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: 45th District Representative
Family: Father of one son
Occupation: Legislator and Attorney
Education: BA Political Science Eastern Illinois JD Valparaiso University School of Law
Civic involvement: Serenity House Advisory Board Semper Fi Family Platoon Addison Chamber of Commerce Wood Dale Chamber of Commerce Justinian Society of Lawyers
Elected offices held: Alderman Second Ward Elmhurst 1997-2001 Addison Township Trustee 2000-2007 State Representative 46th District 2007 to Present
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
Job Creation: Illinois has too much taxation, litigation and regulation. If we reduced these three things, Illinois can once again become a destination economy.
Key Issue 2
Pension and Workers Comp Reform: See response below for pensions. Work Comp must be reformed to allow the finder of fact to consider causation of the injury. Old football injuries should not be compensated. Only work related, on the job injuries should be eligible.
Key Issue 3
Balancing our State Budget: See response below
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 support HB 6204. It brings the system to 100% funding within the next 32 years. It requires all employees in the pension system to pay on average about 3% more based on the value of the benefit. It requires the state to make the pension payments by using bonding authority to commit the funds for 30 years, the state guarantees the solvency of the system, and a 401k style option is offered. I would also consider funding from additional casinos to create a pension stabilization fund. The pension shift would be a financial nightmare and would really act as double taxation to the suburbs. The suburbs already get a reduced amount of state aid funding because of local investment in the districts. The city of chicago unfairly gets more funding than it should at the expense of the suburbs. It will be a 6% increase over the next decade and tax capped district will be forced to make additional cuts to their programs. It is not "Lame Duck" session it is veto session and we should only act on measures the Governor hase vetoed or things that come up as an emergency. There is no difference in acting on November 27 versus January as far as the bond houses are concerned. We should be acting on legislation right now and the Governor should call us back in until an agreement is taken. HB6204 has bipartisan support and should be a template to reform the system.
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?
I voted on medicaid reform which cut $1.5 billion from our budget and the abolition of GA scholarships. We should not have a state fleet of airplanes. Which should implement rapid repat to expedite inmates with federal detainers on them in the IDOC to ICE saving taxpayers millions yearly, implement PAYGO, combine the Treasurer and comptroller Office saving millions annually and eliminate out of state travel for employees except when necessary. Illinois needs to continue to pay down its $8 billion backlog of bills by continuing to cut spending and applying the savings to old bills. I have supported slots at the tracks and additional casinos. The racing industry supports over 20,000 workers statewide. Any additional gaming revenue should be used to pay down debt and/or for pension stabilization. I will have to review any new gaming bills on the merits if the Governor vetos the current measure.
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?
After meeting with a business in Addison that could go from three employees to three hundred employees, but is getting stuck in red tape, I support reducing overburdensome regulation. Licensing should be streamlined and not take months and years. This business was offered better oppportunities in Wisconsin but wants to stay here. This should not be the case and has to be fixed immediately. Construction of the Elgin-Ohare expansion will provide numerous opportunities as well. While I supported tax breaks for these companies, we need to have policies for all companies and not deal with tax breaks on a business by business basis. Stiff penalties must exist to stop these businesses from leaving the state with our tax dollars.
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 there should be reasonable caps on leadership. I support Leader Cross and his efforts to rein in state spending and reform pensions. He wants his members to vote their districts and not their leadership demands as it is in the other caucus.
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?
I do not support gay marriage. I am pro-life with the exceptions of rape, incest and health of the mother. I support and voted for concealed carry. As a former prosecutor who was certified to prosecute death cases, I filed measures to reinstate the death penalty since its abolition. The murder rates in Chicago have skyrocketed after the abolition when academic studies claimed murder rates would decrease. It is the proper punishment once the system is reformed to have it in the most heinous cases such as multiple victims, the victims are police/fire/doc, children and seniors and witnesses in a case. (HB 1520) These issues should not have been addressed in veto session, but the Speaker controls what bills get called. Hopefully they won't be addressed until the 98th General Assembly is seated.