SPRINGFIELD -- Gov. Pat Quinn's proposal for a small business tax credit gained support from both sides of the aisle Thursday.
A House committee voted 12-0 to approve the measure, which would offer a $2,500 tax credit to small business owners for each full-time job they create in the next year. The legislation now heads to the full House for further debate.
House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, presented the legislation in committee. He emphasized the tax credits would give small businesses a boost and produce jobs.
"This should equate to 20,000 jobs," Madigan said.
Quinn presented the tax credit proposal during his budget address to the General Assembly last Wednesday. Under the plan, credits will be offered to businesses with 50 or fewer employees.
Quinn and other supporters say the measure will help spur the economy.
"Small businesses, many people suggest, are the engine of the economy," said state Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, D-Chicago, who also helped present the legislation in committee.
A $50 million cap is being placed on the total amount of credits offered.
No lawmakers in committee opposed Quinn's proposal. But Quinn's gubernatorial opponent Bill Brady did criticize the measure Thursday, saying it doesn't go far enough.
"I think he's shortsighted to limit it to only businesses with fewer than 50 workers," Brady said. "We need the same incentives to attract large private sector business investment."
The Bloomington senator has pushed for a business tax credit that would apply to all businesses, not just those with 50 employees or fewer.
But Brady did say the governor is moving in the right direction.
"I'm glad that he's realizing that his loss of 250,000 jobs in the State of Illinois last year has got to stop," Brady said.
Quinn's proposal is Senate Bill 1578.