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Budget Standoff Causes Mitsubishi Plant Prospect To Bolt

The state budget standoff has scared away at least one hot prospect to buy the Mitsubishi auto plant in Normal. That's according to State Senator Jason Barickman. Barickman says the serious lead was a large Illinois manufacturer looking to expand. But, The GOP Senator says Illinois does not have a state budget, does not know when a budget might happen, and has no idea what the tax rate will be.

"That lack of predictability, the lack of stability that's offered to the business community is, I think, in sum, very detrimental to our efforts to attract a new Mitsubishi buyer."

Barickman would not name the business who pulled out of consideration.

He says a union workforce was not a factor. But, he says high workers comp expenses helped make the site in Normal uncompetitive compared to other states.

"This person, again this is the head of a very successful Illinois company, at the end of the day said, I'm not willing to make that investment in Illinois because of things like the workers comp rates and things like the overall business community that has been created by the government that the people of the state of Illinois have elected."

Other public officials have said a local task force has fielded only a very few serious prospects to buy the plant from Mitsubishi, though there have been more than a dozen inquiries.

WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.
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