The Rauner administration has decided to grant $100 million in corporate tax breaks that were OK'ed under former Gov. Pat Quinn, but had yet to be awarded.
Among the companies set to see tax incentives include eBay, Capital One, CDW and SAC Wireless, Crain's reports.
News that the tax deals will move forward comes just a few days after Gov. Bruce Rauner suspended some $26 million in grant funds to social services and public health care providers on Friday.
"If anyone is still unclear about Governor Rauner's priorities, look no further," Aviva Bowen, spokeswoman for the Illinois Federation of Teachers, said in a statement. "Giving tax breaks to big corporations while slashing millions from the services our most vulnerable citizens rely upon is beyond the pale. Cutting funding for autism, homelessness, parks, and after-school programs before asking the most wealthy to chip in a dime is completely out of touch with what Illinois wants or deserves."
The Responsible Budget Coalition, comprised of 200 Illinois child and family advocacy organizations, said funding was suspended by the Rauner administration on Friday for 22 Department of Human Services programs, including those that help immigrants.
"Immigrants across Illinois lose access to assistance regarding U.S. citizenship, health care, nutrition, and other services that help them thrive and contribute to our economy and community," said Breandan Magee with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR). "For someone who portrays himself as a smart businessman committed to our state's economic recovery, Governor Rauner seems oblivious to the five-fold returns that our state's investment in immigrant communities create for our entire state."
ICIRR held a protest against the funding suspensions Wednesday, which was attended by other organizations and individuals opposed to the move. PI posted an op-ed by ICIRR that details more on the protest, the specific fiscal losses seen by the human services department and reports on the additional funding suspensions to six programs in the state's department of public health.
Meanwhile, Greg Baise, president and CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers' Association, sent out an email to subscribers Thursday touting Rauner's "Turnaround Agenda" for the state. Rauner has been touring Illinois to discuss his proposed reforms.
"The General Assembly returns from the spring recess next week and has seven weeks left in the scheduled spring legislative session," Baise notes in the email. "The IMA will continue to work with Governor Rauner and all members of the General Assembly to push for successful reforms that will improve Illinois' economy."
Here's more from Baise's email, which details items on Rauner's Turnaround Agenda:
Governor Rauner is offering his Turnaround Agenda that includes the following key tenets as a path to make Illinois a great place to live and work. The IMA applauds Governor Rauner for offering a bold vision for change in Illinois.
Economic Competitiveness and Job Growth Package
Reforming Workers' Compensation by creating a primary cause standard meaning the workplace must be the primary cause of the injury for it to be compensable.
Reducing medical costs for certain procedures that far exceed the national average.
Gradual increase in the state's minimum wage to $10 per hour if paired with other pro-business reforms.
Increasing fraud provisions and strengthening disqualifications for misconduct in the Unemployment Insurance system.
Prohibiting venue shopping in our court system and imposing joint and several liability provisions.
Creating Empowerment Zones where workers are free to join or not join a union. Local units of government will have the option to voluntarily create these zones that apply to public and private employers.
Taxpayer Protection and Property Tax Freeze Package
Freezing property taxes for two years and let voters decide by referendum if taxes should be raised.
Allowing a municipality to declare bankruptcy and restructure itself through the federal bankruptcy process,
Reforming prevailing wage requirements and eliminating project-labor agreements that increase costs to projects.
Transforming Government Package
Imposing ten-year term limits on members of the General Assembly.
Prohibiting labor unions from making political campaign contributions to elected officials that negotiate their contracts.
Merging the offices of State Treasurer and Comptroller.
Prohibiting the collection of "fair share" dues from state employees that are members of labor unions to create consistency with federal employees.
Pension Reform Package
Preserving and protecting all currently earned pension benefits.
Moving all future work by state employees unto the Tier 2 pension system that has reduced pension benefits. All state employees hired after January 1, 2011 are already in Tier 2.
Creating a "buy out" option for state employees who could take the retirement funds and invest in a 401(k) program.
Proposing a Constitutional Amendment to remove ambiguity for future pension law reforms.