SPRINGFIELD, Ill – In an effort to help small businesses in Illinois, state Rep. Deb Conroy, D-Villa Park, supported legislation to reform workers’ compensation and to extend the Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) tax credit.
“Small businesses are the engine of Illinois’ economy and employ thousands of workers across the state,” Conroy said. “These measures aim to improve the business climate for small companies, allowing them to continue to grow our economy and create and retain local jobs.”
The Conroy-backed Senate Bill 2901 reforms Illinois’ workers’ compensation system by cracking down on insurance companies that fail to pass on savings from a 2011 reform on to small businesses. The National Council on Compensation Insurance, a national organization that recommends workers’ compensation rates for insurance companies, said rates for small businesses should have fallen by about 30 percent from those 2011 reforms. However, premiums have yet to be actually lowered for small businesses. This bill ensures that the Illinois Department of Insurance will review and approve rates to help address this issue.
“These reforms aim to fix an unintended consequence from the 2011 reforms and ensures that small businesses get the rate reductions that they should receive,” Conroy said. “This bill will force greedy insurance companies to pass on rate savings to small businesses so they are able to grow and give a boost to our local economy.”
Conroy also supported Senate Bill 513, a bipartisan measure to extend the EDGE small business tax credit who had expired at the end of 2016. The program was developed to bring new businesses to Illinois and to retain existing small businesses. It has a broad range of support from economic groups across the state, including the Illinois Chamber of Commerce.
“Growing and attracting new small businesses continues to be one of my top priorities,” Conroy said. “Allowing the EDGE tax credit to expire sends the wrong signal to the business community and why I was happy to support this commonsense measure that will show job creators that Illinois is open for business.”
Senate Bill 513 passed the General Assembly and awaits the governor’s signature to become law. Senate Bill 2901 passed out of the House but was not called for a vote in the Senate.