On Wednesday I had the privilege of attending the State of the State address in Springfield. As a Republican, I can say that I found some promise in the speech that I liked very much. I was happy to hear about ethics and the need to protect the vulnerable. The was the good part. There were also the bad and the ugly in his speech as well.
Governor Pritzker called for an end to the revolving door of politicians going from public office to lobbyist overnight. Politicians in D.C. must wait either 1 or 2 years after leaving office, depending on which office they hold, so the idea has merit and should be implemented.
The governor also called for ethics reforms to end the corruption that is currently consuming the General Assembly. A number of sitting politicians are under federal investigation for corruption and are likely to join former Senator Sandoval in prison!
Perhaps just as bad is the current practice of some politicians to also be on the payroll as lobbyists for interest groups. Who are these people serving?! Elected officials are supposed to represent the people, not special interests! The governor is right in saying this practice has to end and I will help him do that!
Governor Pritzker stopped short of more ethics reforms for the people of Illinois. Illinois is known for it’s gerrymandered federal and state districts that leave unaccountable politicians in power. It’s time for this practice to end as well. The Fair Maps amendment will put the redistricting process in the hands of a non-partisan council so that Illinoisans actually have a say in who represents them.
The governor also mentioned the need to protect the most vulnerable in our society – and I agree wholeheartedly! However, Governor Pritzker signed a bill to allow third trimester abortions and removed medical protections for the women having an abortion, exposing them to serious harm in poorly staffed and equipped clinics. Babies and women deserve better treatment than this!
Governor Pritzker rightly pointed to the problems with property taxes in our state. Indeed, the total tax burden drove another 56,000 people from the state in 2019. Taxes and irresponsible spending remain the top concern for the remaining residents, regardless of party affiliation!
The governor declared he will reduce property taxes by replacing it with his graduated tax plan that will be on the ballot this year. Does anyone really trust our tax more and spend more government to reduce any taxes? NO! At least, not with the current set of politicians in office. I aim to reduce taxes outright (not just play shell games) by reducing spending to an affordable level.
If we truly want to reverse the losses in Illinois, we need to do all of the above. I use my military experience and will work with Governor Pritzker to bring ethics reform. I will also fight lower taxes and spending to make Illinois affordable again!