“The people of Illinois are desperate for a change,” Radogno said. “We need more jobs, a balanced budget, and real reform of our broken government. We’ve tried it the Democrats’ way, and the failed results speak for themselves. We deserve better.”
Following Radogno’s testimony, and testimony from several Illinois businesses, business groups and the Rauner Administration, Democrats controlling the committee voted 8-4 to kill the workers’ compensation reform in favor of the status quo. Illinois’ workers' compensation premium system was recently ranked the 7th most expensive of any state, 25% more expensive than the median and significantly higher than each of our neighbors.
Testimony included: “As long as costs are higher, Illinois is just going to get cut from being on the short list for companies coming.” –Brad Migdal, Corporate Site Selector
“The more difficult it is for us to compete on a level playing field, the fewer of those job opportunities will be available for us as Illinois employers, to offer to Illinois employees. Whenever I open a bid submission, I automatically know that I’m at a disadvantage with other companies located in almost any other state.” - Steve Hoekstra, president of Illinois-based Hoekstra Transportation
Voting for the pro-jobs reform in committee were Sens. Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington), Michael Connelly (R-Wheaton), Darin Lahood (R-Dunlap), and Chris Nybo (R-Elmhurst). The same committee will meet tomorrow to consider Radogno’s pro-jobs legislation on lawsuit reform, directly aimed at addressing Illinois’ dismal jobs climate, recently ranked 3rd worst of any state and the loss of 300,000 manufacturing jobs in the last 15 years.
“It’s a simple equation,” Radogno said, “if we don’t have jobs, Illinois doesn’t have work, and middle-class families are the ones who suffer. And until we change the system – until we reform our state – jobs simply aren’t coming back on their own.”
Today’s vote comes amid heated discussion and a looming budget deadline. While Radogno and Senate Republicans have pushed a package of major reform legislation, Democrats are pushing forward instead an unbalanced spending plan, with $3 to $4 billion in excess spending that completely fails to address the major challenges facing Illinois.
“The Democrats’ inaction in addressing the challenges facing our state is inexcusable, and it’s beyond disappointing,” Radogno said. “Illinois is stuck in a nightmare of bad government, and it’s long past time for a change.”