As economies around the world and in the U.S. continue to rebound, Chicago is expected to be the second-most competitive U.S. city and ninth worldwide in attracting businesses, capital and talent, according to a report published this week.
Crain’s reported the results today of a study commissioned by Citigroup Inc. based on a number of factors of competitiveness. Chicago is expected to move up three spots on the list to ninth place by 2025 based on economic strength, institutional character, human capitol, global appeal a range of indicators. The city ranked fourth globally, higher than any other U.S. city, on environmental governance and risk of natural disasters. Social and cultural character and infrastructure also ranked high in the study.
SPRINGFIELD – Senate President John J. Cullerton released the following statement on the status of pension reform in Illinois:
“When I became Senate President I took an oath to uphold the constitution and I made a promise to make the Senate an open chamber where member legislation gets a fair hearing. Anyone following the issue of pension reform can confirm that I have honored those commitments this session.
I personally have worked to craft reform proposals that might satisfy the constitution and while achieving considerable savings. To date the Senate has worked to pass five different pieces of legislation designed to reform our systems within the confines of the constitution. Not one of these plans was brought to the House floor for a vote.
My preference for adhering to the plain language of the constitution hasn’t prevented me from working with other leaders who interpret the pension clause differently. That’s been evidenced by the fact that I refused to block votes on opposing pension plans.
I crafted a compromise plan that would have made unilateral cuts to the law while including a default constitutional savings plan. I then voted for a second plan and sponsored a third plan to impose unilateral cuts pension benefits.
As Senate President, I could have buried those proposals to satisfy my personal political philosophy. That is not why I am Senate President and that is not how I lead.
The Senate has spoken repeatedly and consistently on pension reform. Still, this issue is not resolved. I am committed to staying at the table until a comprehensive solution is passed into law. I invite Governor Quinn, Speaker Madigan and all leaders of the General Assembly to continue with me."
UPDATE: Please take a moment to listen to Senate President Cullerton comments to reporters.
Developing a comprehensive statewide economic development plan to attract new businesses and expand existing business facilities is the goal of legislation that passed out of the Senate today.
“When it comes to creating jobs and encouraging economic development, Illinois can and must do better,” sponsoring State Senator Andy Manar (D – Bunker Hill) said.
House Bill 1544 requires the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to develop a statewide economic development plan and creates a Business Development Council, composed of diverse business leaders from various industries that will work together to attract and retain businesses in Illinois.
Senate President John Cullerton appeared on Fox 32 Sunday news with Fox Political Editor Mike Flannery yesterday to discuss the House's concealed carry bill, possible gaming expansion and other issues on the calendar for this last week of session. Watch his interview on myfoxchicago.com:
- Cullerton talks pensions, guns
- Raoul reacts to concealed carry legislation passed in the House (AUDIO)
- Mulroe’s hands-free cell phone bill approved by Senate
- Bertino-Tarrant sponsors legislation to protect small businesses during road construction
- Senator Mulroe committed to keeping nicotine out of the hands of minors
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