Topinka proposes research panel to create high-the jobs for Illinois

EAST PEORIA, Ill. (AP) -- Republican Judy Baar Topinka is proposing that Illinois pool resources from downstate businesses and universities to create new high-tech jobs.

During a stop in East Peoria today, the governor's race candidate said her Prairie Technology Corridor would bring together "our best and brightest" to fan employment and boost the downstate economy.

The research and development panel would include leaders from the University of Illinois, Illinois State and other schools, along with businesses such as Caterpillar, Deere and Company and State Farm.

Topinka says the panel could develop job-creating ideas ranging from cures for disease to cleaner fuels.

She says she doesn't know how much the state might have to invest in the program. But she says it would be a priority, if she's elected governor.