Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

What happened to Illinois businesses when Democrats raised taxes?

Central United States

Central United States

How do Illinois businesses respond to Democrat Governor Quinn’s tax increases?

From CBS News. (H/T Marathon Pundit)

Excerpt:

The Chicago area will soon have a few hundred fewer jobs, while Northwest Indiana will have a few hundred more.

As CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports, sources say Modern Forge is moving from Blue Island across the state line to Merrillville, Ind., and the new town is rolling out the its welcome mat for the plant.

[...]On Tuesday, Indiana succeeded as Blue Island-based manufacturer Modern Forge announced it was moving across the state line. CEO Greg Heim said Illinois made it impossible to stay.

“The environment in Illinois, I would say there was no — we did not see any change coming in Illinois,” Heim said. “Illinois continues to stay on a path of not being – for us – a (pro-business) environment and the excitement and energy here in Indiana, that’s very important to us.”

That’s why, after 97 years in Blue Island, Modern Forge is picking up and moving its building and 240 jobs to Indiana.

“It’s a huge thrill for us,” Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels said.

Daniels didn’t mince words when he said luring business is the Hoosier State’s #1 priority. And there’s no question that Illinois – and companies like Modern Forge – are main targets.

He claimed that “well over a dozen” businesses have moved from Illinois to Indiana in the past few months. “And it’s not like this just started recently,” he added.

In fact, it really ramped up last year when Illinois lawmakers hiked the state’s income tax. Since then, some businesses have bailed and others threatened to do so, citing high taxes, worker’s compensation issues, lack of incentives and an overall lack of encouragement from the Quinn administration.

[...]According to U.S. Labor Bureau statistics, Quinn needs to do something. Statistics show a steady jobs decline beginning in January, shortly after the tax hike passed.

Daniels said he sees tax concerns in Illinois as a potential Indiana win.

“We’ve had a big upsurge in contacts from businesses who want to explore an Indiana location because the arithmetic tells them it’s less expensive to hire people here,” Daniels said.

And more from the Illinois Policy Institute:

In a trend that continues to worsen, more Illinoisans found themselves unemployed in the month of July.

Illinois lost more jobs during the month of July than any other state in the nation, according to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report. After losing 7,200 jobs in June, Illinois lost an additional 24,900 non-farm payroll jobs in July. The report also said Illinois’s unemployment rate climbed to 9.5 percent. This marks the third consecutive month of increases in the unemployment rate.

Illinois started to create jobs as the national economy began to recover. But just when Illinois’s economy seemed to be turning around, lawmakers passed record tax increases in January of this year. Since then, Illinois’s employment numbers have done nothing but decline.

Data released today by the bureau confirms this downward trajectory. When it comes to putting people back to work, Illinois is going backwards. Since January, Illinois has dropped 89,000 people from its employment rolls.

Democrats complain a lot about companies that outsource jobs. And now we see what causes companies to outsource jobs – Democrats.They cause the very thing that they complain about. That’s insane.

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Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels signs bill to defund Planned Parenthood

From Fox News. (H/T Dad)

Excerpt:

Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels said Friday he will sign restrictive abortion legislation, making Indiana the first state to cut off all government funding for Planned Parenthood and boosting Daniels’ credentials among social conservatives as he considers whether to run for president.

Daniels said he supported the abortion restrictions from the outset and that the provision added to defund abortion providers did not change his mind. He said women’s health, family planning and other services will remain available.

“The principle involved commands the support of an overwhelming majority of Hoosiers,” Daniels said in a statement announcing his intention to sign the bill when it arrives on his desk in about a week.

[...]State Rep. Linda Lawson, a Democrat from Hammond who opposes the bill, said the legislation wouldn’t win Daniels any friends among independents and women.

I thought he was only a fiscal conservative. Oh well, I guess this is fiscally conservative.

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Republicans in Florida, Indiana and Pennsylvania push school choice

First, education reform in Florida.

