Illinois Statehouse News

Gubernatorial candidates talk jobs on tour of state

Thursday, September 02, 2010

SPRINGFIELD - The GOP and Democratic candidates for governor made their way around the state Tuesday, outlining their commitment to creating jobs in Illinois while taking political jabs at each other.

Gov. Pat Quinn and state Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, are the frontrunners for the state's top post. Quinn made a stop in Danville on Tuesday to talk about developments in broadband infrastructure and high-tech jobs before heading to Springfield to outline a new local construction project.

The construction project, which involves the widening of lanes and the easing of congestion at an intersection near an Interstate 55 exit, would cost the state $11 million and create or retain 143 jobs in the Springfield area.

"And those are good jobs, well-paying jobs, important jobs to make us a better state, a safer state and a stronger state when it comes to the economy," Quinn said.

Brady traveled throughout the state Tuesday to spread word about his own plan to stimulate the state's economy.

Brady announced a slate of economic proposals aimed at incentivizing the private sector through a series of tax credits and tax cuts. One of those proposals was a two-year tax credit of $3,750 to businesses for every new job created.

"The business community is the pathway to our future and our success," he said. "Creating an environment where (businesses) put people back to work reduces the reliance on government services and creates the tax revenues we need to pay down the backlog of unpaid bills and debt that Blagojevich and Quinn have accumulated."

Brady also wants to repeal the state's portion of the sales tax on gasoline and the state's estate tax. Brady acknowledged that he would have to cut another $650 million to $1 billion from the state budget if those taxes were eliminated, but he said the long-term gains would make up for the initial loss.

The GOP candidate said he also would create a Border Communities Task Force, headed by running mate Jason Plummer of Edwardsville, the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor, that would look into how businesses in areas such as Quincy, the Quad Cities and Rockford are faring against neighboring, out-of-state competitors.

When asked how he expected to work with Democrats in the state Legislature, Brady said his plan, regardless of party, was the best for the state of Illinois.

"This plan is not Republican and it's not Democrat. This plan is about re-tooling Illinois and jump-starting our economy through jobs," he said. "The Democrats get the fact that their communities are suffering from unemployment just as much as the Republicans do."

Quinn lashed back, claiming Brady was not forthcoming with voters on a plan to fix the state's budget problems.

"He doesn't have the courage to come forward and tell us his budget before the election," the Democratic incumbent said. "He says you gotta wait until after the election. Well, I've got news for him: If you want to be governor of Illinois, it's time to tell the truth to the people before the election."

The state faces an estimated $13 billion budget deficit, while the state's unemployment rate for July is at 10.3 percent. The national unemployment rate is at 9.5 percent.

Jobs and the economy are some of the topics in the forefront of voters' minds with just more than two months to go before November's general election.