Today, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn gave his annual State of the State Address to both chambers of the Illinois Legislature at the State Capitol in Springfield. While Quinn tried to paint Illinois’ economy as a bright picture, Illinois State Representative Dwight Kay (R-Glen Carbon) does not believe Quinn has worked with the legislature enough to focus on the issues which will get Illinois back on a track to prosperity.
“While I applaud the Governor’s efforts to showcase Illinois as a strong economic state, the truth of the matter is that it’s not,” Rep. Kay said. “Our unemployment rate is stuck above 8%, families and businesses are fleeing the state at a dramatic rate and unfortunately Governor Quinn and his allies do not realize the mess they created.”
Not only is Illinois’ unemployment extremely high, but under Governor Quinn, the economy has continued to sputter along at an alarming rate and is regularly rated as one of the worst states for business. 24/7 Wall Street ranks Illinois as the 3rd worst-run state in America. Chief Executive Magazine ranked Illinois as the 3rd worst state for business in 2013. According to The Tax Foundation, Illinois now has the 31st ranked state business tax climate which is down from 22nd in 2009 before Governor Quinn took office. Following a string of businesses fleeing Illinois in search of a more favorable business climate, it was reported this week that Cancer Treatment Centers of America is relocating their headquarters from Illinois to Florida.
Rep. Kay added, “As a businessman, I know what businesses need to create jobs. They need low taxes, regulatory policy reformed, and talented and educated workers. In Illinois today though, workers are forced to leave the state to find higher paying jobs elsewhere thanks to Illinois’ dismal business climate.”
In 2009, Illinois had a median household income of $52,870 and the nation overall has a median income of $49,777. Since Governor Quinn took office, Illinois’ median household income has dropped 2.1% while nationwide the amount grew 2.4%. This has led to Illinois ranking as the 2nd highest state for outbound migration meaning people are fleeing Illinois to look for better paying jobs or in some cases, any job.
“Our Governor must come to realize that his leadership has not improved the State of Illinois, but has only made it worse,” said Rep. Kay. “Our future can be the bright picture Governor Quinn painted if he and the legislature finally begin to recognize what got us into this mess. Throughout this session I will be introducing a package of bills to help improve Illinois’ economy and clean up the mess created by previous and current leadership.”