Economic Development

Governor Edgar saw to it that Illinois’ economic development strategy focused on retaining existing jobs and helping small and large businesses thrive and expand. No longer would the state follow the questionable smokestack-chasing strategy of the 1980s, trying to outbid other states for new jobs with multi-million dollar incentive packages. The Governor pledged that existing Illinois businesses would be given the highest priority.

To do this, Edgar created an environment that encouraged business growth. He kept his 1990 campaign promise not to raise individual and business income taxes. He cut unemployment taxes. He supported educational initiatives and job training programs to ensure an educated and skilled workforce. He invested in maintaining a state-of-the-art transportation network. He promoted regulation through common sense and cooperation. He outlawed frivolous lawsuits. He linked businesses with the technological expertise of the state’s world-class universities and laboratories.

“I am proud to say Illinois’ economy has never been more robust.”

Edgar announces in 1998 that Lucent technologies spurned offers from other states and would spend more than $600 million on two research and development buildings in Dupage County will bring 2,000 new high-tech jobs to Illinois.

Edgar’s economic development recipe consisted of basic ingredients for economic growth and job creation – a highly educated and skilled workforce, a favorable tax and regulatory climate, a world-class transportation network and a high quality of life. With those resources available to every business, the Governor believed the private sector could create its own successful formulas for expansion and job growth.

First, however, the Governor had to get the state’s business house in order. There was the issue of solving the state’s budgetary crisis and increasing education funding. The state’s economic development agency — the Department of Commerce and Community Affairs (DCCA) was in need of an overhaul. And, Edgar believed, states had to call a truce and stop attempting to outbid each other to attract new industry.

Edgar was roundly applauded by businesses for resolving the state’s budgetary problems without resort- ing to income and sales tax increases. State and local taxes as a percentage of personal income in Illinois are the second lowest, after Florida, of the six most populous states. In 1998, the Taxpayers’ Federation of Illinois ranked Illinois among the 15 states having the lowest state and local tax burden. Education funding for elementary, secondary and higher education jumped by more than $3 billion. Historic legislation was passed in 1997 that included for the first time a guaranteed funding level for all students, elementary and secondary, no matter where they live.

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Fulfilling a campaign promise, Edgar listened to the recommendations of the business community, labor and education and then dramatically retooled and re-energized DCCA. DCCA’s mission was given a sharper focus. It would concentrate on improving education and infrastructure, boosting tourism, helping businesses take advantage of new technology, upgrading the quality of the workforce, emphasizing export assistance over incentives for attracting new business, promoting small business development and growth, and spreading the word for Illinois businesses.

Crain’s Chicago Business called the revamp “well-focused, carefully considered and sensible.”

In 1993, the National Governors’ Association sup- ported an initiative by Edgar to de-escalate wholesale bidding wars between states for new industries and businesses. It reflected recommendations from some of the nation’s leading businesses and governors who believed there was a better use for limited resources than glitzy incentive packages that did not always prove to be cost-effective.

The results of Edgar’s sensible business approach were apparent. Illinois’ economy was never stronger and unemployment rates dropped from 7.2 percent in 1991 to 3.9 percent in 1998, a rate that had not been seen since the early 1970s. More Illinoisans than ever before were working, up 600,000 to a total of 6 million during the Governor’s tenure.

“Illinois has changed the way Illinois does business and Illinois is becoming economically stronger. By investing in our infrastructure, by helping companies train and retrain their workers for retooled assembly lines, by strategically targeting our assistance, state government is helping Illinois companies maintain their competitive edge and grow here,” the Governor said in his 1994 State of the State address.

Besides Motorola, Maytag and Abbott, there were numerous other business success stories that created or retained tens of thousands of Illinois jobs:

