Illinois political exodus

Steve Balich Editors note:

The State of Illinois Democrat majority refuses to address their excessive spending problem. Now our Republican Governor, makes Illinois the only State in the Union to provide abortions paid for by the taxpayer. Prior to this monumental spending proposal he joined Chicago’s Mayor in welcoming illegal immigrants at another huge cost to the taxpayer. Point being, what is the difference between the Governor, and the Democrat majority when it comes to wild excessive spending at the expense of each taxpayer?

The State of Illinois Democrat majority had to find a way to bail out Chicago Public Schools so they refuse to take more money from Chicago TIF districts, like most the entire downtown and get the money from where? It shouldn’t surprise you that the State decided to take 2% of the tax collected in cities and counties. In plain words they want to force local government to raise taxes to support their addiction to reckless spending. The State wants local government to raise taxes making the local government look irresponsible to the citizens. Last year State of Illinois gave will County an unfunded mandate at a cost of over a million dollars to change the election process. Fire departments, schools, cities, townships, etc. all experience unfunded mandates from the State.

Madigan, the Boss of Illinois calls the shots as long as he has the majority. The problem of the people is simply Madigan controls the democrat majority, and the Governor seems to go along with unsustainable uncontrolled spending by signing Bills that cost taxpayers to be responsible for increased debt. At some point Illinois will be unable to pay its bills. Will the courts rule to raise property tax to the point the government will take possession? Will the people be charges a State Fee for living in such a wonderful place say 60% of all the money they have in the bank, 401k, or annuities.? Remember Pensions and pay raises are untouchable despite being the largest cost to the State of Illinois.

From Austin Berg September 29, 2017  Illinois Policy

Thirty state lawmakers in the 100th General Assembly will not be holding their seats in the 101st General Assembly. And that’s not even counting those who might be ousted at the ballot box next year.

The exodus is unlike anything Springfield insiders have ever seen.

National polling data has long shown Illinoisans at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to trust in their state government. Has that sentiment finally seeped into the Statehouse? Have the distant grumblings become an unbearable scream?

Let’s take a look at the breakdown of who’s leaving, and why.

In the House, 23 lawmakers will not return to their seats in the 101st General Assembly. That’s nearly a whopping 20 percent of the chamber. The situation is less severe in the Senate, where seven members are certain not to return.

Of the 30 total members of the General Assembly who will not hold on to their seats, three have resigned. Twenty are not running for re-election. Two are House members running for Senate seats. And the remaining five are running for office outside the General Assembly: one for governor, two for lieutenant governor, one for attorney general, and one for a seat on Chicago’s Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (yes, really.)

Keep in mind that the current General Assembly has only been around for nine months. There could be even more announcements waiting in the wings.

Such a heavy outflow of lawmakers before voters even head to the polls demands explanation. What’s driving it?

Some have pointed to pensions. That certainly could make sense for a few lawmakers heading out the door. At least six lawmakers who are not running for re-election will be able to draw a maximum pension worth 85 percent of their final salary, according to numbers from the General Assembly Retirement System.

But the most likely driver is pretty obvious to most Illinoisans: the rage of constituents.

Social media has given residents more real-time information about what their lawmakers are doing, as well as better access to the tools to contact them directly – and often. Illinois House Minority Leader Jim Durkin cited social media as one factor with a “major impact” on the phenomenon of lawmakers leaving en masse.

The Illinois Policy Institute, which spoke out consistently against the tax hike, boasts the most active online community of any advocacy organization in the state. Close to 300,000 Illinoisans follow the group’s Facebook page. And in an eight-day window this summer – June 29th to July 6th – Illinoisans sent 35,000 emails through the Institute’s “contact your lawmaker” tool.

So while the tax hike may have passed, it did not come without political cost.

Eight of the 11 House Republicans on their way out voted for that tax hike. And 11 of the 12 House Democrats vacating their seats voted for it as well (one resigned prior to the vote). Many, if not most, of those Republicans were likely to face primary opponents from members of their own party who were furious over the tax hike.

Again, this fallout is all without Illinoisans casting a single vote against an incumbent. They’ve struck fear in the hearts of their elected officials. Their voices are growing louder.

In a state where residents have been burned far too often, that’s reason to hope for a more accountable Springfield.


Austin Berg
Director of Content Strategy

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