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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 18, 1999

GOVERNOR'S ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROPOSAL GETS FINAL APPROVAL FROM GENERAL ASSEMBLY

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan's "EDGE" tax credit plan to attract new, high-paying jobs to Illinois today received its final stamp of approval from the General Assembly.

Senate Bill 40 was sent to the governor today on a unanimous vote by the Senate. The bill was approved by the House of Representatives on May 5 and returned to the Senate for concurrence with a technical amendment added by the House.

The measure creates the Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) Tax Credit Act. Ryan pledged during his gubernatorial campaign to create a new tax incentive program that would help Illinois better compete with neighboring states and capture a larger number of businesses looking to expand or relocate.

"This legislation will help Illinois attract and keep good, high-paying jobs," Ryan said. "By leveling the economic development playing field, we are sending a strong message to the business community that Illinois is a great place to do business."

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 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 Frank Watson, R-Greenville and James Clayborne, D-East St. Louis; and Representatives Thomas Holbrook, D-Belleville; Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro; John O. Jones, R-Mt. Vernon; Jay Hoffman, D-Collinsville; and Steve Davis, D-Bethalto.


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