Greg Baise: Illinois Has To Compete For Jobs

Nov 4, 2013

Greg Baise
Credit IMA

A key Illinois business leader says the state is facing tough competition when it comes to keeping jobs.  Greg Baise is President of the Illinois Manufacturer's Association.  He says controversial legislation in Illinois that would offer tax breaks to certain firms is an effort to keep pace.

Among the firms, agribusiness leader Archer Daniels Midland, which wants to move it's corporate headquarters from Decatur to a larger city.  Illinois and other states are wooing the company with promises of tax incentives.

"Those kinds of programs are not unusual in other states. So you can see why when a company like ADM says they are looking for a new corporate headquarters, other states will say here's what we can do for you for you to move those jobs to our city or our state," Baise said.

Baise argues Illinois remains a state with a high cost of doing business because of worker's compensation rules, unemployment insurance contributions and regulatory issues.  But he says another concern is state and local government's inability to solve issues like pension debt.  

Baise says Illinois has plenty going for it, including transportation infrastructure and location in the middle of the country.  But he says those advantages can be overcome by other states that offer incentive packages. 

In an interview with WUIS' Sean Crawford, Baise discusses the business climate of Illinois, the upcoming elections and why he feels neither Republicans nor Democrats are dealing with some of the most pressing issues facing the state.

Read Greg Baise's op-ed on Illinois closing "one day at a time."