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Proposal to restructure DCEO heard in Naperville

DSC 5699 3rBusiness leaders and economic development organizations gathered in Naperville recently to discuss a proposal to restructure the lead state agency responsible for economic development in the state.

With concerns the agency is falling short in addressing unemployment and job creation, State Senator Andy Manar (D – Bunker Hill) has introduced legislation that would restructure the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

“The state has to do a better job of encouraging new business growth as well as attracting new businesses to Illinois,” Manar said. “I think the state can meet those tasks by restructuring the agency to be more focused and responsive to the needs of the business community.”

Manar’s legislation, contained in Senate Bill 2, would abolish DCEO and replace it with two entities responsible for developing the state’s strategic economic plan, maintaining DCEO’s current economic development responsibilities and developing marketing strategies and policy research for business development in Illinois.

“Our goal through this process is to work with DCEO to identify programs that are taking resources away from economic development and determine if those programs need to be shifted to another agency,” Manar continued.

Senate Bill 2 was heard in the State Government and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Development and included testimony from the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, the Chicago Southland Chamber of Commerce, the Naperville Development Partnership, Choose DuPage and the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce.

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