Bailey faults legislature for sluggish business climate
State Rep. Darren Bailey (R-Xenia) says he isn’t the least bit surprised that private-sector business owners are avoiding Illinois.
“There’s just too much to deal with, from the taxes to the regulations to the corruption,” Bailey told the East Central Reporter. “Most people just decide to stay away because they don’t want the headache.”
The result, demonstrated by statistics compiled by the Illinois Department of Employment Security, show the state lagging behind most others in private-sector jobs growth for 2018. Overall, Illinois ranked 46th in the country in that department, with growth of less than 1 percent.
Illinois Policy Institute reports that of the 71,000 new jobs created over 2018, nearly 25,000 of them were government positions, or more than in the construction (4,400), manufacturing (5,500) and trade and transportation (8,700) industries combined.
“A lot of the stagnation has to do with the neglect in Springfield,” Bailey added. “The only thing they pay attention to up there is what’s happening in Chicago. Meanwhile, all the state’s other economies are left to fend for themselves with no assistance coming from state leaders.”
In addition, Bailey said, it is wrong for lawmakers to tell owners how to run their businesses when many of the legislators have no idea what that takes.
“To say you have to pay every worker you have at least $15 (per hour) is wrong and hurts small-business owners,” he said. “Every stat, every survey you read concludes this, but for some reason Springfield refuses to accept or acknowledge it.”
With Illinois losing population every day, Bailey, who won in the 109th District in November with more than 75 percent of the vote, says the time for change is now.
“We have to start to hold government accountable for what they do, because everything else trickles from there,” he said. “It’s the only choice we have. Without demanding that we get better from Springfield, things stand to get a lot worse before they get better.”
The 109th House District includes all or part of Clay, Edwards, Effingham, Jasper, Lawrence, Richland, Wabash, Wayne and White counties.