CHICAGO (CBS) — Governor Rauner said it is not easy bringing more companies and jobs to Illinois, but he and his business allies are trying.
Governor Rauner admits Illinois being without a budget for two years, and it’s massive backlog of unpaid bills, scares some businesses from locating or staying in the state. WBBM’s Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports.
“It’s not because of one budget impasse, this past 18 months, it is because we have constant budget deficits. And the $180-billion debt that we have in Illinois – that scared businesses off,” Rauner said.
But, he said, unbalanced budgets are a long-standing problem here. And, he said, executives see he is trying to change things.
“Now clearly some businesses, like Amazon, like Flex-N-Gate, have said well we think you’ll get there eventually and we are going to go ahead and commit and we are coming anyway. But we could be doing far more,” Rauner said.
He said his push for pro-business reforms could turn things around.
“We can do this. The changes we are asking for are totally doable and that’s what the business community is looking for,” Rauner said.
And some businesses are moving here.
The Governor was at the downtown offices of BMO Harris Bank to introduce Mark Peterson as the new CEO of Intersect Illinois – that’s an economic development group that has been working to attract new companies to the state and help existing businesses grow.
Peterson’s job will be to attract companies to the state in this business climate.
“This will be hard, but it will be fun. This will be a tremendous opportunity and that’s why I’m so pleased to be here.”
He came here from a similar job in Rochester, New York.