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A good way and a bad way

Monday, Apr 27, 2015

* Erickson

During a hearing before lawmakers Wednesday, the new head of the state’s economic development agency offered up a recipe for how he’s going to lure more companies to Illinois.

Jim Schultz, an Effingham entrepreneur tapped by Rauner to run the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, said Illinois has many “hidden assets” that he’s going to use in his quest to replace jobs lost in recent years. […]

He said he wants to go to drought-affected California and tell manufacturers what Illinois can offer.

“Come to our state, I’ll give you our water. We have unlimited water,” Schultz said, pointing to the Mississippi, Illinois and Ohio rivers. […]

“We have so many great hidden assets. We just haven’t optimized them,” Schultz said. “My focus is to go out and market this state.”

1) It’s nice to finally see a Rauner appointee not running down this state.

2) Water is, indeed, a major Illinois asset. Check out this list of the nine most drought-endangered states. Lots of Illinois competitors on there, including Texas.

* The lesson here is that the governor and his people don’t always have to harp on the union issue when it comes to economic development. As I told subscribers several days ago, the governor’s anti-union local resolution efforts are doing for unions what they haven’t been able to do for themselves: get organized locally.

Here’s Doug Wilson in the Quincy Herald-Whig

Adams County Board members voted April 15 to table their resolution supporting Rauner’s “Turnaround Agenda” after union members wanted to speak and the board’s one-week-early sign-up period for speakers was challenged. Board Chairman Les Post expects the vote will occur next month.

So what will this vote do?

It won’t really put any pressure on the Legislature. Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton, a pair of Chicago Democrats, have control over whether a right-to-work bill comes up for a vote. They’re never going to allow a vote.

What it will do is energize the unions, which will want to get more politically involved and get their people in office.

* Related…

* Cahill: How exactly is privatization better, Mr. Governor?

* Chicago Sun-Times Editorial: Exelon’s rate-hike proposal is a bad bill

* Schoenburg: Downstate representation gone from Illinois Commerce Commission

- Posted by Rich Miller        

40 Comments
  1. - Wordslinger - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 12:25 pm:

    How’s about you don’t pay any taxes on income from out-of-state sales? That would seem to be a selling point.

    Wish they’d ixnay on all the ankuptcybay talk. That’s hardly a confidence builder for relocating.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 12:29 pm:

    ===It won’t really put any pressure on the Legislature. Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton, a pair of Chicago Democrats, have control over whether a right-to-work bill comes up for a vote. They’re never going to allow a vote.

    What it will do is energize the unions, which will want to get more politically involved and get their people in office.===

    Yep. Exactly. Precisely. Obviously.

    Hey “ck”, pass this on…

    Thanks
    ow


  3. - vole - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 12:36 pm:

    Why yes, try to attract businesses to Illinois for its natural resources and turn around and give the Dept of Natural Resources a measily $39 million in general revenue funds for 2016. Just sayin’.


  4. - Cheryl44 - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 12:38 pm:

    Maybe Rauner is secretly pro-union and this is his way of making them stronger.

    OK I just made myself LOL.


  5. - Norseman - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 12:39 pm:

    vole, are you expecting some strategic thinking from this bunch. C’mon man.


  6. - Wordslinger - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 12:40 pm:

    –They’re never going to allow a vote.–

    I suspect Madigan and Cullerton would be very happy to schedule a vote on right to work legislation.

    Sure would make some GOP members sweat bullets.


  7. - BEST Dave - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 12:40 pm:

    How about we attract businesses by not giving corporate bailouts to rich corporations. Great Sun-Times editorial against the Exelon bailout.


  8. - Makandadawg - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 12:43 pm:

    “I’ll give you our water. We have unlimited water,” Schultz said, pointing to the Mississippi, Illinois and Ohio rivers.”

    Now, free water for all his buisness friends! Rauner will not need a second term to get all that he want, just like foxes in the hen house.


  9. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 12:44 pm:

    ===They’re never going to allow a vote.===

    I am also of the same belief that, both, Madigan and Cullerton are doing a solid for Radogno and Durkin by not having ANY member vote on these…

    …so far.


  10. - Finally Out (and now very glad to be) - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 12:45 pm:

    I think Word has a point. But I suspect it could make a “lot” of legislators sweat?


  11. - Keyser Soze - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 12:47 pm:

    Marketing the state’s natural resources is not a good idea, it is a great idea. Water, farmland, central air, rail, barge and interstate transportation, and a ready work force are all good sales points. All we need is a pitch man.


  12. - Anonin' - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 12:53 pm:

    IL also has a unmatched transportation network and unlike IN no county with a special HIV/Hepc epidemic.
    BTW new Links Magazine ranks IL in top 10 states with good golf. IN way behind.


  13. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 1:00 pm:

    Schultz is a smart guy who, unlike most of his predecessors, knows what it’s like to have to meet a payroll. Let’s give him a chance.


