The Chicago Tribune published today the following Letter to the Editor written by Chicagoland Chamber President & CEO Theresa E. Mintle:
As the newly elected governor of Illinois, Bruce Rauner now faces the task of reinvigorating Illinois’ economy and reputation. We look forward to learning about his specific ideas for achieving this monumental task. After a close and high-profile gubernatorial race, all eyes are on him to move the state of Illinois forward.
To do so, we urge him to take action on the following:
-Pension reform remains a top priority. Until the courts and the state resolve the underfunded pension plans, our state’s economy is in peril.
-Promote economic growth and development through a tax code that attracts new businesses and encourages business formation, retention and expansion. This includes an honest review of the fiscal condition of Illinois and enactment of appropriate reforms. The temporary increase in the income tax was premised on enabling our elected officials to reform the state’s finances. However, no meaningful reforms have materialized.
-Invest in the future of Illinois’ workforce through strengthening our education system and training opportunities.
-Take the next step in worker’s compensation reform (Illinois is still not competitive with our neighbors).
-Recognize that infrastructure is an investment in economic development and not just a jobs program.
-Conduct a real assessment of our state’s economic strengths and opportunities. The service economy is expanding; agribusiness unites our state; advanced manufacturing represents a renewal of one of our legacies; and the transformative technology sector continues to grow.
The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce represents the breadth and depth of our region’s economy. Looking ahead, we hope that a great deal will be accomplished in Rauner’s four years as governor of Illinois. We will support him in taking these necessary steps to restore Illinois’ economy and our status as one of the best states in which to live and work.
It’s time for Illinois to step up, lead and stand out.
Now let’s get to work.
— Theresa E. Mintle, president and CEO, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Chicago