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May 5, 1999


SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan's plan to attract new, high-paying jobs to Illinois today unanimously passed the House of Representatives.

Senate Bill 40 creates the Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) Tax Credit Act. Ryan pledged during the gubernatorial campaign to create a new tax incentive program to help Illinois better compete and capture a larger number of businesses looking to expand or relocate.

"I am very pleased that the General Assembly has agreed that we need to do more to promote economic development," Ryan said. "This legislation sends a clear message to the business community that economic development and job creation are top priorities in Illinois."

The EDGE program is a new targeted tax incentive program that would provide tax credits for businesses that create new jobs and make capital investments in Illinois. The EDGE program is designed to help areas of Illinois that are in direct competition with other states for jobs and development.

Businesses creating new jobs would be able to claim a state income tax credit equal to a portion of the incremental income tax generated from new jobs created in Illinois. Provisions of the legislation assure that a company creates and/or retains new jobs prior to receiving any benefit from the tax inducement. Similar programs are currently available in Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio.

Senate Bill 40 also contains provisions to bolster Illinois' high-tech business community. The legislation calls for the creation of the Illinois Technology Enterprise Corporation (ITEC), a regional network of centers, designed to stimulate the formation, growth and retention of technology-based businesses in Illinois. The Governor's FY 2000 budget proposal contains more than $100 million for technology-related programs.

The legislation also directs the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs (DCCA) to prepare a five-year economic development strategy for Illinois. "For too long Illinois has been without a clear, long-term strategy for economic growth," said DCCA Director Pam McDonough "This bill sets the criteria for the development of a blueprint for lasting prosperity."

Senate Bill 40 is sponsored by Senators Frank Watson, R-Greenville and James Clayborne, D-East St. Louis; and Representatives Thomas Holbrook, D-Belleville; Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro; John O. Jones, R-Mt. Vernon; Jay Hoffman, D-Collinsville; and Steve Davis, D-Bethalto.


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