  • Through job training funds and establishing an enterprise zone, the state worked to keep Nabisco Company – the world’s largest bakery – in Chicago where it invested nearly a half billion dollars in a modern new plant for 2,400 workers.
  • Chrysler Corporation, assisted by state job training funds, demonstrated its confidence in the Illinois economy by investing $500 million to retool its assembly plant in Belvidere for the production of the new Neon.
  • Lucent Technologies, a leading designer of communi- cations systems, software and microelectronic com- ponents, after considering several states, chose to spend more than $600 million for two new research and development buildings in Lisle employing 2,000. Illinois provided training funds and tax credits. Training grants and enterprise zone benefits enabled Tootsie Roll, the long-time Chicago manufacturer, to undertake a $131 million expansion of its plant on the city’s southwest side, saving 800 jobs and creating 100 new ones.
  • Nestle, with a commitment from the state for needed highway improvements, built the largest facility in Illinois in 1993, a new distribution center in DeKalb to serve an 11-state region.
  • In Granite City, money for job training helped con- vince American Steel Foundries to reopen a plant that had been closed for a year, creating more than 1,200 jobs.
  • CrownLine Boats Inc. expanded in West Frankfort, retaining 250 jobs and creating 150 new ones with the help of a state loan and infrastructure capital.
  • A grant to train workers helped convince Honeywell’s Micro Switch Division, Freeport’s largest employer, to invest $30 million in its operation, adding manufacturing space and solidifying jobs of 3,000 workers.
  • Continental General Tire of Mount Vernon undertook a $40 million expansion, creating 150 new jobs, assisted by state training money and a loan.
  • Alcoa considered five Midwestern states before deciding on Danville as the site of a new $48 million automotive sheet finishing operation. Alcoa officials pointed to the community’s educational facilities and “strong sense of family values.”


One of Edgar’s biggest coups was convincing the U.S. Department of Defense’s Base Closure and Realignment Commission to retain and expand the Great Lakes Naval Training Center in Lake County, preserving 8,000 jobs and adding 9,000 others, the biggest job gain at any one site in the nation in 1993. The Governor testified before the commission and pledged support from the state, companies and communities. In announcing the Great Lakes decision, commission Chairman Jim Courter said the state’s effort to retain the base should serve as a model for other states.

Edgar also was instrumental in influencing Congress to approve the North American Free Trade

Agreement, which spurred Illinois exports of grain, processed food, construction and telecommunications equipment, and other products to Canada and Mexico, the state’s first and third largest trading partners. The yield: $8 billion in new business.

Overall, Illinois exports grew at a rate twice the national average. Direct exports grew by 14 percent a year during the 1990s, four times the rate of growth in the previous decade. Through trade missions to Asia, Europe, India, Latin America, the Middle East and Canada, Edgar helped Illinois exports to grow by 124 percent during his two terms and to support more than 625,000 jobs.

The state’s Industrial Training Program was an essen- tial component in many of the business retention and expansion projects. This program ensured that the state’s workforce was ready and able to master dramatically changing technology and trained nearly 200,000 people. Edgar earmarked $111 million in training grants for individual companies, as well as intermediary organizations that offered instruction to meet the common needs of multiple companies.

“Our goal is to help Illinois workers develop skills second to none in the world,” Edgar said in announcing training grants in 1998. Included was $400,000 to Caterpillar to train 1,500 workers at 66 of its Illinois suppliers to improve the quality of goods produced. Due to the giant earth moving company’s commitment to modernization, including new technology, work processes and ways of thinking, the suppliers needed instruction in design, assembly, blueprint reading, casting and forging.

DCCA also established 54 “one-stop” career centers throughout the state that use the latest in computer and telecommunications technology to assist workers with registering for training, providing resources for conduct- ing job searches, developing resumes, one-on-one career counseling and filing for unemployment insurance all under one roof.

For those who needed specialized training to land a job, pursue a career or find a new job after layoff, Edgar expanded a job training partnership program. Nearly 150,000 dislocated workers and 200,000 disadvantaged workers enrolled.

With technology businesses leading the nation’s economic surge, the Governor made sure Illinois kept apace. Two-thirds of the nation’s research and development activity occurred in 10 states, with Illinois in seventh place.

Edgar helped Illinois’ ranking in 1994 when he committed state funds to help launch the $800 million Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory. The project, completed in 1996, produces the most powerful beam of X-rays ever available for research in materials science, physics, biotechnology and medicine. The investment meant 1,500 construction-related jobs and hundreds of permanent jobs at Argonne and at high- tech firms that use the facility to develop new products.

He also added nearly $1 million in state funding to a $10.6 million grant from the National Science Foundation to establish a Magnetic Resonance Technology Center for Biological Research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The center develops the world’s most advanced magnetic resonance imaging instrumentation for researching living organisms, individual cells, animals and humans, and applying technology to solve problems in life sciences.

In 1997 alone, Illinois’ institutions of higher educa- tion received more than $900 million in federal research money to bolster the state’s stature as a world leader in science and technology.