Excerpt:

Michelle Rhee, who gained national attention as the chancellor of schools in Washington, D.C., called Monday for giving students government-funded vouchers to attend private schools, rating principals based on student achievement and getting rid of teacher tenure.

The release of the blueprint was the first formal action of Ms. Rhee’s new advocacy group, StudentsFirst, which she launched in December, after leaving her job heading D.C. schools in October. Ms. Rhee said she was in discussions with the governors of Florida, New Mexico, New Jersey, Tennessee, Nevada and Indiana to adopt part, if not all, of the agenda.

[...]The nation’s two largest teachers’ unions criticized Ms. Rhee’s agenda.[...]The detailed plan Ms. Rhee released Monday focuses on overhauling teacher pay and evaluation plans, giving parents more say in their child’s education and spending tax dollars more wisely.

In addition to doing away with tenure, it calls for ending the practice of paying teachers based on years of service and on the master’s degrees they collect. Ms. Rhee said pay should be based on whether teachers boost student achievement.

She also is calling for districts to get parental consent before placing children in the classrooms of low-performing teachers. Ms. Rhee said firing ineffective teachers can be time-consuming and expensive.

“Too many districts hide the fact that they have ineffective teachers and we are saying, ‘If you can’t change the laws, then you have to give parents the information,’ ” she said.

The blueprint also prods states and districts to adopt “parent trigger” laws that let parents force a major overhaul of a school if more than half of them sign a petition. They could vote to turn the school into a charter school or force the district to get rid of most of the teaching staff.A similar policy was used in Compton, Calif., last year.

Ms. Rhee’s document also calls for an end to what she calls ineffective policies that waste taxpayer money, such as class size reduction policies in the higher grade levels. Her plan, she said, wouldn’t increase spending but would ensure taxpayer money was spent more wisely.

StudentsFirst’s initial foray into policy could be in Florida, where Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who was elected to office in November, appointed Ms. Rhee to his transition team. In a news release, Mr. Scott praised Ms. Rhee’s agenda and said he supported her call to eliminate tenure and expand the number of charter schools, public schools run by independent groups.

And education reform from Indiana. (H/T Heritage Foundation)

Excerpt:

Gov. Mitch Daniels urged the state legislature to finally act on significant reforms to public education and local government in his annual State of the State speech Tuesday, repeating a call for the expansion of charter schools, merit pay for teachers and the elimination of township government.

[...]Now empowered by a Republican majority in both legislative chambers, Daniels said “it’s going to be a session to remember.” He was escorted to the podium by several lawmakers of both parties, including Sen. Earline Rogers, D-Gary.

He said Indiana should let students finish their high school studies a year early and be given scholarships for college studies. Teachers should be rewarded based on student performance, he said, adding that one in three Hoosier children can pass the national math or reading exam.

Meanwhile, he said 99 percent of Indiana teachers are rated “effective.”

“If that were true 99 percent, not one-third, of our students would be passing those national tests,” Daniels said.

Families who can’t find the right public or charter public school, he said, should be able to apply state dollars toward “the non-government school of their choice.”

And finally, education reform in Pennsylvania. (H/T Heritage Foundation)

Excerpt:

Political momentum is building for taxpayer-funded school tuition vouchers, as hundreds of people clogged the Capitol rotunda Tuesday to support the idea of “school choice.”

[...]During the recent campaign, Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley told the boisterous crowd, Gov. Tom Corbett “repeatedly said that things would change in education. Today we start that process of putting children first. State government should be open to and promote charter schools, home schools, private schools and cyber schools” as well as traditional public schools, he said.”I’m more excited and encouraged about the possibility of educational change than I’ve ever been,” said Sen. Jeffrey Piccola, R-Dauphin, who has been advocating state-funded tuition vouchers for 15 years.

[...]His bill, Senate Bill 1, would create a three-phase program for making state-funded vouchers available to low-income students who now have no choice but to go to public schools that consistently score poorly on state proficiency tests.

