Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has signed legislation designed to support the development of the technology industry in the state and create jobs. Specifically, Senate Bill 107 strengthens Illinois' position to attract technology-based businesses by boosting the state's investment in them.
"This important new law allows us to invest in the companies that invest in Illinois, creating high-paying jobs for our skilled workforce," said the governor.
Senate Bill 107 allows the state to build upon the success of its Technology Development Account (TDA I). This lets the state invest up to 1 percent of its investment portfolio in venture capital firms which invest in technology-based businesses interested in locating or expanding in Illinois. These firms include businesses computer, IT, laboratory or experimental services and products.
The new law also allows the state to invest up to 2 percent of its portfolio in venture capital firms. The state can now invest an estimated $150 million in venture capital funds, and generate an estimated $300 million of venture capital investment into Illinois companies. Companies may use the funding for R&D, marketing new products, workforce expansion, etc.
"The highest priority in Illinois is putting people back to work," said Sen. Kotowski, the bill's co-sponsor. "Senate Bill 107 will help create a healthy business climate that ensures economic vitality and spurs job growth..I have been pushing for this legislation for the last three years because I believe these businesses can lead to a stronger Illinois economy."
The state's investments into Illinois venture capital firms under the original TDA I, starting in 2002, allowed those firms to invest $115 million in 37 Illinois companies. That in turn attracted more than $450 million in additional private investment. Companies that received TDA I investments created about 1,200 direct jobs and 2,700 indirect jobs in Illinois.
Governor Quinn also has signed legislation which supports Illinois' technology-focused entrepreneurs. House Bill 1876 enables the board of trustees at the state's public universities and community colleges to establish a technology entrepreneur center. These centers must provide students with resources allowing them to develop innovative concepts into goods or services they can market.
Both new laws go into effect immediately.