HomeBudget & Tax NewsLawmakers Say Illinois Needs to be More Competitive to Attract and Retain...

Lawmakers Say Illinois Needs to be More Competitive to Attract and Retain Businesses

Illinois lost 105,000 people in 2020 and lost nearly $11 billion in taxable income

(The Center Square) – Saying Illinois’ neighboring states are more attractive to businesses than the Prairie State, a group of Illinois lawmakers is calling for changes.

Noting that the legislature has been prioritizing issues like cat declawing and pronoun usage this session, the Illinois Freedom Caucus is calling on legislative leaders to address serious reforms.

Members of the caucus said at a Tuesday news conference that Illinois is losing people at a rapid rate and poor economic policies are to blame.

“When it comes to unemployment insurance, workers compensation insurance, and liability insurance, all those things are higher in our state than in neighboring states,” state Rep. David Friess, R-Red Bud, said. “As a result, the cost of doing business is run up in our state. We cannot compete. There are reasons why people are leaving our state.”

According to IRS data released last week, Illinois lost 105,000 people in 2020 and lost nearly $11 billion in taxable income. The most popular destinations for Illinoisans leaving the state were Florida, Texas and Indiana.

State Rep. Brad Halbrook, R-Shelbyville, said Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a budget in the neighborhood of $38 billion in 2018, a far cry from what will likely be passed this session. Gov. J.B. Pritzker proposed a nearly $50 billion spending plan in February.

“According to some estimates, this year’s budget is to be around $50 billion or more,” Halbrook said. “There is no restraint when it comes to the state of Illinois spending.”

The group added that the FY24 estimate for the state’s health benefits program for illegal immigrants is estimated to cost $990 million, which is a $768 million increase from FY23.

“Where are we going to get a billion dollars to pay for healthcare costs for illegals?” state Rep. Jed Davis, R-Newark, said. “Illinois is being run into the ground. It is time to focus on the issues important to the future of the state and most of all – important to the people we are tasked with representing in the Legislature.”

The group is also calling for pension reforms and school reform initiatives such as school choice.


Originally published by The Center Square. Republished with permission.

For more from Budget & Tax News.

For more public policy from The Heartland Institute.

Kevin Bessler
Kevin Bessler
Kevin Bessler reports on statewide issues in Illinois for the Center Square. He has over 30 years of experience in radio news reporting throughout the Midwest.


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