State Rep. Dan Caulkins (R-Weldon) said the government played a big role in businesses leaving Illinois.
"These are companies that are mobile, and they're voting with feet in telling [the] Illinois gov[ernor] they're not happy with how the state is being run," Caulkins told Chambana Sun. "They're not happy with all the taxes and crime and they're leaving and taking their wealth with them. And the people they're taking with them are contributors to their communities and the state, and not having them is going to be a huge drain on everyone else. In the business world, you have your basic expenses, and [the] state of Illinois is a huge added expense, and when you start taking those people out of the equation it only means the rest of us are going to have to start paying more to run this state."
Caulkins was asked what he thought were the main factors driving businesses out of the state.
"First off, it's the heavy hand of government with all the rules and regulations," he said. "Also, we're seeing the effects of all the debt, and people know they're going to be stuck with it. In leaving for Florida, Ken Griffin raised the issue of it not being safe and who wants to subject their people to that. Plus, coming off the mandates and lockdowns, our schools are a mess, with kids having learned very little over the last two years with all that's happened."
Griffin, a billionaire, was the wealthiest resident of Illinois. He is among the top 50 wealthiest people in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, as reported by MarketWatch. He has an estimated worth of $28.9 billion.
Griffin recently moved to Miami, Florida, and relocated his hedge-fund firm, Citadel, and market-making firm, Citadel Securities, to the city. His announcement was the third in the last two months from major companies that are pulling their headquarters out of Illinois. Citadel officials said crime was a factor in Griffin's decision.
"Chicago will continue to be important to the future of Citadel, as many of our colleagues have deep ties to Illinois," Griffin wrote in a letter to his employees. "Over the past year, however, many of our Chicago teams have asked to relocate to Miami, New York, and our other offices around the world."
Caulkins spoke about what state lawmakers can do to attract and retain businesses.
"The first thing we can do is change the balance of power in Springfield – make it where the rights of the majority are respected instead of trampled over," he said. "I think under a Republican governor, a lot of the bad rules can be rolled back and we can finally have a budget that reflects the needs of the entire state. These problems are all man-made and man can fix them."
Caterpillar revealed in mid-June that it would move its global headquarters from Deerfield, Illinois, to Irving, Texas, according to a press release from the company.
"We believe it's in the best strategic interest of the company to make this move, which supports Caterpillar's strategy for profitable growth as we help our customers build a better, more sustainable world," Chairman and CEO Jim Umpleby said.
Boeing revealed in May that it would transfer its headquarters from Chicago to a suburb of Washington, D.C., according to NBC Chicago.
"We are excited to build on our foundation here in Northern Virginia," Dave Calhoun, Boeing president and CEO, said. "The region makes strategic sense for our global headquarters, given its proximity to our customers and stakeholders and its access to world-class engineering and technical talent."
Chief Executive magazine conducted a survey of approximately 700 business owners from every state, The Center Square reported. The survey ranked Illinois 48th overall, meaning it is the third-worst state in the country for business. The two states that ranked worse than Illinois were New York and California. Texas, Florida, and Tennessee were ranked as the top three states for businesses.
"We're too corrupt," Ted Dabrowski, president of Wirepoints, said. "Our taxes are way too high. We have way too many regulations and we have massive debts, and that is plenty of reason enough for companies to not want to locate in Illinois, not to mention the state is shrinking in population so it's not a growth state to put your business in."
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