Members of the House of Representatives took a series of votes on Friday and Saturday that put a balanced budget in place for Fiscal Year 2020, provided significant infrastructure improvements across the state, and enacted pro-jobs reforms to attract new investments in the Illinois economy. State Representative Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) was one of the lead Republican negotiators for the bill package.
“We took action on an interconnected group of legislative proposals on Friday and Saturday that were carefully negotiated with bipartisan input,” said Demmer. “Some of these were very difficult votes. But because we worked together in a give-and-take fashion and respected each others’ priorities, we collectively took steps to move Illinois forward.”
According to Demmer, the pro-business legislation includes initiatives that have been priorities for Republicans for years. While multi-faceted, Demmer spoke specifically to a provision that provides incentives for the location of data centers across the state. “Data centers require significant capital investments, but create a significant number of construction jobs and many long-term high-paying high-tech jobs,” Demmer said. “Counties in our area have tried to get data centers to make that investment and bring jobs to our region, but because the state of Illinois didn’t have an incentive structure in place, some of these data centers were built in a different state. With the approval of this legislation, we are sending a welcoming message to all of the data centers that are looking across the country for places to invest hundreds of millions of dollars.”
If signed into law, Illinois will have its first capital bill since 2009. “This piece of legislation makes critical investments in Illinois infrastructure, in state facilities, universities, schools, correctional centers, and facilities for the developmentally disabled, and many others.”
The capital bill also invests in improving Illinois road and rail infrastructure. “Good infrastructure helps our rural economy by allowing us to transport what we grow and manufacture locally to sell in markets across the world. If our infrastructure crumbles, much of our local economy crumbles with it.”
Demmer applauded the spirit of compromise that led to the approval of the bill package. “We do our best work when we work together and that was evidenced in the quality of the legislation we passed in the final days of our spring legislative session.”