Oberweis cautions voters not to make too much of Dems' sudden desire to 'let the people decide'
State Sen. Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove) marvels at the way Democratic lawmakers in Springfield are taking a “let the people decide” approach to governance now that they have overwhelming majorities in the legislature.
“Unfortunately, they don’t want to 'let the people decide' on new laws that eliminate the systemic corruption or political gridlock that has caused Illinois’ government bankruptcy,” Oberweis said in an April 11 press release. “Instead, they want the people to decide on whether or not to raise income taxes on themselves and nothing else.”
Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 1 (SJRCA 1), which would alter the State Constitution to allow lawmakers to enact a graduated tax system as opposed to the flat tax that now exists, is now headed for both the House and Senate for votes after passing the Illinois Senate Executive Committee earlier this month on the strength of Democratic majorities. While supporters argue that the income tax-increase measure will only impact the state’s most affluent residents, Oberweis counters that language in the referendum poised to be put before voters allows for something entirely different.
“SJRCA 1 has no restrictions, no limits and no end date,” he said. “SJRCA 1 is the equivalent of handing a blank check to the Democrat-controlled state legislature to raise taxes on the rich today, the middle-class tomorrow and the poor next week. And then do it again the following year. Every year.”
Oberweis argues that lawmakers have not even come close to earning that kind of trust from constituents.
“Illinois government has a lousy history of raising taxes while not cutting spending, then burning through the increased taxes with no improvement in our financial conditions, no improvement of political gridlock and no improvement on redistricting equality,” he added in the release. “Illinois raised income taxes in 2011 and 2017, and we are now more in debt than ever.”
Oberweis said voters would be wise to demand clearer language from those pushing SJRCA 1, while also requesting such concessions as term limits on every elected office in the state, and the end of partisan gerrymandering.
“I am willing to allow Democrats to have their dessert in the form of a binding referendum that asks voters if they want to empower the state of Illinois to raise taxes indiscriminately and perpetually, because I will fight to defeat the referendum,” he said. “However, I will only be serving up the dessert if the Democrats agree to eat their vegetables in the form of binding referendums that establish term limits and eliminate gerrymandering, because I will fight to approve these referendums.”