West Central Illinois Republicans revealed and explained the new Reimagine Illinois platform Friday morning. 94th District Representative Randy Frese of Quincy and 100th District Representative C.D. Davidsmeyer of Jacksonville outlined key points of the platform revealed by the party back on March 17th.
The platform has four major pillars with corresponding bills that Illinois Republicans hope to push in the upcoming session of the Illinois General Assembly. Davidsmeyer says that the plan boils down to ending political corruption, balancing the state budget, growing job opportunities, and maintaining public safety.
Davidsmeyer says one of his key focuses in the next session is to either fix and give resources to the current Firearm Owners Identification Card and Conceal Carry license systems ran by the Illinois State Police, or get rid of the systems all together. He says he deals with FOID Card problems from his constituents on a regular, if not daily, basis: “This is obviously not keeping guns and firearms out of the hands of criminals. We regularly see this, not just on the south side of Chicago, but we are seeing it grow even in the City of Springfield. We need to do what we can to go after the root problem rather than the individuals that choose to follow the law.”
When it comes to job opportunities, Davidsmeyer believes that deregulation is the pathway to opening up the state’s economy. Davidsmeyer says he is also re-introducing a past bill to bring the state back into fiscal solvency: “What I’ve done, I’ve proposed the last few years the Taxpayer’s Fiscal Charter, which has six main points in it and they are very simple and direct to the point: two year freeze on all discretionary spending, no new spending until the state is within a 30-day payment cycle; we have to make our full pension payment. It’s one of the reasons we got into this position to begin with. Pay as you go. No new programs, and if you propose anything new, obviously after the 2-year discretionary freeze and spending – if you propose something new, you have to tell us what cuts, what fees, or what new taxes you are going to put into place. No unfunded mandates. If it’s important enough for us as the General Assembly to promise, it should be important enough for us to fund it and not force it on to school districts and local government. Then, finally, let’s put the budget online for 72 hours before there is ever any vote.”
Davidsmeyer also addressed critics who said that the Republican minority in the state had become the party of “no” and was not providing any possible resolutions to the state’s problems: “This is our opportunity from the House Republican Caucus to say: ‘These are our plans.’ We have 81 bills that are filed that we all put as part of these 4 pillars. This was a bottom-up [approach.] It was a member-driven group that got together to propose this to leadership – Leader Durkin – and has gotten great support from our entire caucus. We are very excited to be able to walk and step forward and say: ‘This is how we get out of this mess.'”
Earlier in the week, House Republicans also called for the passage of the People’s Independent Maps Act to allow Illinois legislative redistricting maps to be created by an independent commission, rather than elected officials. Current Illinois law allows legislators to draw and approve a map by June 30th. The Illinois Senate is set to return to Springfield on April 13th.