The people who want to reopen the economy believe that the worst is behind us and that we can safely move forward with lifting the restrictions that closed businesses and created massive unemployment. Individuals opposed to reopening the economy believe we need more time before businesses can reopen. They see reopening as a dangerous gamble with people’s lives.
The stay at home orders, travel bans, and social distancing were guidelines that made sense when we were trying to figure out what we were up against with the coronavirus. But we know more today than we did when this all first started.
We also know states like Georgia and Texas that have taken a more aggressive approach to reopening their economies have seen positive results. The leftists rooting for Georgia to fail may try to dispute the extent of the success in Georgia but even they can’t deny the reopening has been a success.
So why the continued delays in states like Illinois?
Nearly 1 million unemployment claims have been filed in Illinois. The economic destruction of the Governor’s policies is very real. People’s lives are being upended as a result of the government-mandated shutdown of our economy. It is not asking too much to reevaluate these policies as new data emerges.
We can protect the most vulnerable in our society from this dangerous disease while at the same time allowing people to get back to work. We accomplished our goal of ensuring that hospitals were not overwhelmed. Now it is time to get the economy going again.
Not only do we need to give our businesses the chance to get back to work, but we also need to take steps to make sure they can succeed. The state of Illinois can help bring businesses back by placing a moratorium on tax increases.
There are all kinds of tax increase ideas introduced every year. One bill that has been introduced this year is Senate Bill 2298 which allows communities across the state to add a 3 cent per gallon tax on motor fuel. The measure signed into law last year to double the income tax also included a provision to allow Cook County communities to assess a local motor fuel tax. Senate Bill 2298 would allow communities statewide to assess the same tax.
It is going take time for our businesses to come back. The last thing they need right now is a tax increase.
Illinois needs to reopen and needs to reopen soon. What happens in the next few weeks is vitally important to the future of our state. The best thing the state of Illinois can do to help businesses come back is to take care to do no harm. This means allowing businesses to reopen and ensuring businesses are not burdened with additional tax increase.
Chris Miller lives in Oakland Illinois and represents the 110th legislative district which includes Crawford County.