By 1998, the American Electronics Association ranked the Chicago area third in the nation in high-tech jobs, behind San Jose, Calif., and Boston. And Newsweek, in November 1998, called Champaign-Urbana one of the nation’s “hottest tech cities,” chiefly because of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications that was established at the University of Illinois. Illinois’ center has more supercomputing power than any other university in the United States. It was on the Illinois campus that the Mosaic browser, which provided the software technology to make the World Wide Web accessible to everyone, was developed.

For small and medium-sized businesses, the backbone of Illinois’ economy with more than 5 million employees, the state forged a partnership with community colleges, universities and laboratories to assure they have access to world-class technical talent offering advice on technology, markets and improved productivity.

Illinois also developed the Illinois Small Business Development Center network, helping almost 130,000 entrepreneurs with start-up advice, management and financial packaging. The state assisted small business with environmental compliance and established centers that provided information on licensing and regulatory laws covering all state agencies.

Edgar implemented the Illinois Capital Access Program in 1997 for new and small businesses, many of them owned by women, minorities or individuals with disabilities, not qualifying for conventional loans. In its first year, more than 100 businesses, each with fewer than 500 employees, received short- and long-term loans from private banks that were backed by contributions from the borrower and DCCA.

One of the state’s best economic development tools was the Community Development Assistance Program (CDAP). It provided $350 million in grants to communities with populations of 50,000 or less that do not receive funds directly from the federal government for water and sewer system improvements, upgrades to housing and public buildings, helping businesses locate or expand, and disaster relief from tornadoes, severe winds and floods.

By investing CDAP funds in com- munity and business infrastructure improvements in partnership with local governments, Edgar was able to retain or create thousands of small business jobs. Simonton Windows spent $5 million to expand its manu- facturing facility in Paris and create 175 jobs after the state provided $500,000 for a new water tower and water lines to serve the company. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., assisted by a $640,000 state grant that extended water and sewer lines, opened a Midwestern distribution center in Olney that resulted in 250 new jobs. A CDAP loan was used by E.R. Moore Co., the makers of graduation caps and gowns, to buy new equipment for a $1.2 million plant expansion in Newton that resulted in 40 jobs. Rowe Foundry, Martinsville’s old- est and largest business, used a $500,000 state grant to upgrade its production line with state-of-the-art molding equipment, retaining more than 100 jobs. C.J. Vitner Company of Freeport, maker of potato and corn chip products, undertook a $3.7 million expansion, creating 80 new jobs, after the state provided a $500,000 grant to con- struct a wastewater pretreatment plant.

As part of Edgar’s efforts to improve business climate, the Governor signed legislation in 1996, which he proposed in his State of the State address, to reduce unemployment insurance taxes paid by companies to underwrite benefits to unemployed workers. The legislation saved Illinois businesses an average of 18 percent the first year, or a quarter billion dollars. The Governor’s plan reflected the state’s jobless rate, which dipped to its lowest level since the early 1970s.

Another step toward Illinois becoming a job-friendly, competitive environment for business occurred in 1997 when the Edgar administration drew up consensus legis- lation for deregulation of the electric utility industry.

Effective in 1998, the new law promotes competition and will save Illinois businesses and families about $640 million on electric service costs the first full year. Rates to Commonwealth Edison and Illinois Power customers dropped 15 percent on Aug. 1, 1998, and will drop another 5 percent in 2002.

During the Edgar administration, the state worked diligently for the quality of life of all Illinoisans. Nearly $150 million assisted 4 million people through loans to businesses that hire low-income workers and promote their further education. DCCA also utilized almost $600 million to assist 1.7 million citizens in paying their winter energy bills and $140 million for weatherizing homes of low-income people.

Fifty million tourists annually visit Illinois, even more than the state’s neighbor to the north, Wisconsin. A top destination is Chicago and its downtown shopping, world class museums and entertainment, including the renovated Navy Pier.

Tourism is one of Illinois’ largest industries and Edgar saw to it that it continued to thrive.

Tourism revenues, tourism-related employment and tourism tax revenues grew each year of the Edgar administration. A Virginia-based consulting firm reported that 50.7 million tourists visited Illinois in 1997, up 15 percent from the previous year, outstripping Wisconsin and its 47 million tourists. A study by the U.S. Travel Data Center said tourists spent almost $36 billion in Illinois on transportation, lodging, food service, entertainment, recreation, general retail trade and other expenditures, supporting 700,000 jobs and generating more than $3 billion in tax revenues.

