Voters in the 42nd state House District will get a different approach to the state's budget problems depending on who they elect.
With Republican incumbent Jeanne Ives of Wheaton, the plan is to continue making cuts, revamp state employee health care and reform pensions.
With Democratic challenger Kathleen Carrier of Carol Stream, the approach is to stop making cuts -- especially to the state's "most vulnerable" citizens -- and look instead for ways to increase revenue.
Ives and Carrier are seeking the 42nd District seat representing all or parts of Wheaton, Winfield, Carol Stream, Warrenville, Lisle, West Chicago, Naperville and Woodridge in the Nov. 8 election.
Ives, a 51-year-old full-time state representative who has held the seat since 2012, said the state needs to find more areas to spend less -- including employee health benefits and pensions.
"Illinois hasn't earned the right to new revenue," Ives said. "We have not put in the effort to make reasonable cuts to the budget."
But Carrier, 60, proposes the opposite route, saying Ives' philosophy is not right for the district. Carrier said the state should close "loopholes" in corporate taxes in hopes of getting more companies to pay and lowering the rate for all.
She also said she "would not necessarily be opposed to a service tax, although I would want to educate myself on how we are defining services," and she would consider a one-cent tax on sugary beverages to boost state income.
Ives says she's already pushed legislation to close corporate tax loopholes, but she sees a service tax as "problematic."
"Unless you look it and say, 'We're not going to make exceptions for particular things and it's just holistically going to be the same,'" she said, "then you're carving out winners and losers in a process that is already gamed."
Pension reform, she said, can best help to address the state's financial woes.
"Until we get serious about that," Ives said, "we cannot ask these taxpayers for any more money."