As a state, we must continue to increase revenue in a manner that works for all parties. For far too long, the proposed solution to our mounting debt has been to “increase” revenue, which has overtime made Illinois one of the most expensive places to live, especially for our seniors citizens. These are the ways I plan to keep track of spending.
Every year we are told how far in debt we are. We are also informed of how it is getting better. I will push to have a proper and easy-to-read Illinois Financial Statement (IFS). This statement will be published online by mid-March of every year, showing how much we earned and how much we spent. It will be a comprehensive statement that shows side-by-side the finances of the previous year.
I will also push for a deep dive audit into our State’s spending to see exactly where our dollars are going. I am a middle-class worker, just like most of the state. It is my belief that sometimes our lawmakers are quick to say, “How can we get more money?” and slow to ask, “How can we utilize the money we have?” That will be my job. I am by no means against earning more revenue, but our first question should always be, “How can we better utilize what we already have?”
Auto-Renewal for Licenses – For Licenses such as fishing, hunting, apprentice, and harvesting, Illinois should allow auto-renew for a low fee. This can help increase revenue, as well as provide satisfaction to our residents who will not have to go on-site or online to renew. In order to ensure, however, that no one is surprised by the fee, an email will be sent 10 days prior to renewal, or 30 days in advance via mail.
Marijuana – With the legalization of Marijuana comes an opportunity to not only increase revenue, but create a new source of revenue. If we invest, at a minimum, 2% of that revenue into a rainy day fund, and the rest (after paying administrative costs associated with legalized marijuana) into education and roads, we will be on a path to a better tomorrow.
I am against what I call vice taxes. I sat down with small business bar owners and learned that the alcohol revenue is hurting them, and no business owner should work over 60 hours a week with nothing to show for it. In Illinois, we pay over the national average for alcohol and tobacco products. If the goal is to deter citizens from engaging in these activities, this should be attempted through public education. I believe, currently, that we pay enough.