Illinois has a reputation for being an expensive and difficult place to do business, a big reason why the state has the ninth-highest unemployment rate in the country, higher than every state that borders it. Employers want to locate where they are welcome.
So you might expect that the people who write laws in Illinois — land of 8.8 percent unemployment, $96 billion pension debt, $8 billion in unpaid bills — would be falling all over themselves to welcome business.
Last week, the Illinois Senate narrowly passed a bill that would require publicly traded companies doing business here to release how much they pay in state income taxes. The sponsors suggest that something sinister must be going on, because many companies don’t pay state income tax. “Maybe if we were to find out that there are some very profitable corporations operating in the state of Illinois, we might want to say that maybe they should pay a little more,” House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie said last week.