Partnerships developed innovative promotions, such as the American Express Guide to Cultural Chicago, which reached more than 3 million readers. American Express tracking found that 66 percent of those readers came to Chicago and spent $350 million, making this the most successful partnership program in the company’s history.

Promotional efforts also benefited by a 1993 increase in hotel/motel taxes that funded matching grants to the private sector for major and international events in Illinois. These included World Cup Soccer, which attracted 300,000 fans to Chicago in 1994, and the Democratic National Convention in 1996. Chicago hosted Pow-Wow ’98, the worldwide tourism industry’s premiere marketing event, bringing 5,800 travel agents and writers from throughout the world to Illinois.

Millions of dollars during the Edgar administration went to improve state parks and recreation areas throughout the state, add bike and nature trails, and upgrade facilities to solidify the state’s emergence as a premiere tourist destination. The Governor supported and signed legislation in 1991 for a nearly $1 billion expansion of McCormick Place, securing Chicago’s position as a world-class convention center.

The Illinois Film Office, which promotes Illinois as a site for film and television, helped in 200 productions, creating 100,000 temporary jobs and pumping $450 million into the state’s economy. In 1997 alone, a record 49 productions were filmed in Illinois, creating 18,000 temporary jobs and contributing $100 million to the economy.

Governor Edgar worked to promote the Illinois horse racing industry, which contributes $1.4 billion to the state’s economy and employs 37,000. In addition to commercial racetracks, Edgar strengthened the racing programs at the Illinois State Fair (shown here), the Du Quoin State Fair and county fairs throughout Illinois.

The law to allow riverboat gambling in Illinois was signed in 1990 and the first boats began operations just as Edgar took office in 1991. After experiencing revenue growth the first five years, receipts from the 10 boats declined in 1996 and 1997 as Illinois faced stiff competition from Indiana, Iowa and Missouri.

While numerous proposals were floated to approve additional riverboat licenses, particularly in Chicago, Edgar stood by a campaign promise not to allow any expansion of the gambling industry. The Governor did not agree with supporters who claimed that increased gambling, and particularly land-based casinos, could solve local government budgetary woes and encourage economic development.

“This Governor is not going to be seduced or stampeded into supporting a project that conjures dreams of brighter tomorrows when there is ample reason to believe it could create nightmares for decades to come,” said Edgar in a 1992 speech to the Illinois Crime Commission.

Nationally, horse racing was having a tough time and in Illinois it was no different. The industry was increasingly threatened by competition for entertainment dollars from riverboat gaming and the state Lottery.

But Edgar understood the economic importance the racing industry brought to Illinois. It contributes $1.4 billion to the state’s economy each year and employs 37,000 men and women.

He assembled a task force of leaders in the horse racing industry to review challenges and opportunities and to develop suggestions for improvement. Those recommendations led to legislation, which was approved by the General Assembly in 1995, strengthening the breeding and racing industry.

Incentives for breeding Illinois racehorses increased significantly during the Edgar years, encouraging horsemen to have their animals bred and foaled in Illinois.

The reforms paid dividends. Racing fields were fuller, revenues increased and breeding became more profitable. Additional funding for purses in recent years, including $6.9 million in fiscal 1999, helped to ensure the industry’s viability into the next century. The Chicago Sun-Times noted in 1998 that the Chicago area racing circuit is now “solidly entrenched as the nation’s second-best harness entity” trailing only New York’s Meadowlands.

Edgar commemorates completion of the Central Illinois Expressway (I-72) between Springfeild and Quincy in October 1991 at barry. The four-lane highway in Western Illinois had first been proposed in the early 1960s joining the Governor are state Sen. Laura Kent Donahue of Quincy (left) and state Rep. Tom Ryder of Jerseyville.

Edgar prudently invested state resources and bond funds to maintain and enhance the state’s capital infrastructure. During the eight years of his administration, the state spent more than $2.3 billion on capital improvements at state facilities, universities and community colleges, creating nearly 70,000 jobs in Illinois’ construction and professional design industries.

