Governor Quinn Signs Star Bonds Bill

By Julia Bruck - bioemail

MARION, IL (KFVS) -  Many are calling it a win for not only Marion but for all of southern Illinois.

On Thursday Governor Pat Quinn stopped at a local union hall in Marion to sign legislation expected to give an economic boost to the region.

Quinn says his number one priority is to get people back to work across the state and in southern Illinois.

The STAR Bonds Bill is a pilot program. It allows a portion of the sales tax revenues generated by a major retail and entertainment complex near Marion, to repay development and construction costs.

The project is expected to employ hundreds and bring millions of sales tax dollars to the region.

The destination development is expected to bring more students to southern Illinois as their parents fill job openings.

Once finished, a provision in the bill allows local school districts to benefit from the extra tax revenues. However, it is not just the primary schools that will benefit.

"I have 14 schools in my region and this process will allow them to have some of the property tax that results from this star bonds area," Franklin-Williamson Regional Superintendent of Schools Matt Donkin said. "In addition, it will also be looking to help share with a few other regional offices."

Southern Illinois University President Glenn Poshard added, "All works together, the university needs students, the area needs jobs and we will come together to support SIU in this effort."

Poshard says he has great confidence in the developer of the Marion project.  Bruce Holland is currently building Saluki Way at SIU. He also built Rent One Park in Marion.

Local labors will also benefit.

On Thursday it was announced, only workers from southern Illinois will work on the 400-acre project.

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