Illinois House approves economic development agency privatization

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A plan to privatize Illinois’ economic development activities has cleared the House.

Representatives voted 60-8 Tuesday for the changes. The measure would allow the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s efforts on luring existing and startup businesses to be turned into a public-private partnership, an idea Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner initially supported.

But the measure sponsored by Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan contains a provision that requires a review of the arrangement after three years, and another vote to continue it. Republicans oppose that part.

Advocates say the plan would make DCEO more efficient. But opponents say states have been plagued by scandal after reconfiguring economic development responsibilities.