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Members of the Illinois Freedom Caucus during a news conference in Springfield Thursday

As the Illinois House speeds toward Friday’s deadline to pass House bills out of that chamber, minority Republicans say majority Democrats aren’t focused on reducing high taxes or reversing the state’s outbound migration.


More than 160 bills passed out of the House this week alone. That was before the day was over Thursday.


State Rep. Blaine Wilhour, R-Beecher City, is a member of the group that calls itself the Freedom Caucus. He said Democrats have recently passed measures from the House that ban pronouns of boy and girl in state statute, ban cat declawing and more.


“Requiring menstrual products to be put in all public restrooms,” Wilhour said. “That’s gonna have people rushing to get back to this state.”


Illinois has lost population to outmigration for eight consecutive years, according to U.S. Census data.


State Rep. Adam Niemerg, R-Dieterich, pushed for Republican measures that would lower taxes of all kinds, repealing energy legislation and more. He said the legislature is failing to address crucial issues impacting taxpayers.


“We’re in the bottom five of unemployment. We’ve lost more than 100,000 residents last year. We have former legislators facing indictment and a culture of corruption that’s legendary,” Neimerg said. “We need to focus on real problems.”


State Rep. Chris Miller, R-Oakland, leads the Freedom Caucus.


“In Springfield, we spend a lot of time debating and passing meaningless virtue signaling legislation that helps no one and there are really no solutions to help the taxpayers,” Miller said.

He pushed for legislation to reverse recently enacted energy policy that shifts away from coal-fired power generation for more wind and solar farms.


State Rep. Brad Halbrook, R-Shlebyville, said state government is poorly run.


“One agency alone has lost over $2 billion in fraudulent claims during the pandemic,” Halbrook said. “The children in DCFS’s care are dying at an alarming rate. Illinois has the second highest property taxes in the nation and yet nothing is being done to address that very important issue.”


The group pushed for more audits of state spending, lower gas taxes, government consolidation, a ban on TikTok for state devices and more.


“It’s time to start focusing on the issues that people care about and stop prioritizing the left’s radical agenda,” Halbrook said.