Rep. Dan Caulkins Responds to Pritzker SOTS/Budget Address

This afternoon, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker gave his annual State of the State Address from the Illinois Capitol.

State Representative Dan Caulkins issued the following statement in response:

“It is fitting that the Governor delivered his budget address on Feb 2, Groundhog Day. Despite the rosy spin he attempted to put on it, very little in this state has changed for Illinois families and businesses – except for perhaps their neighbors and customers fleeing at a record pace.

As we have seen year after year in Illinois, the governor rolled out a series of budget gimmicks. This year was more of the same. Gimmicks included temporary tax cuts and property tax rebates. Temporary relief in an election year? Novel. But what Illinois needs to solve its budget problems is structural reform to its major systems – including the pension system and Medicaid. Without that, he is only delaying the pain.

The fact is our economy has lost $31.4 billion due to population loss.

Over 250,000 jobs that existed before the lockdowns are gone. And small businesses still have not been made whole.

Governor Pritzker touted the state’s upgraded credit rating. It’s nothing to brag about. Illinois is still rated far lower than any other state in the nation. And the upgrade was due to an influx of ONE-TIME federal Covid relief money, not anything that Governor Pritzker did.

On the Covid front, 23 months of unilateral emergency orders, lockdowns and mandates haven’t worked. Illinois has more deaths from COVID than almost any other state.  But he made sure your 4 year-old had to have a mask securely fastened to her face before she would be allowed to enter her preschool classroom. 

He claims he has kept us safe. Not only did he not keep us safe from COVID. Violent crime has sky-rocketed in Chicago and across Illinois.

Governor Pritzker’s speech today shows that either he thinks we are all stupid, or he is grotesquely out of touch with what life is like for families and businesses in this state. The people I represent are tired of the same lies and gimmicks from Springfield. This Groundhog Day nightmare must come to an end. But that means we need an honest accounting of the realities the state faces, and that is not what Illinois got this afternoon.”