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Senate Committee Holds Hearing at SIUC

A new special Illinois Senate committee is conducting a statewide review of the value of enterprise zones.The hearings began Thursday at SIU-C's Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center. Created 30 years ago, there are nearly 100 enterprise zones around the state, but a few start to expire next year, requiring legislative action.

The Illinois Manufacturers' Association is leading the charge to extend the zones statewide. Association vice president and COO Mark Denzler says they have helped craft a bill to extend the length of the zones by 25 years, add ten new zones over the next decade and call for increased transparency and accountability for the zones. He says they even got a new idea for the legislation during Thursday's hearing in Carbondale. Denzler says enterprise zones have created more than 900,000 jobs and generated nearly $50 billion since their creation. He says the mayors of Mt. Vernon, West Frankfort and Fairview Heights all spoke in favor of extending the zones during the hearing in Carbondale.