The way the citizens of Illinois have been inundated these days with paid advertising, you would almost be led to believe that Illinois Democrats have not had unfettered power over our State Government for the past fifty years. Many progressives would have you thinking the top of every agenda at every unit of government should be expanding abortion, socializing healthcare, or all about “fairness”.
All of this distracts from the truly unfair reality that the largest group of disenfranchised Illinoisans are beleaguered Illinois taxpayers. Plagued by continuous tax increases and held back by everlasting fiscal mismanagement, taxpayers have flocked across our borders for greener pastures over the past decade. Because of this population loss, we will lose at least one congressional representative for our state after the next remap, but also hold the ominous position of being one of the only States in serious jeopardy of losing two representatives.
The Illinois General Assembly has not met since May of this year, which most of us would concede feels like years ago in the dystopian now of 2020. Majority Democrats in the Illinois House shut down the important work of the Special Investigating Committee after Republicans prepared subpoenas to finally try to get answers about the very real ethical issues of having a Speaker of the House who the state’s largest utility has admitted to bribing with an “old-style patronage operation” for his friends and confidantes. No meetings will occur of the Special Investigating Committee until “after the election”. No meetings of the Illinois House will occur until “after the election”. But remember, these office holders are “working for you”.
Property tax relief has been relegated to the back-burner for majority democrats. Of course, let’s be honest, it always was on the back-burner for them. They’ve controlled the House since 1996 with no major property tax reforms in that time.
The Governor has all but shut down ALL talk of ANY pension reforms. Meanwhile combined state and local pension debt has soared to over $400 billion and will soon consume the majority of nearly every city and villages property tax collections. No talk of cuts. No talk of reforms. Totally off the table, according to Pritzker.
Press briefings of daily positivity rates and orchestrated stumbling from crisis to crisis shields waste with haste. The state teeters on junk bond status from credit rating agencies, meaning our ability to dig out through borrowing with be even further limited and cost taxpayers even more money in the long run.
The Governor should hold daily press briefings, but these topics should get equal credence. We can adhere to best practices recommended by our local health officials. We can mourn the nearly 10,000 Illinoisans we have lost with COVID. Without drawing a false equivalency, we can also be “Angry as All-Hell” about the 170,000 Illinois ex-patriates we have lost from mismanagement of a once great State.
Andrew S. Chesney is an elected Republican member of the Illinois House of Representatives for the 89th district.