Legislation to extend and improve one of Illinois’ most successful economic development tools today passed the Senate with overwhelming support. State Senator Michael Frerichs’ (D – Champaign) Enterprise Zone Extension legislation, Senate Bill 3688, now moves to the Illinois House of Representatives.
Despite the overwhelming support expressed in the Senate and from business leaders statewide, this legislation faces future challenges. Senate Democrats remain committed to ensuring that Enterprise Zones remain a useful, successful economic development tool for Illinois businesses.
“You just cannot argue with the results of enterprise zones in keeping our economy going,” said Frerichs. “We conducted a thorough review of these zones and found impressive support around the state for keeping them in place and improving them. This legislation does just that, and we hope the House will agree.”
As chair of the special Senate Committee on Enterprise Zone Extensions, Frerichs held four hearings across the state to gather input and support for the legislation from business and community leaders. Hearings were held in Carbondale, Rockford, Chicago, and Peoria. Last week, the committee met at the Capitol in Springfield.
Mark Denzler, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the Illinois Manufacturers' Association says Enterprise Zones “are one thing that work well in the state of Illinois.” He notes that while the business community may not always be happy with what happens, this program “is one thing that works very well in Illinois and should be continued.”
Business leaders from across Illinois echoed this sentiment at each of the four hearings held statewide: