Jason Hall, CEO of Greater St. Louis, Inc., issued the following statement after the Illinois General Assembly’s passage of HB 2776, a bill that pursues continued progress in licensure portability for military members and their spouses.
“Yesterday, the Illinois General Assembly gave final approval to HB 2776, legislation that pursues continued progress in licensure portability for military members and their spouses, which the Department of Defense (DoD) specifically called for in its recent review of Scott Air Force Base. This bill is another step toward lowering workforce barriers for military members and their spouses and will help Scott Air Force Base attract new missions to Southwestern Illinois. Scott Air Force Base is one the largest employers in Southwestern Illinois and all of metro St. Louis, employing over 13,000 civilian and military personnel. The STL 2030 Jobs Plan specifically identified Scott Air Force Base as being vital to two of our region’s industry clusters – Transportation & Logistics and Aerospace, Automotive and Defense – and an asset we need to leverage for future growth.
On behalf of the St. Louis business community, we applaud the leaders in both chambers who made passage possible. Most notably, we thank St. Louis metro legislators and bill sponsors Senator Christopher Belt (D-East St. Louis) and Representative LaToya Greenwood (D-East St. Louis) for their leadership. We also want to thank St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern for initiating the work on this important legislation. We encourage Governor Pritzker to sign HB 2776 without delay and look forward to continuing our work in reducing workforce barriers for military members and their families.”
Background – In 2020, St. Clair County, IL, submitted a proposal to become the home of the United States Space Command (USSPACECOM) Headquarters. Unfortunately, St. Clair County was informed they would not be a finalist in the USSPACECOM competition, in large part because of obstacles surrounding support for military members and their families. One of the weaknesses was Illinois’ licensure portability laws. HB 2776 takes steps towards addressing this problem.