A Christmas tree and other holiday decorations bring a festive spirit to the capitol on Monday -- today the statehouse will be bustling during last-minute negotiations ahead of a landmark pension vote.
Illinois legislators will be asked today (12/3) to take what many say could be the most important vote of their careers. They've been called back to Springfield to take up a measure that would drastically alter the state's retirement plans. Doing so would have obvious ramifications for state employees, teachers and university workers whose pensions are at stake. But the impact of a vote is far more widespread. What happens could also affect everything from the state's credit rating and Illinois' next budget, to the 2014 elections. The outcome is anything but certain.
What do Sangamon County employers see in the year ahead? The fall economic outlook survey shows they have a positive outlook about their individual business and sector, but not about the overall economy. As for jobs, nearly half expect employment rates to stay stagnant.
A key Illinois business leader says the state is facing tough competition when it comes to keeping jobs. Greg Baise is President of the Illinois Manufacturer's Association. He says controversial legislation in Illinois that would offer tax breaks to certain firms is an effort to keep pace.
Among the firms, agribusiness leader Archer Daniels Midland, which wants to move it's corporate headquarters from Decatur to a larger city. Illinois and other states are wooing the company with promises of tax incentives.
Doug Whitley, 63, will retire next year after a dozen years as president of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. He submitted his resignation Thursday at the chamber's board meeting. " “It will be good for the Illinois Chamber to have a new leader with a fresh perspective when the next gubernatorial administration starts, whether Gov. Pat Quinn is re-elected or we have a new governor,” Whitley said in a statement.
The State Journal Register's Tim Landis talks with Sean Crawford about efforts to get a Schnucks' grocery store on Springfield's east side, a couple of bank mergers in the area and what might be Springfield's oldest fitness center is up for sale.
The survey of employers find many have positive expectations for their own firms, but have a negative overall outlook for the coming year. Ashley Kirzinger, Director of the UIS Survey Research Office, spoke with us about the findings:
The survey is sponsored by the University of Illinois Springfield's Chancellor's Office, the Center for State Policy and Research at UIS and the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce.