more businesses and jobs out of the State of Illinois and into surrounding states," Leitch said Wednesday from Springfield, "If you are looking for a way to destroy the state's already very limited economic development tools - the Democrats should pass this bill!"
Economic development professionals estimate labor costs could rise as much as 20% if SB 43 were to become law, according to Todd Maisch, Vice President of Governmental Affairs at the Illinois Chamber of Commerce.
"This legislation would take two very important economic development tools and make them into zones of economic avoidance," said Kim Maisch, State Director of NFIB-Illinois.
"This bill will not increase the standard of living for contractors, it will simply further prolong the economic recession that is keeping skilled tradesmen out of work to begin with," Leitch said. "Illinois is suffering the highest unemployment rate in 25 years at 9.1%, or 596,000 residents without jobs. If this bill becomes law, 'mom and pop' shops will not survive the increased labor costs for construction and maintenance. This bill only puts more pressure on our weak economy."
"Small business people and entrepreneurs are the ones who drive the engine of our economy," Rep. JoAnn Osmond (R-Antioch) said. "Instead of threatening to stifle job growth and local business expansion during a time of economic challenge, we should be focusing on pro-growth policies to encourage new businesses to invest in Illinois."