By: Katie Clancy, Marketing Communications Manager
This week, Gov. Pritzker presented his annual State of the State, in which he wants to see “more of the same” in the upcoming legislative session.
The cornerstone of Gov. Pritzker’s first year in office was the 19 tax and fee hikes he rammed through the legislature. The cornerstone of his second year in office is more of the same: a campaign to give legislators like Mike Madigan a blank check to raise our taxes.
We’ve entrusted politicians with power and in return, we have former Governors in prison, weekly FBI raids, and the most corrupt big city in one of the most corrupt states in the nation. Gov. Pritzker’s answer? Give these same politicians more power.
More of the same for Pritzker results in higher operating costs on small businesses all over the state, more sham task forces that fail to lower the second-highest property taxes in the nation as tax bills continue to rise, allowing corrupt officials to remain in office despite swirls of FBI investigations, passing another record-breaking state operating budget, and more income tax hikes.
Gov. Pritzker thinks he can convince us that the state debt isn’t that bad. That the pension costs aren’t on their way to consuming almost half of the state’s budget, that the second-highest property taxes in the nation aren’t destroying home values, and that the state’s mass exodus is no big deal, and that the graduated income tax will drive economic growth in our state’s stagnant economy.
To give the governor credit, he is holding up his promise to make Illinois one of the most progressive states in the nation, but at what cost?
It turns out that the Democrats’ big government, progressive policy agenda not only has a hefty price tag but is failing in all aspects.
It fails the family from Antioch in Lake County, Illinois that is uprooted out of their home and forced to sell their home for $55,000 less than they bought it for over 10 years ago and move across the country to Arizona where they’ll roughly save $10,000 a year.
It fails the families who are paying high taxes but have to send their kids to college out of state because it is more affordable than what our state offers.
It fails adults like Nick who are on waiting lists for years to receive services because they have aged out of programming for those with disabilities.
It fails the Chicago Public School student that isn’t reading or doing math at grade level and is stuck in a failing school.
And it failed the 223,000 people who have left Illinois since 2014, making us one of only three states to lose population in the last six years.
So what do you want, more of the same or a different path forward?
An alternative path delivers real property tax relief and restores home values so families can live and thrive in their communities.
The alternative path includes reforming the pension system and putting new hires in 401k type systems. Passing a constitutional amendment that allows changes to unearned, future benefits to be able to finally pay down our state’s debts and be fair to the average Illinoisan and state worker.
The path of pension reform then frees up space in our state budget to fund things that matter like caring for our friends and neighbors with disabilities who desperately deserve services to help them live a fulfilling, productive life.
A path that includes true ethics reforms rather than hiding behind ineffective commissions. Reforms that require true leaders who will stand up to Madigan and fight for policies that ban lobbying for any other governmental agency or local government while serving in the General Assembly or using the position as a legislator to gain financially.
Pritzker may want more of the same, more taxes, more corruption, more power. Are you ready for a new path forward? Sign up here to volunteer or host a meet and greet for local candidates, and share our message with your neighbors. We must defeat the blank check graduated income tax hike. We must hold legislators accountable in November and elect reform-minded candidates who are done with more of the same and are going to Springfield to lay down the path of pension reform, ethics reforms, and overall good governance that best serves all Illinoisans.