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Don’t Buy the “Illinois is Bad for Business” Lines from Political Candidates

We recently discussed the questionable claims made by GOP Gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner, and the need for local residents to be prudent about their choices this election cycle.

Many of the claims made by those seeking office in the state threaten the legal rights of Illinois citizens. It is critical to look past the general rhetoric and understand the risks of pursuing policies advocated by certain candidates.

For example, a common general refrain from some, including many Republican candidates for Governor, is that changes need to be made to “protect businesses.” Unfortunately, while innocuous sounding at first impression, the underlying issues referenced often relate to the civil justice system. Specifically, those seeking more “protection” for businesses usually try to make it far more difficult, if not impossible, for residents hurt by business misconduct to recover for their losses.

Protecting and promoting business in Illinois does not require lowering standards of accountability and allowing companies to get away with harming Illinois residents.

Ensure Protection for Injured Illinoisans
Throughout the primary election season–and undoubtedly during the upcoming general election season–we will hear some claim that our state is not “business friendly.” But what indicators are used to make that claim?

The truth is that Illinois is actually a great place for businesses based on many indicators. The claims made by those to the contrary are usually nothing more than bland talking points used to push an ancillary policy agenda.

For example, Illinois is 4th in the entire nation with 32 Fortune 500 companies headquartered in the state. Altogether, the state has the 5th largest “gross output” in the entire country, without $670.7 billion annual gross.

We have built up particular attractiveness as a business location in certain niches. For example, we lead the nation in the manufacturing of hardware and construction machinery. In addition, we are a major location for corporations working with electrical equipment, plastics and rubber, metals, and chemicals.

Additionally, Chicago specifically was recently touted by Site Selection magazine as the number one metro area for new corporate facilities and expansion of corporate facilities. In other words, not only is the state doing well, in some ways we are thriving. Of course that is not to say that everything is perfect in the business world or certain policy change might be appropriate. But the claims about the need to sacrifice safety standards and accountability in a desperate attempt to keep businesses here are drastically misleading.

When you step into the booth to vote in the primary election, be sure to keep these issues in mind. Our policymakers must never sacrifice the well-being of the majority of Illinois residents in order to appease already wealthy and powerful corporations. Any candidate who suggests otherwise should not garner your support.

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