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Don’t mess with Illinois

Published: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 9:35 a.m. CDT

(MCT) — You can’t blame Gov. Pat Quinn for using a few flippant remarks to dismiss this week’s 2-day jobs-raiding foray into Illinois by Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Quinn, a Chicago Democrat, called Perry nothing but a “big talker” from a state that is “water challenged.”

Perry plans to spend Tuesday and Wednesday in Chicago to meet with business leaders in the biotechnology and financial industries. Perry will also speak at the BIO International Convention. The Texas governor, a Republican, said he has visited other Democratic states in the past. He said he wants to “spur competition between states and recruit jobs and employees to Texas.”

Perry didn’t throw in a “Don’t mess with Texas” anywhere in his statement, but his swagger fits the slogan.

Illinois has developed an unfortunate reputation as being unfriendly toward business. Perry isn’t the first governor from another state to try to entice Illinois companies to pick up stakes and move.

Governors from Wisconsin, Indiana and New Jersey (all Repub-licans) have made overtures toward Illinois businesses that might be unhappy with the business climate here. Unknown is whether their entreaties are designed merely for short-term political advantage.

Illinois business owners have legitimate gripes. Quinn and the Legislature raised income taxes 2 years ago. The state’s workman’s compensation costs are high. Soaring public pension obligations threaten the state’s financial future. If your business does business with the state of Illinois, you won’t get reimbursed for many months.

Perry can boast a lower jobless rate in his state (6.4 percent) compared to Illinois (9.5 percent).

Yes, Perry and other out-of-staters believe Illinois is an easy target.

But those of us who live in Illinois know the state has plenty of positives in manufacturing, agriculture, energy, transportation, research and more.

We would certainly like the economy to be better, but staying put to work things out is a wiser strategy than jumping ship.

And who, frankly, would have any interest in relocating to Texas – a land of oppressive heat, killer bees, and chainsaw massacres? ———

This editorial appeared in The Daily Gazette (Sterling, Ill.)

©2013 the Daily Gazette (Sterling, Ill.)

Visit the Daily Gazette (Sterling, Ill.) at www.saukvalley.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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