Bailey Calls on General Assembly To Come To Special Session Over State’s High Gas Prices

By Benjamin Cox on June 9, 2022 at 6:58pm

55th District State Senator and current GOP gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey held a press conference at an Effingham, Illinois gas station yesterday highlighting the state’s ever-rising gas prices.

Bailey chided Governor J.B. Pritzker and 95th District Republican State Representative and current GOP Lieutenant Governor candidate Avery Bourne whose running mate is Bailey’s opponent Richard Irvin about policies passed in 2019 that doubled the state’s motor fuel tax.

Illinois’ motor fuel tax doubled in 2019 from 19 cents to 38 cents a gallon, as part of a package to fund the bipartisan $45 billion Rebuild Illinois capital program. The law tied the state’s motor fuel tax to he Consumer Price Index moving forward. Bailey calls it a failure in leadership at the state level: “There is no question that the gas price situation in Illinois is simply being made worse by high taxes. In 2019, J.B. Pritzker, Avery Bourne, and other weak-kneed politicians who lacked the courage to reform spending pushed legislation to double the gas tax here in Illinois – a tax that negatively impacts struggling families, the middle class, and working people more than anyone else, a tax that contributes to the rising cost of food at grocery stores and everyday items that families need to get by. Illinois has the second highest gas tax in the country, and working families pay the price for the lack of courage and conservative leadership in Springfield.”

Bailey called the suspension of the gas tax on July 1st by Governor Pritzker an insult to working families of the state. Bailey says the sales tax on gasoline should be permanently done away with: “What we need is a permanent reduction in taxes. We should permanently roll back the JB Pritzker / Avery Bourne gas tax. But if we can’t do this, we should at a minimum eliminate the sales tax on motor fuel. Friends, here in Illinois, we tax tax. That’s wrong. It’s an insane way of doing business. And even if gas prices were lower as a matter of principle, we should not place a tax on a tax. The sales tax on motor fuel is even more infuriating now that gas prices are soaring. Instead of finding meaningful solutions to this problem, JB Pritzker chose campaign year theatrics over genuine relief. JB’s plan to suspend the expected gas tax increase on July 1 is temporary and it is an absolute insult to working families. To combat inflation, we must reduce state spending and lower taxes. I proposed to start this process through a zero-based budget because Illinois families deserve real meaningful and permanent solutions to the crushing inflation, high taxes, and rising gas prices.”

Bailey, along with Republican State Representatives Blaine Wilhour and Adam Niemerg all called on the Illinois General Assembly to come back into session in Springfield immediately. Bailey went on to say that he had reached out to House Speaker Emmanuel “Chris” Welch about calling the session but to no avail. Jaclyn Driscoll of the Office of the House Speaker responded to an inquiry by Rich Miller of Capitol Fax with the following statement: “The Office of the Speaker doesn’t comment on Republican primary fodder. But as Senator Bailey knows, we’ve taken steps to freeze the gas tax and continue to explore additional options for relief for families dealing with the effects of global instability.”

You can view the press conference at this link.