From the Illinois State Senate
State Senator Michael Frerichs, 52nd Legislative District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 15, 2012
Frerichs: First hearing on enterprise zones shows support of program from local officials and business leaders
SPRINGFIELD, IL- At Southern Illinois University’s Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center in Carbondale, the bipartisan Senate Special Committee on Enterprise Zone Extensions met for its first public hearing to hear testimony from local elected officials, economic development representatives, business leaders, and enterprise zone representatives. Committee Co-Chair Michael Frerichs (D – Champaign)
“Today’s hearing was the first opportunity to hear from communities regarding how beneficial enterprise zones are to local economies,” Frerichs said. “Since 1982, enterprise zones have created more than 900,000 jobs across the state. Business leaders, community leaders and economic development representatives all agree that enterprise zones allow local governments and businesses to invest in creating and maintaining jobs.”
The Enterprise Zone Program, established in 1982, is one of the state’s most proven and successful economic development tools. Beginning next year, these zones will start to expire and businesses statewide will lose access to the various incentives they offer.
“The Committee heard from the mayors of Mount Vernon, West Frankfort and Nashville, all of whom praised the Enterprise Zone Program and encouraged the Committee to extend the program for another 25 years,” Frerichs continued. “Representatives from Carbondale, Centralia, and Fairview Heights also spoke today of the real world benefits of enterprise zones. I expect we will hear similar testimonies as we tour around the state next month.”
This session, Senator Frerichs introduced Senate Bill 3688 which would allow local governments to request a 25-year expansion to their enterprise zones allowing further investment into Illinois economy. The Senate Special Committee on Enterprise Zone Extensions’ subject matter hearing on Senate Bill 3688 in Carbondale was the first of four to be held around the state with future hearings planned for Peoria, Rockford and Chicago.