After nearly three years of discussion and negotiation, the Illinois Enterprise Zone Association (IEZA) today congratulated Governor Pat Quinn (D-Illinois) on signing Senate Bill 3616. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Michael Frerichs (D-Champaign),Sen. Pamela Althoff (R-Crystal Lake), Rep. John Bradley (D-Marion) and Rep. David Harris (R-Mt. Prospect), passed the General Assembly unanimously and is the culmination of months of negotiation and bi-partisan cooperation. The end result adds up to 25 years to the life of Illinois Enterprise Zones and modernizes a critical economic development tool which has gone essentially unchanged since its inception in the late 1980’s.
“The bill Governor Quinn signed today will provide stable and predictable job creation and retention incentives for the long term, more transparency and performance reporting and revised qualification criteria which may give communities not currently designated as Enterprise Zones the chance to be
considered in the future,” said Craig Coil, President of the IEZA and the Economic Development Corporation of Decatur & Macon County.
Coil added, “More importantly, it also gives communities with existing zones the opportunity to renew for up to 25 years, thereby stabilizing their long term economic development strategies and giving employers of all sizes and types a measure of predictability in planning for future job development and capital project opportunities.”
Eight Enterprise Zones located in Chicago, Rockford, Decatur, Peoria, Canton/Fulton County, Des Plaines River Valley and East St. Louis were scheduled to begin expiring in 2013, but today’s action ensures they are all able to compete for jobs and economic development on a level playing field.
“As economic developers, we compete every day for jobs and investment with locations throughout the country and around the world and the Illinois Enterprise Zone program has kept us in the game for nearly 30 years”, Coil said. “By passing and signing this bill, Governor Quinn and the General Assembly have helped all of us who are involved in economic development in Illinois and the communities we represent remain competitive for the foreseeable future”.
Championed by the Illinois Manufacturers Association (IMA) with significant technical assistance and support provided by the Illinois Enterprise Zone Association (IEZA) and the Taxpayers Federation of Illinois (TFI), Senate Bill 3616 represents a true collaboration of ideas and opinions. Illinois employers as well as media and local government leaders, Chambers of Commerce and Economic Development Organizations throughout the state helped promote the merits of the bill as well, reaching out to their respective legislators about the importance of remaining competitive for the long term.
The Illinois Enterprise Zone Association is a volunteer non-profit organization dedicated to the marketing and promotion of Illinois Enterprise Zones and the training and education of Illinois Enterprise Zone administrators. The IEZA volunteer leadership team of officers, Board members and general members represent nearly 85% of the 97 Illinois Enterprise Zones and are actively involved in the growth and economic development of Illinois communities.