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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 21, 2008

Business and Labor leaders voice support for Gov. Blagojevich's plan to boost Illinois' economy
"Strengthen Illinois" stimulus package provides tax credits for working parents, tax cuts for businesses, and statewide infrastructure and job-creation plan

CHICAGO -- Chicago area business and labor leaders today stood with Governor Rod R. Blagojevich to voice their support for his Strengthen Illinois economic package and the immediate benefits it would bring for both businesses and workers facing a slowing national economy.  As part of his fiscal year 2009 budget proposal, the Governor yesterday announced a comprehensive stimulus package that offers relief for families and businesses, invests in the state’s deteriorating infrastructure, and puts people to work.
 
“Economic times are getting rough throughout our country.  Families and businesses are struggling to get by.  People are looking to their elected leaders for solutions to get our economy moving again,” said the Governor.  “The plan I announced yesterday will pump billions of dollars back into our economy and put more people to work.  Ultimately, when people are working and their families are doing well, then government is doing well.”
 
The Governor’s Strengthen Illinois stimulus plan includes three key components to put more money back into our economy:
 
  • Illinois Works – a $25 billion capital plan that will support more than 700,000 jobs and fix the state’s deteriorating roads and bridges, build and repair schools across the state, and provide resources for statewide economic development;
 
  • Illinois Child Tax Credit – a refundable state tax credit that will double the child portion of the recently passed federal economic stimulus plan. This will be a one-time, tax credit of $300 per child for all Illinois taxpayers who qualify for the federal plan. Approximately 1.3 million families (3 million children) will benefit; and
 
  • Illinois Business Tax Cut – a 20 percent break for businesses that paid corporate income tax in Illinois for 2007. To be eligible, employers must maintain their employment levels. This $300 million tax cut will create business investment and development, and provide job security for employees.
 
 
“It’s been nine years since we’ve had a complete and comprehensive capital plan and it is time to approve a new one.  We need to fix our worsening roads and repair our deteriorating schools,” said Tom Villanova, President of the Chicago and Cook County Building and & Construction Trades Council.  “The Governor’s new plan will invest in our weakening infrastructure and offer thousands of new jobs in construction across the state.  Legislators need to act on this plan immediately.”
 
“We strongly agree with the Governor that stimulating our economy needs to be the top priority for our state because many small businesses are struggling.  The business tax cut, household rebates and capital bill will provide an important boost to bolster business investment and job creation as our country lies on the brink of recession.  We can replicate the stimulus package being used at a national level to help keep our economy moving forward,” said Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Jerry Roper.
 
“We are very glad to see that the Governor is working to pass a long overdue capital bill in Illinois.  We support this plan because it will create thousands of jobs for Illinoisans while making much needed repairs to our state’s infrastructure,” said Ed Smith, Vice President, Midwest Regional Manager and Assistant to the General President of the Laborers' International Union of North America.  “We’ll do everything we can to make sure this proposal becomes law.”
 
“The Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce commends Governor Rod Blagojevich on his efforts to pass a capital bill.  The state of Illinois has serious infrastructure issues that need to be addressed and getting people to work on a massive public works program will help boost the local economy and strengthen our state’s infrastructure,” said Omar Duque, President and CEO of the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.  “We hope that our legislators can see beyond the political haze and do what’s right for our state and for the people that they have been charged to serve.”
         
“Simply put, this is good for business and good for our state.  We can now better boost the economy and better ensure our employees security in their jobs,” said Arturo Chavez, owner of Meridienne Corporation.  “I thank the Governor for giving businesses like mine a better chance to prosper in Illinois.”
 
“There are bridges across Illinois that desperately need to be fixed, roads and schools that need to be repaired,” said Gov. Blagojevich.  “The support of business and labor groups for this budget is proof that we can strengthen our economy by investing in infrastructure, giving businesses tax breaks and providing needed relief for families.”
 
For more information on Governor Blagojevich’s Fiscal Year 2009 Budget Proposal, Visit www.Illinois.gov/gov/budgetaddress/


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