Caulkins sees dire consequences if exodus from Illinois continues
State Rep.-elect Dan Caulkins a Republican from Decatur, argues the numbers alone don’t tell the full story about what Illinois’s shrinking population could mean for the state.
“It’s not just that we’re losing people,” Caulkins told the Chambana Sun. “The truth is we’re losing our workforce, because those are the people that are leaving in the greatest numbers. We’re losing our middle class to the degree that if we don’t change things real soon we may not have one to talk about.”
In 2018, for the fifth straight year, Illinois lost population as a record-setting 45,116 people decided to call some other place home, according to newly released census data for 2018. Only New York City lost more people this year, 48,510.
In addition, Illinois was the only state in the Midwest to lose population this year. Since 2000, the state has lost almost 1.5 million residents.
“I put that squarely on the fact state government is not doing a good job of managing our finances or anything else,” said Caulkins, who garnered 70 percent of the vote to defeat his Democratic opponent, Jen McMillin, in the 101st District in last month's general election. “We’re losing our working class because of high taxes and the rising cost of living. Until Democrats understand that we can’t continue to do what we’ve done for the last 30 years, the exodus of people heading for the border will only get greater.”
Caulkins said he fears things might get worse before they get better.
“Everything I’m hearing revolves around [House Speaker Mike] Madigan and [Gov.-elect J.B.] Pritzker’s plan to extract even more from the taxpayer,” he said. “It’s really just a vicious, vicious circle where only the taxpayer is the big loser.”
The 101st House District spans parts of Champaign, DeWitt, Macon, McLean and Piatt counties.