The Capital Development Board manages more than 1,000 construction projects for state agencies and the higher education system annually. Those projects protect the state’s investment in its buildings and parks and add new facilities to deal with such issues as prison crowding and to provide 21st century learning and research environments at state colleges and universities.

Extending business opportunity to firms owned by minorities and women was a priority. Between fiscal 1991 and 1998, construction contracts to minority and female business enterprises totaled nearly $262 million, or 13 percent of all contracts, compared to 10.7 percent in prior years. Overall, the volume of contracts awarded to minority- and female-owned firms increased by 62 percent during the Edgar administration.

Illinois has long been a leader in ensuring accessibility for all citizens. Under Edgar’s administration, $118 million was spent to make state and university facilities more
accessible to individuals with disabilities.

Another $130 million was spent to abate environmental hazards, such as asbestos, leaking underground storage tanks and cooling units using environmentally unsound refrigerants, at state facilities.

Edgar was a strong supporter of Project Labor agreements on critical state construction projects. With the agreements, 31 of which were made during Edgar’s stay in office, taxpayers were assured projects were completed efficiently without work stoppages or strikes and that Illinois trades men and women are employed on the projects, adding to the economic vitality of all regions of Illinois.

One of the state’s most impressive new structures was the innovative $90 million cable-stayed Clark Bridge, which carries U.S. 67 over the Mississippi River at Alton, that opened to traffic in January 1994. Support cables were strung over the top of two 283-foot-tall concrete pylons, held in place only by gravity and friction.

Illinois’ geographic position in the nation’s heartland has made it a natural transportation hub, whether it be air, water, rail or land. And the transportation system in the Chicago area and the state’s prairie land has played a predominant role in Illinois’ economic might.

Edgar built Illinois’ long-term economic resurgence on the state’s transportation foundation. To strengthen this foundation, he invested in improvements to the existing system, making it work more efficiently for business and the public, reducing congestion and improving safety.

Roads and Bridges

The Governor budgeted $10.6 billion in state, federal and matching local funds over his two terms to improve 10,500 miles of highway and to fix or replace 3,300 bridges.

While interstate highways represent less than 2 percent of all road miles, they carry nearly a quarter of all travel. Edgar made it a top priority to repair and modernize these roadways. The $450 million rehabilitation of the Kennedy Expressway (1-90) in the Chicago area was among the largest, most expensive repair projects in the nation.

New interstate construction completed during the Edgar years included four long-sought highways — the Elgin-O’Hare Expressway to meet the transportation needs of Chicago’s northwest suburbs, Interstate 39 between Rockford and Bloomington, the Central Illinois Expressway from Springfield to Quincy and Interstate 155 connecting Peoria to Springfield. The first interstate segment built in Illinois, I-74 in Champaign-Urbana, which opened in 1956, was rehabilitated at a cost of $64 million.

Several major bridges were constructed, including the cable-stayed Clark Bridge over the Mississippi River at Alton and the U.S. 34 bridge to Burlington, Iowa. Two new bridges were built across the Illinois River in Peoria and Marseilles.


To ensure Illinois’ place as the nation’s premier transportation hub, Edgar took the lead in advancing a third regional airport for the Chicago area. The proposed airport would be near Peotone in Will County and would relieve mounting air traffic congestion. It also would yield a solid economic base for the entire south suburban region. The Governor estimated the airport would be the largest infrastructure project in state history and create a quarter of a million jobs in northeastern Illinois and northwestern Indiana. About $24 million was expended for planning, the preparation of an environmental impact statement, and public involvement and marketing activities.

Another nearly $1 billion in federal, state and local funds helped maintain, improve and develop existing Illinois airports. This generated 22,000 construction jobs and played a key role in the Governor’s strategy for fostering economic growth.

Leading the way was Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, the nation’s busiest with 40 million annual boardings a year, and Midway Airport, which experienced phenomenal growth as an alternative to O’Hare.

Public Transportation

Public transportation provides necessary mobility for people who do not drive or own a car and is critical in reducing highway congestion.

During the Edgar years, state funding leveraged $1.6 billion for public transportation and capital improvements throughout the state. The bulk $1.4 billion went to the three transit systems operating in northeastern Illinois and carrying nearly 2 million riders each weekday. Almost $200 million reimbursed transit systems around the state for reducing fares for students, the elderly and persons with disabilities.

