Caulkins: There's no reason for Illinois to be in such bad shape
Dan Caulkins argues the state of Illinois has to be willing to accept its grim reality before it can move forward in changing the landscape.
“This is a not partisan report, something you just can’t dispute along those lines,” Caulkins told the Chambana Sun of Chief Executive’s 2018 “Best and Worst States for Business” report that for the fourth straight year ranks Illinois No. 48 of 50 states, ahead of only New York and California.
“It’s an accurate portrait of how the business world sees the state," added Caulkins, a Decatur Republican running against Democrat Jennifer McMillin for the seat being vacated by Rep. Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth) in the 101st District. “The sad part is so many lawmakers and their constituency don’t seem to care.”
For the 14th straight year, Texas ranked No. 1 among all states followed by Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina. Closer to home, Indiana ranked No. 5 and Michigan, up nine spots over last year, ranked No. 27.
“It’s crushing for the state and its reputation,” Caulkins said. “In the words of Gov. (Bruce) Rauner, ‘wouldn’t it be nice to just be average.’ There’s no reason a state like Illinois, in one of the best regions in the country, would be in this shape. It’s sad, none of the surrounding states are doing this poorly. It’s an indictment of leadership and a reflection of who we are sending to Springfield, namely (House Speaker) Mike Madigan.”
Once in Springfield, Caulkins said he plans to go on the offensive to change the situation.
“I’ll initiate the conversation with all concerned members, talk about the need to make a difference by addressing our fiscal problems,” he said. “We simply can’t continue to spend more than we take in. We can always debate on how to spend the money, but first we have to come to an agreement on what our income is.”
The 101st House District includes parts of Champaign, McLean, Dewitt, Macon and Piatt counties.