In a move to promote economic growth and job creation, Gov. Bruce Rauner on Monday signed an executive order calling for a review of all state agency rules and regulations affecting businesses.
"Our government agencies have done a good job trying to change the regulations or reduce the regulations within their departments as best they can," Rauner said before signing the order during an appearance at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn. "But we want to take this to another level" and eliminate bad or unnecessary regulations.
He said Illinois has "every reason to thrive" because of its location, transportation infrastructure and workforce.
But while Indiana and Wisconsin have added tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs since the recession ended, he said, Illinois has added none.
"We are not competitive on our regulations," said Rauner, adding that Illinois is ranked as one of the worst states for red tape, regulations, restrictions and the cost of doing business. "We've got to change that."
So Rauner has formed the Illinois Competitiveness Council, which will conduct the statewide review of regulations.
Representatives from each of Illinois' regulatory state agencies will serve on the council, which will work to ensure that regulations are up to date and relevant to today's industries and practices.
The panel also will make sure the rules are easy to understand. It will "reduce the amount of unduly burdensome requirements" on businesses, social service providers and residents, Rauner said.
In addition, the council will ensure there is a clear need for a particular regulation.
"Illinois is currently a patchwork of duplicative, contradictory and outdated regulations," said U-Jung Choe, chairwoman of the newly formed council.
While many rules and regulations are well intentioned, Rauner said they have unintended consequences that "do more damage than good."
Choe said the council will try to cultivate an atmosphere that makes it easier for small businesses and entrepreneurs to flourish.
"My goal is to carry out Gov. Rauner's mission of making the Illinois government more efficient, customer-driven, and business friendly," she said.
In addition to examining regulations, the council will look for recommendations to improve the state's licensing environment to promote job growth and job creation. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has found it's issuing high numbers of licenses in some categories and very few in others.
The council is expected to provide a comprehensive report by May 1, 2017.