Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SJR0065
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Full Text of SJR0065  95th General Assembly



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2     WHEREAS, The Illinois economy is transforming; despite
3 having the nation's fifth largest state economy, the State
4 ranked only 35th in economic growth over the last 15 years; and
5     WHEREAS, Illinois' economic growth is lagging because we
6 are losing good jobs; between 1990 and 2005, the number of
7 manufacturing jobs in Illinois declined by 24.3%, or 222,500;
8 during this same period, 34% of job growth occurred in
9 education, health services, and hospitality, sectors that
10 currently pay, on average, 29% less than manufacturing jobs;
11 adjusted for inflation, median wages have declined leaving
12 families with the same income they had in 1989; nearly 685,000
13 working Illinoisans earn less than the living wage for a single
14 adult - $17,950 annually; and
15     WHEREAS, 40% of new job growth will be in mid- to high-wage
16 sectors; manufacturers will continue to be a major employer,
17 but most of these jobs will require increasingly sophisticated
18 levels of skill; in fact, over 35% of Illinois' new jobs will
19 require an associate degree or higher and 71% of the highest
20 wage jobs will require a post-secondary degree; and
21     WHEREAS, To attract high wage jobs, Illinois will need
22 high-skilled workers; but, at the same time that our economy



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1 demands skilled workers in order to remain competitive and
2 thrive, federal funds for workforce development continue to
3 shrink, after adjusting for inflation; and
4     WHEREAS, It is time for Illinois to make a new commitment;
5 about 594,000 twenty-five to fifty-four year olds have no high
6 school diploma or equivalent; 60% of these working age
7 individuals are without an associate degree or higher; just 35%
8 of Illinois' young adults are enrolled in postsecondary
9 education; over the next 15 years, 33% of the State's labor
10 force will retire and the fastest growing segments of our
11 population who must replace them have generally lower education
12 levels; and
13     WHEREAS, Strong workforce development is a key driver of
14 long-term business retention and growth; additionally,
15 Illinois must use its economic development policies
16 strategically targeting disadvantage areas to foster high-wage
17 job creation and to leverage infrastructure investments; these
18 are the tools that can ensure Illinois' families, businesses,
19 and communities enjoy a prosperous future; therefore, be it
22 CONCURRING HEREIN, that, to compete successfully in a global
23 economy and end poverty, Illinois needs an integrated economic



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1 and workforce development policy that works for everyone and
2 that includes producing skilled workers in strong businesses
3 with good jobs that foster thriving communities; and be it
4 further
5     RESOLVED, That this new policy must provide lasting value
6 to Illinois' 10 economic regions and offer sustainable
7 programming in urbanized and rural communities throughout the
8 State that allows for the flexibility necessary to address
9 regional differences in the economy, business climate and the
10 workforce; and be it further
11     RESOLVED, That the General Assembly create, upon adoption
12 of this resolution, a bipartisan task force, whose work shall
13 endeavor to fulfill the following goals:
14         (1) Ensure Illinoisans develop the skills businesses
15     demand in a modern economy;
16         (2) Create career paths and job opportunities for all
17     working-age Illinoisans, from the least skilled and most
18     disadvantaged to middle income workers whose skills have
19     become obsolete;
20         (3) Invest resources in the capital and human
21     infrastructure needed to attract and retain "high road"
22     employers that provide quality jobs, wages, and benefits;
23         (4) Encourage entrepreneurship, small business growth,
24     technology transfers from Illinois' higher education



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1     system, and other economic/workforce development
2     innovation in all communities across Illinois to grow
3     competitive State businesses; and
4         (5) Support economic and workforce development that is
5     environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable;
6     and be it further
7     RESOLVED, That this task force shall conduct a thorough
8 discovery process that will include identification of
9 effective policies and programs; conduct public hearings;
10 invite expert testimony and shall furnish a report of its
11 findings whereupon clear and concise information of programs
12 and policies will be made available to the public throughout
13 Illinois; new legislation or policy changes developed during
14 the course of the deliberations of the task force shall be
15 introduced at the earliest possible moment; hearings shall be
16 held within 6 months of the first meeting of the task force and
17 the report shall be issued within 12 months of the meeting and
18 not later than September 30, 2008 to the Governor and the
19 General Assembly; and be it further
20     RESOLVED, That the requirement for the reporting to the
21 General Assembly shall be satisfied by filing copies of the
22 report with the Speaker, the Minority Leader, and the Clerk of
23 the House of Representatives, and the President, the Minority
24 Leader, and the Secretary of the Senate, and the Legislative



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1 Research Unit, as required by Section 3.1 of the General
2 Assembly Organization Act, and filing additional copies with
3 the State Government Report Distribution Center for the General
4 Assembly as required under paragraph (t) of Section 7 of the
5 State Library Act; and be it further
6     RESOLVED, That the task force shall have the following
7 members: 16 voting members, as follows: 4 members of the Senate
8 appointed by the President of the Senate, 4 members of the
9 Senate appointed by the Senate Minority Leader, 4 members of
10 the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the
11 House of Representatives, and 4 members of the House of
12 Representatives appointed by the House Minority Leader; and be
13 it further
14     RESOLVED, That all actions of the task force require the
15 affirmative vote of at least 9 voting members; and be it
16 further
17     RESOLVED, That the following persons shall serve without
18 compensation as ex-officio, non-voting members of the task
19 force:
20         (A) the Director of the Department of Commerce and
21     Economic Opportunity, or his or her designee;
22         (B) the Director of the Department of Employment
23     Security, or his or her designee;



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1         (C) the Secretary of the Department of Human Services,
2     or his or her designee;
3         (D) the Secretary of the Department of Transportation,
4     or his or her designee;
5         (E) the Secretary of the Department of Labor, or his or
6     her designee;
7         (F) the Director of the Environmental Protection
8     Agency, or his or her designee;
9         (G) the Director of the Illinois Community College
10     Board, or his or her designee; and
11         (H) the Director of the Department of Corrections; and
12     be it further
13     RESOLVED, That the departments of State government and the
14 Illinois Community College Board shall work cooperatively to
15 provide administrative support for the task force, and the
16 Departments of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and
17 Employment Security shall be the primary agencies in providing
18 that support.