Bailey declines state pension, healthcare
State Rep.-elect Darren Bailey (R-Xenia) marked his official Springfield arrival by holding steady to a main promise of his campaign.
“I just signed off on the papers declining to accept a state pension or healthcare benefits,” Bailey told the SE Illinois News on the first day he arrived for the three-day initiation period for new members. “Like I said throughout my campaign, I think it’s very important for leaders in Illinois to lead by example, and I want to be a symbol of that.”
Bailey, who easily bested Cynthia Given, his Democratic opponent, in November's general election with nearly 76 percent of the vote in the 109th District, sees challenges ahead.
“It’s going to be difficult, as we’re already hearing the governor-elect [J.B. Pritzker] state he plans to raise taxes and Speaker [Mike[ Madigan say the House is in line with that,” he said. “We already know that taxes are too high, and that was one of the main components of our campaign platform.”
In addition to working to lower taxes, Bailey said he plans to fight to rescind abortion expansion bill HB 40.
“It’s issues like these that have us headed down a one-way street in the wrong direction,” he said. “We as Republicans have to be firm in standing up for the things that we truly believe in.”
At the same time, Bailey said he’s keeping an open mind and expressing a willingness to work with anyone toward legislation that stands to improve the state's overall condition.
“Another one of my priorities is getting to know everyone in the chamber and figuring out where we can work together on things we have in common that can make life better for the people of Illinois,” he said. “Even Pritzker says he wants to work with everyone. We’ll soon find out how serious he is, because to keep doing the things we’ve been doing [robs] the next generation of having any real chance.”
The 109th House District includes Clay, Edwards, Effingham, Jasper, Lawrence, Richland, Wabash, Wayne and White counties.