Miller: State government needs more people with business experience
State Rep. Chris Miller (R-Oakland) would like to see a greater cross-section of individuals making the decisions that matter most in Illinois.
“We have too many people in Springfield that have never owned a business, never hired an employee or anything close that are now in the position of making public policy related to all that,” he told the East Central Reporter. “They really have no idea what it takes on the part of government. If they did, you wouldn’t be seeing a lot of the policy you do that, sadly, makes up too many of our laws.”
Miller said that is the only way to explain how Illinois could rank 46th in the country in private-sector job growth for 2018, according to recent statistics released by the Illinois Department of Employment Security.
While government rated as the state’s fastest-growing jobs sector, data show private-sector employment grew just 1 percent over the last year.
According to the Illinois Policy Institute, of the 71,000 jobs created in the state in 2018, government accounted for nearly 25,000 of them, more than the trade, transportation and utilities (8,700), manufacturing (5,500) and construction (4,400) industries combined.
“It’s gotten to the point where all we’re known for are our high taxes, high workmen's compensation and unwelcoming posture toward small business,” added Miller, who defeated his Democratic opponent, Shirley Bell, in the 110th District with 60 percent of the vote in November. “Few businesses can withstand all the unnecessary burden we place on them, and now it’s gotten to the same point for more and more residents."
U.S. Census Bureau data find the state’s population shrank by roughly 45,000 residents in 2018, and since 2014 that number balloons to 157,000.
“The way you change that is by sending more people to Springfield that get it and are willing to change public policy in favor of the people they’re supposing to be serving,” Miller added. “What we’re seeing right now, with lawmakers hanging around as long as they can to serve their own interests, is a banner example of why we need term limits.”
The 110th House District includes Clark, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, Edgar and Lawrence counties.