[...]The Senate Education Committee will hold a hearing on the bill in mid-February, and it could get a Senate vote in March. Since Republicans control both the Senate and House, and since Gov. Tom Corbett supports the school choice idea, the bill is likely to be enacted. But opponents could file a court challenge.

Last week was “School Choice Week“, and there were a lot of events promoting school choice. Republicans noticed these events and participated in them. And now Republicans are making a push to sign bills that help poor students to get better educations. Democrats are opposed to school choice because they are supported by teacher unions who want guaranteed jobs for teachers regardless of performance.

I like that the Republicans are making pushes to cut spending, ban taxpayer funding of abortions, and introduce school choice. These are all issues that I strongly agree with, because they are all pro-child. Children shouldn’t have to pay for the debts their parents run up, children shouldn’t be killed in the womb, and children shouldn’t get a crappy education just so that badly performing schools can stay open. These policies make sense to me. Next, they should introduce a federal law for charter marriages, and introduce a federal voucher program for pre-marital counseling.

Must-see videos on education policy

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Mitch Daniels thinks that government should cut spending

Story about frugal Indiana governor Mitch Daniels at the Weekly Standard.

Excerpt:

Daniels is a font of statistics, but one comes to his lips more than any other. “Only 61 cents of every education dollar gets into the classroom in Indiana.” School funding increased every year under Daniels before the recession, and since the downturn, when most areas of state government have seen cuts of 25 percent or more, education has been reduced by only 2 percent. Yet the local school boards and their Democratic allies in the state legislature continue to complain. Daniels calls education funding “the bloody shirt” of Indiana politics: “It doesn’t take long before somebody starts waving it.” One of my favorite bits of Daniels video on YouTube shows him at a press conference defending a bill to end “social promotion” in the state’s grade schools. School districts were appalled that the bill would pass without “additional resources” to educate the kids who would be held back.

A reporter asked him about it.

“By the time a child has finished third grade, the state has spent $40,000 and the school district has had 720 days to teach that child to read,” he said, tight-lipped. “If that child can’t read by then, there is a fundamental failure in that district. And they’ll need to remedy it. The most unacceptable thing to do is to shove that child along to fourth grade into almost certain academic failure. That’s a cruel thing to do, it’s a wrong thing to do, and we’re going to put an end to it.”

The reporter pressed: But won’t the schools need more money?

Daniels’s eyes got wide.

“More than $40,000 to teach someone how to read? No. It won’t and it shouldn’t and any school district that can’t do it ought to face consequences.”

And this is actually normal behavior for him:

When Daniels took office, in 2004, the state faced a $200 million deficit and hadn’t balanced its budget in seven years. Four years later, all outstanding debts had been paid off; after four balanced budgets, the state was running a surplus of $1.3 billion, which has cushioned the blows from a steady decline in revenues caused by the recession. “That’s what saved us when the recession hit,” one official said. “If we didn’t have the cash reserves and the debts paid off, we would have been toast.” The state today is spending roughly the same amount that it was when Daniels took office, largely because he resisted the budget increases other states were indulging in the past decade.

No other state in the Midwest—all of them, like Indiana, dependent on a declining manufacturing sector—can match this record. Venture capital investment in Indiana had lagged at $39 million annually in the first years of this decade. By 2009 it was averaging $94 million. Even now the state has continued to add jobs—7 percent of new U.S. employment has been in Indiana this year, a state with 2 percent of the country’s population. For the first time in 40 years more people are moving into the state than leaving it. Indiana earned its first triple-A bond rating from Standard and Poor’s in 2008; the other two major bond rating agencies concurred in April 2010, making it one of only nine states with this distinction, and one of only two in the Midwest.

Yes, let’s elect people like Mitch Daniels who like to cut costs instead of increasing spending – people with a record for caring about balancing the budget.

UPDATE: Or not! ECM pointed me out this “truce” comment that he made. It turns out that he is soft on social issues and probably a little soft on foreign policy issues as well! Thanks, ECM.

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