Patricia Fee: Candidate Profile
84th District Representative
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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.
Office sought: 84th District Representative
Family: Married 21 years to her husband Kelvin 3 children- Robert, Sarah and Kaitlin 3 grandchildren
Occupation: Homemaker, Mother, Community volunteer
Education: Associates Degree- Nursing
Civic involvement: Member-National Federation of Republican Women 2nd Vice President- Illinois Federation of Republican Women Naperville Precinct Committeewoman 2010 Lincoln Series Fellow Volunteer- United Way Speakers Bureau. Kiwanis Club, High School Quarterback Club, and member of the Parent's Board at Waubonsie Valley High School Women's Lacrosse.
Elected offices held: n/a
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
Repealing the 67% income tax increase that Quinn passed in 2011.
Key Issue 2
Eliminating barriers to Illinois? economic growth. Illinois should be synonymous with job creation and economic growth instead of a state where there is an exodus of existing businesses and a place that new businesses avoid. A lower bond rating, a Governor pushing for more government oversight of the private sector, high taxes and debt are all hindering the creation of jobs and the growth of the state?s economy. What Illinois needs are leaders who grasp what it takes to create jobs and maintain a healthy economy in our state.
Key Issue 3
Restoring Illinoisian?s trust in our state government by leading by example, which will require hard work, financial responsibility and honesty.
How would you fix the state's pension gap? Should pension costs be shifted to suburban school districts? Why or why not? Should this issue be voted on in a lame-duck session? Why or why not? How can partisan gridlock be eased to solve the crisis?
I will only support a comprehensive pension reform bill that addresses the long term un-sustainability of the pension system of public employees. Up until now there has no comprehensive legislation proposed so there are no bills to support. However, any solution should include increased contributions, reduced benefits, and the conversion to a 401k type plan for all future employees. I cannot support any stopgap measures because that is what got Illinois into this situation in the first place. Answer Two ? General Statement on Reform: Over the last couple decades the pension system has become an increasing burden on Illinois and it is not a problem that can be solved in one day. Both proponents and opponents to reform will have to make concessions, such as, moving to a hybrid system which includes defined contributions and benefits or even potentially reducing benefits, in order for any pension reform to be successful.
How, specifically, would you cut the budget? What does Illinois need to do to fix its status as a "deadbeat state?" How will you vote on future gambling bills? What is your view of slots at racetracks? Casino expansion?
For New Candidates on Spending Cuts: Medicaid is one of the fastest-growing sections of Illinois? budget. Over the past decade both Medicaid enrollments and spending have more than doubled and now Medicaid constitutes one-third of the State?s general funds budget. It is critical that Illinois slows the growth in Medicaid. Last year, House Republicans put forth a Medicaid reform package that would have saved taxpayers in Illinois $800 million. Unfortunately, the Obama Administration rejected some of the key Medicaid reforms that were passed last year. These reforms include verifying the income and residency eligibility of Medicaid recipients. Illinois needs to be allowed to implement these reforms and we must focus on reducing fraud in the Medicaid system. This spring, the General Assembly passed significant Medicaid reforms, which is a crucial component to fixing the State?s budget crisis. Without substantial Medicaid reforms, Illinois? cache of unpaid bills would increase to approximately $21 billion by 2017. Therefore, the General Assembly took steps to reduce the State?s $11 billion Medicaid program by nearly $1.6 billion, which will help get Illinois back on solid fiscal ground. With passage of Senate Bill 2840, an estimated 300,000 individuals are expected to be removed from Illinois? Medicaid roster because they have passed away, are not residents of Illinois, do not meet income eligibility guidelines, or have become too old for the All Kids program. By itself, eligibility verification will save taxpayers $350 million. The bill also provides for a moderate 3.5% rate reduction for hospitals and excludes Critical Access and Safety Net Hospitals from the reduction. Senate Bill 2840 will also do the following: 1. Roll back Blagojevich?s expansion of Family Care by reducing the eligibility limit for parents to $30,000 for a family of four 2. Impose a $10 co-pay for visits to the emergency room 3. Require a $3.60 co-pay on all services and a $2 co-pay for generic medications 4. Limit prescription coverage to four prescriptions per month without doctor certification or need or specialty drug/condition exception 5. Eliminate funding for adult chiropractic services The General Assembly also passed legislation changing retiree health benefits for