Kay says nothing is being done to end out-migration
Dwight Kay has thought long and hard about the impact Illinois’ wayward policies are having on the state.
“Based on my own calculations, we’re now losing a citizen every 3.3 minutes that seems to be going to a more business-friendly, tax-friendly state,” Kay told the East Central Reporter. “The really sad part is nothing is being done about it; everything that we’re doing in Springfield with policy says to people ‘we don’t want you here.’”
Recent data compiled by the Census Bureau finds that 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 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 swelled to almost 643,000.
“In all this time, we have not reformed one single thing,” Kay said. “We have not done one single thing to encourage a business to stay here or taken a step to shore up our pension crisis.”
Kay, a Glen Carbon Republican who is running for the seat held by Rep. Katie Stuart (D-Edwardsville) in the 112th House District, said he thinks he’s figured out where the problem starts.
“We have seven Illinois Democrats that support (House Speaker Mike) Madigan,” Kay said, adding that he’s convinced the unwavering support is based on Madigan being able to provide ongoing financial support for their campaigns.
“Madigan's very smart and powerful,” Kay added. “He has a lock on the unions and trial lawyers. He can fund any campaign he wants and will continue to peddle his influence.”
Kay, who served as state representative of the 112th District from 2011 to 2017, said voters now have to be the change many of them are clamoring for.
“The background I would take to Springfield is like few others,” he said. “I’ve run a large business and we’ve never gone bankrupt, missed payroll or any other kind of payment. I think that qualifies me to go to Springfield right now and talk about a balanced budget.”
Kay said his take away from all his talks with voters is that people are ready for change, but things have gotten so bad many of them worry about how much any one person can do.
“People are very discouraged,” he said. “Personally, I’m getting a lot of support and people think I have a better chance of helping to fix things than most people, but there are plenty of those who have given up hope.”
The 112th District includes Glen Carbon and parts of Maryville, Edwardsville, Collinsville, Granite City and O'Fallon.