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August 22, 2004

Governor Blagojevich signs crucial legislation to create Southeastern Illinois Economic Development Authority

SPRINGFIELD - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich signed legislation today creating the Southeastern Illinois Economic Development Authority (SIEDA).  House Bill 622 authorizes SIEDA to issue debt up to $250 million in order to spur economic development in Fayette, Cumberland, Clark, Effingham, Jasper, Crawford, Marion, Clay, Richland, Lawrence, Jefferson, Wayne, Edwards, Wabash, Hamilton and White Counties. 
In addition, SIEDA is allowed to create an Enterprise Zone within any portion of its territorial jurisdiction.  Chief benefits of an Enterprise Zone include sales tax exemptions and tax credits for job creation.  The ten-member SIEDA board will be comprised of the director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and nine members appointed by the governor with advise and consent of the Senate.
"Rep. Bill Grunloh was a passionate advocate for this legislation because he knows it will make a real difference for the people of Southeastern Illinois, and I am proud to sign it into law," said Gov. Blagojevich.  "It is crucial that we create new jobs and get the Illinois economy back on track..  By giving it the authority to issue bonds, we are ensuring that the Southeastern Illinois Economic Development Authority will have the resources to put good ideas into practice."
House Bill 622 was sponsored by Rep. William Grunloh (D-Effingham) and Sen. James Clayborne Jr. (D-East St. Louis).
The Southeastern Illinois Economic Development Authority is the seventh such authority created by the state legislature and signed by Governor Blagojevich.   The existing six are the Southwest Illinois Development Authority, the Upper Illinois River Development Authority, The Will-Kankakee Development Authority, the Quad Cities Regional Economic Development Authority, the Tri-County River Valley Economic Development Authority and the Western Illinois Economic Development Authority. 
These authorities provide financing ranging from a few thousand dollars to assist a micro-sized
company with startup costs to several million dollars for major corporate expansion and relocation.  They also provide technical assistance and expert advice to help companies establish Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Districts and Enterprise Zones, prepare financing packages and grant administration.  More than 70 financing projects have been carried out under the power of these existing six authorities.
SIEDA can also use the resources and expertise of the Illinois Finance Authority, including attorneys, appraisers, engineers, accountants, credit analysts and other consultants of the IFA.
“When the state’s resources are limited like they are now, it becomes more important than ever to invest wisely.  We can’t afford all of the things we could in the past, but if we are smart and efficient, we can be just as successful providing all the services that people and companies need to help them prosper.  Our seven economic development authorities will do just that," DCEO Director Jack Lavin said.
HB 622 is effective immediately.


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