Illinois' future in hands of voters, Bailey says
Illinois State Rep. Darren Bailey (R-Xenia) laments the fact that taxpayers across the state are being forced to pay a heavy toll for Springfield lawmakers' narrow focus.
“Every problem that comes up, they want to tax their way out of,” Bailey told the SE Illinois News. “That’s why our workman's comp rates and all our other tax rates are so high.”
Bailey said it is that kind of dysfunctional policy-making that stands at the root of Illinois' many fiscal issues. To illustrate that point further, a new Chief Executive Magazine survey of CEOs from across the country ranked Illinois No. 48 on its list of Best States & Worst State for Business, ahead of only New York and California.
For Illinois, such dubious distinction marks the second straight year the state has ranked near the bottom in these rankings and comes at a time when all neighboring states are ranked in the top 25 in the same survey, with Indiana being ranked No. 5. Researchers concluded that a big part of Illinois' problems stem from the $28 billion in unfunded pension debt for which taxpayers remain on the hook.
In addition, new Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s first state budget is projected to have a hole in excess of $3 billion.
“It’s gotten to the point where businesses almost feel like they’re setting themselves up for failure by being here,” Bailey added. “For workman’s compensation insurance alone, you’re forced to pay twice what any business owner in a neighboring state has to.”
Still, Bailey said he remains hopeful about the state’s future.
“I’m optimistic taxpayers will wake up and realize we need to be going in a different direction,” he said. “That’s our only hope because it seems like Gov. Pritzker is intent on destroying us, both financially and morally. Right now, we’re at a low point in our history and I think only the voters can rescue us.”