Illinois Senator: Tax Breaks Shouldn’t Be Held Up By Pension Crisis

Oct 9, 2013

An Illinois lawmaker is questioning why legislation addressing the future of major corporations has to come after a solution to the $100-billion pension shortfall. Governor Quinn called for a ‘moratorium’ on tax credits for any company until the issue is solved.  Senator Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, says there’s no reason they can’t be done simultaneously.

Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill

“I do think it’s important that we be able to walk and chew gum at the same time.  I think there’s a multitude of challenges we face in the state, and I don’t understand why we can’t try to solve these challenges all at once,” Manar said.

The Senator vows to oppose any bill that results in a net job loss in Decatur, including a plan for $24-million  in tax breaks to move Archer Daniels Midland’s corporate headquarters elsewhere in the state.   A spokeswoman for Quinn says he looks forward to ADM thriving in Illinois.  But Brooke Anderson denies the governor is holding up the tax measure for political reasons.

“For the governor, it’s not about politics, it’s about priorities.  For more than two years, we’ve been pushing for comprehensive pension reform.  The bill is still not on the governor’s desk,” Anderson said.

Many reports have cited Chicago as the likely new location for ADM headquarters, but spokeswoman Victoria Podesta will only say the city is one of some being considered that include an airport and easy access to customers.

Illinois Public Radio's Jeff Bossert contributed to this report.