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Illinois Legislation Would Require Decatur Jobs in ADM Deal

By DAVID MERCER Associated Press
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(credit: Archer Daniels Midland Co.)

(credit: Archer Daniels Midland Co.)

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) would be required to create new jobs in Decatur should the agribusiness giant receive state incentives for keeping its headquarters in Illinois, legislation filed Thursday said.

ADM said in September that it plans to move its global headquarters out of the central Illinois city, relocating 100 key employees and creating 100 new information technology jobs. Chicago, Minneapolis and other cities have been reported as potential destinations.

ADM is the largest employer in Decatur, and several thousand jobs would remain there.

It wasn’t immediately clear, though, if state Sen. Andy Manar’s plan will move forward. Gov. Pat Quinn, for one, indicated Thursday he still intends to veto any incentives legislation if lawmakers don’t first address the state’s pension crisis.

The amendment would require ADM to relocate at least 100 jobs from out of state to Decatur and hire at least 100 full-time employees a year for five years for either new or open positions. The legislation would also require ADM to create an internal committee “to facilitate and promote the creation of positions for new employees and new employment” in Decatur.

“If we’re successful with this bill, I think we will have accomplished job growth both in Decatur and downstate, as well as in Chicago,” said Manar, a Democrat from Bunker Hill in western Illinois whose district includes Decatur.

Manar said he crafted the bill with considerable input from local officials in Decatur. Mayor Mike McElroy did not immediately return a call from The Associated Press.

An ADM spokeswoman said Thursday that the company supports Manar’s plan.

“We appreciate the constructive dialogue he’s led with ADM and local leaders around our shared desire to see Decatur grow and prosper,” ADM’s Victoria Podesta said in an emailed statement.

ADM, which has about 30,000 employees around the world, has said it wants to move its headquarters to a larger city with an international airport that offers easy access to locations around the world and serves as a recruiting tool for employees in professions such as marketing and information technology.

ADM plans to make Decatur its North American headquarters, leaving about 4,400 jobs in the city. But local officials have worried that once the new global headquarters is set up, ADM might want to move more jobs out of Decatur.

Manar said he isn’t sure how he’ll get his plan through the General Assembly during next week’s three-day veto session or get Quinn’s OK.

The initial legislation that would give ADM up to $24 million tax credits if it chose Chicago was introduced shortly after the company announced its plans to move headquarters, and was quickly criticized by lawmakers such as state Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, the second-ranking Democrat in the Illinois House. She compared ADM’s request to blackmail.

Currie declined comment Thursday, saying she hadn’t seen Manar’s amendment.

Quinn has said a fix for the state’s nearly $100 billion pension crisis has to come before incentives.

“Gov. Quinn won’t even consider this proposal until there is a comprehensive pension reform solution on his desk,” Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson said Thursday.

The legislation is BH 2356, Senate amendment No. 2.

Associated Press writer Sophia Tareen contributed from Chicago.

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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