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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


Robust Economic Growth

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

As Governor, Jesse 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.

Jesse 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.


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 Illinoisians 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. Government has abandoned the citizens of Illinois by putting their own selfish interests, and their special interest backers, ahead of the people. JB 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!


Strong Moral Leadership

Jesse believes it is moral leaders who fundamentally alter the course of human history. Jesse 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.

We have long known that corruption runs deep in Illinois politics. And that corruption isn’t limited to any one party. For decades, Democrats and Republicans have used their positions to curry favor and enrich themselves, and everyday Illinoisans suffer

Jesse is committed to his Citizens First Agenda, to take power away from corrupt politicians, and put it back in the hands of regular people. Together, we can restore Illinois to the beautiful Land of Lincoln.


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. 2021 was a recent record for Illinois, and confidence in the government's ability to keep us safe is declining, as is trust in the public’s trust in police. People are scared to visit, and without public safety, the flight out of Illinois will only accelerate.


Compassion with Results

Jesse has sat, listened, and worked with law enforcement around the state to build his Safe Streets Agenda. Over 20 law enforcement professionals - including over 15 active sheriffs - have joined his Safe Streets Leadership Coalition, the most of any candidate. Restoring public safety to Illinois means doing three things: 1. Enforcing our laws, 2. Defending our law enforcement heroes, and 3. Restoring accountability to the system, so that criminals are held accountable. 

Jesse 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.


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. 


Government that serves the people

Jesse 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 law enforcement and criminal justice system that keeps our streets safe.

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