Lawmaker discusses tax credit for hiring Illinois college gradua - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Lawmaker discusses tax credit for hiring Illinois college graduates

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CARBONDALE -- A state lawmaker plans to pursue a tax break for businesses who hire graduates of Illinois public universities.

Falling enrollment at state universities and young people leaving Illinois at an historic rate are just two reasons behind State Sen. Paul Schimpf's (R-Waterloo) proposal.

"The idea is that this would be a small tax credit that, if you had two candidates for a position that were equal in every way, this might provide enough of an incentive for a business to hire a graduate from a state university," Schimpf said.

SIU system president Randy Dunn is all for the idea. Dunn said he wants to reserve full judgment until he sees an actual bill.  

"Obviously, the devil's always in the details but in terms of being something that's innovative and shows out-of-the-box thinking, I think Senator Schimpf has come on to something that's going to get good discussion," Dunn said.

And his main concern with the proposal is the possibility of seeing his budget cut because of costs associated with the tax credit.

"But if there is a way to fund whatever the cost of Senator Schimpf's proposal would be without taking it from some other place in higher education, then clearly it's something worth looking at," Dunn said.

But aside from that, Dunn believes a tax credit could give Illinois students more reason to stay home.

"Anything that instills public confidence in the public university system here in the state is seen as a draw for those students, and really the state as a whole, is something that's worthy of discussion," Dunn said. "And certainly there could be some merit in that idea."

Schimpf said he's talking to businesses and other lawmakers to see how big the tax credit should be and he hopes to have a bill filed in the next month.

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