* React is starting to come in regarding the loss of the OfficeMax headquarters to Florida. From state Sen. Bill Brady…
State Senator Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) is calling on Governor Pat Quinn to bring the House back to Springfield to pass an incentive package to keep multinational agricultural product processor Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) in Illinois after it was announced on December 10 that the newly merged office Max and Office Depot had chosen Boca Raton Florida as their new corporate headquarters instead of Downers Grove.
“We have to do what we can to keep job creators in the state of Illinois,” said Brady. “The Senate did its job and passed incentives for Office Depot Inc. and ADM. The House adjourned without taking up either measure and now we’ve lost out on the jobs that would be created by having a major corporate headquarters in our state. But this goes far beyond one lost opportunity. The leisurely, passive attitude of the Governor and House sends a powerful message to all businesses in Illinois, that they don’t really feel any urgency to protect jobs and assist employers. Instead, we have to actively foster a business climate that creates jobs for the people of this state.”
The newly formed Office Depot Inc. had sought an EDGE tax credit from Illinois as an incentive to locate their headquarters in Illinois during the spring legislative session. While the incentive passed in the Senate in early December during a one day special session, the house adjourned without taking up that measure. After the tax incentive failed to pass in the Illinois House, Office Depot chose to relocate its headquarters to Boca Raton.
The House also failed to take up a similar measure aimed at keeping ADM in Decatur. ADM announced earlier this year that it was considering relocating its global headquarters after more than 40 years in Decatur IL. While Chicago was among the cities under consideration, it was also revealed that major cities in other states were also trying to woo the agricultural giant.
The incentive package for ADM requires the company to maintain 200 full-time employees at its new corporate headquarters, relocate 100 employees into Decatur from somewhere outside of Illinois within five years and further stipulates that ADM must hire at least 100 new employees every year for five years at the Decatur location to continue to qualify for the EDGE credit. Additionally, the bill requires ADM to establish an internal committee for five years that promotes jobs in Decatur.
“I urge the Governor Quinn to bring the House back to Springfield so we can keep jobs in Illinois,” said Brady. “The House needs to act soon if we want to ensure that ADM does not to follow Office Depot’s lead and leave Illinois. But, more importantly, the Governor and the House Speaker need to wake up to the need to keep jobs and employers in Illinois.”
* House Republican Leader Jim Durkin…
“I am disappointed Office Max has chosen to leave Illinois, and I am concerned about the families who will be impacted by the move and the jobs lost to the region. While there is no guarantee the Office Max decision would have been different had we passed legislation giving them enhanced EDGE tax credits last week, their departure is further proof that we have more work to do in terms of improving our overall business climate and need to revisit criteria for the EDGE program.”
* Rep. Darlene Senger…
State Rep. Darlene Senger (R-Naperville) released the following statement today after Office Depot announced they have chosen Boca Raton, Florida over Illinois to locate their new global headquarters.
This decision comes after the Illinois House Speaker, Michael Madigan, refused to allow debate on legislation that would have allowed Illinois to compete with other states, like Florida, to retain Office Depot and their global headquarters.
“Illinois continues to export jobs to other states and the result for Illinois families is higher taxes, higher unemployment and less opportunity,” Rep. Senger said. “This month, we had an excellent opportunity to improve Illinois’ job climate and keep over 2,000 jobs in Illinois, but Democrat leaders took no action and as a result we will continue to lead the Midwest in unemployment and over 2,000 Illinois jobs will be leaving for Florida.”
I’ll post other statements as I get them.
*** UPDATE *** From the Illinois GOP…
The Illinois Democrats’ Jobs Disaster: Office Depot Edition
CHICAGO – In the latest proof of the Democrats’ toxic business climate in Illinois, Office Depot announced today that it will locate its headquarters in Florida, instead of the current OfficeMax headquarters in Naperville, Ill. As many as 1,600 jobs could be in the balance as a result.
“Pat Quinn and the Democrats’ failure on jobs in Illinois is affecting real people and real families,” said Illinois Republican Party Chairman Jack Dorgan. “The Democrats promised to make jobs a priority, but companies keep leaving, the unemployment rate is unacceptable, and too many Illinoisans still can’t find work.”
Today’s announcement by Office Depot is the latest in a line of business leaving or moving jobs out of Illinois for better-run states, including Kenall Manufacturing and Jimmy John’s. Illinois’ business climate has also meant rumors and uncertainty for workers at businesses including StateFarm, Caterpillar, and Archer Daniels Midland, among others. And that trend is likely to continue, with states like Wisconsin, Indiana, and Texas activelytrying to recruit businesses to relocate headquarters and employees.
Illinois’s state unemployment rate is 8.9 percent, the fourth worst of any state, and well above the national rate of 7.0 percent.
In 2013, Illinois ranked 3rd worst on CEO Magazine’s list of “Best and Worst States for Business,” and 13th worst on Forbes Magazine’s list of “Best States for Business.” Both rankings are worse than they were in 2010, when Gov. Pat Quinn took office.
In 2010, Gov. Quinn and the Democrat-controlled General Assembly forced through a 46 percent increase in the corporate income tax rate, making it the fourth highest in the country, along with a 67 percent income tax hike.
“The Democrats have done severe, lasting damage our state’s business climate,” Dorgan said, “and Illinois is desperate for a change in leadership.”