  14. - Stones - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 1:02 pm:

    No snark here but the industry affected most by the California droughts is agriculture. Are we to expect California companies are going to relocate entire farms to Illinois for our water? Some, not all of the crops grown in California won’t grow here due to differences in climate. Again, not snark - I appreciate out of the box thinking but does this really make sense?


  15. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 1:02 pm:

    ===BTW new Links Magazine ranks IL in top 10 states with good golf. IN way behind.===

    Good to know…

    It would be nice to hear more positives from this Administration, given that any busibess looking at Illinois hits the search key and can find quote after quote from Governor Rauner how awful Illinois is, as Rauner will soon, as he says, go to other states to rip the economic guts out of them.

    What a failure of mix messaging with confusion leading the way?


  16. - VanillaMan - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 1:20 pm:

    What Rauner needs to do is stop berating us. When your governor has nothing nice to say, then there is little incentive for businesses to relocate here.

    We have water for the same reason California has volcanoes - and it has nothing to do with the governors.


  17. - Excessively Rabid - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 1:22 pm:

    The biggest deterrent to businesses moving here is the state’s unwillingness to come up with a way to pay its bills. It’s obvious somebody is going to have to pay eventually. As long as there’s no clear plan in place other than different versions of denial, any company would have to be afraid they’ll end up holding the bag if they move here.


  18. - Chris - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 1:22 pm:

    ” I’ll give you our water. We have unlimited water”

    Federal lawsuit being filed by the states and provinces in the Great Lakes basin and downstream on the Mississippi in 3, 2, 1 …


  19. - Wordslinger - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 1:30 pm:

    ER, considering that most Illinois businesses don’t have a state income tax liability, and that the corporate income tax represents less than 10 percent of GRF, I don’t think anyone’s sweating Illinois taxes too much when it comes to relocating.


  20. - Anonymous - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 1:35 pm:

    - Effingham entrepreneur -

    Wow, someone that knows how to build businesses has good ideas to, build businesses. Who’d have thunk it?

    Rauner would do well to learn from this guy.


  21. - VanillaMan - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 1:36 pm:

    The biggest deterrent to businesses moving here is the state’s unwillingness to come up with a

    after Ryan, Blagojevich, Quinn and Rauner - I’d say it would be our unwillingness to come up with a competent governor.


  22. - BlameBruceRauner - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 1:37 pm:

    Stone
    YES, Illinois should MOST DEFINTIELTY be looking to take major sectors of California agriculture. “A hundred billion gallons of water per year is being exported in the form of alfalfa from California,” I think that one grows around here….


  23. - Demoralized - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 1:48 pm:

    I can see the ad campaign now:

    “Come to Illinois. You can water your lawn here.”

    Seriously, it is refreshing to see somebody being positive. There is absolutely no need for the constant tearing down of the state.


  24. - Stones - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 1:50 pm:

    Do you suppose Mr. Schultz can turn the Asian Carp into a hidden asset? Our financial problems would be over.


  25. - vole - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 1:59 pm:

    Blame and Stone
    Yes, alfalfa is the first to come to mind. But consider that the great yields of many crops in California are directly a result of their abundant sunshine, long growing seasons, and their desert climate = low rainfall and low humidity (which are tremendous advantages for many reasons). So, without looking it up, this likely means at least two to three or more cuttings of alfalfa than what we can expect here. Plus we have other factors like a highly industrialized agricultural system geared toward annual crops. And proximity to ports? Very few crops grown in California would make good transplants in the humid east.


  26. - Six Degrees of Separation - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 2:00 pm:

    Someone already thunk of that one.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/a-money-making-idea-exporting-asian-carp-to-china/


  27. - Anonymous - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 2:12 pm:

    Water is extremely importtant. Remeber the 1980’s when the “rust belt” was losing industry to the Sun Belt because of energy costs. Water costs will reverse that trend as water cost in the Southeast and California become unaffordable.


  28. - WAK - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 2:13 pm:

    Water and agriculture… The California drought and long term climate change shows IL as a huge mid to long term economic opportunity. Specialty crop production (fruits and vegetables) is going to have to necessarily shift away from California to places like the Midwest. IL with excellent natural resources and transportation infrastructure is well suited to absorb some of that shift but that means we have to start investing in and creating the programs and policies and post-harvest handling infrastructure to make that happen now. Unfortunately we are too captivated by traditional corn, soy, and pork production interests to diversify our agriculture system and take a long term approach.


  29. - A guy - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 2:46 pm:

    WAK, are you unaware of our status on Pumpkins?


  30. - Judgment Day (on the road) - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 2:52 pm:

    “No snark here but the industry affected most by the California droughts is agriculture. Are we to expect California companies are going to relocate entire farms to Illinois for our water? Some, not all of the crops grown in California won’t grow here due to differences in climate. Again, not snark - I appreciate out of the box thinking but does this really make sense?”
    ——————

    Actually, it makes perfectly logical sense. We’ve got fields of grape vines being planted out in western Kane County. May not seem like much, but have to start somewhere.

    Or go down to SW LaSalle County and see Mid America Growers.

