Drastic measures needed to halt state's population decline, Rice says
Max Rice feels desperate times call for desperate measures.
With the U.S. Census Bureau recently reporting that Illinois no longer ranks among the five most populous states in the country given all the recent and ongoing out-migration, Rice insists drastic actions are needed to set Illinois back on the right course.
“Investigate, indict, and imprison the thousands of corrupt Illinois government officials,” Rice, a Glencoe Republican who is running in the GOP primary to ultimately face off against Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Evanston in the 9th Congressional District, told Chicago City Wire. “We need to take Illinois government corruption more seriously than steroids in bicycling.”
Government statistics show the state’s population shrank by 33,700 people from July 2016 to July 2017, the worst decline of any state in the U.S. in raw terms. In terms of percentages, Illinois saw the third-worst population decline in the nation, dropping the state’s 2017 overall population to 12,802,023.
Illinois’ population decline marks the fourth straight year numbers have eroded, the latest of which comes at a time when Illinois' neighbors all experienced population growth spurts.
From July 2016 to July 2017, nearly 115,000 residents have left Illinois for other states on net and since 2010 that number swells to 643,000.
“Money and corruption,” Rice said in sizing up just why the state finds itself in such dire straits.
The 26-year-old Rice, the youngest of the four GOP candidates on the March ballot, recently told the Chicago Tribune he counts Abraham Lincoln as his political hero and cast his first vote ever for Rick Perry while he was still attending school in Texas.
When he traveled to Springfield to file his petitions to formally have his name placed on the primary ballot in Illinois, the New Trier High School grad was accompanied by his grandmother.
"My family absolutely supports me on this, and I feel so blessed, as most parents would tell their kids, 'Don't do this,'" he told the Tribune.
Illinois’ 9th Congressional District includes part of the North Side of Chicago and parts or all of Evanston, Skokie, Wilmette, Park Ridge and Arlington Heights.