Research

Downtown Chicago and the North Shore Prospers while the rest of Illinois Struggles to get by… 
The interactive map below shows in stark contrast that, other than the most prosperous areas in downtown Chicago and the North Shore, Illinoisans are struggling to make ends meet. While the headlines occasionally flare with the latest fight over some large corporation locating in the Chicago area, the rest of Illinois is left to compete with surrounding states for what little business they can attract. 

If you were the head of a large corporation or manufacturer looking for a new location to set up your business, would you even consider coming to a state with only a thousand square miles of prosperity surrounding Chicago? FoxConn didn’t, and I suspect Amazon won’t either. 

Some specific legislation I have introduced to address Illinois’ uncompetitive workers comp and job creation environment are HB4071WORKERS’ COMP-RATE CHANGES; HB3319 RIGHT TO EARN A LIVING ACT; HB4063 ATTY FEES WORKER COMP 15% MAX; and HB4071 WORKERS’ COMP-RATE CHANGES. Also, I was the only member of House to introduce a balanced budget that fully funded education and vital services without hiking taxes or spending.

Regarding the basis for the ranges, I selected a few reference points that I believe are significant. While the data per zip code utilized for the creation of the map overlaid with the House Districts is based upon Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) which is defined by the IRS as “gross income minus adjustments to income,” two of the significant thresholds are based upon income alone–$24,036 for the US Poverty Threshold and $59,558 for the median income in Illinois, both for 2015. Therefore red highlights areas that struggle the most with making ends meet, with the green representing more improved circumstances, and finally the blue for those in the top 25%, where the greatest prosperity exists.

We must change our economic and regulatory environment in Illinois to bring prosperity back to more than just the 50 miles that surround Chicago. Under the 30 year rule of the Democratic Majority, the following economic facts and figures clearly demonstrate that we are failing miserably: 

Economy Facts and Figures