Ugaste sees out-migration as part of a 'ticking time bomb'
Dan Ugaste laments that lawmakers in Springfield have essentially set the state up to be a ticking time bomb.
“People are leaving Illinois primarily because of high taxes and the state Legislature's refusal to address the state's problems, both of which result in a lack of opportunity for its residents,” Ugaste told the Kane County Reporter. “In conversations on the campaign trail, I have heard from far too many people that say they are in the process of leaving the state, or will be leaving as soon as their children are done with high school, for the reasons mentioned.”
Recent Census Bureau data shows 33,700 people left Illinois during 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 dip in numbers represents the worst decline of any other state and the third-worst decline across the country in terms of percentages.
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 last seven years that number swells to almost 643,000.
“I will work on reducing spending to match our revenue,” said Ugaste, a Geneva Republican who is running to replace retiring Rep. Steve Andersson (R-Geneva) in the 65th District. “I will push to lower both income and property taxes. I will address the state's fiscal problems of unpaid bills amounting to billions of dollars as well as our still unfunded pension liabilities. Finally, I will work to make Illinois a pro-growth state again by sponsoring legislation to reform items such as workers' compensation.”
Ugaste notes most of the state’s problems have come about under the watch of Democrats and specifically longtime House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago), whom he and other Republicans say needs to go for the state to have its best chance at rebounding.
“We need to address the spending problem, lower our taxes and make Illinois a pro-growth state again by enacting reforms that will cause businesses not to just to stay here but also locate in Illinois again,” he said. “Once we change the above, as well as the culture of government in this state from one that acts as if the residents of Illinois are there for the benefit of those who govern to a government that is there for the benefit of the people, our population will start to grow again.”
The 65th District includes Batavia, Geneva, St. Charles, Pingree Grove, Hampshire and Huntley.