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November 28, 2000

Governor Ryan Signs Executive Order on Team Permitting

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today signed Executive Order #15, an action aimed at improving Illinois' future economic development prospects. Executive Order #15 creates a team approach on environmental permitting, licensing and reporting by state agencies.

Under current practice, each executive agency with environmental oversight responsibilities imposes a separate set of paperwork requirements on private business development projects. As a result, the transaction cost of meeting the various agency requirements places Illinois at a competitive disadvantage with other states in attracting or expanding its business sector.

"Illinois is often described as standing at the crossroads of economic development", Ryan said. "We need to make sure that businesses see a green rather than red light as they approach that crossroad."

The institution of team permitting in Illinois was one of a series of recommendations made by the State Government Accountability Council in its inaugural report to the Governor. The Council was appointed by Ryan in 1999 as a means to bring the "best practices" of the private sector to improve the operation of state government. Chaired by Ed Noha, Chairman of the Board of the CNA Financial Corporation, the Council maintains a broad-ranging advisory role in Illinois government. "Over the past 20 months we have provided a number of recommendations that would increase customer service, quality and economic opportunities in Illinois, none more important than the concept of team permitting", Noha stated. "I applaud the Governor for once again proving his commitment to preserving Illinois' environment while making every effort to improve the state's business climate".

Under the provisions of Executive Order #15, the Governor's Environment and Natural Resource Leadership Cabinet will examine the present environmental permitting, licensing and reporting requirements imposed by state agencies. By December 31, 2000, the Cabinet will report on each agency's inventory of such requirements. At the same time the Cabinet will also report on each regulation's environmental benefits, whether or not the regulation is due to a federal mandate and if so, whether the regulation meets or exceeds federal requirements.

By December 31, 2001, the Cabinet will identify duplicative, outmoded or unnecessary agency environmental requirements, and recommend consolidation, modification or elimination where possible. The Cabinet will also benchmark the scope and number of distinct permits and requirements required by Illinois in comparison to other states.

Ryan signed the executive order at a Springfield meeting of the Illinois Business Roundtable. The Illinois Business Roundtable is made up of chief executive officers from leading Illinois companies.


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