PEORIA – January 21, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today signed a bill into law that will prevent Peoria’s Keystone Steel & Wire Co. from closing its doors, saving approximately 500 jobs.
Senate Bill 328 amends the Public Utilities Act to modify the tax exemption provided for business enterprises located in state-designated Enterprise Zones from additional charges added to utility bills as a pass-on of municipal and state utility taxes if the business enterprise meets specified criteria.
“My top priority is keeping our economy going with good jobs that people can support a family on,” said Governor Quinn. “Hundreds of Peoria families depend on Keystone Steel – this legislation will keep members of these families employed during these unprecedented economic times.”
Keystone was previously eligible for a tax exemption but, due to significantly decreased production levels in 2009, the company fell short of their job retention requirements. Rather than close the 120-year-old company which would have had a devastating economic impact on the community, the new bill modifies the exemption so that only 500 jobs have to be retained in 2010. The company must retain at least 675 full-time jobs in 2011, 850 full-time jobs in 2012 and 1,000 jobs in 2013.
Senate Bill 328, sponsored by Sen. Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) and Rep. Michael K. Smith (D-Canton), was passed unanimously and is effective immediately.
"Keystone Steel and Wire has been a prominent part of the Peoria-area economy for generations," said Sen. Koehler. "They've demonstrated that they are a responsible company dedicated to keeping their employees at work. I'm proud that we've taken this step to help them keep their doors open."
This legislation is estimated to provide the company with an estimated utility tax exemption of $120,000 per month.
“This is very important legislation not just for Keystone, but for the greater Peoria area. Keystone has been a key part of our economy for a long time and helping them stay in business is very important,” said Rep. Smith. “I commend Governor Quinn for his speedy action in signing this legislation. It is a great example of what we can do in government when we work together.”
Governor Quinn was joined today by the bill’s sponsors and Keystone Consolidated Industries President and CEO David Cheek.