Zbigniew Bzdak/ Chicago Tribune
Desperate to retain private-sector jobs at a time of high unemployment, local and state governments doled out tax incentives to companies that threatened to leave Illinois. Special legislation was required to enact tax breaks for Hoffman Estates-based Sears Holdings Corp. and CME Group Inc., owner of Chicago's largest financial exchanges. The subsidies come despite the state struggling with lower tax revenues and a huge budget deficit. And many still question whether incentives to big companies are a wise use of economic development resources.
In this photo, Gov. Pat Quinn talks about the economy with a Tribune reporter at his office in the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago, Oct. 7, 2011.