State Representative Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville) said based on the speech Governor JB Pritzker gave today as his State of the State address, he is living in a much different Illinois than the rest of the state.
“I hear all of the time from people who are either planning on leaving Illinois or are actively considering it,” Halbrook said. “People are tired of the bad policies and the lack of concern for what is happening in Illinois and they are voting with their feet. Illinois has had positive job growth, but this is a direct result of the Trump economy. The Illinois economy could have seen even more growth had our state government done a better job managing the budget and the state economy.”
Last year, Illinois lost 50,000 residents. The unemployment rate in Illinois is higher than every surrounding state except Michigan.
“Illinois has the highest combination of state local taxes in the country,” Halbrook said. “It is a perfect storm of high taxes, bad economic policies and a far-left social agenda that are driving people out of the state in droves. Instead of addressing these problems, the only thing I heard today is the Governor’s commitment to do more of the same. It is no wonder that so many people are interested in the process to separate from Chicago.”
Rep. Halbrook said that in his State of the State Address today the governor announced his support for a small number of Republican ethics reform proposals, such as legislation to prevent lawmakers from serving as lobbyists.
“Just yesterday we had another former legislator plead guilty to felony corruption charges. When will enough be enough?” Rep. Halbrook asked. “It sounds like the Governor is interested in real reform – not just press release fodder but we will see. We need to root out the culture of corruption in Springfield once and for all.”
Rep. Halbrook said the Governor’s speech lacked any big ideas. The Governor touched on property taxes, jobs and the economy and ethics and other big picture problems but he offered no specific solutions.
“We are all in agreement on what the problems are but there are vast differences on the solutions,” Halbrook said. “The reason we do not see the Governor outlining any specific ideas on how to fix pensions or how to lower property taxes is because the only we can legitimately accomplish these goals would be to reduce spending and the Democrat majority in the House and the Senate along with the Governor have no interest in meaningful spending reforms.”