Straub: Term limits are needed in Springfield
Mickey Straub feels a new IRS report detailing how more than 86,000 people left Illinois at a cost of nearly $5 billion in just a year’s time highlights the battle being waged for the soul of the state.
“Springfield has become all about self-preservation for too many lawmakers,” Straub, who is seeking the 82nd House District seat, told the Will County Gazette. “We have to have term limits. Right now, we have too many politicians with too much power making decisions that are all about them instead of the people they are supposed to be representing.”
Straub argues the end result is a state now reeling under the weight of its own dysfunction.
In addition to the IRS report, a recent Paul Simon Public Policy Institute survey found that nearly 50 percent of all Illinois residents want to leave the state, with runaway taxes being cited as the top reason to exit.
Overall, the IRS data concluded that Illinois experienced a loss of nearly 42,000 tax returns to other states over the 2015-16 year, equating to an all-time high in lost exemptions.
Perhaps making matters even worse is the fact millennials are leading the charge in bolting the state. The top 10 states to which Illinois lost people were 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).
Straub, the Burr Ridge mayor, said retirees are not far behind millennials in staging their escape from Illinois, and many of them can no longer afford to stay in the homes they have already paid for because of rising property taxes.
“The reason property taxes are so high is we have all this money going out that shouldn’t be for things like pension liabilities,” said Straub, who is poised to face off against Rep. Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) in the 2018 Republican primary in the 82nd District.
If elected to Springfield, Straub said he would be intent on finding a way of returning Illinois to the days of being a "destination state" by rescuing it from the clutches of House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago).
“Madigan is driving Illinois right off a clip,” he said. “And Springfield, as constituted, doesn’t have the wherewithal to change things or stand up to him.”
The 82nd House District includes parts or all of Burr Ridge, Homer Glen, Western Springs and Lemont.