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.
* 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