Batinick says loss of millennials threatens state's future
State Rep. Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) dreams of an Illinois where government works as he believes it was intended.
“It would be nice if it were more efficient, if we had things like term limits, if we had the new kind of leadership in Springfield we so clearly need,” Batinick told the Will County Gazette. “Right now, we’re just running things into the ground. We need to be concerned about being more job-friendly and friendly to the taxpayers that still call this home.”
Batinick points to a new Census Bureau study that shows how devastating the cost of falling short of that can be. Figures show 33,700 people left Illinois over a yearlong period commencing in July 2016, paving the way for Pennsylvania to overtake the state as the country’s fifth-largest.
The Illinois Policy Institute reports the raw dip in the actual number represents the worst decline of any state and the third-worst decline across the country in terms of percentage.
Researchers also noted that at a time when all of the area’s neighboring states are experiencing population growth, Illinois’ decline represents the fourth-straight year the state has trended downward in that category.
Overall, data shows that from July 2016 to July 2017, nearly 115,000 residents left Illinois on net for other states, and over the past seven years that number swells to almost 643,000.
“We need to turn things around in Springfield,” said Batinick, who previously noted that millennials are the ones leading the exodus out of state, which could serve as a “death knell” for Illinois' future.
Batinick, who recently launched his re-election campaign in the 97th District, said as he’s crisscrossed the state talking with voters many tell him rising property taxes, lack of good job opportunities and the cost of sending their kids to school rate as some of their biggest concerns.
“We’ve known about all these things for awhile now,” he said. “The time to do something about them is past come and gone.”
The 97th District includes all or parts of Oswego, Plainfield and Shorewood.