As affluent millennials flee Illinois at alarming rate, Rep. Bailey calls on voters to force change
Illinois state Rep. Darren Bailey (R-Xenia) says the findings in a new Smart Asset survey showing an alarming rate of outmigration by the state’s most successful millennials should come as no surprise to the Democratic policymakers responsible, nor to voters who continue to put them in office.
“People are indeed moving out and they’re going to continue moving out when things like gas go up,” Bailey told the SE Illinois News. “Businesses are going to refuse to move into Illinois and all the while my district continues to suffer from lack of job creation, lack of business and just poverty situations of people moving across the state line to Indiana.”
The survey gauged population shifts for those under the age of 35 and with adjusted gross incomes of at least $100,000, concluding that the important U.S. demographic is leaving the state of Illinois faster than any other state except New York. Over a yearlong period ending in 2016, Illinois lost 2,248 of these millennials, adding to an overall trend that has seen the state lose cumulative population in each of the last five years.
Beyond that, a 2018 University of Illinois at Springfield poll found that two of three Illinoisans younger than 35 have considered relocating out of state, with high taxes ranking as the primary reason.
“I don’t know why people aren’t looking at that,” Bailey added. “I think voters are going to have to start stopping and paying more attention to the issues and looking at how these votes went down in Springfield. We’re going to have to work for the change. We’re going to have to get more people to run that are truly conservative. No one wants to give their money away like that.”
With the state having just passed Gov. J.B. Pritzker's new $40 billion state budget that includes 21 new tax or fee increases, Bailey frets that things may get worse before they get better. But he does still have hope, provided voters can create a shift at the state capital.
“With this 2020 election, Illinois has a chance to take ground," Bailey said. "I and others are working toward educating voters across the whole state to rethink their conservative mindset. If we can gain some ground and take away the [Democratic] super-majority in 2020, and have a chance to take the majority in 2022, it’s salvageable. If we can’t do that and we continue on our path, I don’t think anyone knows what’s going to happen.”