Springfield, IL-(Effingham Radio)- The Illinois Freedom Caucus is issuing the following statement on the news Stellantis is idling its Jeep Cherokee plant in Belvidere by the end of February.

“This decision impacts about 1,350 workers and will have a devastating impact on the Belvidere community. The plant is being closed for a variety of factors but one of the main reasons cited is the cost to transition to the manufacturing of electric vehicles. Given the Pritzker Administration’s eagerness to promote electric vehicles, the question has to be asked – why couldn’t Illinois convince Stellantis to repurpose the Belvidere plant?

The answer is we can’t provide enough incentives to overcome Illinois’ poor business climate. While Stellantis is shuttering a plant in Illinois and costing our state 1,350 jobs, the company is investing $2.5 billion in a plant in Kokomo, IN and creating 1,400 jobs in the Hoosier state. Illinois is not only losing out on the Stellantis battery plant but is now 0-18 in attracting battery plants.

Illinois ranks as the third-worst state for doing business according to Chief Executive Magazine. The combination of over-regulation, high workers’ compensation costs and high taxes – not to mention the high cost of energy thanks to Gov. Pritzker’s ill-advised CEJA legislation – all makes it difficult for Illinois recruit and as importantly to retain businesses. Illinois has already lost Boeing, Caterpillar, and Tyson. Now it is losing a major car manufacturing plant. We can no longer ignore the toll bad policies are having on our economy. We should be a leader for economic growth not a state businesses can’t wait to escape. Real jobs are being lost. Families in Belvidere are going to spend Christmas wondering how they are going to pay their bills next year. This is the real-world impact of JB Pritzker’s inept leadership.”

The Illinois Freedom Caucus is comprised of State Representatives Adam Niemerg (R-Dieterich); Chris Miller (R-Oakland); Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville); Blaine Wilhour (R-Beecher City) and Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur). The members of the Illinois Freedom Caucus are members of the Illinois General Assembly who are advocating for limited government, lower taxes and accountability and integrity in government.