Springfield….State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) rose on the floor of the Illinois House on Monday to make the following statement in opposition to SJRCA 1, a proposed Constitutional Amendment that seeks to replace Illinois’ current flat tax with a graduated income tax system.
“I will be brief, because I know time is short and there is a lot of expansion of State government left to get to. Let me begin by saying I have not risen on this floor very often in my 3 years here to offer broad philosophical statements. Instead, I have used my time to introduce people from my district, to pass bills important to my constituents, and to listen intently and make informed decisions when I vote on legislation.
Today is a different story. Today, the free market is under attack in Illinois. Small business owners are under attack. Job creators are under attack. Southern Illinois is under attack.
During the Governor’s first speech before this chamber, I took special note of one of his promises. I believe the words he used were something along the lines of he wanted to work with us to create a, ‘downstate revitalization plan’, and, I was really excited about that.
I thought, hey, maybe this is a new day and maybe this Governor gets it. Southern Illinois needs help…we need more jobs. We need investment and infrastructure improvements to be more competitive with States like Indiana, Missouri, and Kentucky. We need relief from over-burdensome environmental regulations and crushing mandates from the State.
Sadly folks, there has not been another word uttered about any downstate, or Southern Illinois, as I like to call it, “revitalization plan.” Instead, the super majority of Democrats in this chamber and in the Senate rammed through a massive spike in the minimum wage during the first week of the session. That action will mean our minimum wage will be almost double the wage in neighboring states.
And, when news broke that Illinois took in MORE money than we were expecting, instead of steering toward fiscal sanity, we see radical expansions of access to taxpayer funded abortions put on us at the 11th hour, a government fingerprint registration database that flies in the face of the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution, and now a progressive tax hike.
None of the items I just mentioned are going to revitalize Southern Illinois’ economy…Let’s for once, for once, stand up for the citizens of the United States that are living in Illinois and paying the highest combined state, local, and sales taxes in the nation already. I strongly urge a no vote on this legislation and on any legislation, that raises tax rates. We need more taxpayers, not more taxes. Let’s get back to work to balance the budget using existing revenues and pay down our bills. Let’s restore fiscal sanity, please vote NO.”
The House eventually passed SJRCA 1 with all House Republicans voting No on the plan. The measure now moves to Governor Pritzker who is expected to sign the measure, placing the question on the 2020 ballot for Illinois voters.