Q: Illinois ranked 48th out of 50 states in job growth between 1997 and 2007, according to the 2009 Alec-Laffer State Economic competitiveness Index. What specific steps should Illinois lawmakers take to enhance job creation, expand the economic base here and stem the flow of jobs to other states? What do you see as the greatest obstacle to job creation here?
A: The lack of jobs is the most important problem facing Illinois families and residents. Our state's anti-business climate is exacerbating the high unemployment already caused by the poor economy. There are three specific steps that Illinois lawmakers should take to enhance job creation, expand the economic base here and stem the flow of jobs to other states. First, we must repeal the staggering number of new and increased fees on Illinois businesses imposed since 2003. Second, we must roll back new laws and regulations -- such as the recent increase in the minimum wage -- that make it more and more costly to do business here in Illinois. Finally, rather than increasing the corporate income tax, we must offer tax and other incentives to businesses that show a commitment to creating jobs in this state.