Hannah Billingsley: 2024 candidate for Illinois House 49th District


Party: Republican

Office Sought: Illinois House 49th District

City: West Chicago

Age: 36

Occupation: CEO, MOD Lifewear

Previous offices held: None

What do you consider the three most pressing issues facing the state in the next four years, and how should they be addressed?

Public Safety

Living in a place of fear is not only unproductive to the economy, but it also is inhibitive to innovation and progress. I commit to reinforce public safety, ensuring that our neighborhoods are secure and our law enforcement officers are well-supported.

Balanced Budgets & Lower Taxes

Sound fiscal management is the cornerstone of effective governance. A balanced budget is not just a number on a page; it's a commitment to our future, ensuring that we invest wisely. I will lead the charge on repealing the state gasoline & grocery taxes because they are regressive and hit lower income and working people the hardest.

Opioid Crisis & Mental Health

My approach is rooted in my faith and my belief in the power of community. I am committed to promoting comprehensive solutions that include better access to treatment, support for families, education on mental health and substance abuse, and collaboration with healthcare providers, faith-based organizations, & law enforcement.

Does Illinois need a constitutional amendment to reform its redistricting system? If not, why is what we have now acceptable? If so, what changes would you support?

Illinois would benefit from a constitutional amendment to reform its redistricting system to ensure fairer, more representative mapping. The current system, susceptible to partisan gerrymandering, can undermine the public's trust and hinder the pursuit of the American Dream.

I support establishing an independent, non-partisan commission for redistricting to foster transparency and impartiality. This commission should be composed of citizens with diverse backgrounds, not just political appointees, to reflect the state’s rich tapestry. I am running to represent a state representative district that includes portions or fragments of 12 towns. A redistricting process that valued democracy, constituent services and strong local representation would never fragment communities like this.

This reform isn't just about drawing lines on a map; it's about ensuring that every Illinoisan has a chance to elect representatives who will champion their dreams and aspirations

How do you assess the health of the state's budget? What changes, if any, need to be made in fiscal policy?

I recognize that the health of our state's budget is pivotal not just for current fiscal stability but also for securing the future where every citizen can pursue their dreams. Fiscal responsibility can stifle our state's growth and limit opportunities for our residents.

We need a pragmatic approach that combines fiscal discipline with strategic investment. We should prioritize streamlining government operations to eliminate waste and improve efficiency, ensuring taxpayer money is used effectively.

In terms of policy, revising our tax system to make it more equitable and growth-oriented, while also addressing the pension crisis through bipartisan constitutional reform, is crucial. A balanced budget is more than just numbers; it's about laying a strong, stable foundation for all Illinoisans to chase their dreams and achieve success.

Are you satisfied with the state's existing ethics policies for senators and representatives? If so, what about the policies should reassure Illinoisans that elected leaders abide by high standards? If not, what changes need to be made?

I believe in the paramount importance of maintaining the highest ethical standards for our senators and representatives. The pursuit of public office should be driven by a spirit of altruism, not personal gain. Consequently, I am steadfast in my conviction that salaries for these positions should not be raised, ensuring that the path of public service is chosen for the right reasons — to serve and to foster an environment where every Illinoisan can pursue their dreams.

Transparency should be at the forefront of our efforts. Strengthening disclosure requirements and enhancing oversight can reassure Illinoisans that their elected leaders are held accountable and are serving with integrity and dedication. Further, implementing stricter regulations on lobbying and post-service employment will ensure that public service remains distinct from private advantage.

Would you support a requirement that election petitions include a line asking candidates for their campaign email address?

Such a requirement would enhance the accessibility of candidates, allowing voters to directly engage with them, ask questions, and express concerns. This open line of communication is essential in a vibrant democracy and helps build trust and accountability. It ensures that candidates remain in touch with the very people they aspire to represent, keeping them attuned to the hopes and dreams of their constituents

How well do you think criminal justice reforms made in recent years are working? What, if any, changes need to be made?

I am deeply concerned that the SAFE-T Act compromises public safety, a fundamental pillar of our community's well-being. The act's broad changes, including restrictions on law enforcement's ability to detain individuals and stringent rules on the use of force, hinder police effectiveness and response in critical situations. Moreover, the increased administrative burden on our police departments may detract from their primary focus of safeguarding our communities. The elimination of cash bail, while well-intentioned for fairness, risks releasing potentially dangerous individuals back into our neighborhoods, threatening the peace and security essential for our citizens to pursue their dreams. We must urgently review and amend the Act's provisions, ensuring that criminal justice reforms do not endanger the safety we all cherish and depend on. It's imperative that we restore a balanced approach that upholds both justice and the unwavering protection of our communities.

What personal qualifications do you bring that would make you an effective legislator?

I have a knack for getting to the heart of complex issues and finding common ground. My background in business and recovery has taught me how to listen, adapt, and make decisions that get results. I’m all about practical, collaborative solutions that work for everyone. I believe in moving forward without losing sight of our core values, and my goal is to make sure every law we pass helps our community thrive in a real, tangible way. I'm here to make a positive, lasting impact, and I'm ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work.

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.