Illinois, State Rep, Rafer Weigel discussed on Mark Levin


Cohan Rafer Weigel from FOX thirty two in for John. How today and news came out yesterday. The governor was all excited that they passed a budget. But comes with a list of taxes, the folks are going to be paying more, it looks like the average several thousand dollars a year. Maybe coming out of your pocket state rep, Chris Welsh nice of you to come in studio and beyond the hot seat on this hot topic today. Marc pleasure. Lorne rafer. Thanks for having me, you know. Yeah, thank you for coming in. So when you take those Welsh yet, explain them. Well, yeah, I mean you guys are doing victory lap over this. But a lot of regular everyday, Illinois answer, not happy about having to pay more for parking cigarettes. Streaming service online. I mean, it's a lot of extra taxes. So why is this good for the state of Illinois? Well, I think first and foremost is good for the state of all annoy because it was done in a bipartisan way, these types of decisions aren't easy, and this isn't something that Democrats, the state or Republicans into the state, we got into this problem. Over the course of Republicans and democratic administrations. And it was gonna take Democrats and Republicans working together to dig us out of this hole. And if you look at the entire budget package, every Bill was a strong, bipartisan support, these bills were heavily negotiated and I to say, this is actually the way governments should work. But what about being held accountable for the fact that there's a lot of spending here, there's higher taxes, and no pension reform? Well, you know, Lauren, the supreme court spoke in my first year in office seven years ago, we voted on a Bill. Senate Bill one where we try to do a of reform of the pension system, and they'll always supreme court said, what we did was unconstitutional, and they said, go back to the drawing board and start with finding some revenue. Because the, the pensions that we have out there are promises that we have to keep, and we have so many that predate all of us in this room, right, that this can cost money and these were deals that were made. With by union bosses with politicians as he said, and they predate us. And so now we're in when you look at the math, it's not sustainable. So if you back then weren't able to move anything forward through the courts constitutional amendment. What now than our lawmakers gonna do to address pension reform and Amy down the road taxpayers can feel a little bit better than all this. Money's coming out of their pocket. Pritzker is put together a ambitious plan. He's had a great great session getting his agenda through. And I think what we did this year is a bridge to getting us to the November twenty twenty flat tax amendment that voters will get to the side, and we're going to make our case at the end of the day, we need additional revenue to comply with that supreme court decision, and that revenue will be dedicated largely to those pension obligations and the, the, the studies have been done. That's what's going to help you get into black is changing this, this archaic outdated tax structure that only seven states in the in the country us. Well, the other thing that would be people are. Hoping we'll, we'll bring more revenue into the state is the legalization of marijuana. So some owed argue will if that's potentially millions of dollars coming in. Why not wait until that goes through first to see what exactly you need to, you know how much money you might have before raising additional taxes? I don't think we have time to wait. And if you look at the things that we accomplished, working together in a bipartisan way last week. I mean, we we hit it on so many different levels, creating revenue, that'll, that'll grow you after year from the gaming expansion, our neighbors. Hey, Indiana, Wisconsin. They're doing it and to stay competitive we had to get in that game gaming expansion, going to create long-term revenue legalization of cannabis or the eleventh state. Right. That's really only going to make a dent if you think about the dollars and sense, the math on this, you brought up the flat tax one tapping another states. But isn't that really disturbed redistribution of wealth? The more you make the more you take, Laura. I come from the position that those much given much as expected. And I'm going to be voting for something. In November, twenty twenty that I'll probably end up paying a lot more in taxes, based on those rates on creating maybe more economic opportunity for people focusing on jobs and economic opportunity, not just focusing on the tax portion of this, and what, you know, if I make more if I'm you know, whatever single or a couple two hundred fifty thousand gonna to pay more in taxes. Why not have the sheer focus beyond economic opportunity? Trying to help other people, get jobs and make more money. I think you do both. I think he'd do both. I think it's been shown that being one of seven states that has a flat tax is working the states that have gone. Progressive tax like our neighbors Minnesota look at what happened in Minnesota when they went to the progressive tax, Wisconsin, Iowa, those states have a progressive tax and they're in Republican hands. And so when you look at that, and it's been proven that the progressive tax work. That's what we have on the federal level. But also, if you look at the package of bills that we ran last week and, and partnership with our Republican colleagues. We pass the blue collar jobs act. We pass the legislation that's going to help bring some data centers into the state of annoy. Some tax credit packages, that'll help downstate Illinois flourish. We, we also cut some of the burns from taxes and regulations on small medium sized businesses. Those are the items brought to us by our Republican colleagues. So we're trying to tackle this