Governor Rauner is holding the state budget hostage in order to pass reforms that he believes will make it cheaper to do business in Illinois. The collateral damage will be tremendous if a budget deal is not reached before the fiscal year begins on July 1.
This is a destructive way to solve a problem that does not even exist. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that Illinois is already a great place to start a business. Illinois ranks number 2 among states where business are being started the fastest, following only Massachusetts. “The number of business startups in Illinois jumped 4.7 percent to 421,908 businesses in the fourth quarter compared with a year earlier,” reported Crain’s earlier this month.
Not only is Illinois outperforming 48 states in business creation, these rankings are from the last quarter of 2014–before Rauner let Illinois’ income tax drop in January. There is no reason Illinois cannot have revenue for services, and be business friendly at the same time. We already have, and we can continue to do so.
But there is something Illinois cannot do. We cannot afford a shutdown that diminishes services and opportunities for Illinoisans in an attempt to solve a problem that Illinois does not have.
Let’s be friendly to both businesses and the people who benefit from state services. Let’s choose revenue.