* Greg Hinz takes a look at the ADM subsidy bill, which would provide the company with about $1.2 million a year in EDGE tax receipts for 15-20 years…
At a hearing yesterday of the House Revenue Committee, the proposal caught immediate fire from House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie and others, who asked whether the cash-strapped state should be giving special help to one particular company. But the company and its new attorney — Mike Kasper, a close associate of House Speaker Michael Madigan — responded by withdrawing the request for the utility-tax break, and suggesting that the firm really likes Illinois.
But even if Mr. Madigan signs on to the bill — Revenue Committee Chairman John Bradley says he has “no idea” when and if the bill might come up for a vote — the measure now is opposed by [Sen. Andy Manar]. He’s former chief of staff to Senate President John Cullerton, whose chamber is more liberal and has been more resistant to corporate handouts than the House.
Specifically, Mr. Manar said he’ll oppose the bill unless ADM effectively replaces the headquarters jobs by adding 100 slots elsewhere in Decatur.
“I don’t think we can ignore the fact that Decatur has the highest unemployment level in the state,” as high as 25 percent in some neighborhoods, Mr. Manar said — particularly when the company wants a subsidy to move jobs within Illinois.
ADM’s spokeswoman said the company “is negotiating” with Mr. Manar and will not comment on those talks right now.
* And Bernie reports that Cullerton is standing with Manar…
Cullerton said he would like to see the corporate headquarters of Archer Daniels Midland Co. stay in Illinois. […]
“Whether we should incentivize them is another question,” Cullerton said, noting Decatur’s high unemployment rate. He said any tax incentive should be tied to doing something to “make up for that loss of jobs in Decatur.”
* Back to Hinz…
Meanwhile, neither Mr. Quinn’s office nor the state’s Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity had a comment on where he stands on the matter. That’s likely an indication that a governor who doesn’t much like corporate subsidies in the best of circumstances doesn’t want to expend any political capital on a bill that’s in trouble.
Actually, the governor appears to love these subsidies. It was a last-minute EDGE credit to Ford that resulted in lots more jobs which helped save Quinn’s behind in the 2012 Democratic primary.
However, there is word from inside that the governor isn’t all that enthusiastic about this specific ADM proposal as-is. The fact that he has refused comment so far is, indeed, telling.