Righter decries entrepreneurial measure as unfairly limited
Sen. Dale A. Righter (R-Mattoon) wants Illinois' entrepreneurial program open to all industries.
The 55th District senator went head-to-head with SB1462-sponsor Sen. Linda Holmes (D- Aurora) during debate on whether to override Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto of the bill, which offers the Entrepreneur Learners Permit Program to information services, biotechnology and green-technology industries.
“As long as I have been around here, I usually get most of the reasons why members file motions to override vetoes, but this one I do not get,” Righter said. “As I understand it, the governor took your idea, which was to establish this Entrepreneurial Learner Permit Program from a few industries, and said, ‘That is a good idea; let’s do it for everybody.’ Why are you objecting to that?”
Holmes agreed that ideally it was a good idea but would be too costly right now.
“I limited it to these because I think after a two-and-a-half-year budget impasse, it's fiscally irresponsible to go further,” Holmes said.
When Righter asked Holmes how much the program would cost, she had no answer.
“Putting aside for the moment the newfound concern about fiscal matters, if you don’t know how much the bill is going to cost, then how do you know it would be too expensive to allow all industries to take advantage of it,” Righter said.
Holmes described Righter as editorializing the issue, which he objected to.
“First of all senator, as long as madame president allows, I will editorialize on anything I want,” Righter said. “The point is this: The governor said, ‘Let’s not let Springfield pick the people who can take advantage of a program; let’s let the market decide who should be in this program.'”
After offering an apology, he continued to question Holmes' intentions to limit the bill to information services, biotechnology and green-technology industries.
“Let’s get back to the issue,” Righter said. “You just said it’s a really good idea to open it up to all industries, so why not open it up to all industries?”
Holmes said she would be more than happy to co-sponsor a new bill with Righter in the spring to cover all industries. He agreed but still urged a "no" vote.
“Perhaps there is chance you will reconsider and we will file a motion to accept the governor’s veto, and we will allow the market to decide which industries are growing and which ones are not,” Righter said.
SB1462 passed 49-7.