State 24th District Senate candidates differ on how to improve the business climate in Illinois

  • Seth Lewis and Lauren "Laurie" Nowak are running for Illinois Senate District 24 seat.

    Seth Lewis and Lauren "Laurie" Nowak are running for Illinois Senate District 24 seat.

 
 
Updated 11/2/2022 2:15 PM

The candidates for Illinois' 24th Senate District seat have differing views on how to improve the business and economic climate in the state.

Republican Seth Lewis and Democrat Laurie Nowak are vying to represent the redrawn 24th Senate District. The district includes parts of Bartlett, Bloomingdale, Carol Stream, Elk Grove Village, Glen Ellyn, Itasca, Medinah, Roselle, Schaumburg, Warrenville, West Chicago, Wheaton, Winfield and Wood Dale.

 

Lewis, currently a state representative in the 45th House District, says promoting business growth in Illinois is one of his top issues.

The 54-year-old Bartlett resident says Illinois must make better use of its strengths, including the quality of its labor force and universities. He also wants to see fewer restrictions on business.

"We need to focus on areas of regulation, taxes, leveraging our resources, and, most importantly, how to communicate about our state," Lewis said.

For example, he cited the Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) Tax Credit Program for companies looking to relocate to Illinois. In order to receive the tax credits, a business must obtain a bid from its home state and provide it to Illinois, which may match the offer.

"There has to be a better way than telling a company, 'Go talk to another state, then talk to us,'" Lewis said.

Nowak, 35, of Bartlett, is a community advocate who seeks to help the middle class and the elderly. She focused on women's issues and workers' rights.

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"There are businesses who left the states who were not friendly to women's reproductive freedom," she said. "I also believe that workers having the right to organize and ensure that they are fairly compensated. That is something that is going to help the economy."

Nowak also wants businesses to provide a living wage to retain workers and offer paid maternity leave.

"There's been an impact on women, especially with the domestic expectations when it comes to children and even taking care of partners or taking care of parents," said Nowak, a former DuPage County Board member.

"All this falls on women, in addition to their career," she said. "And a lot of times, women feel like they have to pick and choose."

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