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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.
City: Sugar Grove
Office sought: 25th District Senate
Family: Married to Cindy for 34 years. She is a school social worker in Geneva,Il. Three adult children-Meredith(married to Justin), John and Julia
Occupation: Attorney/Partner at Dreyer, Foote, Streit, Furgason, and Slocum, P.A.
Education: Bachelor of Arts, Western Illinois University 1973, Doctor of Jurisprudence, Drake University 1976, Masters of Law--Taxation (LLM), John Marshall Law School 1984
Civic involvement: Multiple years on the United Way Allocation Committee, including chairmanship; Member of Wesley Methodist Church Administrative Council multiple years; Chairman of Stewardship multiple years; Chairman of Staff Parish (personnel committee for the Church); West Aurora School District 129 Board Member--16 years, 4 years as Vice President and 4 years as President.
Elected offices held: West Aurora School District 129 Board Member--16 years, elected 4 times.
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No.
Key Issue 1
Illinois state budget.
The budget situation in Illinois is so dire that we are facing billions of dollars in unpaid bills($7 - $8 billion dollars).
Individual tax rates have been increased 67% and corporate rates have been increased over 40%, yet the shortage remains.
Raising taxes to match expenditures is not and cannot be the answer.
The expenditure side of the budget must be reduced.
Pension and Medicaid reform are key components, but there must be additional cuts throughout the entire governmental structure.
It will be a long and arduous process.
Key Issue 2
Creation of a pro job/pro growth environment. Businesses need predictability with regard to tax obligations. The research and development tax credit needs to be extended.
The corporate income tax rate needs to be reduced.
The renewal and use of enterprise zones has to also be considered.
Key Issue 3
The amount of unfunded pension obligations in Illinois is unsustainable.
If changes are not made going forward, pension obligations will continue to take a larger and larger portion of the state budget.
The legislature must consider multiple options, including the possible extension of the retirement age, the increase of contributions by participants, and a 401(k)-type component for the participants.
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 small business owner, I find Springfield's piecemeal granting of corporate tax breaks offensive.
It appears to the taxpayer that the larger corporations with more power and money are able to get the tax breaks.
I do support reducing corporate income taxes and making Illinois more business friendly, but such legislation must be uniform and apply to all size businesses.
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?
If legislative leaders dominate campaign funding, there is a risk that they could have an extraordinary degree of sway over the lawmaking process.
It is a tool that must be used not to influence votes, but rather, to create a united, organized and ideologically coherent party.
I anticipate working very closely with the Republican Senate leadership to steer Illinois back on track legislatively.
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?
Springfield has annually cobbled together a budget in the last hours or even minutes of the legislative schedule.
Unpaid bills, backlogged Medicaid payments, payments to schools and business tax refunds continue to pile up. There must be a long-term commitment to reducing the expenditure side of the budget.
No department or agency in Springfield should be exempt from the analysis and review process.
All departments and agencies and individuals must participate in the necessary sacrifices.
The increase in gambling positions in the Chicagoland area has had a detrimental effect on the existing casinos, specifically Aurora and Elgin.
The question that has to be answered is, "Are we at a saturation point?"
I would like to spend time with all of the representatives of the gambling industry to understand the impact of this on a statewide level.
Illinois must be sure not to lose potential revenues to casinos strategically placed over the border in neighboring states.
A similar study would have to be done regarding the placement of slots at racetracks.
The 25th district has casinos in it or in neighboring areas.
Their revenues have been reduced as a result of the increased gambling locations in the Chicagoland area.
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?
Representative Cross's plan has to be given serious consideration.
All stakeholders in the pension reform issue must be involved in the solution.
There are several undeniable truths that Illinois citizens, including pension participants, and the General Assembly must address regarding the pension issue.
There is an unfunded liability of at least $85 billion, which is probably closer to $130 billion.
The unfunded liability is rising while benefits being paid out are also rising.
The pressure of unfunded pension obligations will only continue to rise as people live longer.
The pension shortfall must be addressed now or there will be no benefits for future retirees.
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 that marriage is an institution shared between a man and a woman.
I believe in the right to life.
I am a strong proponent of the right to bear arms under the 2nd Amendment.
Illinois should consider action to adopt a concealed carry law.
There have been documented miscarriages of justice with regard to the death penalty.
However, the death penalty is still the strongest deterent for severe criminal acts.
It also provides a sense of justice to the families of the victims, while protecting society from such perpetrators.
I believe in the most severe cases capital punishment should be available.