To the Editor:
The canaries in the coal mine are dying. Rating agencies have been warning leaders on both sides of the aisle for years about the spiraling debt and need for fiscal stability, including the most recent announcements. The IMA has continually shined a spotlight on the horrific job losses manufacturers have suffered over the last decade including nearly 11,000 good, high-paying manufacturing jobs last year alone. The manufacturing sector in Illinois cannot afford further inaction resulting in the continued loss of the middle class. Manufacturers employ 568,000 workers and contribute the single largest share of the state's economy. When manufacturing is strong, Illinois and America are strong.
The IMA believes a final budget solution must address the root of the state's problems with structural reforms addressing our pension obligations and debt while restoring fiscal discipline and enacting real reforms that will create a vibrant business climate by attracting jobs and investments. Illinois must address the high cost of workers' compensation, burdensome labor regulations, and reform the tax code to encourage manufacturing production. However, as leaders consider revenue enhancements, we strongly believe that the best tax structures are broad-based with low rates and should not single out an individual sector.
We applaud Governor Rauner for introducing a balanced budget today focusing on the future and the Senate for demonstrating leadership in recent weeks. The time for action is now.
Illinois Manufacturers Association