Governor Bruce Rauner claims that the Illinois economy is weak. His proposal to solve this alleged problem is to institute lawsuit and workers’ compensation reforms, however, the facts simply do not support him.
First, the Illinois economy is not weak and it is growing at a steady rate. As of January 2015, the unemployment rate dropped two points from a year ago to 6.1 percent. For seven straight months in 2014, Illinois led the country in the rate of decline of its unemployment rate. In 2014, Illinois increased the number of people employed by 106,000.
In addition, frivolous lawsuits are not a problem driving away business. In Illinois, over 70% of lawsuits are actually filed by companies suing each other or individuals for money. Since 2007, the number of all civil cases filed in Illinois courts had declined by 26 percent since 2007. As for medical malpractice, since 2003 the number of lawsuits filed has declined by 40 percent. When frivolous lawsuits are filed, we have a judicial system where the judges have the power to dismiss these cases before they are ever tried before a jury.