State employees. Senate Bill 1313 eliminates the established formula under which a State employee who retires at the end of his or her service can receive free or subsidized health insurance from the State. The rules regulating State contributions to retiree health care will be determined by the Director of Central Management Services (CMS), and must be filed with the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR). CMS outlined their recommendation for retiree health care in a memo requested by House Republican Leader Tom Cross. Under their recommendation retirees will pay a percentage of their healthcare costs on a sliding scale. The scale is based on (1) length of service, and (2) ability to pay. Additionally the percent of cost that the retiree will pay will be based on his or her pension level. Pension amounts will be divided into seven tiers; the higher the tier, the more the retiree will pay. When SB 1313 was passed there were 78,000 retirees who paid no premium for their health insurance, which is roughly 90% of all state retirees. Another 7,400 retirees paid a portion of their premium. The previous law authorized a 5% reduction in premium costs for every year of state service. That meant that retirees with 20 years of state service paid nothing for their health insurance coverage. This year alone, the costs for state taxpayer-funded retiree health insurance are expected to reach over $800 million. Pension reform would reduce the State?s unfunded pension liability by billions of dollars. The State of Illinois should utilize Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) budgeting, which would require any program increasing spending to determine other areas of the budget that would be cut to pay for the new spending. The General Assembly needs to pass authentic welfare reform, such as requiring photo IDs on LINK cards. Illinois could potentially save several hundred million dollars simply by eliminating the fraud in our welfare system. The offices of Comptroller and Treasurer should be combined, which would save Illinois taxpayers $12 million. With the exception of those used for emergency purposes, Illinois should sell its fleet of sixteen aircraft, which includes sex executive aircraft. IDOT has spent $18.5 million over the last three years to operate the State?s fleet of aircraft and these costs have risen by more than 27 percent. Currently the State pays for daily air shuttles between Chicago and Springfield. Instead of spending $3,000 an hour for these flights, state officials should be taking Amtrak, especially since it only costs $36 round trip between Chicago and Springfield. Pro Gambling: Although I don?t think gaming is a chief business tool for the State of Illinois, I do recognize that it creates economic activity and is a form of entertainment, both of which help the tourism and convention industries. Any profitable business model should be perfected and expanded to drive our state?s economy.
What can you do specifically to help the economy in your district? How can you help create jobs in your district and statewide? What is your view of the tax breaks granted to companies like Motorola Mobility, Navistar and Sears?
Tax breaks are a time tested way of fostering business and job growth in the economy. However, I am not in favor of providing cash to Illinois businesses. One example of why Illinois should provide uniform business incentives to all business owners is Motorola leaving Lake County for Chicago, while cutting hundreds of local employees. As I am not an incumbent, I have never voted for a tax increases but nor do I plan to. I think that the best thing I can do specifically for my district is to repeal the income tax increase.
Do you favor limiting how much money party leaders can give candidates during an election? If elected, do you plan to vote for the current leader of your caucus? Why or why not? Do you support or oppose campaign contribution limits? Please explain.
I believe that Party leaders should be limited to the maximum donation allowed by any other PAC. I have given no committement that I vote for anyone for the position of Speaker or Leader and do not wish to speculate on something with so many variables.
Should gay marriage be legalized in Illinois? Should it be voted on in a lame-duck session as civil unions were? Should Illinois define life as beginning at conception? How would you vote on a concealed carry plan? Should the death penalty return?
Currently the law allows for civil unions, which grants any couple equal rights and privileges under the law. Whether or not to call these legal partnerships a marriage should be left up to churches and not to governments. I would vote in favor of a conceal carry law. Law abiding citizens who have been trained and educated in the proper use of firearms should be able to carry firearms to protect themselves and their families. The current laws restrict the 2nd Amendment rights of honest citizens and leave them powerless against armed criminals who disregard the laws. I would support reinstating a death penalty in Illinois only for the very few cases in which there is absolute certainty that the individual convicted of the crime is guilty.
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