St. Clair County GOP chair and candidate for state representative Doug Jameson said he fears that Illinois’ new state budget leaves the state in its worst predicament yet.

“All this misguided additional spending brings forth the need for reforms even more,” Jameson told the Record. “I’m extremely disappointed we passed tax increases without any reforms to the system that got us in this mess in the first place.”

After more than two years of no balanced budget and a period of running up more than $15 billion in unpaid bills, lawmakers recently overrode a veto by Gov. Bruce Rauner to pass a budget carrying the largest permanent tax hike in state history, one which raises the personal income tax rate from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent. The budget also raises the corporate income tax rate to 7 percent from 5.25 percent.

Even with all the added revenue, Jameson said he doesn’t see the state’s fortunes changing much.

“Without structural reforms and needed changes to things like the pension system, workman compensation and property taxes, nothing really has a chance to change,” he said.  

Set to face off against Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Swansea) for a seat in the 113th District in 2018, Jameson does not support new taxes without major reforms.

“I’m a realtor by profession, the guy that sits across the kitchen table while people are making some of the biggest decisions of their life, and I can tell you this whole outmigration thing is real,” Jameson said. “I know people that were waiting to see what would happen with this budget and are now leaving the state or starting to make purchases across state lines to avoid all the taxes.”

In Jameson’s view, the only real chance to change things lies in ousting House Speaker Mike Madigan, who will soon become the longest-serving state House speaker in U.S. history.

“Job one is to fire Madigan, and the way to that starts with firing Jay Hoffman,” he said. "Hoffman represents what’s wrong with Illinois government, all the overburdensome taxing sprees. I would have opposed all the increases he just voted to pass without reforms being a major part of them.”

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