Put the right people in office to end Illinois exodus, Griffith says
Joshua Griffith has a message for all the people fleeing Illinois out of disdain for what he sees as the state’s tax-and-spend policies.
“My message is not to give up hope, but make the right decisions by putting the right people in office to make Illinois a destination state again,” Griffith told the West Central Reporter. “We can make that happen.”
After a recent IRS report found more than 86,000 people left Illinois at a cost of approximately $5 billion in adjusted gross income over just a yearlong period, Griffith knows that changing hearts and minds won’t be easy.
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 have to reform the budget and pension systems,” Griffith, an Abingdon Republican who is running against Rep. Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) in the GOP primary in the 93rd District, said. “Those are our major downfalls and the change starts with a change in leadership. Nothing will happen with the status quo remaining in place.”
Griffith said part of his motivation also stems from wanting a better future for his five young children.
“If my daughter was to graduate today, I want her to be able to stay here in Illinois if that is what she wants to do,” he said. “You do that by making Illinois a destination state once again.”
The 93rd House District includes parts or all of Brown, Cass, Fulton, Knox, Mason, McDonough, Schuyler and Warren counties.