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Priorities

Challenge

High Taxes

Today, the “Rich States, Poor States” rankings list Illinois as 47th of 50 in the United States for its economic outlook, and the US News and World Report listed our economy as 39th of 50. Much of this is driven by a crippling tax burden on personal and corporate incomes and property, as well as a State Liability System that is the worst in the country.1 Our State’s budget is so out of whack that we pay over 11% of our tax revenues just to service our debt. This is the highest of any State, by far, and prevents Illinois from focusing our budgetary spending on other critical priorities to make our state competitive and our economy strong.2

Solution

Robust Economic Growth

Sully believes there is no better way to support the aspirations and needs of Illinoisans than having a robust, growing economy that offers a path to jobs, financial security, and the ability to care for our families.

As Governor, Sully will focus on supporting small businesses and rekindling the entrepreneurial spirit in Illinois. He will reduce the barriers to starting businesses, and reduce the taxes that make it so hard to afford real estate, hire employees, and invest in growth. Our public employee pension system has created an unsustainable burden on Illinois working families, and it is in desperate need of reform.

Sully will work tirelessly to reclaim Chicago’s position as one of our nation’s financial capitals, by attracting entrepreneurs, technologists, investors, and the cryptocurrency community to the shores of Lake Michigan.

Challenge

Corrupt Politicians

Our politics in Springfield are terrible - and our state government is broken.

Faith in our government is at an all-time low; just 25% of Illinoisans have confidence in our State leadership -- that’s the worst in the nation -- and for good reason! Four of our last eleven governors are in prison for federal crimes. And our current leadership in Springfield is out of touch. The government has abandoned the citizens of Illinois by putting their own selfish interests, and their special interest backers, ahead of the people. J.B. Pritzker, the current governor, hasn't gone after corruption or the special interest machine that is structurally responsible for our problems -- because he is one of them, and remains under federal investigation!

Solution

Strong Moral Leadership

Sully believes it is extraordinary moral leaders who fundamentally alter the course of human history. Sully will embody what a political leader can and should be. He believes our politics should not be defined by our party alone, but by our commitment to bettering the lives of others through principled, data-based policy. This election is not about left or right, but about moving up or down.

Having traveled and served around the world has only increased Sully’s affection and view of the indispensable role of our nation around the globe. We make up 5% of the world’s people, but the other 95% should be able to look to us as an example, as a shining city on a hill, of the way things are supposed to be. Sully will lead us to become a role model nation.

In a state whose history is riddled with corruption and incompetence, Sully will remain committed to the principles of Faith, Family, and Service.

Challenge

High Crime

Crime in Illinois, especially in our cities, is devastating our families, stealing our children, harming our economy, and creating a climate of fear. Today, homicides in Chicago are approaching five-year highs, shootings are up 59% since the first half of 2019, and carjackings have tripled. Confidence in the government's ability to keep us safe is declining, as is the public's trust in police. People are scared to visit, and without public safety, the flight out of Illinois will only accelerate.

Solution

Compassion with Results

At a time when Chicago is on pace to see more homicides than at any point in the past five years3, we cannot be pushed into a two-sided debate between “Black Lives Matter” and “Back the Blue.” We can and must do two things at once. First, we must support law enforcement and empower them to do their jobs - protecting and serving the people of Illinois. Meanwhile, we must reaffirm that there is no place for racial discrimination in policing, and we should support the highest standards for ensuring that all ethnic communities are treated fairly by our police and first responders.

Sully will remain steadfast in ensuring all Illinois citizens can feel safe in their neighborhoods, homes, and businesses, and he knows that starts with an education system that lifts people up, an economy that offers a path out, and a society that supports our most vulnerable.

Sully grew up in a family of teachers - his dad was a teacher, and today, his wife Monique is as well. Teachers deserve to be paid more for the essential work that they do. At the same time, outcomes matter, and competition is the best way to drive outcomes. We need an education system that serves our children - not special interests. Just 32% of all high school students in Illinois are proficient in math, and 38% are proficient in English4. As Governor, Sully will bring competition to education, to an evidence-based approach to policymaking in education, rather than an ideological one. Sully will look to data - not dogma - to inform policies around admissions standards for selective public high schools, and charter school growth in our communities.

Likewise, Sully understands that a strong foster care system is an essential part of making it safe for young parents to bring children into the world, and for those children to have a bright future. Today, we are failing our children in foster care, as foster kids tend to underperform their peers academically5, and suffer from more mental and behavioral health concerns6. We need to equip the parents who open their homes to foster children with the skills and resources to succeed, and prioritize the wellbeing of the child above all else.

Challenge

Poor Return on Investment

Here in Illinois, we pay some of the highest taxes in the nation, and get some of the worst outcomes in return. Illinois faces a massive debt ($62B) with huge unfunded pension liabilities that prevent our government from investing in priorities like better education for our children, and better internet connectivity to spur economic growth downstate. An average family of four owes more in unfunded liabilities ($76,000) than they earn in household income ($63,585).

People are leaving Illinois in droves, and today we are 1 of only 3 states that lost residents from 2010 - 20207. The people of Illinois are strong, but politicians have made our state weak. 

Solution

Government that serves the people

Sully will be a governor who understands that small business is essential and that real outcomes for our people- not lobbyist opinions - must govern our State.

As governor, Sully will deliver:

  1. An education system that prepares our students to work and earn a living for their families.
  2. A pension system that gives people a chance to get ahead, instead of saddling them with unfunded liabilities.
  3. A healthcare system that offers great care at affordable prices.
  4. A criminal justice system that keeps our streets safe, our business owners protected, and our children with their families.

1 State Liability System Survey, https://www.richstatespoorstates.org/variables/state_liability_system_survey/, Rich States, Poor States, 2021

2 Debt Service Share of Tax Revenue, https://www.richstatespoorstates.org/variables/debt_service_share_of_tax_revenue/, Rich States, Poor States, 2021

3 Chicago Violent Crime Data, https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/chicago-violent-crime-data-2021-n1273592, NBC News, July 9, 2021

4 Illinois Schools, https://www.greatschools.org/illinois/#Academics*Test_scores, GreatSchools.org

5 “Challenges in the Transition to Higher Education for Foster Care Youth,” https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/cc.20288, Megan Hayes Piel, March 12, 2018

6 “Need for and actual use of mental health service by adolescents in the child welfare system,” https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2004.12.027, Sunny Hyuck Shin, October 2005

7 2020 Census: Percent Change, https://www.census.gov/library/visualizations/2021/dec/2020-percent-change-map.html, US Census Bureau, December 2020

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