Business & Economy
Governor Quinn Cuts Property Leases to Achieve Additional $55 Million in Savings PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Dave Blanchette   
Tuesday, 24 June 2014 09:43

Since Taking Office Governor Quinn Has Achieved $220 Million in State Savings by Eliminating More Than 2.5 Million Square Feet of Leased Space – Equivalent to Emptying Out Chicago’s Trump Tower

CHICAGO – As part of his ongoing budget review, Governor Quinn today announced that the state of Illinois had again cut property leases to save an additional $55 million by continuing to downsize the space it leases in the upcoming fiscal year. This brings the total savings accomplished since the Governor took office to $220 million in property leases through consolidation, elimination or negotiation – roughly the equivalent of space in Chicago's Trump Tower.

Today’s announcement is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to make state government efficient and accountable to taxpayers.

"Making government more efficient and doing more with less each year is always a priority," Governor Quinn said. "That's why as part of my ongoing budget review, we are continuing to downsize and eliminate space that the state leases, which will save taxpayers an additional $55 million this year alone."

When Governor Quinn took office, he directed the state to undertake a comprehensive effort to negotiate better lease rates for offices, and to close or consolidate duplicative, outdated or unnecessary space. That effort has resulted in $220 million in savings to date, including this year's additional $55 million, and cleared out 2.5 million square feet of leased space, roughly the equivalent of Chicago’s Trump Tower. In addition, state facility closures are saving taxpayers an additional $100 million annually.

Moving offices of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) – from 32 W. Randolph St. in downtown Chicago to significantly less expensive space at 33 S. State St. saved taxpayers more than $4 million and eliminated 142,643 square feet of leased space.

Other recent lease cost-saving moves include:

·         The state is vacating two Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) offices on Chicago’s North Side, consolidating the offices into new space at 5040-5060 N. Broadway to save state taxpayers about $118,000 a year.

·         The DHS is moving from the Hay Edwards Building into the Harris Building in Springfield, saving taxpayers $1.4 million a year in lease costs.

·         Five DHS offices in Charleston, Tuscola, Shelbyville, Paris and Effingham are moving into one new office in Charleston, saving state taxpayers $119,000 a year.

Since taking office and inheriting decades of mismanagement, Governor Quinn has enacted major reforms that are saving taxpayers billions of dollars. The Governor has saved taxpayers more than $3 billion by overhauling Illinois’ Medicaid system, cutting Medicaid spending and rooting out waste, fraud and abuse. He also passed comprehensive pension reform that will save taxpayers more than $140 billion over the next 30 years.

Additionally, the Governor negotiated a historic contract with Illinois’ employee unions that includes $900 million in savings for Illinois taxpayers. The Governor also enacted comprehensive worker’s compensation reform that has saved state taxpayers more than $40 million to date. The state workforce is the smallest it has been in decades, with 4,000 fewer state employees than we had five years ago. All things included, over the last five years, Governor Quinn has cut state spending by more than $5.7 billion.

To build on this progress, Governor Quinn is proposing a five-year blueprint to secure the state’s finances for the long-term and invest like never before in education and early childhood. The blueprint includes a historic $6 billion increase in classroom spending over the next five years, doubling the investment in college scholarships for students in need and increasing access to higher education through dual enrollment and early college programs. The Governor’s plan was lauded by all three bond-rating agencies for its comprehensive approach to paying down bills, stabilizing the state's finances and enacting spending restraints.

For more information on Governor’s Quinn’s budget cuts please visit:

http://www2.illinois.gov/gov/budget/Documents/Cuts_to_Budget_FY09-FY15.pdf

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Loebsack, Bustos Announce Economic Development Investment for Quad Cities Region PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Joe Hand   
Monday, 23 June 2014 14:46

Washington D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack (IA-02) and Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) today announced that the Bi-State Regional Commission based in Rock Island will receive $169,884 for regional economic development planning. The Bi-State Regional Commission is comprised of Muscatine and Scott Counties in Iowa and Henry, Mercer, and Rock Island Counties in Illinois. The funds come from the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Partnership Planning grant program.

“I am pleased that the Bi-State Regional Commission received this funding to continue their important work of developing and implementing a comprehensive economic development strategy for the region,” said Congressman Dave Loebsack. “We must focus on growing our economy and putting folks back to work. Investing in economic development planning, rural development and supporting public-private partnerships will both help strengthen the regional economy and promote job creation.”

“I’m pleased to announce this important investment in the economy of our region,” said Congresswoman Cheri Bustos. “Today’s investment will continue our goal of fostering collaboration to create jobs, bolster our manufacturing sector, grow our economy and contribute to a thriving middle class.”

Specifically, this funding will support the development and implementation of a comprehensive economic development strategy (CEDS) in the region. The CEDS process is designed to bring together the public and private sectors in the creation of an economic development roadmap to diversify and strengthen the regional economy.

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Governor Quinn Announces Successful Results of Inaugural Illinois Corporate-Startup Challenge PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Katie Hickey   
Monday, 23 June 2014 14:28

Pilot Program Has Resulted in 18 Startups Actively Pursuing Partnerships with Five Leading Illinois Corporations

CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today was joined by CEOs from some of Illinois’ top companies and rising startups to announce the successful results of the inaugural “Corporate-Startup Challenge” program. The pilot program, conceived by the Illinois Innovation Council and managed by the Illinois Science & Technology Coalition (ISTC), has resulted in 18 startups actively pursuing partnerships with leading Illinois corporations. The partnerships vary by company, but include investments, contracts and mentorships. These partnerships with leading corporations are critical to the long-term success of the startups. The initiative is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to drive innovation and create jobs throughout Illinois.

