Illinois governor candidates: How would you work to increase the state's population?

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Eight candidates are running for governor of Illinois. We sent questionnaires to each of the candidates on the ballot, asking them to answer questions about pension obligations, state population, escalating costs of health care, how to handle a COVID surge and what small businesses need due to the pandemic. This is the second in a series of five articles revealing their answers to those questions – candidates are listed below alphabetically.

Our last question for candidates: What's your plan to improve the pension burden on cities?

Darren Bailey (R)

Darren Bailey
Darren Bailey

We must solve this problem and lower taxes. Working families are struggling and in need of help. I filed to amend the pension protection clause as a way to spark a conversation with workers, not union bosses and the political elites who use state workers as bargaining chips in every election. We must bring workers and those focused on solving problems, saving pensions long-term, and being respectful of promises made to workers and taxpayers to the table and create solutions from the ground up. I support no longer kicking the can down the road and ensuring lawmakers make required payments. We must also move to 401(k) style plans for all new hires and have honest conversations with state workers to gain reasonable adjustments to Cost of Living Allocation and more participation in health insurance. I would also look into supporting more buyout plans that current workers support to help alleviate future debt..

Richard C. Irvin (R)

Richard Irvin
Richard Irvin

"Under J.B. Pritzker, crime, taxes and corruption are out of control. As a former prosecutor who put violent criminals behind bars, a mayor who cut spending to lower taxes and the only Republican candidate for governor to take on Mike Madigan and win, I will be a governor who fights for policies that make people want to come to Illinois, not leave. Population loss drives economic contraction and lost state revenue. Absent fiscal policies that encourage economic growth, we will remain trapped in Pritzker’s tax-and-spend doom loop. With spending going up despite federal money running out, Pritzker is trying to set us up for yet another tax hike. As governor, I will work to cut our state income taxes permanently and deliver property tax relief across the state. I’ll make fighting violent crime my top priority — pushing to reverse Pritzker’s anti-police, pro-criminal policies. And I’ll root out the Madigan-Pritzker corruption in this state."

Beverly Miles (D)

Beverly Miles
Beverly Miles

Fixing the property taxes by making them affordable for starters. Allocating more monies to the school system so children can receive a good quality education. Boosting the economy by allocating more resources to help small business or monies to streamline processes so qualified residents can become community-based business owners. And devising a team with all the subject matter expert's and residence to come up with a tangible to combat violence immediately 30 after being selected in office.

JB Pritzker (D)

JB Pritzker
JB Pritzker

"Students are among the largest number of people leaving the state. Illinois has historically short-changed them by making college in-state unaffordable and under Bruce Rauner, enrollment actually declined. As Governor, I’ve taken steps to reverse outmigration by expanding college scholarships. I pushed for passage of the FAFSA application requirement so more seniors will be eligible for federal grants and increased funding for state colleges and universities. Additionally, I’ve made investments in the foundation of a strong economy, like small business development, jobs, and raising the minimum wage. We’re preparing workers for the future with new Advanced Manufacturing Academies downstate, and we launched Rebuild Illinois, putting people to work rebuilding roads and bridges. Finally, restoring fiscal stability has been vital for attracting out-of-state businesses. Population growth comes not with platitudes or silver bullet solutions, but rather with sustained efforts, and that’s what I’ve worked to achieve."

Gary Rabine (R)

Did not respond to repeated requests to fill out questionnaire.

Paul Schimpf (R)

Did not respond to repeated requests to fill out questionnaire.

Max Solomon (R)

Max Solomon
Max Solomon

"Property Tax Reform; Deregulation of industries, businesses, trades, professions."

Jesse Sullivan

Jesse Sullivan
Jesse Sullivan

"My administration will focus on four key areas: crime, corruption, taxes, and education.

"I will start with a commitment to restoring safety to our streets by repealing the failed anti-police bill and giving law enforcement a seat at the table to address the crime that is scaring people away from our cities.

"On day one my administration will launch a line-by-line corruption audit of our state government. And we will report our progress transparently to taxpayers.

"I will commit to cutting Illinois’s burdensome taxes, so that companies and job creators invest in our economy. I am the only candidate to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, a promise that I will veto all tax increases that reach my desk.

"Finally, I will restore excellence to our education system by delivering school choice to Illinois families. Every parent should have the freedom to choose the education best suited to their child’s needs."

This article originally appeared on Journal Star: Illinois governor candidates: How would you increase population?