thing from multiple approaches, because the whole that has been dug over all these years is just to date, while you also did raise taxes on corporations larger corporations. Did you not a lot of people are thinking that's going to cause business to flee Illinois does that concern you it doesn't concern me because, you know, look, we're in a studio right now. I see a world class view. This is a world class city. This is a place where people want to be do work. They're not fleeing Chicago. They're, they're, they're actually coming to us to do business in this world class city where break in tourism records year after year after year. So beautiful place that we all call. All right for you left. You came back. You know, this is true. And. That's. To say I was about to leave listers of heard my story before I was looking in other cities for job before I came back to WLS full-time because it's, it's really difficult here. And there isn't a lot of job opportunities certain sectors, there is like tech sectors in the financial sector, but in, in our area of broadcasting, or in public relations the jobs aren't paying as much, but because of the cost of living in because of the taxes and because frankly, the politics here, it makes you want to go to other places, but you mentioned something about record tourism, which I give a lot of credits, Rahm Emanuel for that, and bringing people here, do you then think that the whole stuff that's out in the media, then about a mass exodus of people leaving, and that is fake news. I wouldn't go that far because before chair at the executive committee, this session, I was chair of higher education. And, you know, we saw a lot of our students leave and go to other states that were heavily recruiting Illinois students, and I believe that what we did here in this budget with the heavy emphasis on education. Pre K all the way through higher education. Those are the those are the people that we're losing, and those are the ones that we need to focus on getting back because we lose that generation, they're gone. And in the data shows that ninety two percent of those that go to our colleges and universities, smell annoy stay here in the way to lift up this through those young people and get them in our colleges and universities and leading them to K. Like they've been decaying since two thousand one that wasn't the answer. We have to invest in our school, so that takes revenue did put a lot of money into the educational system and looking at this. But you also put, I think what twenty two million nine million dollars into census data. I mean, a lot of people go, well, what's the point of that is that that's going to lead to billions, brought to our state, if work counted properly, we will get money out of the federal government? If we're not counting properly, we're gonna lose money, we may lose congressional seats twenty nine million should have been higher because I think that that's, that's where the game is going to be played as. Making sure every single person is counted, so that on the federal level Illinois continues to grow and doesn't take a step back. So we're speaking with a state rep chriswell tonight. Asked this question on social media to our listeners because it's really important to them. You know, a lot of people have paycheck to paycheck, a lot of us have side-hustle, I'd like to say to three jobs. It's a gig economy. That's very common that people are working as independent contractors. Everybody's looking at us and saying, all right. We'll fight drive to work. And now I've got to pay this much more for gas or have to pay this much more in this tax. Where do I cut you know what advice do you give them to, you know, constituents out there as we sit here and figure out, you know, maybe I can't take the family make ation and recharge my batteries. Maybe I need to ride a bike to work or take a bus and not have a car me what's, what's your advice. Well, my vice is just like it in any situation where it's going to take collective effort on all of us to help our state moving in the right direction. And that's what we're asking everyone to do. That's why we do. Partisan way, we're all going to have to pitch in a little bit to help rebuild on, I'm looking forward to being a process of part of that process and helping to rebuild ally. And I know a lot of my colleagues are pleased with what happened. And this is just Democrats or Republicans around around the state saying the same thing. Now, I think a lot of people think. Well, all right. If if you're able to pass legislation to increase taxes this easily, what's to stop you guys from continuing to do it. I mean is there going to be some relief at some point if this budget does get balanced if the pension crisis does finally get fixed? Do you guys for see an opportunity down the road to lower some of these taxes because obviously, at the end of the day, I'm sure you don't like paying higher taxes, Representative Welsh? Oh, no one likes paying higher property taxes, and I'll tell you one of the biggest events that I have every year is whenever I have the property tax appeal workshop and teach people how to do their own appeals on their homes. You know, this budget contains fifty three point sixty five million dollars. In property tax relief grants to help school districts, you know, lower property taxes. We also have a property tax task force, that's going to be convened this summer to help put some things in place to lower property taxes. This is a real issue. And that's what we gotta tackle the whole thing and Watson that in parts. Well, these are tough questions, a lot of people are asking, so we appreciate state Representative Chris Welch for coming in studio, and, and taking our tough questions. And a lot of our listeners wanna weigh in, so we take in your calls, three.

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