Michael M. Lupo: 2022 candidate for Illinois House District 55


Party: Republican

Office sought: Illinois House District 55

City: Park Ridge

Age: 41

Occupation: Small business owner, Preferred Beverage Supply

Previous offices held: None


Q: What needs to be done structurally to make the legislature more effective? What is your position on term limits in general and for legislative leaders specifically?

A: I absolutely am in favor of term limits and I believe term limits should apply across the board ... including legislative leaders.

As Illinois Democrats continue to be investigated, indicted, and arrested ... even in the post-Madigan era ... it's more important than ever to pass meaningful ethics reform. Important components of any new rules include prohibiting legislators from serving as lobbyists, implementing a revolving door ban, and empowering the Legislative Inspector General to open investigations and issue subpoenas to pursue potential wrongdoing.

Budget reforms are also desperately needed. We should be requiring balanced budgets by setting, and adhering, to a revenue estimate on the front end of the process ... as is required by law. All spending bills should be thoroughly vetted in both chambers while allowing adequate time for public comment. It's also imperative to properly commit funds to pay down our pension debt.

Q: Federal assistance has enabled the state to make important advances toward improving its budget. What will you do to ensure these advances continue when the federal aid is gone?

A: Taxpayers deserve a state government that is accountable and doesn't spend more than it takes in. My concern is that this new spending will result in Democrats proposing new and increased taxes to sustain programs when federal aid runs out. Illinois families pay enough taxes and they deserve relief, especially coming out of the pandemic.

Illinois lawmakers must prioritize our key functions- protecting residents and providing the best educational opportunities. We must cut nonessential and wasteful spending, starting with automatic pay raises for our politicians.

Also, we cannot give up on solving the biggest driver of our state's debt- our unfunded pension liability. We must all come to the table to work together towards a solution that shares both benefits and sacrifices.

Q: To what extent are you happy or unhappy with the evidence-based model for education funding now in place in Illinois? How would you define "adequate" state funding for Illinois schools and what will you do to promote that?

A: Funding educational opportunities for our children is one of the primary functions of government and one of my top priorities. I support state funding for public education, so every child has an avenue for success. As someone who attended public schools, I believe in public schools and will work across the aisle to ensure they are properly funded. I recognize that money alone does not solve all problems. We must also have transparency, accountability, new ideas, and engaged stakeholders among parents, teachers, and school boards.

The evidence-based funding model is a start to ensuring schools are appropriately funded by our state. But it must also be a budget priority and not held hostage to political whims. We need more equality in education so low-income regions can be provided the same opportunities to pursue their dreams. More technology, literacy, and bilingual education resources will help Illinois schoolchildren succeed in their primary education.

Q: Do you believe elections in Illinois are free and fair? What changes, if any, are needed regarding election security and voter access?

A: Yes. I do believe our elections are free and fair. Illinois is fortunate to have dedicated election volunteers and administrators to ensure elections are transparent and fair. With no major changes in outcome despite numerous recounts over the years in Illinois, residents can certainly have faith in the administration of our elections in Illinois.

I do believe that we can do more to ensure that our elections continue to be free and fair. Common sense practices and legislation are a great start. For example, House Bill 2598 would be used to standardize the removal of deceased voters from the rolls. House Bill 2599 should be used to require photo identification to vote. And House Bill 2600 should be passed, which would ensure all vote-by-mail signatures are verified. These measures, along with others aimed to increase participation in elections, would help more Illinoisans vote while resting assured that the election process is as secure as possible.

Q: How well has Illinois responded to Supreme Court indications that it considers abortion, gay marriage and other social issues to be state, not federal, responsibilities? What if anything needs to be done in these areas and what would you do to make your vision come to pass?

A: Under the Supreme Court's ruling, no changes occur to Illinois' abortion laws.

Abortion laws in Illinois are among the most permissive in the country, allowing abortion through the third trimester of pregnancy. What has changed in Illinois is last year Democratic legislators repealed the Parental Notification of Abortion Law. This took away a parent's right to know if their minor child had an abortion. I support parents' right to know about medical procedures for their children, especially with protections in place to allow notification exemption for minors who have been abused.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.