SPRINGFIELD – In an innovative attempt to spur economic growth and create more good jobs for working families in Eastern Illinois, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich signed legislation today creating the Eastern Illinois Economic Development Authority (EIEDA). House Bill 690 authorizes EIEDA to issue bonds in order to encourage economic development projects in Ford, Iroquois, Piatt, Champaign, Vermilion, Douglas, Moultrie, Shelby, Coles and Edgar counties.
“This legislation is so important because it empowers local leaders throughout Eastern Illinois to support the initiatives they deem most critical to fueling the economy and creating jobs in their communities. By giving it the authority to issue bonds, we are providing the Eastern Illinois Economic Development Authority the tools to put good ideas into action," Gov. Blagojevich said.
The fourteen-member EIEDA board will be comprised of the director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), one member from each of its ten counties appointed by the respective county board chairs, and three members appointed by Gov. Blagojevich with the advice and consent of the Senate.
House Bill 690 was sponsored by State Representative Roger Eddy (R-Hutsonville) and State Senator Dale Righter (R-Mattoon).
The Eastern Illinois Economic Development Authority is one of several other authorities created by the state legislature. The other existing authorities are the Southwest Illinois Development Authority, the Southeast Illinois Development Authority, the Upper Illinois River Development Authority, the Will-Kankakee Development Authority, the Quad Cities Regional Economic Development Authority and the Western Illinois Economic Development Authority.
“Gov. Blagojevich and I believe that nobody understands this region’s needs better than the people who live and work here. Creating the Eastern Illinois Economic Development Authority helps ensure that capital resources will be dedicated where they are needed the most to help bring more jobs and economic growth to our communities,” Rep. Eddy said.
"Regardless of where you live in Illinois, job growth is vital," said Sen. Righter. “Without jobs people cannot support themselves or their families, and without significant job growth government cannot pay for the services they want to provide. It is my hope that the creation of the Eastern Illinois Economic Development Authority will provide another tool to help people create jobs.”
These authorities provide financing ranging from a few thousand dollars to assist a micro-sized company with startup costs to several million dollars for a major corporate expansion or relocation. They also provide technical assistance and expert advice to help companies prepare financing packages and grant administration. More than 70 financing projects have been carried out under the power of the existing regional development authorities. EIEDA has a total authorization of $250 million.
HB 690 is effective immediately.