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updated: 2/10/2012 4:55 PM

Gayle Smolinski: Candidate Profile

28th District Senate (Republican)

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  • Gayle Smolinski, running for 28th District Senate

    Gayle Smolinski, running for 28th District Senate




Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.

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BioKey IssuesQ&A



City: Roselle


Office sought: 28th District Senate

Age: 59

Family: Married to husband Don and have grown children

Occupation: Mayor of Roselle and Small Business Owner

Education: Bowling Green State University, BS Journalism

Civic involvement: Metropolitan Mayor's Caucus Roselle Chamber of Commerce American Legion Aux, Post 1084 100 Club Executive Board, DuPage mayor and Managers Conference

Elected offices held: Roselle Village Trustee 1986-1993 Roselle Mayor 1993- present

Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No

Candidate's Key Issues

Key Issue 1

Creating an environment for long-term job growth is a major goal of mine.

Our state has great potential with our location and the quality of our workforce, but the policies put in place by Springfield legislators of both parties, have made it hard for businesses to want to come here or to stay in business.

I know what it is like for business owners; I have owned a small business in Illinois.

For years, countless regulations and fees challenge the viability of businesses, both big and small.

Additionally, last year's tax increase on corporations has made Illinois an even less desirable place to locate.

While the Legislature has squandered the money raised from the tax increase on a new budget that increases spending, more Illinoisans are losing their jobs.

Job providers need long term stability, which means legislators cannot keep adding taxes and fees on them at every opportunity.

I would vote to reverse the increase in our corporate tax rate, so our employers, or prospective entrepreneurs, feel safe bringing on new employees.

Key Issue 2

Governor Quinn signed an enormous tax increase on Illinois' taxpayers during the worst economic time since the great depression, without a single Republican vote.

I have a much different philosophy when it comes to taxes.

I believe we must keep taxes low so people have money to spend in Illinois, which will help our local economies.

We cannot tax our way out of the debt that legislators of both parties have built for us.

Reverse the tax increase now.

Key Issue 3

Cutting all wasteful government spending.

This is something I have experience with, making the tough choices when faced with a deficit. Because of the economic downturn, in the 2009 budget Roselle faced a million dollar shortfall in our General Fund.

I led my Village Board in a process to vet every service we provide and asked the tough questions'is the service essential?

If so, how can we provide it more efficiently or in another manner?

If it is not essential, can we afford it?

This resulted in a 15% reduction in our workforce and cutting programs and services that are nice, but not essential.

We began the 2012 budget reducing our deficit 90% and will continue the process for long-term sustainability.

We accomplished this by not

levying an additional tax on our residents and businesses, not borrowing to pay our bills, not giving ourselves a raise, funding our pension obligations and retaining our bond rating.

With determination and leadership, this can be accomplished at a state level.

Questions & Answers

What can you do specifically to help the economy in your district? What is your view of the tax breaks granted to companies like Motorola Mobility, Navistar and Sears? For incumbents, how did you vote on the Sears plan in this fall's veto session?

As a legislator, I will specifically help my district's economy by supporting less spending, less taxation, less regulation and having an open door for my districts employers to air their concerns.

The initial agreement with Sears mirrored a TIF district agreement, which we have used successfully in Roselle.

Sears took vacant/underused land, built a massive complex and got tax incentives to do it.

This also benefitted local taxing districts and was the catalyst for ancillary development surrounding the complex. An agreement spelled out what Sears received and how many years they would receive those benefits.

I have no problem with the original agreement.

As I wasn't in on the recent negotiations, I have a limited knowledge of the details, but it appears that Sears decided to hold the state hostage and demand more. I have a problem with that.

A tax break to make a development, or redevelopment happen, where all taxing bodies eventually benefit, is a good tool.

There is a fine balancing act beyond that.

Do you favor limiting how much money party leaders can give candidates during a general election? If elected, do you plan to vote for the current leader of your caucus' Why or why not?

I am comfortable with the caps that are in place now.

However, I believe we can improve on transparency, calling for real time reporting of campaign donations online.

How, specifically, would you cut the budget? What does Illinois need to do to fix its status as a "deadbeat state?" How have you or will you vote on future gambling bills' What is your view of slots at racetracks' Casino expansion?

My most important role in Springfield would be to work with other legislators to get our economy going again.

By cutting taxes on businesses and individuals we will encourage more people and businesses to come back home to Illinois.

Since the 1990s we have lost billions in possible revenue because of people moving their businesses and family out of Illinois.

Lowering the burden to live and have a business in Illinois will increase government revenues.

I would begin the cost cutting process the way we did in Roselle?what services is the state mandated to provide? Set them aside for the moment.

Then I would propose to cut the budgets of non-essential services, while having a bi-partisan committee investigate the way we deliver essential services.

It is not an easy task, but has to start immediately.

I would need to look at specific gambling legislation before making a commitment on voting.

The same holds true for any possible casino expansion.

I am comfortable with slots at Illinois' racetracks.

What do you specifically support to deal with the state's pension gap? Would you vote for House Republican Leader Tom Cross's three-tier pension plan? Why or why not?

I would vote for the plan, because the status quo is unacceptable and everyone must make some sacrifices to get our pension system back to stability.

I have heard the mantra from public sector employees that "we were promise."

Most private sector employees were promised certain benefits when they were hired as well, but economic times have changed those promises.

When our employers (taxpayers) have lost jobs, had wages frozen, been put on furlough days and have seen their pensions disappear; public sector employees have to understand that they are not immune. Their employers can no longer afford their benefits.

Contributing more to their retirement, or adjusting what their pensions are, is preferable to seeing their pensions disappear.

In addition, the Cross bill gives state employees options allowing them to take some control of their personal situation, which is something I always support.

Should gay marriage be legalized? Should Illinois define life as beginning at conception as others have? How would you vote on a concealed carry firearm plan? Should the death penalty be reinstated?

I believe marriage is a sacrament and each religious institution needs to define it in terms of their beliefs.

I believe civil unions should be available to everyone as they are the legal vehicle to identify the legal protections two people share.

Illinois has much more pressing financial issues to deal with rather than arguing over when life begins. This issue is rooted in religious beliefs and I do not believe government should interfere in this type of personal decision or religious conviction. I would support a concealed carry law in Illinois.

We are the only state without one. I would join Senator Kirk Dillard in voting to reinstate the death penalty for the most heinous criminals, which include serial killers and child murders.