Genevan Steven Andersson said Thursday that as a lawyer, library trustee and small-business owner, he's developed skills that could help lead the state out of its financial mess.
His campaign for the Republican nomination for the 65th state House district is about "an idea and vision," he told a crowd of about three dozen supporters in front of the Kane County Courthouse.
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"An idea, I believe, most people agree with; which is simply to be reasonable; to use reason, logic, ethics and good judgment in government," Andersson said. "It is not to engage in bitter partisan bickering. It is not about extreme political views. It is not about the 'blame game.'"
Andersson, the Geneva Public Library's treasurer, said the library decreased the amount of property taxes collected last year. As one of four owners of his law firm, hard lessons have been learned about not spending money one doesn't have.
"Deferring obligations (such as pensions) may be a politically astute answer, but I'm not a politician and we need to address this head-on," he said.
As an attorney for several municipalities and government agencies, he has learned how to bring opposing sides together for a consensus, Andersson said.
He touched on a desire to keep Springfield out of towns' business. "Each community is different and has different needs. What is right for Chicago or Peoria is not necessarily right for South Elgin, Hampshire or Pingree Grove. "Sometimes the best thing our state can do is to leave things alone. In other words, don't pass statewide laws, but let the people govern themselves locally, if at all possible."
Andersson said the state needs low taxes, a balanced budget, a fixed pension system and flexible planning to attract businesses.
Andersson supports raising the retirement age for state pension-holders to match those set by the Social Security Administration, eliminating the automatic cost-of-living adjustment and eliminating the compounding of the cost-of-living adjustment. New employees should be in defined-contribution plan, not a defined-benefit system, he said.
Andersson also called for term limits; after the speech, he suggested 12 years may be an appropriate balance between knowing the job and becoming entrenched.
"We need to ensure that normal reasonable people can get on the ballot and that money and influence doesn't decide who can run and, more importantly, who can win. And after a time, those who are elected need to move on," he said.
Supporters who attended included Geneva businessman Michael Olesen; Kane County chief deputy clerk and Montgomery Trustee Stan Bond; Sugar Grove Trustee Mari Melson Johnson; Town and Country Library Trustee David Burroughs, who works for Engineering Enterprises Inc.; Geneva Alderman Mike Bruno; and Montgomery President Matt Brolley.
The 65th House District includes parts of Geneva, St. Charles, Campton Hills, Plato Center, South Elgin, Elgin, Hampshire and Huntley.