Illinois lawmakers 'on the gravy train,' 115th House District candidate says
Paul Jacobs is convinced there can be only one explanation for how lawmakers in Springfield could allow things to deteriorate so deeply that a new IRS study concludes more than 86,000 people recently fled Illinois at a cost of nearly $5 billion in adjusted gross income in just over a year.
“It’s a matter of them being on the gravy train,” Jacobs told SE Illinois News. “We need people in Springfield that truly care about fixing things and getting this state back on the right track.”
With runaway taxes again being cited as the No. 1 reason people are fleeing the state, a recent Paul Simon Public Policy Institute survey also found that nearly 50 percent of all Illinois residents want to leave the state.
Data from the IRS also show the cash-strapped state experienced a loss of nearly 42,000 tax returns to other states over the 2015-16 year surveyed, equating to an all-time high in lost exemptions.
Researchers noted millennials are leading the charge for greener pastures, with the top 10 states where Illinois residents moved being Florida (12,800 exemptions gained from Illinois on net), Texas (9,400), Indiana (8,200), California (7,600), Arizona (6,400), Wisconsin (6,000), Colorado (4,700), Georgia (4,200), Tennessee (3,600) and North Carolina (2,700).
“I don’t know what part of ‘we're broke’ it is that people don’t understand,” Jacobs said. “We gotta start reducing all of our taxes, and once we slow out-migration, as a state we need to become more business-friendly.”
Jacobs, who is running against Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) in the 115th District, has every intention of leading by example.
“You have to have people who are really there to do what they say they are,” he said. “If you’re there to help fix the pensions, how can you take the pension.”
Jacobs said his message to the residents is to rise up and make sure their voice is heard.
“Vote for people that are fiscally conservative and that know there is a finite amount of money and you can’t just keep spending,” he said.
In the end, Jacobs said he has spent more than a half-century in Illinois and intends to fight on.
“We’re hoping we can encourage other people by continuing to fight,” he said. “If people don’t do something, this only gets worse.”
The 115th District covers Jackson, Jefferson, Washington, Perry and Union counties.