Illinois state Rep. Margo McDermed (R-Mokena)
Illinois state Rep. Margo McDermed (R-Mokena) struggled to recognize the Illinois to which Gov. J.B. Pritzker was referring in his recent State of the State address.
“He talked about how Illinois is growing faster than other adjoining states and I was really at a loss,” McDermed told the Will County Gazette. “I know numbers are just what you make of them, but I really don’t know where he’s getting them from.”
McDermed is convinced that a truer representation of how things stand in Illinois after Pritzker’s first year in office is reflected in a recent report by the Illinois Department of Employment Security in conjunction with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The report found that Illinois' job creation lagged far behind the national average in 2019, and the Illinois Policy Institute notes that last year marked the state's slowest job growth in the first year of any governor's elected term since the start of Rod Blagojevich's second term in 2007.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker
“I don’t think this economy is where it needs to be for the financial stability of this state,” McDermed said. “If we’re trying to grow ourselves out of budget deficits and pension troubles, we have to be growing at a much faster rate. Pension liabilities are so great that we have to have a lot of people working and we don’t. Our economy has never expanded back from earlier struggles.”
McDermed laments the fact that she can clearly see why that is the case.
“The minimum wage we have, workers compensation, property tax rates and all the uncertainty with income taxes are all reasons businesses do not want to grow or relocate to Illinois,” she said.
As a result, it will take more than Democrats talking a good game to get Illinois back on the right track.
“I thought Pritzker’s speech was very perky and it’s always nice to hear optimistic talk,” McDermed said. “But, having said that, he was light on specifics and the challenges we now have when it comes to taxes and the corruption that’s pervaded our government, which are going to demand a lot more than just talk.”