    Link: http://www.greenhousegrower.com/business-management/color-point-to-buy-mid-american-growers/

    If you are in agriculture, you can do things to deal with climate. But agriculture without clean water? Not so much.

    We’ve got this fleet of nuclear plants here in Illinois. What do the nuke plants produce in quantity besides electricity - clean hot water. The fish grow like weeds in these cooling lakes.

    Check out the ISU University farm in Lexington, IL. Or the U of IL College of ACES (Agricultural and Consumer Economics). Link: http://ace.illinois.edu/about

    These guys are difference makers. And they have been & are gearing up to push IL agriculture, because they see the opportunity here in IL. It’s too bad it has to happen to CA, but in this case, IL can step up as an option. Otherwise that market will probably go to areas like South America.

    But we have a lot of work to do. And financial stability at the state level is a big issue. And we are going to be pitching places to invest a lot of dollars as a long term investment in a state where they want to know about our financial stability plans.

    So, what are those plans, Governor? What are those plans, Legislature?

    And if your only answer is to raise taxes, it’s going to be “No, Thanks”.

    Illinois right now has a tremendous opportunity in Agriculture. But we have to decide if we want to take it. And that means making commitments that are going to oblige us to accomplish some things that some folks aren’t going to like.


  31. - BlameBruceRauner - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 3:08 pm:

    Vole
    I suspect you a bio type-like me. True are all your points, but we need to take aim at commodities now. Most of the alfalfa is exported to China. So we have an advantage their because of barges. Plus they are watering the haites out of it. We wont have to water one bit and get pretty good yields. Corn, beans are not as profitable especially for marginal lands where alfalfa might do well on. We need a shift in IL Agriculture and I see California water problem as a great reason to start promoting diversity. Remember the wealth of IL is in its soil.


  32. - Wordslinger - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 3:09 pm:

    For those wishing for diversification in Illinois agriculture, better get ready to knock heads with King Corn aka chemical companies.

    Between federal crop insurance and ethanol requirements, corn is as close to a sure thing as you can get in farming. Corn for ethanol now matches corn for feed. Beans are a close second as no-risk with the crop insurance.

    Just watch over the next year as all those presidential candidates go to Iowa and pledge their undying allegiance to ethanol — even as domestic oil and gas production continue to climb to record heights.


  33. - Excessively Rabid - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 3:22 pm:

    ==most Illinois businesses don’t have a state income tax liability==

    Yeah, but they could, or could get soaked in some other way. Maybe I should have just said “the circus we call state government.” Either way, if I were moving a company, I would have some lines in my spreadsheet for these unknowns.


  34. - Excessively Rabid - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 3:26 pm:

    ==corn is as close to a sure thing as you can get in farming==

    It was at $7 a bushel. At $3.50, not so much, even with low interest and energy prices. Seed, fertilizer, and pesticide are still through the roof. A lot of marginal land that never should have seen corn could use something else to do.


  35. - vole - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 4:31 pm:

    I won’t deny that some agricultural production will shift back to the humid Midwest. And with rising sea levels there may be huge migrations from the coasts to fly over country. Which only emphasizes that states like IL need to get their affairs in order and create a quality base for future inhabitants. Unfortunately we are diminishing the place as a quality place to live. So, with future dystopias on the horizon along the coastal area, if we keep up with the status quo, our quality of living could really go down the crapper with hordes of migrants from the coasts. And it is really hard to see how this atmosphere of austerity is going to make things much better. Quality takes investment. Will the 1%ers see the collective light? Or will the commons keep taking it in the shorts?


  36. - Wordslinger - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 5:15 pm:

    ER, but insured corn is at $4.62.


  37. - Anonymous - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 5:21 pm:

    In office 3.5 months and they can’t even market Illinois better than Quinn?

    “We know how to do it in Illinois. We don’t need any advice from Gov. Perry,” Quinn told reporters at the State Capitol. “His state, frankly, is water challenged, and any company thinking of going to Texas better check on their water.”

    http://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/state-politics/20130417-illinois-governor-we-don-t-need-any-advice-from-gov.-perry.ece


  38. - Crispy Critter - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 5:23 pm:

    Asian carp in a can; the heck with tuna in a can. Maybe Starkist can locate here. LOL


  39. - Lefty Lefty - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 5:44 pm:

    As a water scientist I have to take issue with the “unlimited water” statement. We have more of it than CA though….


  40. - Anon221 - Monday, Apr 27, 15 @ 6:11 pm:

    We have plenty if water… Hmmm. No one remembers our droughts? When people tried to 4 wheel in the Mississippi? Or when you could walk across the North Fork of Salt Creek( DeWitt County for those who don’t want to look it up- it is dammed up to provide water for the Clinton nuke and the lake has been on the IEPA’s list for being too hot)? The Mahomet Aquifer was recently given a sole source water designation by USEPA. Ag is exempt from “pump and dump” in Illinois right now, but there are those who are following the p abd d strategies on some farms with new irrigation units in black soil, not sand. If you want to open the door to CA, please stop, think, and PLAN for the future! Don’t just say, “We got it! come and git it!”.


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