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Holmes' legislation to assist small businesses may become law

holmes 102717SPRINGFIELD – A pilot program to help first-time business owners in Illinois may soon become law. The entrepreneur learner’s permit program was introduced and sponsored in the Illinois Senate by State Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora.

The Senate recently voted to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s changes to the entrepreneur learner’s permit pilot program. If the House of Representatives votes to do the same, the pilot program will become law.

The original version of the legislation minimizes spending by creating a pilot program to subsidize entrepreneurs in information services, biotechnology and green technology with a state spending cap of $500,000.

The governor used his veto power to remove the spending cap and expand the pilot program to include all industries. Holmes says that the governor’s amendatory veto turns a smart business development measure into a potentially wasteful program.

“The governor’s changes would spend an unknown sum of taxpayer dollars on a pilot program that may still need improvements,” Holmes said. “This is a surprising and confusing decision by Governor Rauner, who has presented himself as a fiscally responsible reformer. We should return to a much more limited, responsible version of this pilot program that can be expanded if it is successful.”

The entrepreneur learner’s permit would encourage small business growth by reimbursing first-time business owners for certain costs paid to the state for licensing and permits. The Illinois legislation is a pilot version of a similar program established by the Connecticut State Legislature in 2016.

If the governor’s  veto is also overridden in the House of Representatives, Senate Bill 1462 will become law. It will take effect immediately.

Sen. Linda Holmes


42nd District

Years served:
2007 - Present

Committee assignments: Agriculture; Environment and Conservation; Labor; Local Government; Committee of the Whole; Commerce and Economic Development (Chairperson); Insurance.

Biography: Elected to the Senate in 2006; born March 16, 1959, in Chicago; received a bachelor's degree from the National College of Education (now National-Lewis University); First woman president of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry; Full-time state legislator.