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Illinois is Broke

Friday, October 01, 2010

Illinois is broke, and voters are the key to fixing it. That's the message a group of Chicago business leaders brought to the Quad Cities today. They're promoting a campaign and web site called, "Illinois is Broke," which highlights the state's "dire financial crisis."

David Weinberg, Chairman and CEO of Judd Enterprises, says by the end of the year, Illinois will be 160 billion dollars in debt. And 130 billion is from unfunded pensions and health care liabilities that the General Assembly has allowed to spiral out of control.

He also says Illinois' reputation among corporations is terrible, and the state is losing jobs.

Weinberg: In Illinois We have to replace jobs with new ones from new companies or expand existing companies - both of those are dead in water...

Dea Meyer from the "Illinois is Broke" campaign, says the state is at a tipping point.

Meyer : We hope the public says oh my god, this is terrible, I've gotta do something. We're in real trouble.

The Chicago business leaders say Illinois is virtually bankrupt and must take immediate action. They want legislators to reform the pension and health care plans of current employees, plus develop a long term plan to balance the budget.

This morning, the group also met with representatives from about 30 Quad Cities companies at Deere and Company world headquarters in Moline.

The campaign is online at Illinois is Broke dot com.