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March 25, 1999


SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan's plan to level the economic development playing field and attract new, high-paying jobs to Illinois today unanimously passed the Illinois Senate.

Senate Bill 40, which creates the Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) Tax Credit Act, now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.

"I applaud the Senate for their action today," Ryan said. "By unanimously supporting this legislation they are sending a clear message to the business community that economic development and job creation are top priorities in Illinois."

The EDGE program is a new targeted tax incentive program that would provide tax credits for businesses that create new jobs and make capital investments in select regions of Illinois. The EDGE program is designed to help areas of Illinois that are in direct competition with other states for jobs and development.

Businesses creating new jobs would be able to claim a state income tax credit equal to a portion of the incremental income tax generated from new jobs created in Illinois. Provisions of the legislation assure that a company creates and/or retains new jobs prior to receiving any benefit from the tax inducement. Similar programs are currently available in Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio.

Senate Bill 40 also contains provisions to bolster Illinois' high-tech business community. The legislation calls for the creation of the Illinois Technology Enterprise Corporation (ITEC), a regional network of centers, designed to stimulate the formation, growth and retention of technology-based businesses in Illinois. The Governor's FY 2000 budget proposal contains more than $100 million for technology-related programs.

Senate Bill 40 is sponsored by Senators Watson, R-Greenville and Clayborne, D-East St. Louis.


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