As I reflect on the end of my first spring session in the Illinois House, I can’t help but observe the sharp leftward turn Illinois has taken under the leadership of Gov. J.B. Pritzker, with the support of Democrat supermajorities in the House and Senate.
We all know that elections have consequences, however, it may be difficult to find any other state in recent history that has shifted so quickly leftward as Illinois has over the past few months. The policies of the governor have ensured Illinois’ ranking as perhaps having the most “progressive” laws in the nation regarding abortion, the most leftward voting rights – including now non-citizen student trustees at state universities and making the Cook County Jail into a polling place for pretrial detainees – a shift to one of the highest minimum wage rates in the nation, legalization of recreational drug use with expungement of many past criminal offenses, unprecedented assaults on the constitutional rights of firearm owners, attempts at forced unionization of private industries, and more liberal policy shifts than there is space to mention in this column.
Was there property tax relief? No.
Were policies passed to make Illinois a better place to do business? Not really.
Were there spending cuts? Heck, no.
Did Pritzker’s claim that taxes won’t go up for 97% of Illinoisans hold true? Not with the doubling of gas taxes and vehicle registration fee increases. This claim is already false, but I bet some will defend Pritzker anyway.
I proudly voted “no” on these tax-and-spend policies.
Pendulums swing. Right now, the pendulum in Illinois has swung far to the left. It will return to the middle at some point and even correct to the right. The important thing for my friends of a progressive ideology to remember is that the farther it swings to the left, the farther it eventually swings back to the right.
It is my belief that the average citizen wants these pendulum swings to be minimal. They understand the greater the pendulum swings, the more it corrects to the other side. The average citizen is not overly partisan, but rather cares most about safe communities, low taxes, and building a financially firm future that keeps their kids and grandkids close to home.
The Republicans are outnumbered 74-44 in the Illinois House. Fiscal conservatives are certainly outnumbered. When I hear people ask what can be done to stop this all, I can’t help but sympathize, but firmly and politely remind them, elections have consequences.
If you have any additional thoughts or ideas, you can reach Sally or me at 815-232-0774, or visit my website at repchesney.com.