The bad economic climate in Illinois is well documented. According to a survey in CEO magazine, Illinois is the third-worst state for doing business in the entire country.
Whether it is intentional or not – the message being received by the business community is that Illinois is hostile to entrepreneurs. Surrounding state governments are actively working to make their states more attractive to employers and unfortunately here in Illinois the legislative leaders in Springfield seem to be content with the status quo.
Thankfully, there are lawmakers who recognize what is at stake and are not content to sit around and do nothing. Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch (I-LAW), State Senator Bill Brady and State Bill Representative Bill Mitchell and other community leaders recently hosted a public forum in Bloomington to discuss the adverse impact of lawsuit abuse on job creation.
The forum was the next stop in Illinois for the national “Create Jobs, Not Lawsuits” public awareness tour that is taking place in states all across the country throughout 2012. Bloomington was chosen due to the region’s recent emergence as one of the nation’s worst “Judicial Hellholes,” according to a report released last December.
Forum participants shared stories of how lawsuit abuse impacts their operations and discussed proposals to create jobs by implementing common sense lawsuit reforms.
For far too long, Illinois has been creating lawsuits, not jobs. Our state’s economy is struggling, and lawsuit abuse is making it harder to get back on track. Illinois is ranked 45th out of 50 states for legal fairness. While lawsuit reform is not a magic elixir that is going to fix all that ails the Illinois economy – the forum participants agreed that is a place to start.
Grassroots, community activities such as the roundtable discussion in Bloomington can be the catalyst to bring real reform to Illinois. The movement to pass meaningful medical liability reforms in Illinois began at a public forum in the Metro East. Hopefully, the “Create Jobs – Not Lawsuits” tour can spawn a similar movement across the state.
It is time for Illinoisans to stand together and put pressure on our state legislators to finally do something about the rampant lawsuit abuse in Illinois that is stifling job growth. Ignoring this problem is no longer an option. We need jobs – not more lawsuits.