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Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity - RG 246 | Illinois State Archives

Name: Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity - RG 246
Variant Name: Department of Commerce and Community Affairs; Department of Business and Economic Development; Board of Economic Development


Historical Note:

The Board of Economic Development was created in 1961. It assumed the responsibilities of the Division of Industrial Planning and Development in the Department of Registration and Education and of the State Water Resources and Flood Control Board. Membership included the Governor and the directors of the Departments of Aeronautics, Agriculture, Conservation, Insurance, Labor, Mines and Minerals, Public Works and Buildings, and Revenue. It was to formulate plans for the state's economic development, gather data on economic conditions and factors, encourage new industry to locate in the state, act as the state's official planning agency and accept forthcoming federal grants, determine areas of critical labor surpluses, approve grants to local and regional agencies which qualified for the same under the Area Redevelopment Act, cooperate with civic groups and local planning agencies, and recommend legislation relating to economic development. Additionally the board had authority to oversee water resources in the state (L. 1961, p. 3144).

In 1965 the board's responsibilities were transferred to the newly created Department of Business and Economic Development. It additionally was charged with assisting state businesses in obtaining contracts from the federal government and foreign countries and in expanding foreign trade (L. 1965, p. 1958).

The rights, powers, and duties of the Department of Business and Economic Development were transferred to the newly created Department of Commerce and Community Affairs by the Governor's Executive Order No. 3 (March 30, 1979). At the same time the Governor's Office of Manpower and Human Development was abolished and its duties were assumed by the new department. Also at this time the Department of Local Governmental Affairs was done away with. Its property taxation related functions were taken over by the Department of Revenue while its housing and redevelopment functions were assumed by the Department of Commerce and Community Affairs. The department further was mandated to provide a central clearing house for information concerning local governmental problems and various solutions to those problems and to assist and aid local governments in matters relating to budgets, fiscal procedures and administration (P.A. 81-1509, p. 3491).

In 2003, the name of the Department of Commerce and Community Affairs was changed to the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (P.A. 93-25, p. 399).






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