Reporting from WBEZ's Tony Arnold and Ammad Omar used in this report.
Republicans are criticizing President Barack Obama for visiting his home state Wednesday.
The Democratic president is scheduled to visit Western Illinois as part of a Midwestern tour.
Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady says Mr. Obama's policies have not helped the state's economy.
"If you want to come to a state that is completely screwed up, not only by the local Democrats but by the national Democrats, I invite you to spend a week here and you will see the worst state in the union insofar as how this state is managed from a fiscal perspective," Brady said.
Brady says Illinois' unemployment rate - 9.2 percent - is too high and that Democrats haven't done enough to create jobs for the long-term.
In the meantime, Democratic U.S. Senator Dick Durbin defends the president's Midwest tour, saying Republicans will complain about everything the president does.