Back to 81st 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.
City: Downers Grove
Family: Wife: Kevan Two children: Clare & Jack
Occupation: Attorney at Gaido & Fintzen (Chicago and St. Charles)
Education: B.A.- University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign J.D.- DePaul University College of Law
Civic involvement: Downers Grove Area Chamber of Commerce & Industry Dist. 58 Foundation Pierce Downer Elementary PTA Downers Grove Moose
Elected offices held: Downers Grove Village Council 2003-2007 Mayor, Village of Downers Grove 2007-2011 State Senate 21st Dist., Nov. 2010 - Jan. 2012 State Representative 81st Dist., Jan. 2012-present
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No.
How will you work to make the General Assembly function more productively and effectively? Wlll you vote to retain your party's current legislative leader? In what specific ways do you support changing how government in Springfield works?
I came to Springfield to address pension reform, fix the budget, provide property tax relief, and make Illinois a pro-business/job creation state. Because Iâ€™m not a career politician, I submitted a term limits bill - having seen what Illinois looks like without them â€" and legislation to create a fair maps process to stop the gerrymandering of legislative districts. Both are bipartisan and good government. I also have sought a long needed reform: Creating the Office of the Repealer which seeks to eliminate old, obsolete laws. I support Leader Jim Durkin â€" in a short time, he has accomplished much.
If the Supreme Court, strikes down the SB 1 pension reform, what is your Plan B and why do you think it would be both legal and effective?
I was a strong supporter of SB 1, a bipartisan bill seeking to finally tackle the most vexing problem of our state, massive public pension liabilities. Unfortunately, most Illinoisans know our state has the worst pension crisis in America with over $100 billion in unfunded liabilities. While teachers and state employees are not to blame, neither are taxpayers at fault. To fix this problem adequately and fairly true shared sacrifice is required. While I still believe SB 1 to be constitutional, if it is in fact deemed unconstitutional, the legislature would be required to go back to the drawing board.
As it stands now, the 2011 income tax increase will expire as planned on Jan. 1. Do you think that expiration should be reconsidered? Would you support making the increase permanent or extending it for some period of time? Please be specific about what level of tax increase, if any, you would support.
The tax increase should expire as promised and I do not support raising taxes on Illinois citizens. It is often said but bears repeating: Illinois has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. Itâ€™s time to stop spending money we do not have. Our state must finally prioritize by doing what all families and businesses do: Live within our means. To do this we must employ LEAN principles to increase efficiency and transparency in government and increase accountability. Prioritizing our state tax dollars means we must spend more wisely and fairly in making long term decisions.
Do you support cuts in state spending? If so, what specifically do you suggest cutting and how will those cuts be sufficient to restore the state's financial health and economic climate?
State finances matter most and until we fix Illinois, our families and businesses will continue to struggle. I focus on the issues that matter to all Illinoisans â€" seeking to reduce the size, scope, expense and expanse of state government, utilizing sacred tax dollars in a responsible manner, reforming government and doing everything possible to promote jobs and sustainable economic opportunity â€¦ all with the aim to return Illinois to the great state it once was.
What changes, if any, do you believe the state should make in the area of education? Would you support the the so-called pension cost-shift to local schools?
It is worth reiterating that the number one issue I hear about from taxpayers is ever increasing property taxes. Given SB 16, which is a real threat to state funding to our schools, I can see no scenario where our area would benefit from that law combined with a cost shift of future pension obligations. This is an issue I intend to closely monitor.
What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?
Freezing property taxes when values decrease are important to the taxpayers of the 81st district, so that is important to me. Taxpayers need real property tax relief. Equally as important are term limits and fair mapsâ€"the long over-due good government reforms needed to reshape Illinoisâ€™ future.
Please name one current leader who most inspires you.
Pope Francis. I find his vision and manner inspiring as he clearly lives his values.
What's the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?
Think matters through.
If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?
I would give it to someone else.
What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?
History. It provides guidance, experience and what to avoid.
If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?
Think for yourself.