Jameson has plan to curb Illinois' out-migration
Doug Jameson says news of Illinois having lost more than 86,000 people at cost of approximately $5 billion in adjusted gross income over just a year’s time is a tragedy long in the making.
“Let’s be clear, our citizens are fleeing Illinois due to a lack of economic opportunity and an oppressive tax burden placed on individuals and businesses, flowing from Springfield’s 35 years of mismanagement,” Jameson told the Metro East Sun. “These are the primary factors forcing our citizens, especially young millennials, to seek a life outside our state’s borders.”
A recent Paul Simon Public Policy Institute survey also found that nearly 50 percent of all Illinois residents now want to leave the state, with runaway taxes being cited as the No. 1 reason. Data compiled by the IRS also found the cash-strapped state 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.
Researchers noted millennials are leading the charge for greener pastures, with the top 10 states to which Illinois lost population being 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).
“We read discouraging and unacceptable headlines on a daily basis relating to Illinois’ population erosion,” Jameson, now running for the seat held by Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Swansea) in the 113th District, said.
Given all he’s learned on the campaign trail, the 53-year-old Belleville Republican and former Army sergeant now has a perspective more unique than most.
“I see this issue first-hand and daily,” Jameson said of the factors most fueling the exodus out of Illinois. “As a residential and commercial Realtor, I witness the gut-wrenching, ‘kitchen table’ conversations families are having about increasing property taxes, increasing income taxes and lack of meaningful employment opportunities.”
Jameson says he has a plan centered around pension, tort and workers' compensation reforms, along with fewer units of local government, that he hopes will stem all the bleeding.
“As a new state representative, I will be relentless in seeking an environment where private investment, the spark needed to ignite economic prosperity, accelerates,” he said.
In the meantime, he said his message to voters will remain the same.
“We must remove Mike Madigan’s ability to wreak financial havoc across the state,” he said of the longtime Democratic House speaker from Chicago. “That will only happen when we fire his political enablers, like Assistant Majority Leader Jay Hoffman, from state representative positions. Flipping nine democrat House representative seats statewide (of a total 118 seats) will bring about this change. I tell voters, ‘We’re close, but we need your help.'”
The 113th House District includes all or parts of Belleville, Swansea, Fairview Heights, Washington Park, Fairmont City, Caseyville, Madison and Granite City.