Pat Quinn on Jobs
Shortly after I became Governor, we enacted our job recovery initiative-- Illinois Jobs Now!--a $31 billion job recovery program to rebuild our roads, bridges, water systems, railroads, airports, and schools. We are in the middle of the largest road-building program in the history of Illinois. So far, we have repaired 4,800 miles of roads and 500 bridges--with a lot more to come. We are creating jobs. Capital projects to date have created 142,000 short-term and permanent jobs. Altogether we will create and retain more than 400,000 jobs over the course of the program.
I've laid out a jobs and economic growth plan for our state. We have planned road construction, bridge repair, water investment, rail construction. Helping build new schools and repair old schools.
State Small Business Credit Initiative, which would strengthen innovative state programs that support small business lending. In our states, these programs are facing increased demand, yet the budgetary pressures we face have limited their ability to fill the credit gap left by the financial crisis. These innovative programs include those that augment collateral values for small businesses and manufacturers who have seen them decline as a result of the financial crisis, capital access programs that contribute to loan loss reserves that allow banks to expand credit to more businesses, and loan guarantee and other programs that help share risk with lenders that are willing to extend credit to viable small businesses, manufacturers and farms that are crucial to a strong recovery. By supporting these programs, the State Small Business Credit Initiative would leverage Federal funds several times over to enable billions in new lending to small businesses that can support new job creation. We urge you to take immediate action to increase small business lending in the United States. While our nation's economy continues to recover from this great recession, small businesses in our states continue to struggle to gain access to the credit they need to create jobs. We believe federal action is necessary to remedy this issue.
We strongly support a comprehensive package being considered that would include expanding the size of Small Business Administration loans and temporarily extending successful Recovery Act provisions reducing fees and raising guarantees for SBA loans, enacting tax incentives for small business investment, and a proposal for a $30 billion Small Business Lending Fund that would provide community banks with capital and incentives to increase lending to small businesses.
In addition, we especially want to convey our support for a new proposal for a