When lawmakers voted to increase the Illinois income tax by 32 percent, Illinois already had the highest combination of state and local taxes in the country.
The tax hike is hurting our economy. In August alone, Illinois lost 3,000 manufacturing jobs.
My opponent’s vote for the 32 percent tax hike is hurting families throughout the 115h District. The vote to bailout Chicago means our communities will receive less money and send more to Springfield and Chicago.
Jackson County residents will pay $10.93 million in state income taxes, Jefferson County will pay $7.86 more, Perry $3.7 million. Union County $3 million and Washington County residents will pay $3.8 million more.
Southern Illinois residents deserve a representative in Springfield who will stand up for them by opposing tax increases and opposing wasteful state spending. Southern Illinois needs jobs – not job killing tax increases.
I am pro-life, and I will fight for the sanctity of human life as the State Representative for the 115th District.
In addition, I am very disappointed in the Legislature for enacting a bill (HB 40) that essentially opens the door for state funding of abortions for any reason. Illinois can’t pay its bills as it is now. Illinois taxpayers should not be on the hook for abortions.
2nd Amendment Rights
The 2nd Amendment is constantly under attack in Illinois. I am a strong proponent of our 2nd Amendment rights. The right to bear arms is an important part of our Constitution and it is a right that must be protected and preserved.
I will be a strong advocate in Springfield for our right to bear arms.
Property taxes in Illinois are too high.
Illinois property taxes are the second highest in the nation, according to the Tax Foundation. It is time we had meaningful property tax reforms in Illinois. We can’t afford to continue ignoring the property tax issues in Illinois any longer.
Illinois had more people leave than any other state in 2016.
Many of the people leaving were of working age, which means they left to find work in other states. A report from US News and World Report ranks the Illinois economy #44 in the nation. A state that is located in the center of the United States should be doing better.
A recent report from Chief Executive Magazine ranks Illinois the third worst state in the nation for business. In the report, one CEO noted, “Illinois is becoming a worse state to do business in all the time. Other businesses are leaving Illinois, which affects our customer base.”
It is time Springfield listened to the job creators and worked to make Illinois a more business-friendly state. Illinois needs to lower taxes, reduce business regulations, reform the court system to curb frivolous lawsuits and improve the state’s workers’ compensation system.Education
Here in Southern Illinois we are acutely aware of the disparity of education funding. Many school districts in our area are struggling and certainly, the reliance on property taxes as the primary source of funding for education puts areas like Southern Illinois at a distinct disadvantage.
Lawmakers recently approved (SB 1947) which overhauls the way the state funds schools. It provides relief to Chicago for its legacy teacher pension debt and future pension payments, as well as provides a $75 million tax credit scholarship program.
Initially, I thought Senate Bill 1947 was a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, as more facts have come out, I believe SB 1947 is a bad idea. It has become clear, that downstate is the real loser with this legislation and it is nothing more than a bailout for Chicago with just a few crumbs for everyone else. The Chicago lobbyists and Illinois State Board of Education Chief Tony Smith now claim the state “needs” a $7.2 billion income tax increase to fund their new schools' plan. That’s another $1,500 per year, per Illinois household.
This money would, in part, cover a small down payment on the state bailout of CPS, which has run $1 billion operating deficits in each of the past seven years and is currently insolvent, owing more than $17 billion in debt.
Moving forward, we must look at the number of school districts in Illinois. Right now, Illinois has more than 850 school districts. By comparison, Florida only has 70 School Districts.
A 2017 study from the Metropolitan Planning Council, or MPC, analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau and found Illinois school districts spent $1 billion on district-level administration in fiscal year 2014 – more than any other state. That’s $518 per pupil, which comes in as the second highest rate in the country.
We need to look at ways of reducing these costs and put more of our resources directly into school rooms. What is needed is a comprehensive approach. Senate 1947 falls far short of the comprehensive approach we need.
Transparency in Government
I will not accept the legislative pension if elected to represent the 115th District. I believe government service should be just that – a service. In that vein, I will refuse the legislative pension.
I also support other reforms. Specifically:
• I support efforts to draw a fair legislative map because I believe we need to take the politics out of the legislative redistricting process.
• I support term limits because it is time to drain the swamp in Springfield.
• I support pension reform because if we fail to accomplish this we will not be able to afford the pension debt.
Tax and spend politicians like my opponent can work together to increase our taxes but when it comes to limiting their terms in office or fixing state pensions they cannot get anything done. This is unacceptable. We need leadership in Springfield now more than ever.