Springfield, IL – A group of 20 Republican House members announced Friday they're forming the "Illinois Taxpayer Freedom Caucus" within the House Republican Caucus.
Why are they forming? Thus far, there's been a "lack of meaningful action to address the state’s financial woes," they write in a press release. Their primary focus will be the "promotion of the structural and ethical reforms Illinois desperately needs."
Members of the Taxpayer Freedom Caucus include Representatives John Cabello (R-Machesney Park); Joe Sosnowski (R-Rockford); Blaine Wilhour (R-Effingham); Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur); Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville); Chris Miller (R-Oakland); Allen Skillicorn (R-Crystal Lake); Darren Bailey (R-Xenia); Andrew Chesney (R-Freeport); David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills); Amy Grant (R-Wheaton); Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro); Randy Freese (R-Quincy); Dave Severin (R-Benton); Tom Morrison (R-Palatine); Tom Weber (R-Lake Villa); Patrick Windhorst (R-Metropolis); Dan Swanson (R-Alpha); Charlie Meier (R-Okawville); and Tony McCombie (R-Savanna).
The group's joint statement says:
There is a growing number of legislators who are tired of the business as usual politics that is bankrupting our state. We have major fiscal issues and structural imbalances that stifle our ability to grow, create jobs and aggressively utilize our many natural advantages.
We need to do more than just tinker with a few policies. We need to transform how our government works.
The Democrat party in Illinois is too unaccountable. The lack of a proper check on their influence has resulted in an agenda that is extreme, one-sided and renders vast regions of our state powerless.
The current political operations in Illinois have shown that they are unwilling to meaningfully address these imbalances in a way that is sustainable for the future.
Spending reform, economic growth, and ethical government are the answers to our problems. Enacting policies that allow our economy to grow and dealing with our major budgetary and debt drivers in a way that is fair to all taxpayers is our only pathway to economic prosperity and stability in Illinois.
The pandemic has exposed the failure of the current economic policies in Illinois. If we had taken the proper steps to control spending, reform our structural imbalances, and eliminate the influence peddling in our government, we would be in a much better position to deal with these emergencies and our children and grandchildren would not be burdened with an endlessly oppressive tax system.
This caucus intends to work within the Republican Caucus to present honest assessments and provide realistic solutions. We acknowledge that at this point, none of the answers are easy or popular but we were sent to Springfield to deal with the real issues.
The Caucus says it will meet this week and elect officers.