A new George Mason University survey has named Illinois the third most heavily regulated state in the U.S. with 259,832 total restrictions responsible for handicapping business growth across the state.
Illinois state Rep. Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur) says it is fairly clear where the blame falls.
“Our state has essentially been run by no one but Democrats for the last 25-plus years,” Caulkins told the Chambana Sun. “Everything has been controlled by them and look at where we are. And yet, what we see is this notion that they know better and need to be regulating every faucet of all our lives. It’s really baffling to me.”
Illinois state Rep. Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur)
GMU researchers found more than 22,000 regulations in Illinois' chemical manufacturing sector alone, contributing to the state's failing grade for taxes, labor and licensure policies. A separate 2018 study blasted Illinois as the worst state in the U.S. for business friendliness, just before lawmakers added more than 20 new taxes and fee hikes as part of the new 2019 budget.
“We see companies moving out because of the excessive taxation,” Caulkins said. “I come from the business world and am very much results-oriented. If something works, you do it, and if it doesn’t, you look for ways to improve upon things. That’s not the case in Springfield. There, if something doesn’t work, they seem to just try harder to make it work instead of finding other ways to improve.”
Caulkins urges his legislative colleagues to look at how neighboring states are taking different approaches and thriving as a result.
“We’re every bit as good or better than the states around us,” Caulkins said. “The difference is we have a repressive government. We do everything we can to stifle progress with things like higher taxes, higher minimum wages and prevailing wage laws.”