“This innovative challenge is helping solve an important piece of the entrepreneurship puzzle – connecting startups with often inaccessible large corporations,” Governor Quinn said. “This gives the startups important experience and business, while helping these large corporations continue to innovate and stay competitive in the global marketplace. This will create jobs and drive innovation throughout Illinois.”

Participating corporations Allstate, John Deere, Molex Inc., Motorola Mobility and Walgreens first identified areas for potential collaboration. Then, they examined startups that had been referred through a network of more than 30 universities, incubators, accelerators, associations and not-for-profits. Connections were created between the corporations and promising entrepreneurs during “Demo Day” events.

On the heels of this successful pilot program that was launched last summer, Governor Quinn announced the kickoff of the second round of the Challenge with corporations ADM, Exelon Corporation and Hyatt Corporation.

“Illinois corporations are relying more than ever on technology and innovation to stay relevant and globally competitive,” Illinois Innovation Council Chairman Brad Keywell said. “Connecting corporate leaders with innovative entrepreneurs helps those leaders address their own challenges, and opens the door for these emerging companies to gain feedback and expand their businesses.”

More than 200 startups were referred to the program, and 62 of them were matched to at least one corporation. Of the 45 that were selected to present at one or more of the Demo Day events, 50 percent received engagement beyond the Demo Day and 18 remain in some form of ongoing partnership, including startups Servabo and SimpleRelevance with Allstate, Ploughman Analytics with John Deere and SiNode Systems with Motorola Mobility.

“A start-up like SiNode Systems can learn and grow from an introductory pitch to a corporation, but the Corporate-Startup challenge provided us with a much more meaningful gateway,” SiNode Systems co-founder and CEO Samir Mayekar said. “Thanks to our participation in this effort, SiNode has had the opportunity to learn directly from Motorola Mobility’s top battery engineers and we have now established key relationships to help us build value and create more high technology jobs in Illinois."

"As part of our global product development efforts and interest in supporting Illinois economic growth, Molex was a natural fit for the inaugural Corporate-Startup Challenge program,” Molex Inc. Vice President of Marketing and Communications Brian Krause said. “The program team did an outstanding job at the front end, understanding our technology requirements and innovation direction and marrying those with entrepreneurs and startup companies – including those from the state's research universities – who were looking for a compatible growth strategy. We are very optimistic that the partnerships developed will prove valuable to Molex and the startup organizations."

“Illinois’ differentiator is our diverse corporate community, which plays a central role in driving and supporting innovation, especially as customers to emerging Illinois businesses,” ISTC President and CEO Mark Harris said. “The Corporate-Startup Challenge demonstrated the mutual value of better connecting the state’s entrepreneurial community with these corporations and we look forward to continue growing the program with even greater participation and engagement.”

Corporations and startups interested in learning more about the Corporate-Startup Challenge should visit IllinoisInnovation.com.

About the Illinois Innovation Council

The Illinois Innovation Council (IIC) is a diverse group of leaders convened by Governor Quinn to promote engagement, innovation and economic development. Its mission is to identify and advance strategies that foster and accelerate the innovation and economic growth that will create the jobs of today and tomorrow. For more information, visit illinoisinnovation.com/illinois-innovation-council.

About the Illinois Science & Technology Coalition

The ISTC is a member-driven, non-profit organization that harnesses the power of research and innovation to grow the state’s economy. Created by the state of Illinois more than 20 years ago and with the support of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the ISTC drives public-private partnerships between industry, research universities, federal labs and government to increase research and technology-based investment, talent, awareness and job growth in Illinois. For more information, visit istcoalition.org/.

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300,000 Hard-Working Iowans Deserve a Pay Raise PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Rep. Bruce Braley   
Monday, 23 June 2014 13:38
Iowans are no strangers to working hard. We have a deep history of working full-time, labor intensive jobs in order to provide for ourselves and our families.

The minimum wage has been hotly debated in recent years, but the simple truth is that if the minimum wage was restored, 300,000 hard-working Iowans would receive a pay raise — a statistic that’s more than just a number. It’s stability for Iowa families and economic growth for our state.

[…]

For generations, American workers have believed that hard work pays off. Today, unfortunately, many of those who work the hardest are living paycheck to paycheck. That’s why I am calling on my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to work together and pass the Fair Minimum Wage Act, which restores the minimum wage to $10.10, and gives America’s working class a better chance at improving the lives of themselves and their families.

Full article: http://www.press-citizen.com/story/opinion/contributors/guest-editorials/2014/06/23/hard-working-iowans-deserve-pay-raise/11244909/

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Humanatapilism: A Better Economy PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Aaron R. Lema   
Monday, 23 June 2014 09:39
Humanatapilism is a new economic model that combines the best aspects of our humanity with the best aspects of free market capitalism. Humanity + Capitalism = Humanatapilism.
In the recently published Unscrew Humanity & Improve Capitalism, Humanatapilism, Par Deux author Aaron R. Lema explains a simple approach to redistributing our humanity through free market capitalism. That approach is based on the formula Psquared = P (R-T=N) + D = Q. This formula, yes it is odd looking, allows businesses  and consumers to work together to improve the quality of life, or Q, of our fellow human beings. And working together to improve the quality of life of our fellow human beings is how we are going to build a better economy.
For more information on humanatapilism, the formulas variables, and how your participation in humanatapilism can help build a better economy, purchase a copy of Unscrew Humanity & Improve Capitalism, Humanatapilism, part Deux by author Aaron R. Lema from Amazon Books today.

 
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