Madigan fires back at critics, decries corporate "pay to play".

By WEEK Producer

Madigan fires back at critics, decries corporate "pay to play".

December 11, 2013 Updated Dec 11, 2013 at 5:13 PM CDT

CHICAGO, Ill. -- Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan was criticized Tuesday when Office Depot announced it was moving its corporate offices to Florida.

Madigan had not called on House members to vote on bill which would have given tax incentives for the company to remain in Illinois.

On Wednesday, Madigan released a statement saying Illinois must "end the case-by-case system of introducing and debating legislation whenever a corporation is looking for free money from Illinois taxpayers. This practice creates an unsettling and worrisome appearance of some new kind of corporate pay-to-play".

Madigan, a Chicago Democrat, said four Illinois corporations are currently looking for tax breaks or incentives from the General Assembly.

Madigan's statement said those companies "currently pay little to no corporate income tax to the state, contributing little or nothing to help fund the very services from which they benefit significantly".

He said those companies were seeking "corporate handouts" equivalent to the taxes produced by 45,000 Illinois citizens.

In January, the Illinois House will be conducting hearings on creating criteria for how future corporate incentives should be awarded.

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