Illinois is joining several other states in funding a vaccination lottery to coax people to get their COVID vaccination. You heard me right. Get a vacation and you're signed up for the potential to get a taxpayer-funded cash windfall from the state. Are you scratching your head yet?
Would it be better to use the millions funding the vaccine lottery to pay down debt, relieving some of these burdens from our children? Although we've made progress in paying our backlog of bills, maybe we can pay back the remaining suppliers and contractors that have already provided services to the state the needed funds to pay their employees. Relieving the burden from these suppliers to get loans or rely on other government programs to stay afloat. Maybe we can use it to fix the roads without having to raise taxes every year. Maybe we can use dollars to modernize the unemployment department in the state so it doesn't fail us again and change the cost curve the of the department.
Are these good trade-offs to coax people that don't want the vaccine to get one? If we were a well-managed state and didn't have crumbling roads, bridges and billions of dollars in debt. If the governor wasn't asking for more taxpayer money at every opportunity. If our property tax wasn't equivalent to another house payment. Maybe it would be fun. With this kind of thinking, we should start paying people to stay in the state to starve off the year after year out-migration.
Another fiscally irresponsible decision in a long line of poor fiscal decision that will burden our children and weaken our state's ability to weather another crisis.