The two centerpieces of transit capital investments were construction of a $121 million commuter rail line to Lake County, the first new service added in the Chicago area since 1928, and a $410 million rehabilitation of the Green Line, a rapid transit line serving Chicago’s south and west sides since 1892.

Mass transit systems serving 14 downstate areas received $109 million to purchase buses and other capital equipment, plus funds allowing rural and small urban areas to buy vans and to build maintenance facilities. Statewide, the Governor awarded $21 million to purchase 500 specialized vans for non-profit social service agencies assisting individuals with disabilities and the elderly.

In the St. Louis metropolitan area, Edgar provided $18 million to plan and design the extension of the MetroLink light rail system from its terminus in East St. Louis to MidAmerica Airport in Belleville.


With federal support declining, the Governor restored fiscal stability to the state-sponsored Amtrak service, which had been facing an uncertain future. In response to Amtrak demands for subsidies, Edgar set up a bi-partisan task force to explore a long-term strategy for rail passenger service in Illinois.

The effort produced a three-year contract with Amtrak, capping state costs through 2000 and guaranteeing continued passenger service between Chicago and Quincy, Carbondale, Milwaukee and St. Louis. Unique to the contract was inclusion of a performance standard requiring Amtrak to pay the state a $2,700 penalty each time a train was more than a half hour late departing its point of origin. Illinois was among the first to provide supplemental intercity rail passenger service in partnership with Amtrak and its multi-year contract has served as a model for other states.

Also, a rail freight improvement program was designed to help communities and businesses with jobs. Since 1991, $150 million in low interest loans and grants and private sector investments helped more than 100 industries to create or retain thousands of jobs.

In 1997, Edgar signed legislation he proposed in his 1996 State of the State address to increase funding for safety improvements at the state’s 9,000 railroad crossings and to put the Illinois Commerce Commission in charge of monitoring the system. The rail safety initiative resulted from a 1995 crash of a train with a school bus in Fox River Grove that killed seven students.

Edgar announces in 1998 that Lucent technologies spurned offers from other states and would spend more than $600 million on two research and development buildings in Dupage County will bring 2,000 new high-tech jobs to Illinois.

A thorny issue that had put Illinois businesses at a competitive disadvantage was the state’s tort liability laws. The state’s court system was clogged with these civil lawsuits, with one being filed every 30 seconds of every business day in Illinois, or more than a quarter million a year.

Edgar believed those victimized by the neglect of others should be compensated, but he could not understand a system so out of whack that it denied expectant mothers medical help in 30 Illinois counties because no physician was willing to pay the cost of malpractice insurance. Or forced Girl Scouts in DuPage County to sell 35,000 boxes of cookies just to cover liability insurance costs.

Defending against medical malpractice and product liability lawsuits became more costly and complex. Thus, Illinois consumers paid more for health care, other services and products. Access to medical treatment was limited in many communities, and businesses found the liability laws and tort system a deterrent to job expansion and creation.

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Awards for similar or identical injuries varied greatly from one courtroom to another. Business executives, health care professionals, public officials and others frequently made decisions based on legal fears rather than what was right.

As a candidate, Edgar promised a dose of fairness for the tort liability system and in 1991 he began his push for reforms. For four straight years, however, the state’s trial lawyers convinced lawmakers to block the legislation. Finally, in 1995, with a Republican majority in both chambers of the General Assembly, the Governor was successful.

“Those who are lawsuit happy will not be happy with this new law,” Edgar said in 1995 as he signed the bill for which he had fought so long. “But I believe the vast majority of Illinoisans want to see this reform come to our courtrooms. This legislation attacks frivolous lawsuits. It brings sanity to a system that has primarily benefited a very few, very wealthy lawyers.”

The law capped punitive damages and awards for pain and suffering, changed product liability laws and limited the exposure of a defendant who is partially, but not primarily, responsible for an injury.

Another law that Edgar pledged to eliminate was the Structural Work Act, which dated back to 1907 when there was no workers’ compensation law and safety standards were much less rigorous. In 1995, the legislature gave the Governor what he wanted as the repeal legislation reached his desk just over a month after he urged its passage.

Done away with was an archaic law that stifled business growth because of the double liability it carried for Illinois employers. It had allowed injured employees to receive benefits under both the act and workers’ com- pensation laws without regard to any contributory fault of the employee. Enacted in its place were laws that improved the state’s business climate, while at the same time preserved essential protections and remedies for workers regrettably injured on the job.