Springfield's focus should be on pensions, Rep. Bailey says, not on winning votes 'to stay in power'
State Rep. Darren Bailey (Xenia) is determined not to have his first two months in Springfield become representative of his entire first term.
“All we’ve done is talk about spending more money and running ourselves into more debt,” Bailey, the newly elected lawmaker in the 109th District, told SE Illinois News. “There hasn’t been so much as a single mention of cutting spending or reducing the deficit. And now, if we pass this progressive tax Democrats are backing, we’re only heading for more destruction.”
Recent analysis by Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) of the progressive tax Gov. J.B. Pritzker has been pushing since his days on the campaign trail seems to lend credence to Bailey’s warning that such legislation will impact far more than just the rich. According to IPI estimates, revenues generated from the plan could fall short of projections outlined by Pritzker and Democrats by as much as $2 billion. On top of that, forecasts are that the plan could cost the state as many as 30,000 jobs and over $11 billion in economic activity.
“I think it’s disgusting that our government would be making claims that this tax would result in 97 percent of state residents getting a tax break,” Bailey added. “It’s as if Democrats don’t have facts, don’t care about facts and will say anything they think they have to in order to stay in power.”
Meanwhile, all the criticisms seem to be falling on deaf ears, with Pritzker and House Speaker Mike Madigan recently revealing they hope to see the proposal advanced as early as before the end of the current session in Springfield. Bailey is convinced the focus is all wrong.
“What we need to be laser-focused on are these pensions,” he said. “Until we get those under control, things are going to be a struggle. It’s clear we need changes like having new hires starting in different plans, but, for the sake of votes, we refuse to talk about those kinds of issues.”
The 109th House District includes all or parts of Clay, Edwards, Effingham, Jasper, Lawrence, Richland, Wabash, Wayne and White counties.