CHICAGO (CBS) — Gov. Pat Quinn is reacting to last week’s announcement by Caterpillar that Illinois is out of the running as the location for a new plant that would create 1,400 jobs.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Conway reports, Caterpillar says there were two major reasons for its decision. One is the fact that the plant would need access to an ocean, which Illinois obviously doesn’t provide.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Conway reports
But the other is what Caterpillar chief executive officer Doug Oberhelman considers to be something of an unfavorable business climate.
On Sunday, Oberhelman wrote an op-ed for the Chicago Tribune titled, “Why job creators skip Illinois.”
He specifically cited the state’s budget problems, a lowered bond rating and workers compensation costs.
“Let me be clear. Caterpillar is not threatening to leave Illinois,” Oberhelman wrote. “Rather, we want to grow our presence here. For Illinois to really compete for new business investment and growth, the state must address these matters.”
Quinn on Sunday defended the state’s business climate saying he was disappointed in Oberhelman’s comments. He says the state has taken steps to attract business.
Last year, there was talk of Caterpillar leaving Illinois altogether as state lawmakers raised the corporate tax hike from 7.3 percent to 9.5 percent. But the company decided to stay following a meeting with Gov. Pat Quinn.