Gov. Pat Quinn was on the defense Wednesday after Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced he is coming to Chicago to lure jobs to Texas.
Perry hopes his visit will “spur competition between states and recruit jobs and employees to Texas,” stating in an open letter to Illinois businesses that “if you’re ready for a fresh start in a place that appreciates job creators like you, it’s time to check out Texas.”
Perry is coming to Chicago on April 23 -24 to meet with business leaders in the biotechnology and financial industries, and to speak at the 2013 BIO conference.
Quinn fired back to Perry’s comments asserting, "We know how to do it in Illinois. We don't need any advice from Gov. Perry."
He emphasized Illinois’ water technologies, citing the groundbreaking of the Danish water pump company Grundfos' North American headquarters in suburban Chicago earlier this week.
Perry attempted to further entice Illinois businesses by comparing Texas’ labor practices to Illinois. He cited Illinois’ unemployment rate being 3.1 percent higher than Texas, and Illinois’ union member rates being 8.9 percent higher.
While Quinn is no stranger to poaching attempts from governors in Wisconsin, Indiana and New Jersey, businesses have also spoken publicly about their concern with Illinois’ financial state.
The worst pension problem in the country, lowered credit ratings and unpaid bill shave forced companies such as Caterpillar Inc. to bypass the state as a location for a new plant and 1,400 jobs.
In an attempt to keep businesses from leaving Illinois, Quinn and lawmakers signed $100 million in tax and incentives for Sears Holding Corp and CME Group Inc. in 2011.